Return to School Q&A
What is the plan for Oct. 5, going forward?
- Pre-K will extend to normal, full hours
- Grades K-6 will attend full-day Monday-Thursday, Early Dismissal Friday
Grades 7-8 will maintain the hybrid but attend full-days on in-person days and attend in person every other Friday following the Early Dismissal Schedule
Grades 9-12 will maintain the hybrid but attend 5-hour days on in-person days and attend in person every other Friday following the Early Dismissal Schedule.
After School Care
What are the options for after-school care?
Will Spark/YMCA staff help students with their laptop and schoolwork during the virtual learning part of the day?
How will you deal with bullying?
The Naugatuck Board of Education is committed to creating and maintaining an educational environment that is physically, emotionally and intellectually safe and thus free from bullying, harassment, and discrimination. In accordance with state law and the Board’s Safe School Climate Plan, the Board expressly prohibits any form of bullying behavior on school grounds; at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program, whether on or off school grounds; at a school bus stop; on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a local or regional board of education; or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device owned, leased or used by Board of Education. The Board also prohibits any form of bullying behavior outside of the school setting if such bullying (i) creates a hostile environment at school for the student against whom such bullying was directed, (ii) infringes on the rights of the student against whom such bullying was directed at school, or (iii) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Discrimination and/or retaliation against an individual who reports or assists in the investigation of an act of bullying are likewise prohibited.
Students who engage in bullying behavior shall be subject to school discipline up to and including expulsion in accordance with the Board’s policies on student discipline, suspension and expulsion and consistent with state and federal law. For a full description of this Board policy (5700 Bullying Prevention and Intervention) visit the Naugatuck Public Schools website.
Will there be monitors on the busses?
We have 2 bus monitors available at each elementary school for an as-needed basis. The monitors were originally hired to assist with the process of loading and unloading the buses, address mask compliance, and because lunches were going home with the children. We cut back to 2 monitors because we no longer send the lunches home, the students have learned the process of unloading and loading the buses and they have been amazing with mask compliance.
How will you control the order in which kids get on the bus on the way home?
Passengers should load into the bus from the back row to the front (where the first passengers onto the bus sit in the back row). Students will sit in assigned seats based on the bus route. This will reduce the number of people passengers walk by as they get off the bus.
Will the busses be at full capacity?
Busses will run at full capacity, minus those who opted for distance learning (about 30%) during a low level of risk for grades K-8 and at ½ half capacity for grades 9-12. If our risk status is upgraded to moderate, bus capacity for all grades will be lowered.
Will every child who needs transportation be able to receive it?
If cohorting does not occur on transportation, how is it effective during the school day?
Maximizing cohorting during the school day is still effective as one of many mitigating efforts, even if for shorter periods while on transportation the students are with individuals outside their cohort.
At the end of the day, will you be cleaning the rooms for Adult Ed, then go back and clean for next day?
Suspected & Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
What's the plan if a kid at a school gets sick? Does the entire class (and anyone on their bus, plus any siblings at different schools?) quarantine at home for two weeks?
If there is a confirmed case of COVID 19 in school, the local Health Department, Nursing Supervisor, and Assistant Superintendent will be notified. There is a mandatory 14-day quarantine for the sick person and a 14-day quarantine for close contacts including siblings.
Siblings will be in quarantine for a total of 24 days if they never develop symptoms.
Will students and staff have temperatures taken on arrival at school?
Will students who exhibit coronavirus-like symptoms be required to take a COVID-19 test and provide a doctor’s note before returning to school?
The student or staff will be excluded from school until one of these CDC clearance criteria are met:
Keep the child out of school for at least 10 days after symptoms of COVID began. Call your physician and discuss if testing is recommended. If your child gets tested (not a rapid test) and the test is positive, please notify the nurse. Your child must stay home at least 10 days, monitor symptoms, and contact tracing will begin. Symptoms must improve prior to returning to school. Your child must be fever-free for 48 hours without fever-reducing medications and other symptoms must be resolving.or
Get your child tested for COVID. The acceptable type of testing to return to school prior to the 10-day self-isolation is a negative PCR-viral test or a NAAT-viral test (not a Rapid Test). If you get a negative COVID test, your child must be out for 48 hours and symptoms resolving. Your school nurse can provide locations where the correct viral tests are being performed. Please call your school nurse prior to going to get tested!
**You must provide the results to the school nurse prior to sending your child back to school.
Get a doctor’s note for an excluded/sick child to return to school for any non-COVID illness, such as a bacterial infection or other illness with a medical diagnosis (not just symptoms) from your child’s physician. The medical diagnosis is required per Addendum #5.
Will the HIPAA privacy rights of those who test positive be kept intact?
The confidentiality of student and employee records, including but not limited to HIPAA privacy rights, is a priority of the Naugatuck Public Schools. NPS will safeguard the privacy of all students and employees. The team who is responsible for safeguarding the safety of students and employees will maintain the confidentiality of all.
If a student and/or staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19, other students and staff will be informed of their possible exposure, while maintaining confidentiality required by HIPAA and ADA.
Is the parent at-home screener required? Will we know as staff if they didn’t fill it out?
In a low level status, students are not required to submit to a health screening, according to CDC guidelines. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we are asking all parents to complete a daily questionnaire prior to sending their child to school. Depending on the public health scenario at the time, the district is prepared to initiate a more rigorous health assessment survey.
Will students be able to distance learn if they are sent home?
Students who are attending school in-person will be responsible for missed work as usual. They can coordinate that with their classroom teachers. There is not a virtual learning option for students who are absent a day or a few days.
If a student is going to be absent for an extended period of time (over two weeks) and is capable of doing work from home, then a student may need to transition to distance learning. These situations can be addressed with the assistance of the building administrator.
How long do students need to be out of school if their only symptom is a fever?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Fever or chills are a symptom of COVID. Your child must stay at home. You will have to follow the guidelines provided on your Parent Daily Screener. Please call your school nurse for further information and directions.
Will all students have rigorous learning opportunities?
The curriculum will continue to be executed as written. The Scope and Sequence of each curricula will be examined and adjusted according to how best to sequence the learning and respond to any gaps that have occurred during distance learning. We remain steadfast in our commitment to equity, and in maintaining the highest quality of education for each and every student in our district. This means adhering to our guiding principles and never wavering in our efforts to provide opportunity and access for all, our commitment to eradicate the opportunity gap, and our belief that every child can achieve our high expectations, as expressed in our NPS Competencies, and Vision of the Graduate regardless of time and place.
Will the kids have real grades vs. pass fail?
Are teachers responsible for buying individual supplies for students?
They are not. NPS will supply individual student supplies.
What support will parents have for virtual learning?
Learning opportunities will be provided to families on various half-days at the beginning of the school year. These days will be planned using feedback from surveys.
Food & Water
Will students be eating at school or home on half-day Fridays?
- City Hill Middle School and Naugatuck High School students will be taking their lunches home.
- The elementary and intermediate students will be eating at school.
My child will be enrolled in distance learning. When can they pick up lunch?
- 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. or 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at the High School auditorium
- 8-9 am or 12-1 pm at City Hill cafeteria in the lower parking lot
If my child does not want the lunch option, are we still able to have them bring in a lunch from home?
How will food safety be maintained with students taking their meals home?
- All of our dairy products are pasteurized – meaning they have been heat-treated to significantly reduce pathogenic bacteria in the milk.
- Harmful bacteria takes time to grow to levels that could cause illness. The science and the supporting regulatory requirements allow food establishments to have potentially hazardous food out of temperature control for a maximum of 4 hours between 70F – 135F and up to 6 hours below 70F – 40F. The food code now calls these “potentially hazardous foods” Time/Temperature control for safety foods because both time and temperature collectively are a factor in bacterial growth.
- Sodexo food safety policies require our operations to control for the temperature of the food throughout the establishment from receiving, through preparation, to serving. Temperatures are taken and recorded to ensure our food is not temperature abused. Sodexo only purchases food from suppliers with verified food safety programs that meet our high standards of safety.
- Sodexo food safety policies have written procedures on using time instead of temperature to control bacterial growth.
- Food sent home with students will include safe handling procedures. The safe food handling procedures will include a statement to refrigerate or consume products within 2 hours (Regulatory allows up to 4 hours and we are reducing that time to take a more conservative approach).
Will you serve breakfast?
- During Plan 2/Hybrid students will pick up breakfast on their way into the school building and eat it in their classrooms.
- Students who opt into distance learning may pick up their breakfast & lunch in front of Naugatuck High School or City Hill Middle School.
Will elementary school students have snack time during in-person learning?
Can students bring water bottles?
If fountains are closed, how will we accommodate student need for water?
Will kids who are doing full remote be offered lunch?
Students that are picking at CHMS or NHS (who opted into distance learning), would there be hot and cold?
They would have a hot and cold option, but maybe not as many options as if they were in school.
For students that choose to stay home, you may have students who are at more high risk. Are you going to allow community partners to deliver?
There is a waiver that only allows parents and guardians to pick up meals for a child.
Heat & Ventilation
If it’s really hot in school can we just keep our kids home?
The district will actively monitor staff and student attendance in all status levels - low, moderate and high. Virtual or in-person attendance for students will be taken daily using Powerschool. If a child is going to be absent, parents will follow the normal attendance protocols.
Will younger students be required to wear masks?
Yes, all students will be required to wear a mask.
Will all adults be wearing masks?
Yes, all adults will be wearing masks, with exceptions for medical reasons or while teaching so long as they are properly socially distancing or remaining static behind a physical barrier.
Will face shields be acceptable for students/staff in place of masks?
No. A face shield is not a sufficient alternative to the wearing of face masks, but rather both should be worn for additional protection. Face shields protect the eyes, nose, and mouth from contamination from respiratory droplets, along with masks or respirators.
Will there be medical exceptions to mask-wearing?
Yes, for anyone who has a medical reason, making it unsafe to wear a face covering, masks should not be required. Students and employees must submit documentation to the School Nurse and direct supervisor from a licensed MD/DO/NP attesting that the medical condition prevents them from having the ability to wear a mask safely.
What if a parent doesn’t want their child to wear a mask?
How much time will be devoted to mask breaks?
Is there a dress code for the types of masks or the designs on masks?
A cloth or disposable face covering that covers the nose and mouth will be required. Masks must follow Naugatuck Public School’s dress code, which prohibits Clothing which prints vulgarities, promotes illegal activity, displays pictures, words, or links to websites that advertise or imply drugs, alcohol or weapons, or displays discriminatory words or gestures. You can read more details about our mask guidelines here: Face Mask Guidelines for NPS students
Will masks be supplied by the schools?
Yes. All students, faculty, and staff will be provided with a cloth face mask at the start of the school year. Naugatuck Public Schools is prepared to provide a mask to any student or staff member who does not have one, or whose mask becomes unusable. The masks will be available in the school buildings, Central Office, and on the buses.
Plan 1b - Optional Distance Learning Option
If I select for my child to opt into virtual learning will she be allowed to attend school events such as field trips and field day?
Based on state guidelines, field trips are prohibited until further notice. In addition, if there is a field day, it will be virtual for all students and not held in-person.
I already submitted my enrollment form, but I’ve changed my mind about whether I want my child to do distance or in-person learning. How can I change my answer?
Are students who participate in virtual learning excluded from clubs or sports? Can they participate in person?
Students who opt to participate in distance learning may participate in extracurricular activities. Students choosing to do so will need to follow all of the safety measures required for in-person attendance when required by the activity (face covering, hand washing, social distancing).
If I choose distance learning for my child, can they switch to in-person learning later or vice versa?
In order to run two concurrent models effectively, we ask that families who choose online learning from home commit to staying online for the trimester (K-8) or marking period (9-12).
Plan 2 - Hybrid Option
Will the same teachers be teaching distance and in-person classes?
In the hybrid model, can we have cameras and microphones set up so the children doing learning from home can participate in the live classes?
Will siblings be attending school on the same days?
For the hybrid model, can my child be grouped together with our carpool or childcare group? Can I choose which days they will attend to accommodate my work schedule?
Why is the hybrid model Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday? Other districts are doing Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday/Friday to leave time to clean on Wednesdays between groups.
How will A and B groups be determined?
Plan 3: Distance Learning Plan
How much live learning with a teacher will there be during distance learning?
Is there a contingency plan being gamed out for the possibility that all classes would have to switch to distance, in the event of other towns/states opening earlier and seeing COVID spikes? If so, has there been a kind of after-action report on the lessons learned from what did and did not work from the initial quickly-thrown together distance methods run last year?
Yes, the district compiled “lessons learned” using staff reflection/feedback and survey data from multiple stakeholder groups. This information was used to design this year’s distance learning plan. When the state of Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Education alerts the district of a change in status to high, the district will initiate its online learning plan. Students will have Chromebooks at home and school-based teams will assist families with accessing the Internet. Students will continue to learn in the Google Classroom they have been using and accessing in an effort to provide for a more seamless transition. Central Office and principals will deploy staff in accordance with the district’s Distance Learning Plan.
What plans are being made to keep the teachers and students engaged in the at home environment?
Should the district move into the Distance Learning Plan, 100% of students learning virtually from home, Students will have Chromebooks at home and school-based teams will assist families with accessing the Internet. Students will continue to learn in the Google Classroom they have been using and accessing in an effort to provide for a more seamless transition. Approximately 50% of all online learning will be live instruction. Teachers will schedule Google Meets and conduct small group and one-on-one learning. Per CSDE guidance, Addendum 1: Temporarily Opting into Voluntary Remote Learning Due to COVID-19,
Parents in collaboration with the school district, who decide to opt into voluntary remote learning will also be expected to supervise and engage their children to fully and effectively access the remote learning programming that is offered through the public school district.
Will classes have all the desks in a classroom or just the needed number in the event of a hybrid?
How will the plexiglass dividers work?
The plexiglass dividers will be self-standing. Not every single student will have plexiglass. The dividers will be cleaned daily.
Will students be allowed to share toys?
Students will not be allowed to share or bring in personal toys. Classroom and student materials such as Chromebooks, tablets, manipulatives, pencil boxes etc. will be disinfected daily by classroom staff using disinfectant wipes.
Protocols for Switching between Plans
What indicators will be used to determine whether to switch between Plans 1, 2, and 3?
The CSDE released Interim Guidance for Decision-Making Regarding the Use of In-Person, Hybrid (Blended), or Remote Learning Models in Connecticut Schools during COVID-19 on 7.28.20. The determination of when districts will move from one level to another or from one plan to the next will come from the Connecticut Department of Public Health and State Department of Education. While local districts may have some input into the decision-making process, the decision to move between plans is not a local decision. Moving from one plan to the next (i.e. going from full-opening to a hybrid or full distance learning) will be based on the ongoing monitoring and assessment of transmission data throughout communities, regions, and the state. At this time, DPH and CSDE are still working to establish the metrics for moving from one plan to the next. Once established, the metrics and information will be shared with all stakeholders and will become a part of this plan.
Will more teachers be hired to make class sizes smaller?
What will the classrooms look like?
With schools with multiple levels, will there be stairs that are only up and only down?
Will there be areas marked out to students know their safe zones?
How will dismissal work?
What happens if the virus isn't as bad as they are predicting? Is there a plan to relax the precautions later in the school year?
How are we going to meet the hours on IEP’s for students with disabilities?
Guidance and policies related to school reopening plans apply to all students, including students with special needs who qualify for individual education programs under the IDEA and accommodation plans for eligible students under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Our reopening plan is designed for all students and accommodates the facilitation of individualized and alternative means of re-entry based upon student need.
If we are fully opened, the hours will be met similarly to how they typically are, with scheduling and staff considerations given to keep the same students and/or cohorts together.
During a hybrid model, efforts will be made to provide special education and related services during in-person learning, unless a student’s team (in collaboration with the family) decides otherwise.
During virtual learning, efforts will be made to provide services during live meets and/or through videos. Staff will collaborate with families to customize schedules and report progress.
Will kids get their service hours?
The distance learning for students with special education services, will have a plan based on the state’s opportunity plan. Students will receive the same services, but the services might look different. This will be captured on the distance learning opportunity plans that we make with families.
How are we going to address PPTs and triennials and testing?
Where will the Special Ed kids be located?
In the hybrid model, how will you accommodate students with IEPs?
Where should I drop off my child’s physical?
Will the school calendar be the same for students who opt into virtual learning?
What supplies will my student need?
When does the marking period/trimester end?
Will the kids need to bring their Chromebooks back and forth to school and home?
What supplies will my student need?
Elementary: Mask, backpack, snack, Chromebook and a water bottle
Hillside: Mask, two composition notebooks (although we bought back-ups) and headphones. In-person learning needs a backpack, water bottle, and snack recommended. We will give them school supplies.
Cross Street: Mask & pack an extra one, backpack, a water bottle, Chromebook (Fully charged), Earbuds/headphones, Chromebook Case (Case will be provided by Cross Street on the first day)
City Hill: Water bottle, earbuds if they have them, and a mask. These are additional suggested supplies for City Hill.
Naugatuck High School: Mask, Chromebook, pencil, pen, notebook, earbuds.
- Distance Learning for Grades K-6: Notebooks, pencils, pens, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, scissors, Post-It Notes, index cards, glue sticks, and highlighters. Your child’s classroom teacher will provide more information. If you need assistance gathering school supplies, please contact your classroom teacher or your home school principal.