D51 Safe School Reopening FAQ

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Last updated 9/28/2020 at 1:10 p.m.

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D51 Online
Hybrid Learning
COVID19 - Symptoms
Screening/Testing for Students
Screening/Testing for Staff
COVID19 Plans
Health & Safety
Face Coverings
Physical Distancing and Cohorting
Special Education
Specials, Extra curriculars
School Procedures/General Information
Staff Accommodations

D51 Online

I’m interested in online learning. What do I do next?
*Please note that registration for grades 6-12 is currently closed.
Your student will still be registered for the online program, but will be linked to their home campus. 

When will D51 Online begin?
The first day for D51 Online will be Monday, August 24. 

Where can I learn more about the program by student will be using? 
Click here
for more information about FLVS Global, the elementary program
Click here for more information about Odysseyware, the middle and high school program

If I do online schooling, will my child automatically be enrolled in Grand River Academy, or can s/he stay enrolled in his or her current school?
Your student will be enrolled into the D51 Online School program, which is separate from GRA. Students will belong to their home school but will attend our D51 online school program where they will be taught by a different teacher. 

What if I decide after the first quarter or first semester that I want to switch back from online learning to in-person learning?
Students will be allowed to switch between in-person and online during the school year. We encourage only one switch per student and for the transition to happen at quarters/semesters, but there may be exceptions. 

What if I start out with in-person learning but change my mind?

Currently, students in grades 6-12 cannot transition to the online program, but may return to in-person learning. Please note the D51 online program uses a curriculum that is separate from in-classroom instruction. 

Can my child still participate in in-person activities at his or her school of record, like marching band or sports, while doing online learning?
Students can participate in after school activities as long as they are going to online school regularly and earning credits as required by CHSAA. More information can be found in the policy, or by contacting the school’s athletic director.

I do not have access to internet or computers for online learning. Is there help?
Chromebooks will be available to borrow from a student's home school. 

For staff: If I end up teaching online classes, will I be an employee of Grand River Academy or my current school?
You will be a teacher for the D51 Online program.

Who will teach online school?

Teachers will not be expected to teach both an online and an in-person curriculum. Instead, some teachers will focus on in-person instruction and others will focus on online curriculum, with first priority going to those who have a medical reason for not wanting to return to in-person instruction at this time.

Hybrid Learning

I would like to do some sort of hybrid where my child is doing online learning some days and in-person learning others. What do I do?
Currently, we are not offering a hybrid option. Students will either attend their classes at the school site or they can register for our D51 Online School.

COVID-19 - Symptoms

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Click here for a full list of symptoms.
Symptoms in children can differ from those more common in adults and include runny rose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, cough, and muscle aches, according to the Mayo Clinic. Adults can also have fever, cough, and muscle aches, as well as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, and chills.

What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?
Keep your child home. Call your doctor or get a free test from Mesa County Public Health at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. Testing is free and no appointment is necessary. Click here for more information and to pre-register for the test.

What will happen if my child starts showing symptoms of COVID-19 at school?

Any child who shows symptoms of COVID-19 at school will be sent to the health office for screening and, if they do have proper symptoms, their parent(s) will be called and expected to pick them up immediately. While waiting, your child will be in a designated room away from others, and the student will wear a mask if at all possible. Surfaces will be cleaned/disinfected between uses.

Is there any guidance or expectation for staff/students who have recently travelled out of the area to self-quarantine?
Not at this time. The health department has not set that as a guideline but some private businesses have that as a company policy.

COVID-19 - Screening/Testing for Students

How will students be tracked for symptoms of COVID-19?
Parents (and older students who can self-report) should fill out a screening tool before coming to school each day. If a child is not screened at home, he or she will be screened as soon as possible at school by a health assistant.

Will all students be tested for COVID-19?
Universal testing is not required.

If a student wants a test, what does it cost?
Mesa County Public Health will offer free testing at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. Testing is free and no appointment is necessary. Click here for more information and to pre-register for the test. If you believe you or someone in your family has been exposed to the virus, call your healthcare provider or the MCPH hotline at 683-2300 to be screened for testing.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine be required?
There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine in circulation, nor any requirement that all students and/or staff receive the vaccine.

Is my child safe going to the nursing office for symptoms other than COVID-19?

Schools will have separate rooms for symptomatic students and students receiving first aid and routine medical care.

If my child tests positive for COVID-19 but is feeling OK, can he or she do online schooling just for the time he or she is at home?
Alternative plans for assisting students in keeping current with their learning will be provided. Remote learning for students in quarantine is different from the D51 Online Program. 

COVID-19 - Screening/Testing for Staff

What will staff symptom tracking look like?
All staff who are reporting to buildings must fill out a brief online form each day that they report to work, either before they arrive at work or as soon as possible. They must fill out the screening form whether they have active symptoms or not.

Where can I find the staff daily symptom tracker?

Click here or click on the button that says “Daily Staff COVID Screening” on the left side of the home screen at d51schools.org.

Do subs have to fill out the symptom tracker?

What do I do if I’m symptomatic and waiting for COVID-19 test results?
All employees have access to up to 80 hours of paid leave if they go in for COVID-19 testing that they can use while waiting to hear if the COVID-19 test results are positive or negative. If you are symptomatic and waiting for test results, you should wait 10 days since you first developed symptoms before returning to work, as long as your respiratory symptoms have improved AND you haven’t had a fever for three days in a row without the use of fever-reducing medicine.  Click here for more information (staff only) 

What do I do if I had COVID-19 symptoms but my test results came back negative?

If you receive a negative test result you can return to work or school as soon as you feel well enough.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you received a positive test result and were symptomatic, you should wait 10 days from the time you first developed symptoms before returning to work, as long as your respiratory symptoms have improved AND you haven’t had a fever for three days in a row without the use of fever-reducing medicine. If you were asymptomatic and tested positive, you can return to work 10 days after the test. Click here for more information (staff only)

Plans if there are COVID-19 cases

What happens if a student or staff member at my child’s school shows symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19?
If a student or staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms and/or is confirmed COVID-positive, families of students within the cohort of the symptomatic or COVID-positive student or staff member will be notified and possibly asked to quarantine based on guidance from Mesa County Public Health at that time. MCPH will perform contact tracing when a positive case is confirmed to find out who may have been exposed. Students in quarantine will transition to remote learning, where teachers will take their in-person lessons and teach them through an online format, different from D51 Online program, until they can return to in-person learning.

Health and Safety

How will you keep buildings and objects in them clean?
Grounds Dept. will continue daily disinfecting of playground equipment. Custodians will daily disinfect frequently touched surfaces using EPA-approved cleaning products. Other health-minded protocols will include but are not limited to:
   - Providing hand sanitizer in each classroom, to be used under adult supervision
   - Encouraging hand washing as often as possible using handwashing stations and existing sinks
   - Not sharing school supplies or communal objects whenever possible
   - Setting up traffic flow to reduce the number of gathering spots in hallways
   - Encouraging students to carry more books and use their backpacks to reduce trips to their lockers
   - Limiting the use of water fountains and encouraging students to bring bottled water from home or a water bottle that can be refilled at school
   - Having teachers show students how to reduce the spread of germs
   - Limiting snacks and other food in the classroom unless it is packed by parents for their student or provided by D51 Nutrition staff.
   - Discouraging the use of shared clothing bins unless items are laundered at 140 degrees
   - Sanitizing shared equipment between uses, such as lab equipment, tools, and pottery wheels
   - Keeping common areas at 50% of capacity or 175 people - whichever is smaller
   - Running HVAC systems for longer periods of time to increase building ventilation, improve filtration, and flush buildings with outside air
   - Limiting the number of people in buildings who aren’t students or staff
   - Having students attend lunch with other students in their grade level or class cohort
   - Primarily holding meetings with parents virtually

How will you make sure germs aren’t spread through devices?

As soon as possible, students will be assigned a Chromebook and use the same one throughout the year. All schools will have one device for every one student by the end of the year. New Chromebooks needed to make this possible are on order using 2017 Bond Measure dollars, and are due to arrive by the end of 2020.

Face Coverings

Do middle and high school students have to wear face coverings?
Students in middle and high school must wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth (preferably cloth masks) unless they have an educational or medical reason not to wear them. This decision comes from the Colorado Department of Education and is in line with AAP recommendations and the governor’s executive order, issued in July. Face coverings are not required for students of any age during outdoor activities and exercise.

Do elementary school students have to wear face coverings?

Most of the time, no. Face coverings, including masks and face shields, are recommended but not required for elementary school students, and are not required for students of any age during outdoor activities and exercise.

However, students K-12 are expected to wear face coverings when:
   - Entering and exiting the school building
   - Transitioning between rooms in the hallway
   - Riding the bus
   - When they’re not in their cohort group and cannot maintain at least 3 feet of distancing from other students or staff outside their cohort

Do all staff need to wear face coverings?
Yes, unless they have a medical reason not to do so. If needed, face coverings may be temporarily removed or transparent alternatives, such as face shields, may be substituted when face coverings interfere with instruction. If necessary, the mask may be removed for instruction for the shortest duration possible.

Will students and staff need to provide documentation in order to not wear a face covering for educational or medical reasons?
Yes, a doctor’s note is required for a face covering exemption.
   - Students: Doctor’s offices can fax or email the note to Tanya Marvin at 970-245-0825.
   - Staff: Staff must complete the COVID Leave/Accommodations Form and send doctor’s notes supporting the accommodation to Human Resources via fax at 970-241-2344.

Will schools provide face coverings if students or staff don’t have them?

Will students get “mask breaks?”
Yes, at times when physical distancing is possible.

Physical Distancing and Cohorting

How will you implement physical distancing?
Physical distancing will be used as much as possible, with measures including spacing student desks apart as much as possible, using floor stickers to mark distances, and encouraging use of outdoor spaces for learning when possible.

How will you implement cohorting?

Cohorting will take place at two levels, the first being grade level (K, 1, 2, etc.), and the second being by class (Miss Smith’s fourth-grade class, Math 1 class, etc.). Elementary students will spend most of their time in their grade cohort (including recess, lunch, and specials), and middle and high school students will spend as much time as possible cohorted by grade level first and, as much as possible, in smaller cohorts of classes.

Will students cohorts in middle and high school all have the same class schedule?

No, they will have amended schedules during the day in order to limit transitions during the day.

How will you maintain physical distancing in hallways?

There will be a “highway” system in hallways and schools will limit transitions and the number of students in the hallways throughout the day by adjusting schedules when possible.

How many people are allowed in spaces around the school?

Classrooms will be limited to no more than 50 students at a time, cafeterias will be limited to 50% of capacity, and common areas will be limited to either a maximum of 175 people or 50% of capacity - whichever is smaller.  

Meal Services

How will busing work?
Social distancing will be difficult to maintain on buses, so both students and staff will be required to wear masks on the bus. In addition:
   - Students should get on the bus and fill up the back seats first, and students should get off the bus from the front seats first.
   - Family members can and should sit together.
   - All bus-riders should have assigned seating.
   - Time spent parked with students waiting on the bus should be kept to a minimum.
   - Students should distance as much as possible, though 6 feet between all students will rarely be possible due to a limited number of buses in the fleet.
   - All vehicles will be cleaned and maintained according to federal, state, and local guidelines.

Special Education

What will you do to protect students with special needs from disease spread?
Adaptive physical education equipment, lifts, changing tables, and occupational therapy equipment will be cleaned and disinfected between uses.

Do students with special needs have to wear masks?
Medical plans for students at-risk who can’t wear masks are shared with teachers, and students are aware that some students have special circumstances. We will also have face shields for those students who can wear shields but not the masks.

How will my child get access to services through his or her IEP if we do online school?
Specialized instruction will be delivered remotely based on the students IEP goals and needs.


What will change for preschool operations?
While masks will not be required for preschool students, in accordance with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, there will be changes at the preschool level, including:
   - Preschool teachers will wear face coverings
   - Circle time (whole group learning) will be split into smaller groups and/or include spacing students at least three feet apart, according to AAP guidelines
   - Students will play with non-porous surfaces instead of soft or absorbant toys or surfaces
   - Arrival and departure times will be staggered
   - Students will have their own sign-in books instead of a communal sign-in book
   - Materials will be disinfected between morning classes and afternoon classes
   - Parents will sign up for a block of time instead of having one big open house
   - Field trips, family interaction days, and home visits will all be suspended.
   - Families can meet with teachers on the playground, school grounds, or in the classroom to explain paperwork and the program

Specials/extra curriculars

Will you have sports and, if so, what will that look like?
The Colorado High School Activities Association and Governor Polis has approved the following fall sports seasons: boys golf, boys tennis, and softball, with modifications to each season. Boys golf starts Monday, August 3 while tennis and softball begin on August 10. For details on each season, please visit CHSAAnow.com and look up the bulletin for the sport you are interested in under the Activities tab. The CHSAA office is currently working closely with the Colorado COVID Response Team in the Governor's office with the possibility of approving additional fall sports.

We have been approved by the MCPH to advance to Stage 2B for our summer activities in District 51 starting Monday, August 3.

Will you have music, including marching band and, if so, what will that look like? Will they do competitions, be able to play their instruments, and how will it look if they go back online?
Marching band is still practicing, but the state and regional marching band season has been called off.

Are the athletics fees or other extra curricular fees going to get lowered if they are not able to do all of the events?
Fees will not change it we have a season. Parents should wait until a sport has been approved before paying the fee. 

If I enroll my child in an online school not affiliated with District 51, are my kids able to do extracurriculars through D51?
Yes, they can participate, but must follow these rules.

School Procedures/General Info

Are volunteers/visitors allowed in schools?
At this time, the following people will NOT be allowed in schools:
   - Guest speakers
   - Volunteers (Foster Grandparents, etc.)
   - Athletic Volunteer Coaches WILL be allowed in schools
   - Visitors, unless there’s an extremely important reason

What time of day will schools start and end classes?
School start and end times will remain the same as last year. Check www.d51schools.org/about_us/our_schools and select your school to find its particular start and end times.

Will schools allow large gatherings?
Large gatherings, such as indoor assemblies, field trips, and group homecoming activities, are suspended for the time being unless the event can comply with capacity guidelines for common areas. Outdoor assemblies and gatherings are encouraged if physical distancing can be maintained.

Will Back to School Nights be happening?
Not in person. Be sure to check with your child’s school about any plans for online or remote Back to School Nights.

Will schools run air conditioning?
Yes. In fact, air conditioning systems will be running for longer periods of time to keep air flowing and push more outdoor air into each building.

How will fire drills work?
All drills continue to be required with some modifications.  The school district will have a video which students and students and staff can review every other month. When evacuating, the students will practice social distancing.

Staff Accommodations

What if I’m not comfortable coming back to my building and I have a medical condition?
Complete the HR Accommodation Form.

What if I’m not comfortable coming back to my building and do NOT have a medical condition?
Complete the HR Accommodation Form. HR will work with you and your supervisor to determine leave options.

What can I do if I want to work from home?
Complete the HR Accommodation Form and HR will work with your supervisor to determine whether and how it’s feasible for you to work from home. If teleworking is possible, you must sign a teleworking agreement.

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