Below we have compiled a list of questions from both parents and our staff.
Inside the Classroom:
Will my child’s teacher be enforcing face covering rules?
Students will be required to wear a mask when inside the school. During the first two weeks of school, teachers will be teaching and practicing some of these new rules and as well as other COVID related requirements.
Are we still transitioning to Standards Based Grading for the 2020-21 school year?
Yes. As we announced in the spring, our school will be moving to a Standards Based Grading system for the 2020-2021 school year. Please reference the full parent packet created by the archdiocese that was included in the Messenger last spring.
Is "Standard Based Grading" the same as, or is it a derivative of the "Common Core" education program?
Standards Based Grading is a best practice in grading and assessment that all arch schools and most public schools are adopting. The achievement standards were determined by the Archdiocese Office of Schools based on common core.
In the event of an extended school shutdown, are uniforms going to be mandatory this school year? Although there is a chance that a class or the school will be virtual, we will still require students to wear uniforms. We believe uniforms are an important part of our culture, create uniformity and save families time.
How will Holy Apostles support each child’s emotional and social growth especially after being in a quarantine situation for 6 months?
Virtual learning was certainly a big change for students, and we want to make sure the transition back to the in-person classroom is as smooth as possible both academically and emotionally. Holy Apostles will continue to provide opportunities for creativity, play, and making good choices at each grade level, as well as focus on growth in faith, character, and leadership. If you are ever concerned about your child’s social or emotional health, please contact their teacher. They have the unique perspective as they see students interact in the classroom and socially with their peers.
Given 3K/4K is not required schooling, virtual learning is difficult at this age, and proper hygiene/long mask wearing is a bit more difficult.....is it possible to offer a smaller class size with an alternate class period for 3K/4K?
At this time, based on the information and guidance we have received, we do not anticipate or recommend splitting the preK schedule. We will continue to plan creative ways to create distance and reinforce handwashing and mask wearing even in these young grades. We certainly will be increasing our sanitization processes, creating distance during lessons, and minimize shared supplies. Our teachers have an amazing way of guiding these young kids all while having fun!
If the school has to go to a complete virtual environment, how will you deal with the 4K classes? I do not suspect the children will maintain the level of interest in a virtual environment at that age. Just wondering if the 4k will simply be canceled or?
It is hard to predict the future at this point. We hope that if a class or the school must transition to a virtual format, it will only be for the 14-day quarantine period. With that said, we want to ensure each child/family is ready if a longer-term situation is mandated. We will be offering a virtual program for our preK classrooms if they end up in a quarantine situation or to support an individual family who needs temporary or long-term virtual learning. Teachers will be practicing and creating independence with Seesaw during the first two weeks of school to ease the burden on parents if the student/class must jump to a virtual format. We know virtual learning is not ideal for young children, but also know this will be temporary as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
How will 3K be handled the first 2 weeks of school?
We hope 3K families can take part in the hybrid schedule with the rest of the school. We know that some MWF families will be asked to come to school on a Thursday. Please let Mrs. R. know if you have a conflict. Wrap care will begin after Labor Day.
Will the supply lists be adjusted? Will the younger grades move to individual supplies instead of communal?
Classes will move away from communal supplies for the near future, but the supply lists will stay as posted. Supplies will be labeled accordingly in the classroom.
When will we learn more about how virtual learning will be handled?
More information about virtual learning will be emailed on Friday, August 7th. The plan can be found here.
I have a first grader and my last name fall in L-Z. When will be her first full day of school?
Your family would go to school on Thursday, August 27 for 1/2 day. Then come back Monday, August 31 and Sept 2nd for full days. She will practice virtual learning on Thursday, 9/3. All students will be back full time on Tuesday, September 8th. There was mistake on the document that was sent out on July 31st. It has since been fixed.
Will parents be provided a list of all of the COVID prevention and health promotion requirements that will be taught in class so that they could be reiterated at home?
The basic COVID prevention procedures for students will be easy for them to follow: frequent hand washing for 20 secs, use hand sanitizer before eating or after returning from recess, and mask wearing. Thank you in advance for practicing these skills with your children.
Will 3K - 5K continue to use shared tables or will they have individual desks?
If shared tables will be used, how will the students be distanced? We will be using a combination of tables and alternative seating options to social distance students as much as possible in our early childhood classrooms. They will no longer be using community supplies and will have their own tool box with their belongings. Students will continue to rotate stations and play areas to maximize distancing.
Given the new start time of 8:15 am, will 5k and 1st grade have an opportunity to have an afternoon snack since they are scheduled for a very early lunchtime at 11:10 am?
We will not be scheduling an afternoon snack at this point, but we will be sure to re-evaluate in a few weeks based on the needs of the children.
Will students be given mask "rest periods"? We understand that mask wearing is a challenge for all of us. Students will have the ability to remove their masks when eating and during recess periods or any other time they are outside.
Why are you requiring masks in 3k and 4k when the mandate states it is for ages 5 and up?
In 4K, we often have children that turn 5 before or during September. We hope to create a consistent environment for all children as we protect staff, students, and families who are more vulnerable. We are following the governor's mandate as well as CDC recommendations for children over two year's old.
Why are masks being required? None of the evidence points to them having any effectiveness at stopping the spread of the virus.
We understand that mask wearing is a very controversial topic right now. We will continue to follow health department guidance, governor mandates, and CDC recommendations for schools as we move forward.
How will the school/classrooms be sanitized and how often? Teachers will be sanitizing frequently touched surfaces many times during the day. Maintenance staff will be sanitizing bathrooms and other areas throughout the day.
Is it possible to get a low energy air purifier for each classroom?
Maybe a special assessment from parents could fund this. This is an idea that we can investigate. We have learned that ventilation and air movement make a difference. We have installed ceiling fans in all of our classrooms and will also provide teachers with portable fans to increase air flow.
We saw that there will be cleaning done by teachers and staff daily but will there be a deep cleaning done at least once a week?
The school surfaces will be sanitized daily (or more often as needed) by our buildings staff. This includes desks, tables, chairs, lockers, door handles and light switches as priority areas. All classrooms and bathrooms will be cleaned/disinfected by our cleaning service nightly.
Outside of the Classroom:
What will be the expectations of students at recess?
Recess is an important part of the day for students to get out and enjoy fresh air. Per the Waukesha Health Department, COVID-19 transmission rates are lower outside. Therefore, recess is an opportunity for each class to enjoy some fresh air and active play. Students will be encouraged to sanitize their hands before and after recess.
How will before and after care be modified?
Both before and after care will include our COVID mitigation protocols which will include social distance as much as possible, hand washing, masks, and limited shared supplies/toys.
Will there be new lunch protocols? Will children eat lunch in their classrooms or in the lunchroom as an unmasked group?
Students will continue to eat their lunch in Lofy Hall. We will be adding tables and adjusting the lunch times so children will be efficiently as socially distanced as possible while keeping students with allergies safe. Adults will be disinfecting all tables and handrails between lunches.
Is it possible that busing will not be available due to social distancing concerns or if the public schools decide not to have in classroom instruction 5 days a week?
Durham has established protocols for bus safety. Masks will be mandatory for both drivers and students. Our bus service will continue independent of the New Berlin School District’s reentry plans.
Are you planning on having parents sign a waiver that they will be taking each of their child’s temperature before they leave for school?
Yes, parents will need to sign a commitment form and re-sign the form monthly as needed. These forms will be in parent packets.
Will students be able to refill their water bottles at school? Possibly using the bottle filler by the gym?
Parents are asked to try to send enough water for their child for the day. Students will be able to refill their bottles if they run low.
Do you have an update on the WA/WM bus situation?
Yes, please find an update here.
We have children in 4K and 5K. How will drop off and pickup work if there are 2 different procedures for the 2 grade levels?
We understand that many families have multiple children. We will be mapping out specific drop off process instructions, but know that families with multiple children will enter the building together.
When will we get busing confirmation from Durham?
Durham plans to send out the busing time/stop location information on August 15th.
Can you provide additional information on quantity of students and/or classrooms within Lofy Hall in a lunch period and on the playground at a recess? If no masks will be required during lunch and recess, what social distancing guidelines will be enforced? Will there be assigned seating?
Grade levels will still be eating lunch and recessing at the same time. During lunch teachers will be assigning seats to keep classrooms together. Benches have been marked to help keep students 3-4 feet apart. Additional tables and seating has been moved into Lofy to ensure we have enough room to help ensure spacing and provide a separate allergy space. See this video for details. Recess will be handled in a similar fashion. Classes will recess at the same time, but in separate locations to ensure the cohorts are not mixed.
If our child is in 4K, should we be picking them up in the car line after school?
Yes, all parent pick up students will be lined up at the north doors. All students will be picked up in the one location.
How will scheduled group events such as Parent Night be handled?
All large group events will be rescheduled or held virtually until October 1st. We will reevaluate future events at that time. Parent Night on Tuesday, September 1st will be held virtually. Look for more information soon.
How will we be handling All School Mass?
All School Mass will be attended on a grade rotation and be live streamed for the rest of the school. 8th Grade Commissioning Mass will take place on Friday, September 11th. More information for 8th grade parent attendees will follow in late August.
Will temperature checks be taken every day?
As part of the new “Parent Agreements” all parents will be asked to take their child’s temperature daily before leaving for school. Please keep your child home if they have a temperature of or over 100.0 or have any of the common COVID-19 symptoms.
What if my child gets a fever or feels ill?
If you notice your child is feeling ill, please keep them home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours. If your child is feeling well enough, they can participate in the virtual learning program until they are able to rejoin their in-person classroom. If you are concerned about a possible COVID-19 exposure, please call your doctor for guidance.
What if a student or immediate family member travels out of the country or to a state with a high COVID-19 rate? Will they need to quarantine?
Holy Apostles asks that families contact their local health department for guidance regarding quarantining after travel. We will adhere to Waukesha County Health Department’s recommendations.
What if a student becomes ill during the school day or demonstrates symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
Students who become ill during the day will be sent to the health room. Office staff or a Health Room Volunteer will assess the student’s health. If they demonstrate symptoms consistent with COVID-19, parents will be contacted, and the student will be given the opportunity to rest in isolation while they wait to be picked up. For non-COVID-19 related illnesses, students need to be fever and vomit free for 24-hours before returning to school.
Will parents be notified of positive tests within the classrooms or school and how quickly can we expect this to occur?
The school will notify parents as soon as possible if your child has been exposed to a positive COVID-19 student/staff member. Holy Apostles will work closely with the Waukesha County Health Department to ensure we are following all appropriate steps to accurately contact trace/quarantine.
I was just wondering if when the mask mandate it over on September 28th can we do away with the masks? Or is this an entire school year kind of matter?
We will be reassessing the use of masks on October 1st. Right now the CDC currently recommends mask wearing for children over 2 years old. We will continue to monitor guidance as it is updated.
What happens if a student/staff member is asymptotic, attends school in-person as normal, and then tests positive?
If a student/staff member/class is exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 (defined as within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) inside their classroom, the entire classroom/cohort must isolate at home for 14 days and transition to virtual learning.
What is the protocol for volunteers and visitors?
Until October 1st, we will be limiting non-essential visitors and volunteers into the school. Essential volunteers include: Health room, lunchroom, and recess monitors. We will reevaluate on October 1st.
Will I be able to walk my child to their classroom during the drop off?
To ensure safety and limit hallway congestion, we are asking all parents to drop off children either in the car line (5K-8th grade) or outside the Parish Center Doors (3K-4K).
The first two weeks do not have any before or after school care and an A/B type schedule. This is a major issue for single parent households and those that have dual working parents. Is anything being done to assist these households that cannot call on extended family for support due to high-risk family members being in the household? Or can we just keep our kids home those two weeks since we have work obligations?
We understand that the hybrid schedule the first week and a half of school is a hardship for working families. Our intention is to use this time with smaller class sizes to help staff execute new COVID-19 processes and virtual learning preparedness. This time will also be used to cement our entrance, exit, lunch, hallway, and bathroom social distancing protocols with smaller groups before moving into the 5-day/week program on Tuesday, September 8th. Kids Connection staff will be meeting to formalize new COVID-19 processes as we monitor our learnings from August 26th – September 3rd. We encourage families to consider carpool opportunities with other children in their classroom circles. If your child needs to attend virtually, please let their teacher know. Again, we thank you for your patience and support as we venture into uncharted territory.
What if virtual instruction as a class or school becomes necessary:
What if a classroom or the school shuts down due to a quarantine situation?
This will be a situation that all students and teachers will practice for during the first two weeks of school. Barring any unplanned circumstances, if this unfortunate situation occurs, the class/school will transition to virtual learning the next school day.
Will the attendance policy be modified if a family chooses to learn virtually?
The attendance policy will not be modified, but the process to check-in will be different. More information about this process will be coming in late August.
Will HA need to go virtual if NBSD goes virtual?
We will not need to follow the New Berlin School District’s decisions on virtual/in-person learning.
Can the school provide an example of what virtual learning looks like with an HA teacher teaching a sample lesson?
During the first week of school, students will be training on virtual learning systems. Students and teachers will then engage in virtual learning during the second week of school. This will be a great time to ease into a few lessons and perfect the process. Tutorials and teacher demo videos will be shared as well.
How will the training be done for the virtual learning?
Teachers will be providing videos and live training for both in-person and virtual students during the first week of school. Virtual-only students will be invited to log into live lessons. More information will be sent on Friday, August 7th.
How will the children be doing virtual at home on Sept 3 if their is not a computer available for Microsoft teams? Will it work on the iPad?
The second week of school each group of students will get an opportunity to practice virtual learning. Seesaw is an app that can be downloaded on any smart device. Teams can either be web-based or used as an app. All lessons will be recorded, so if there are technology issues or delays, children can go back and watch the lessons at a later time.
How will families be notified if their child’s class is going virtual?
You will be contacted via email if your child's class needs to transition to virtual learning.
We have a Mac at home and do not have access to Windows-based electronics. Does Microsoft Teams software run in browser mode, or do we need to provide a Windows-based device for our student?
Microsoft Teams is an online program and can run in your browser either on a Mac or PC.
Are there product demos available for PowerSchool, Seesaw, and MS Teams classrooms?
Links and video demonstrations will be provided in late August. Full student training will take place the first two weeks of school.
During the parent survey there was a question about tablets being rented monthly?
I hope so. We found out last week at home that Virtual is very challenging with our current home devices. Yes, please see the technology program here. If you have a K-3rd grader there will be an option to rent a tablet for under $10/month. More information will be coming out soon about both programs.
When will the lease-to-own laptops be available to pick up?
Due to COVID delays in production, the laptop delivery will be delayed until early October.