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Back to School FAQs - 2020-2021

The following frequently asked questions have been compiled to help parents and families get a better understanding of the class options and make a selection for the 2020-2021 school year for their child/children.  This compiled list will be updated with new questions as received.

Frequently Asked Question Topics:  

Preschool

Will preschoolers have all three options to choose from?

Our Developmental, Role Model, and Title I Preschool programs will begin remotely on August 4. When in-person classes are permitted to resume, Full-time Classroom and Split-time Hybrid will be available (pending state approval. Preschool staff will contact parents with more details and specifics about the options available to them once in-person classes are permitted.  Growing Minds Preschool is available for children 2-5 years old through its traditional on-site format (Details and enrollment at GrowingMindsPreschool.org) 

Will Preschoolers start with remote learning on August 4 as well?
Our Developmental, Title I and Role Model preschool students will begin on Tuesday, August 4 with remote learning. Preschool staff will contact parents with more details and specifics about the options available to them once in-person classes are permitted.

What about Growing Minds Preschool?
Growing Minds Preschool has continued to operate since March and is available for enrollment for children 2-5 years old. Details and enrollment at GrowingMindsPreschool.org
 

 

Remote Learning

Will technology be distributed for all students?
Chromebooks are available for checkout (if needed for PreK-8). High school will be 1:1 for all students. Schools will be communicating with parents regarding chromebook distribution as school approaches.

During the initial remote learning period, for students who change classes each hour, will there be breaks between classes?
Yes, the remote learning schedule will mirror the regular school schedule, including time for passing periods in high school.

Will assignments be due during school hours, or will they have time to complete in off hours and then turn in?
Homework will be assigned and may be completed after hours.

Will Preschoolers start with remote learning on August 4 as well?
Our Developmental, Title I and Role Model preschool students will begin on Tuesday, August 4 with remote learning. Preschool staff will contact parents with more details and specifics about the options available to them once in-person classes are permitted.

How will this work for Kindergarteners?
Remote learning will be in place for all students, including Kindergartners, beginning August 4, until it is permissible to transition to the parent selected class formats.

Will grades be given during the initial remote learning period?
Yes, normal Dysart grading practices will apply.

Will attendance be taken?
Yes, attendance will be taken.

How will families with multiple kids be able to follow this schedule?
We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone, but we are committed to educating our students despite the challenges. Each student will be able to check out a device from the school. Teachers will be conducting class and interacting online during the regularly scheduled class times. Specifically what that looks like will vary by class. As usual, homework and projects may be assigned, which can be completed after hours, as needed. If you have challenges, please discuss with your student’s teacher or site administrator so that they are aware and can work with you and your child(ren).

How are parents that both work during the day supposed to manage children needing to be online and doing school from home during the day?
We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone, but we are committed to educating our students despite the challenges. Each student will be able to check out a device from the school. Teachers will be conducting class and interacting online during the regularly scheduled class times. Specifically what that looks like will vary by class. As usual, homework and projects may be assigned, which can be completed after hours, as needed. If you have challenges, please discuss with your student’s teacher or site administrator so that they are aware and can work with you and your child(ren).

Will paper packets be available for those that can’t be online, or younger students?
The curriculum is online.  However, schools will work with families.  If you have challenges, please let them know so they can work with you.

If we opt out of Remote Learning, will my student be marked absent for those missed days?
Yes, attendance will be taken, and you will need to work with your child’s teacher(s) to arrange for make-up of missed assignments.

What if my child can’t be online during school hours due to parents working or children being at daycare?
Teachers will be conducting class and interacting online during the regularly scheduled class times. Specifically what that looks like will vary by class. As usual, homework and projects may be assigned, which can be completed after hours, as needed. If you have challenges, please discuss with your student’s teacher or site administrator so that they are aware and can work with you and your child(ren).

I don’t want my child to attend remote learning. Can I just start my child once in-person school resumes?
While the initial Remote Learning is expected to end August 17, the Governor could extend it indefinitely, depending on the COVID-19 situation. In the Dysart district, learning will take place starting day one during the Remote Learning period, and assignments will be given. As with any missed days of school, you would need to work with your child’s teacher(s) to arrange for make-up of missed assignments, if feasible.

I work from home and use the internet for my job. What if our system can’t handle multiple students online or we have data caps for our internet service?
Please discuss your specific needs with your Internet Service Provider.  If you did not run into issues during remote learning in the Spring, you should be fine in the Fall. Here are some resources that may help.  If you have challenges, please discuss with your student’s teacher or site administrator so that they are aware and can work with you and your child(ren).

Will they need to remain logged in, on a computer, for the full school day?
Students will be expected to attend school remotely during the regular school day hours. Teachers will be conducting class and interacting online during the regularly scheduled class times. Specifically what that looks like will vary by class. As usual, homework and projects may be assigned, which can be completed after hours, as needed.

How will performing arts classes (choir, instruments, drama, etc.) work with remote learning or online classes?

  • Remote Learning - Special area teachers will be teaching courses during students' scheduled specials time.  It will be a combination of direct instruction (via Zoom or Google Meets) and lessons built in Schoology.  
  • Online Classes (iSchool) - Will be taught online through iSchool utilizing Florida Virtual curriculum.

How will teaching be done? Will it be live streamed?
Teachers will be conducting class and interacting online during the regularly scheduled class times. Specifically what that looks like will vary by class. As usual, homework and projects may be assigned, which can be completed after hours, as needed.
 
 

Curriculum

What Curriculum will be used this year?
Teachers will use a consistent learning platform in all school models, so that at any point during the school year, students and teachers will be able to seamlessly transition back to remote learning, should school closures become necessary again. We are planning to use Florida Virtual Curriculum across the district.

Are teachers being trained on the new curriculum and learning platform?
Yes, training for teachers will take place in July.
 

 

Split-Time Hybrid (K-8)

Note: The Hybrid model is not currently being offered due to low interest. We continue to evaluate feasible options, and will notify our community if the options change.

How will the hybrid model work?
Students will attend classes in-person either Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday, and attend class remotely on the alternating days. Mondays will be used for virtual enrichment or remediation. Students will be expected to log in on Mondays and participate in either enrichment or remediation.

How will the hybrid model work with middle school?
Students will attend classes in-person either Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday, and attend class remotely on the alternating days. Mondays will be used for virtual enrichment or remediation. Students will be expected to log in on Mondays and participate in either enrichment or remediation.

Why isn’t there a hybrid option for high school?
A hybrid option at the high school level would not look the same as it would at the elementary level, and it would not allow for reduced class sizes (which is the main benefit of a hybrid model), unless we eliminated or drastically reduced electives. In high school, students do not move around by entire classes like they do at the K-8 level. They each have individualized schedules with six classes, where they are placed in core classes at the appropriate level, and are also able to choose from numerous electives. These individualized schedules do not make it possible to have half the students at home.  However, the online iSchool model has been in place for Dysart high school students since 2012. It is possible to do a mix of in-person classes and online iSchool courses to create your own modified version of a “hybrid” model. It is important to note that this would not reduce class sizes, but it would allow students to reduce their time on campus. Students interested in doing this, should contact their school counselor, and look into Dysart iSchool options at www.dysart.org/iSchool.

For hybrid, will the teacher be the same for the in-person and online days?
Yes, Hybrid students will have the same teacher for both in-person and remote learning.

If we have multiple students in the hybrid model, will we be able to select which AB schedule they are on so all of their in-person days are the same?
Yes, we can assign student schedules to align.

How are you able to afford a hybrid option now?
Executive Orders by Governor Ducey allow for the hybrid option to be funded as long as there is an in-person option for five days a week. Dysart will be offering an in-person option and therefore the hybrid model will be funded. The Governor has pledged to backfill the difference from the 95% online funding to the 100% in person funding.

Can hybrid students participate in athletics?
Yes, at the school in which they attend.

Can hybrid students participate in after school activities?
Yes, at the school in which they attend.

 

Full Time Classroom

What about assemblies?
Large group gatherings, such as school assemblies and book fairs will be suspended until further notice and will be re-evaluated throughout the year.

Will I be able to volunteer at my child’s school?
Nonessential visitors and volunteers will have limited access to school sites.

What health/safety measures will be in place?

  • Staff and students are required to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible (Exception lunch, recess, outdoor activities) 
  • Temperature checks: 2x/day, hand washing/2 hrs (per CDC threshold)(K-8)
  • No large group assemblies indoors
  • All desks face forward. Tables and flex furniture rearranged and excessive furniture removed
  • Max 3 per small group
  • 1:1 devices 
  • No shared textbooks or materials
  • No shared manipulatives
  • Traditional recess, plus hand wash/sanitize
  • Health plans for at-risk students
  • Healthy habits signage 
  • Classrooms and offices will be provided with cleaning supplies to disinfect learning and high touch surfaces. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout each site.
  • Each school will develop social distancing routines for traffic in hallways, which may include signage and floor markings.
  • All bathrooms will remain open. Surfaces will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.
  • Students will be reminded to wash hands throughout the school day.
  • Students will not share school supplies
 

Full Time Online (Dysart iSchool)

What if my child is in the Cambridge program? How will that work for the Full-time Online option?
Cambridge is only available at the school site and is not an option for iSchool

If a high school senior has to complete classes online through iSchool, will they still be able to graduate with their class?
Yes, iSchool students will be able to graduate with their class.

Can Full-Time Online students participate in athletics?
If students are enrolled through Dysart’s iSchool program, they may participate in athletics.  However, please contact your local school to determine eligibility requirements.

Can Full-Time Online students participate in after school activities?
Yes, Full-time Online students can participate in before and after school activities

How will specials work remotely?
Full-time Online students will also be enrolled in their grade appropriate electives along with their core courses

How will performing arts classes work?
Full Time iSchool students will have the opportunity to participate in arts programs before and after school on the campus they last attended or are boundaried for. Elective courses related to the arts are also available for HS students. K-8 students in iSchool have special area classes which includes the arts.

 

Technology

Will the district be providing computers to all K-12 students?
Chromebook will be available for checkout if needed PK - 8.  High schools will be 1:1. Schools will be in touch as the start of school approaches with more details regarding chromebook distribution.

How will the laptop check-outs work? Will there be a fee?
Chromebooks will be available for checkout if needed PK - 8. Fees will be assessed for damage or loss.  High schools will be 1:1 and parents offered an Insurance option.  Schools will be in touch as the start of school approaches with more details regarding chromebook distribution.

What if we don’t have WiFi?
Please discuss with your student’s teacher or site administrator so that they are aware and can work with you and your child(ren). Here are some resources that may help.

What if we have multiple children?
One device may be checked out, per Dysart student, if needed.

 

Special Education/IEPs

How will social distancing work with medically fragile and special needs kids?
If social distancing is not possible, then proper PPE would be used. (Gloves, Masks/Shields, proper hand washing, etc).

How can Special Education students, or students with IEPs receive appropriate services during the initial remote learning period?
All services will be provided virtually during the Remote Learning period. We have several committees working on guiding documents and practice to meet the needs of all our students.

Will all class format options be available for Special Education students and students with IEPs?
All options will be available for consideration for students with an IEP, however, some models may not be a good fit for some students. Parents should discuss their child’s specific situation with the school to determine the best model for their student. At this time, services will be provided in the following manners:

  • Remote Learning - students will receive their instruction and services virtually by their teachers and services providers. There will be scheduled times for their specially designed instruction and related services, just as there would be in person. 
  • Full-time Classroom - students will continue to receive all instruction and services while physically on campus, with enhanced protocols put in place by the district.
  • Full-time Online - students will receive their content area instruction from their iSchool general education teachers virtually. They will also receive their special education services virtually from their iSchool service providers. There will be specific staff allocated to case managing and provide services to students in iSchool as part of their caseload. 
  • Split-time Hybrid - students may receive services in school, virtually, or both, depending on the student’s individual needs and set of circumstances. Case Managers and service providers will remain those at the student’s attending school. This option is also dependent on level of interest at a site level.

How will this work with kids who are on IEP's?
Students who receive special education services on an IEP will also have options, though each student’s unique circumstances might affect which options are possible. There will be some IEP teams that need to meet as soon as possible (even before school), to be able to consider if a student can receive a FAPE in a given option.
 

Transportation

Will masks be required on buses?
Face coverings shall be required on school buses when social distancing is not possible, with the exception of students with medical conditions. Students should not be sent to the bus stop if they are exhibiting the above symptoms.

What health and safety will be in place on buses?
Buses will be disinfected between each run during the day, and will undergo additional cleaning and disinfecting each night. Students will board the bus back to front and exit the bus front to back. Face coverings shall be required on school buses when social distancing is not possible, with the exception of students with medical conditions.

Will buses be provided for Split-time Hybrid students?
Yes, on the days that students attend in-person, they may ride the bus.

 

Health/Safety Protocols

How will temperature checks work?
Temperature checks will be conducted daily for students and staff. Thermometers are provided in each classroom and front office. A staff member will visually check each student and take temperatures with a non-contact thermometer. Any student with visible symptoms of runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, or vomiting, or one who has a fever at or above 100.4 degrees, will go to the health office. The health office will use this flowchart to evaluate student health.

Do students have to wear masks if social distancing is achievable?
Face covers are required when social distancing is not possible. Face covers are not required while eating, recess or outdoor activities.

What happens when a student or teacher tests positive for COVID?
The school and/or district will contact parents/guardians and staff if we become aware of any potential COVID-19 exposure to students or staff. Please note that HIPAA and FERPA regulations limit the details we can provide.

Is a face shield an approved alternative to a face mask?
Yes.

How can a child wear a face mask in the cafeteria while eating?
Face covers are not required while eating, during recess, or outdoor activities.

Will there be hand sanitizing stations for students to use?
Yes. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout each site, including at each cafeteria.

My child cannot wear a mask at school, but online is not an option for them. What can I do?
Any student who has difficulty breathing or who is incapable of physically removing the face covering on his/her own will not wear cloth face coverings, and alternate methods of protection will be discussed by parents and staff.

Will employees be required to wear face coverings?
Yes.

Will students be 6ft apart in classrooms?
Teachers will arrange classroom furniture to maximize the distance between students.

What happens if my child gets sent to the nurse with COVID symptoms?
The health office will use this flowchart to evaluate student health and contact the parent, if needed.

Will masks be provided?
Students are encouraged to bring their own face coverings in compliance with the dress code. Disposable masks will be available, if needed.

What if my child forgets their mask at home?
Disposable masks will be available, if needed.

Doesn’t the mask mandate exclude young children and those with medical issues?
Maricopa County Mask Regulation: Effective as of 12:00 a.m. on June 20, 2020, all persons in Maricopa County who do not qualify for an exemption… must wear a Face Covering under the following circumstances: All patrons age six and over are required to wear Face Coverings while inside the enclosed area of any Place of Public Accommodation; Adult patrons accompanying children aged two through five shall use reasonable efforts to cause those children to wear Face Coverings while inside the enclosed area of any Place of Public Accommodation.  City of Surprise Face Covering Requirement: “Effective Saturday, June 20, every person over the age of two is required to wear a face covering while in all public settings within the City of Surprise where it is difficult to maintain a minimum physical distance of six (6) feet from others who do not live in the same residence.”

What about kids with special needs who just won’t keep a mask on for medical reasons?
Face coverings shall be required at school when social distancing is not possible, with the exception of students with medical conditions. Any student who has difficulty breathing or who is incapable of physically removing the face covering on his/her own will not wear cloth face coverings, and alternate methods of protection will be discussed by parents and staff.

If the local requirement for face masks is lifted, will they still be required at school?
We will continue to take direction from state, health and education officials and re-evaluate the situation, as needed.

How will the school or district notify us if our children have had exposure to COVID-19?
The school and/or district will contact parents/guardians if we become aware of any potential COVID-19 exposure to students. Please note that HIPAA and FERPA regulations limit the details we can provide.

Will in-person classes be shut down if there is a COVID-19 outbreak at a school?
Dysart will work with, and take direction from, the county health department to determine if site closures need to take place due to exposure.

Will schools do contact tracing?
When Dysart staff becomes aware of a potential COVID-19 exposure, we try to determine, to the best of our ability, the last date/time that students/staff may have been in contact with this person, and which students/staff may have been exposed. We would then take appropriate actions and notify the appropriate parties about the potential exposure.

How do we notify the school if our child has or has been exposed to COVID-19 and is in in-person classes?
Parents are requested to notify the school principal if a student has tested positive for COVID-19, or has had direct contact with someone with COVID-19.

Will absences be counted if they are COVID-19 related?
Attendance will be taken daily, however, students will have the opportunity to make up work missed due to symptoms of COVID-19.

 

Food Service

How will lunches work for those that qualify for free/reduced?
The free and reduced application process will continue as it does each year. When meals are served the qualification is used to determine costs and applied appropriately.

How will food service work this year?

For Full-time Classroom students, lunch service will continue in the cafeterias:  

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at each cafeteria.
  • Cafeteria staff will keep as much distance as possible between students. Outdoor seating may be available.
  • Food will be served in closed containers. There will be no open food,  self-serve stations, or beverage fountains (at high schools).
  • Cafeteria staff will take steps to speed up lunch lines and use touchless checkout. 

Note: Meals will not be provided from during the initial remote learning period (currently August 4-17, subject to change).

What about meals for Full-time Online students or Hybrid students on their online days?
The district has requested guidance from ADE on this issue. As of now, full time online students would have to show up at a school and pay the full adult price. Hybrid students may get a meal at the student reimbursable rate all five days.

 

General

Why is Dysart starting school on the 4th, when the governor pushed it to the 17th?
The Governor delayed in person school until August 17th, but allowed schools to begin the school year through distance learning.

Will attendance awards be given this year?
Schools will not give out attendance awards for the duration of the COVID-19 health crisis.

How will we know which teacher our student is assigned this year?
Schools will be in touch with parents as the start of school approaches with information about teacher assignments and virtual start of school events, such as “meet the teacher”.

If a parent chooses a specific model, are they locked into that model for a certain amount of time?
We understand that your preferences may change. Students may change options one time per semester.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Please contact your child’s school if you have additional questions.

I’ve never been on the Parent Portal, how can I make my class format option selection for my student(s)?
Instructions for logging into the Parent Portal may be found at Dysart.org/ParentPortal. Instructions for making your selections, may be found at Dysart.org/BackToSchool.

I can’t log in to the Parent Portal. Is there another way I can make my class format option selection for my student(s)?
Instructions for logging into the Parent Portal may be found at Dysart.org/ParentPortal. If you are not able to log in, please contact your child’s school directly and let them know your selection(s).

Will Den’s Club before and after care be offered once schools reopen to in-person options?
Once schools reopen to in-person learning, Den’s Club will be available for before and after school care. Details may be found at Dysart.org/CommunityEd.

How will field trips work this year?
Field trips will be suspended until further notice and will be re-evaluated throughout the year. Virtual field trips may take place.

How will athletic and arts competitions work this year?
Athletic and arts competitions will continue to be held, per the AIA and Arts Associations’ guidelines.

How will Meet the Teacher and other start of school events work this year?
They will be held virtually. Schools will be in touch with parents as the start of school approaches with details.

What if I don’t make a class format option selection by July 15?
We ask that you make a selection by July 15 so that we can staff appropriately for the upcoming school year. We understand that situations may change, but request that the selections be made as soon as possible.

How will students receive social-emotional support?
Students social-emotional well-being will be assessed when school reopens, with additional support provided for students in need. Schools will incorporate social-emotional learning into classroom instruction. Social workers are available to students in the Full-time Classroom and Split-time Hybrid models.

Will athletic classes still happen if the season is affected?
Athletic classes will continue as scheduled, regardless of if the season is impacted. The high school athletic seasons are currently on track with the AIA, with a few modified dates.

Are high school iSchool teachers also classroom teachers?
Yes,  All of the iSchool High School teachers are classroom teachers at their assigned high school campus.