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Strong Start/Frequently Asked Questions

All Students

Will student attendance be mandatory?

Attendance at school will be mandatory for this school year. Attendance will be taken as normal for in-person days and attendance for virtual instruction will be recorded through on-line participation.

 

Will the Zachary school system require parents to sign a death waiver?

No

 

Elementary Schools

Will Pre-K Tuition remain the same during Hybrid Learning Model?

No, we will prorate the tuition at 50% during periods when the Zachary Community School District is not operating a Traditional Learning Model.

Will Zachary Community School District’s  Elementary Schools have Extended Day?

Phase 1:       Not Applicable- Our school buildings will be closed to students, while we implement distance learning.

Phase 2-3:   Yes, afterschool programs will continue but must adhere to maximum group sizes and physical distance protocols.  Due to guidelines, spaces may be limited. Each school will provide additional information.

Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics

Will Zachary Community School District have fall sports?

Phase 1:       Not Applicable- Our school buildings will be closed to students, while we implement distance learning.

Phase 2:       Athletic activities are allowed to resume with the recommendations put forth in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Guidance for Opening High School Athletics and Activities.

Virtual Learning Program

Will I be allowed to change my child’s learning option before the first semester ends? 

The expectation will be that students who enroll in the Virtual Learning Program at the beginning of the school year will be expected to continue in the program until the semester break in December. There will be an option in December for students to either continue in the Virtual Learning Program or return to their assigned school in January.   However, we know there will be extenuating circumstances and will do our best to adjust within our staffing and class size guidance.

There will be exceptions made for students who are required to quarantine or other special circumstances. For quarantine or short-term absences, whenever possible, teachers will work with the students as they do with students who are absent for any other reasons. In other cases, the virtual learning program might be beneficial.   These students will be allowed to return to face-to-face instruction once released.

What will the virtual school day look like?

Students who participate in synchronous learning (in real time) will follow the bell schedule of the local school. Sample Schedule Coming Soon!

Will my child be ready to transition back to face-to-face in January if we choose to return?

Yes, since our teachers will be teaching the virtual course, students will be exposed to the same curriculum and expectations of all students taking the course.

How will grades be calculated?

All distance learning/virtual courses will have the same grading policies as the face-to-face version of the course. All graded assignments will be included in the gradebook. The grading and credit earned will NOT follow the policies of last spring.

What will a typical day look like in the Virtual Program?

This program is not what students experience in the spring. This is a full virtual program that meets the states instructional requirements.  Students will experience a daily schedule that may include live sessions, recorded sessions, and independent practice/activities. Students will have flexibility to work at their own schedule during the day, but should expect that there will be daily learning experiences and lessons.  These lessons will be recorded for family flexibility.   Instruction may be delivered using Moodle and other instructional digital platforms that assists in aiding online instruction.

What are the time expectations for students to be in front of a computer or device?

The amount of time a student will spend in front of a device will depend on the age of the student and the courses they are taking. Live sessions and teacher office hours will be scheduled during the regular school hours. There will be time during the day for independent learning activities, breaking including lunch, PE, and other activities, built into the schedule.

What is expected of parents/guardians to ensure their child is participating in the Virtual Program?

Students will need varying levels of support depending on their age and which courses they are assigned. Typically, younger students need closer supervision and assistance. This support might be provided by a parent, guardian, grandparent, sibling, or other members of the student’s family. Live lessons will be recorded and students will be provided instruction to guide them through their assignments.

How is the virtual school going to work? Will the kids be glued to a screen via zoon for X number of hours, or will it be lessons to complete? 

The virtual program is not the same as the spring continuous learning resources that were provided.

The program is “school”.  Students will have synchronous (in real-time) and asynchronous lessons (different times), including live interact classes with students and teachers participating in real-time.

These sessions will be recorded for family flexibility.  Yes, assignments and instruction will occur throughout the school day, regular hours. However, they will be available for families to plan around their schedules.    Instruction will be appropriate for all grade levels and subject areas. Your student will receive a schedule from his/her school.   This schedule will include daily login times for live sessions.  Also, teachers will be in direct contact with parents.   The amount of time for online (synchronous) lessons with teachers will be based on the subject and grade level.  Teachers will log in and guide the students through their day.  There will be breaks throughout the day.

Instruction may include teacher-guided instruction and practice, as well as small group instruction.   Assignments may consist of independent student work, curriculum digital platform assignments, pre-recorded instructional videos, independent practice/assignments, journaling, reflective writing,  assigned readings, supplemental digital resources, discussion forums, etc.

All assignments will be grade-appropriate and align with the lessons from our face-to-face classes.

Athletics/Extracurricular

Why can’t we have band and vocal music but can have athletics? What guidance has been provided for athletics and extracurricular activities?

The Zachary Community School District is following the current Louisiana High School Athletic Association Guidance for Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities as well as the Louisiana Department of Education Guidance.

Band, vocal music and athletics may resume in Phase 3.

Reference:

Please see:  LDOE Guidance P. 5 and P. 8

https://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/strong-start-2020/school-reopening-guidelines-and-resources.pdf

Please see:   LHSAA Guidance

http://cdn.lhsaa.org/uploads/images/LHSAA_COVID-19_HIGH_SCHOOL_GUIDELINES_UPDATED_COMPLETED.pdf

Choir and Band

Under the current state guidelines, during Phases I & II, students will not be singing or playing instruments.  During Phases I & II, students will be provided with alternative instruction in those classes.  Band and vocal music may resume in Phase III.

Face Coverings

Are face masks required?

The Zachary Community School District will follow the minimum safety standard set by BESE  for the reopening of public schools that include face mask or covering requirements for all students in grade 3-12 and all employees.

Face masks must be any solid color.

Face masks may have a child’s initials/name.

Face masks may have a Zachary School logo.

Will you allow gaiters as face covering?

Yes, solid color gaiters are allowed. May include name, initials, or Zachary school logo.

Employee or Student Exposure

Are face masks required?

Zachary Community School District will be in close contact with the Louisiana State Department of Health. The regional director’s office will give guidance for employee and student exposure to COVID-19. ZCSD will notify parents if there is a positive case in their child’s class and contact any potential direct contacts.

Diverse Learners

Please describe how Special Education Education students will be accommodated.

The Special Education Department will contact all parents of students with disabilities who have an IEP to discuss the provision of services.

 

IEP Meetings: Will IEP meetings be held at school?

IEP meetings can be held at school, as well as virtually. Students who are receiving services on A/B days can have IEP meetings at school. Students receiving services virtually have the option to have virtual or face to face IEP meetings.

My child receives 504 accommodations, will he/she still get those same accommodations that were noted on his 504 Individual Accommodation Plan?

Accommodations/modifications, as noted in the IAP, will continue to be followed, as needed.

Will my student’s IEP be implemented if my student receives services virtually?

IEP goals and objectives will continue to be addressed, and progress monitoring will be documented, regardless if you select Hybrid or Virtual.

Will my child receive accommodations through the virtual platform?

Accommodations listed on your child’s IEP will be provided accordingly regardless if you selected Hybrid or Virtual.

Will my child receive his/her related services (OT, PT, APE, VI, HI, Social work services) if he opts for virtual?

All services will be provided according to the IEP, regardless of the student goes Hybrid or Virtual.

Will outside agencies be allowed in the school?

Outside agencies will not be allowed in the schools; however, they can participate virtually.

Will advocates be able to attend IEP meetings?

Advocates are welcome to participate in IEP meetings; however, participation must be virtual.

My child is identified as Gifted as well as Talented Art. Will those services still be provided if my child goes virtual?

Yes.

Are students with significant disabilities or sensory issues required to wear a mask?

Those students in 3rd grade and above are required to wear a mask, to the greatest extent possible.   Those in lower grades are encouraged to wear a mask.

If a special education student who chooses virtual but has difficulty at home working online or working on the computer, what options are available for that child?

Everything will be considered on an individual basis according to the needs of the student. Various options are available, including paper pencil.

Will hand over hand instruction be provided to students with special needs?

If the student requires hand over hand instruction, it will be provided.

Is telehealth or an online method available for Occupational Therapy?

Yes.

Is it possible to get OT services from outside therapy?

Private therapy is always available to parents at your own expense.

Using the virtual platform, will the format be changeable to the dark background and large font?

Yes.

Will OT supplies be sent home?

Yes, the occupational therapists are preparing to take home packets for students receiving services according to their IEP.

Will the student be expected to handwrite or use the computer?

In some instances, both according to the accommodations noted in the IEP.

Will OT help the children to learn how to type?

Occupational Therapist will provide support when needed.

Will students be allowed to take breaks throughout the day to reset?

Students will be given a schedule for virtual sessions breaks, and lunch is built into that schedule. If a student needs to take an unscheduled break, all sessions are recorded, and students will be allowed to go back and review the lesson. Hybrid student’s schedules will mimic a regular school day, which already includes breaks.

Will equipment noted on the student’s IEP be provided for the student to have at home such as color overlays, magnifier, touch screens, etc.?

Yes, equipment and material noted on the student’s IEP as an accommodation will be provided if needed.

Will verbal responses be accepted instead of written responses?

If this is an accommodation on the student’s IEP, it will be allowed.

Can the parent read the test aloud to their child?

If this is an accommodation on the student’s IEP it will be allowed.

If I choose the 100% virtual learning option for my child, will she be able to receive her services in person?

If you choose 100% virtual learning for your child, he/she will not receive in-person services. Virtual services are totally virtual. If you select Hybrid, your child would receive both in-person and virtual services.

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