Questions and answers from the 9.15.2020 Community Forum....
Community Forum FAQ's
September 15, 2020
Q. Why do the children have to wear masks playing on the outside equipment?
A. Children are wearing masks while playing outside as an added precaution as they are not always social distancing or playing 6' apart.
Q. If we have to move to hybrid or virtual, in a short period of time, are we ready?
A. Yes, we are ready. The only area right now is where we need to get devices out is at LCS to the first grade. Devices are in the building and will be distributed this week. The district needs to ensure students and staff bring their devices home daily because if we need to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 to Phase 3, we may need to do it quickly and want to ensure students and staff are prepared.
Q. Are there signs that we are going to be turning to hybrid?
A. Right now, no. There are no cases in Warren, Morris or Goshen. In Litchfield, we are seeing 7 cases per every 100,000 people, which still falls in the "Low - Favors More in Person Learning" category.
Q. If there is a positive case in a classroom, what is the plan? Does just that class go virtual? Whole building? Whole district?
A. If the district gets notification of a positive case in a classroom, the district will notify the classroom. This district will work with Torrington Area Health District (TAHD), on contact tracing. As a result, the district may need to quarantine a classroom or a school. There are many variables that will come into play and based on those variables will depend upon what action the district may need to take.
Q. If we move to Phase 2 or 3, will the same remote learning schedule that we have now be followed?
A. We are not planning on changing the schedule if we need to go to Phase 2 or Phase 3. The district does not want to disrupt the student's learning cycle or routine.
Q. Is there any way to have our child log onto Google Classroom for that day when they are out of school due to minor illness such as a the common cold? i.e. runny nose, etc. and students are well enough to still learn?
A. Remote learning was designed as an option for families who do not feel comfortable sending their children to school for in-person learning. Because of the many challenges remote learning poses on teachers and remote student learners, it would not be feasible to add students who are home sick into the fold.
Q. How do the teachers feel about remote learners? Are remote learners progressing as well as those students who are doing in-person instruction?
A. Remote learning can be a struggle for some students; some are doing better than others. What we are seeing is the younger the child, the harder it is. This district looked at trying to put all remote learners, together by grade, across both districts and assign a specific teacher for instruction. Unfortunately, there were not enough students to do so. In regard to academic growth, it will not be until the October and November timeframe until we have a better understanding of this. We will continue to review and adjust as each day we continue to learn more about capabilities and obstacles.
Q. In the past, at Litchfield Middle School my child got their computer and paid a fee. With another child at the Middle School, will she and everyone else be charged for fees?
A. The district is not looking to charge fees for devices. There are some students who have rental agreements for some devices at the high school. The district is more concerned about getting devices into student's hands first but will also research the fee charges for devices at LMS.
Q. What time is the daily wellness check sent to students?
A. The wellness email is sent at 5:30 a.m. to the students email account.
Q. I find it challenging, with the equipment in the classroom to see the whiteboard (glare), to hear videos played on the white board, and to see an easel with paper (it's very small). Is there a plan to improve technology to see the white board/info in the classroom?
A. Please write to your building Principal on this issue with specific details. This may be a training issue where the teacher may be able to display the work from the SmartBoard to the Google Meet link. Or, it may be a case with an older SmartBoard that needs to be upgraded.
Q. I have a kindergarten remote learner. Because kindergarten teachers need to walk around and help the kids in the classroom is there any way an aid can be put in the class to fill in the gaps on the screens? Why are we in a live class if we can't see the classroom friends?
A. Due to the expense, the district is unable to put a teachers aid in each classroom. Cameras are faced away from the classroom due to privacy and confidentiality of the students.
Q. For families that don't have WiFi or any Internet service does the district provide this? Is there a way to get this?
A. The district just conducted a connectivity survey and had a 60% response rate. Of those responders, 7 people said they do not have Internet service. If this is the case for anyone, please put in a Tech ticket and the district will do its best to match you with services that may be available throughout the community.
Q. Our kindergartener had a common cold this week (runny nose, a little bit of a cough, no fever) We have kept her home based on the health survey but would have sent her in to school in a normal school year. I assume that we will have more absences this year - is there a maximum number of days that our child can miss?
A. You did the right thing by keeping your child home. This is what we need to do right now to be safe. Yes, we do expect to see more absences because of this. The district will work with individual families regarding any attendance concerns.
Q. Is there any way to have an option for videos and assigned things for families to do so that it would not require being online all day? There are a lot of big gaps in the day for remote learners that make transitions back to school difficult. The teacher has been amazing but she can't help the large gaps when assisting other students.
A. Remote learning has many challenges and down time is one of them. However, the district is moving away from education on demand with videos. Having teachers create videos, in addition to teaching live and remote, is not feasible.