SCES Re-Entry FAQ

2/21/2021 11:12 pm

SCES Re-Entry FAQs 

Updated: February 24, 2021

 

DISCLAIMER:  This FAQ was compiled by the PTA based on the best information currently available. These responses have not been reviewed or confirmed by SCES administration and are thus subject to change. This list does not include all of the questions received by the PTA. We will address additional questions once we obtain responsive information.

 

General

Vaccination

Scheduling/Calendar

Making a Selection/Process

Classroom Setup

Safety Protocols/Building Safety

Transportation

Teachers

Before and After Care

Asperger’s Program

Lunch/Recess/Breaks

Classroom Monitors

Specials/Specialists

 

General

Where can I find comprehensive information from the county regarding school reopening?

The MCPS Spring Recovery Guide is a great resource. 

 

Does my child need to go back to school in-person?

No. You may choose whether your child continues virtual learning, or attends school in-person. 

 

Where can I hear from the school administration about the SCES re-entry plan?

A Virtual Town Hall took place on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7 pm for all families to receive initial plans for a safe return. Coffee with Administration will be held on Thursday, February 25th at 8:15 am.

 

 

What is the SCES breakdown by grade of the preferences expressed in response to the MCPS Parent Preference Survey?

The breakdown is as follows:

  In-Person Remain Virtual
GRADE NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT
K 62 56% 48 44%
1 61 58% 45 42%
2 55 50% 55 50%
3 68 57% 51 43%
4 44 43% 58 57%
5 55 49% 57 51%
SCES TOTAL 365 54% 314 46%

 

   
 
 

What is the SCES breakdown by race/ethnicity of the preferences expressed in response to the MCPS Parent Preference Survey?

The breakdown is as follows:

  % In-Person % Virtual
Black/African American 27% 73%
Asian 52% 48%
Hispanic 37% 63%
Multiracial 60% 40%
White 67% 33%
Other 40% 60%

 

   
 
 

What is the SCES breakdown by Free and Reduced-price Meals System (FARMS) enrollment of the preferences expressed in response to the MCPS Parent Preference Survey?

The breakdown is as follows:

  % In-Person % Virtual

FARMs eligible

30% 70%

Not FARMs eligible

57% 43%

 

   
 
 

 

Vaccination

Will teachers/staff need to be vaccinated prior to resuming instruction/work inside the school building?

No. Vaccination is optional, but there has been a concerted effort to offer vaccinations to staff over the last few weeks. On February 18th, the Washington Post reported that about 5,100 of the 24,000 county employees have been vaccinated, mostly via a partnership with Johns Hopkins. The hope is that many more will be vaccinated by mid-March when the schools open up. Individual staff medical information cannot be disclosed, so the school will not tell you whether your child’s teacher has been vaccinated.

 

Update on 2/24:

According to a Feb. 23 article in Bethesda Magazine, "Based on MCPS’s phased approach to reopening, there are approximately 9,000 staff members who would need to be vaccinated before March 15. As of Tuesday, 5,427 employees had received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to MCPS data. That would leave an additional 3,600 employees yet to get a dose.” 

 

 

Scheduling/Calendar

When will in-person school start?

Those who opt into in-person instruction will either start on March 15th (HFA, K-3) or no later than April 6th (4-5). Virtual schooling will continue uninterrupted until the end of the year. 

 

What time will school start and end?

Beginning on March 15th, the school day will begin at 9:25 am (instead of 9:00 am as it currently does) for ALL students. Doors will open at 9:10 am for in-person students. Dismissal will be at 3:50 pm.

 

Will the school calendar change?

School will end on June 16th as scheduled.

 

Will my child attend school in person 5 days a week?

No. All students (virtual or in-person) will have virtual school every Wednesday. The Wednesday schedule will remain the same (1.5 hours of virtual instruction). 

 

Are we having Spring Break?

Yes. Spring Break will happen as scheduled from Monday, March 29th through Monday, April 5th. 

 

Making a Selection/Process

I don’t remember which selection I made? Can I change my selection?

All families will receive notification of their previous survey selection via email the week of the 21st.

Alternatively, ParentVUE will show your selection for return-to-school instruction (in-person, virtual, virtual/waitlist for in-person, or virtual/no response). If you've forgotten what choice you made and are on ParentVUE, here's where to find that information: 

  • Log in to ParentVUE 
  • On the home page, choose Student Info from the icon menu on the left side. 
  • Once you click on that, it will take you to a page that will show what choice you made for your student in the Fall 2020 survey.  (Screenshot of the Student Info icon is below). 

image of ParentVUE menu showing Student Info icon

You have until Tuesday, March 2nd, to change your selection. If you want to change your selection, please email Principal Rand (Gary_M_Rand@mcpsmd.org) prior to the 2nd. Please cc admin secretary Vanessa Terry (Vanessa_L_Terry@mcpsmd.org), and attendance secretary Robyn Saunders (Robyn_N_Saunders@mcpsmd.org) when submitting your request. The process is also outlined here (special thanks to Nick Asante for the outline). 

 

Note: Parents/guardians can switch from in-person to virtual learning at any time. However, requests to switch from virtual to in-person will be made if space is available, and in the order in which the request is made. The school cannot guarantee that all students requesting in-person will be able to join their class in the building, but they will do their best to accommodate everyone. Like all schools, Sligo has space requirements that limit the number of students in a classroom. A waitlist will be made for classes at capacity.  For information specific to the Asperger’s Program, please see below.

 

Can my student go back and forth between in-person and virtual?

No. If an Academy or French immersion student starts in-person and decides to move to virtual, they will not be able to return to in-person automatically. There will be a waitlist for students wanting to return to classrooms that are at capacity in their particular classroom.

 

Students in the Asperger’s program will be allowed to transition between modalities as needed.

 

How will the A/B groups be chosen for grades using that schedule?

Students will be assigned to groups alphabetically, A-L and M-Z, but best efforts will be made to accommodate families for whom conflicting assignments will create significant logistical hurdles (e.g., siblings).

 

Which student groups will use the A/B schedule?

Grades 3, 4 and 5.

 

If a student is assigned to an overflow room, will they have in-person access to their teacher?

If a student’s teacher is available to teach in-person, teachers will rotate between both classrooms.

 

If a student follows the alternating week schedule -- one week in a room with their teacher and one week in a room with a monitor -- can we send them to school on the weeks when they're with the teacher and have them learn from home on the weeks when they would be in a classroom with a monitor? 

Classes for lower grades (K-2) that have overflow rooms will not rotate on a predetermined basis. Rather, the teacher will rotate between rooms on a regular, but unplanned, basis. A given teacher might rotate between rooms more than once per day, so there won't be any clear times that a given student can opt out of being in a classroom with a staff monitor by staying virtual.  

 

 

Will students who return in-person have more interaction with their teacher than those who remain virtual?

It's important to note that even while students are in a room with their teacher, the teacher will generally not provide individual support or direct instruction.  The teacher's primary responsibility will be to deliver instruction virtually to all of his or her students. 

 

The main reason staff are being asked to return in person is logistical. SCES, due to its larger than average number of students opting to return, would not have enough staff to monitor all classrooms given the pandemic distance requirements.  As such, teachers are being asked to function as virtual instructors to all students and as monitors to in-person students. 

 

Teachers will not be providing supplementary instruction or individual help even to those students physically present in their classrooms. This is largely due to the fact that they will still have to maintain social distancing whenever possible, and will have to focus on providing support for virtual and monitored students. 

 

 

Will SCES tell parents/guardians whether their student’s teacher is returning to in-person instruction prior to making their choices?

To the extent possible, yes. Teachers and administration are working to finalize a list of teachers and staff available to return to the classroom on March 15th. That list is likely to be revised up until school resumes. Current information will be communicated to relevant parties as needed, but there will likely be some information that will not be known prior to March 2, and is subject to change after that date.

 

Will SCES tell parents/guardians which of their student’s classmates are returning to in-person instruction prior to making their choices?

No, the school will not be sharing this information. However, aggregate class numbers will be shared as soon as staffing plans are finalized. 

 

Classroom Setup

What instructional model will be used?

Sligo Creek will utilize a "Support to Virtual" instruction model, which the County describes as follows:

  • Students are physically in the building with access to school staff to support their learning.
  • Students receive supervision and individualized support to successfully access virtual learning.
  • While students are enrolled and engaged in a virtual class, the support they receive will extend beyond just supervising their learning.

 Specifically, those students with teachers who are doing in-person teaching will either be in a room with their current teacher, or in another room with a staff member who will be there to provide supervision and to assist with instruction. Because classroom capacities are limited, some students may not always be in the same classroom as their teacher. In those cases, students will be rotated in order to allow all students who opt into in-person learning to have time in a classroom with their teacher. 

 

Teachers will provide instruction to both students in-person, and those learning virtually.  MCPS has provided every student with a Chromebook, and the PTA has pledged to provide other resources teachers have requested to adequately and equitably provide instruction to all students regardless of the choice of modality. 

 

What materials go back and forth between home and school?

All efforts will be made to minimize the movement of materials back and forth. Each student has their own Chromebook that will/can go back and forth between home and school and will only be used by that student. Students will also need to bring their math and reading workbooks each day. All other materials like pencils, erasers, etc. will remain at school in the student’s desk to be used only by that student. Additionally, students must bring their own water to school each day. 

 

What materials will students need?

Students will need the current materials they are using (eg. Chromebook, notebooks, writing utensils, etc.). Headphones will be provided, and additional Chromebooks will be available for students who need them, along with charging stations and chargers. If you need assistance acquiring supplies, please reach out to the PTA (vicepresident@scespta.org).

 

How many children will be in a classroom?

The Sligo Creek ES admin team is planning to place a maximum of 12 students in each classroom, with desks 6' apart. 

 

Safety Protocols/Building Safety

Will there be COVID-19 testing?

According to this Feb. 23 article, Montgomery County Public Schools will provide weekly COVID-19 testing of groups of students and staff members when buildings reopen. Beginning March 15, students and staff members will be divided into groups. Each week, a group will be chosen to take COVID-19 tests, according to MCPS Chief of Engagement, Innovation and Operations Derek Turner. Each student and staff member will conduct a swab sample of their own nose. The swabs will all be placed into one test tube, and then sent to a lab for testing. If the test indicates there was a positive among the group, the students and staff members will be tested individually to determine who has the virus. The group will be advised to quarantine while contact tracing is conducted. It will take 24 to 36 hours for test results to come back, Turner said. 

 

What is the policy for what happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

If a student or staff member is sick or presents symptoms while at school, they will go directly to the health room. MCPS and Sligo Creek ES will share the most up-to-date plan for what happens if staff or students test positive for COVID-19 next week.

  

What is happening to keep the students and staff safe from exposure to illness?

Sligo Creek ES is implementing measures based on CDC guidelines (e.g., masked at all times except lunchtime, physically distanced, desks facing all the same direction - never facing a person, limited movement in the building, hand sanitizer, hand washing procedures, limited capacity in all spaces). 

  • No sharing of food or materials ever. 
  • All water fountains are turned off and never used. 
  • Detailed procedures, from the moment students and staff arrive to the moment they leave, will be shared to ensure students and staff minimize interactions and mitigate risks.
  • MCPS is providing PPE Kits (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, sani-wipes) to all schools to support staff and any others entering the building. Additional guidelines can be found here. The PTA is also providing supplementary PPE, as needed.

 

What is going on with the HVAC system?

As detailed here:

 

 “Staff from the Division of Maintenance and Operations is currently in the process of upgrading the air filters in the mechanical systems of all MCPS schools. This ongoing project also includes installing air cleaners in the facilities that have HVAC systems that require supplemental measures for air ventilation.”


Sligo Creek is rated 3-diamonds. MCPS, defines that rating as a school with “recently replaced systems that have enhanced ventilation (limited spaces require air cleaners)”. MCPS is in the process of making the needed changes now. The progress of these changes can be tracked at the link provided above.

 

At the school meeting on Feb. 23, Seth Adams stated that 42 air cleaners will be installed in classrooms between now and March 15.

 

 

Transportation 

Will there be transportation provided?

Yes. School buses will operate at about half capacity, with an average of 22 students per bus. One student will be allowed to sit in each seat, and students will be required to wear masks. Each bus will make multiple routes each morning and afternoon, and will be cleaned between routes. Each bus will undergo a deep cleaning with high-powered cleaners each evening. The procedures for all the above are being finalized and will be provided to the community as soon as possible. Students will also be able to walk to school or be dropped off. 

 

 

 

Teachers

Will my child have the same teacher?

Almost certainly. In all cases, great efforts will be made to ensure that students do not have to change teachers. A possible exception might be a student who opts for in-person instruction, but whose teacher is not providing in-person instruction. That student may have to make a choice between the two options. Knowing that such information may inform your decisions, teacher availability will be provided as soon as possible. 

 

What will our teacher be doing in the "Support to Virtual" model?

In the "support to virtual" model, all instruction is presented virtually, even when the teacher is in the classroom. In those cases, the teacher's interaction with the students will mirror those of the monitor. Those duties include:
  • Assist in maintaining order and discipline, as well as manages student behavior
  • Monitor students throughout the school day, including in the classroom, hallways, during lunch, recess and specials
  • Operate technology, including cameras, learning platforms, and learning tools
  • Perform a variety of administrative and non-instructional duties, as well as related clerical tasks to support teachers and other professional staff, such as keeping daily attendance
  • Ensures all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and MCPS safety protocols and procedures (such as fire drills) are implemented and followed
The teachers will likely be functionally precluded from engaging with students on a level beyond that of a monitor. Not only for the reasons mentioned above, but also because an inequitable level of instruction based on the choice or ability to physically return to school would be antithetical to MCPS's stated ethics. 

 

Before and After Care

Will Kidsco provide before and after care?

Yes. However, additional details (including those related to location) are not available at this time.  

 

 

Asperger’s Program

When will in-person school start?

Those who opt into in-person instruction will start on March 15th. Virtual schooling will continue uninterrupted until the end of the year. Unlike the academy and French immersion, all students enrolled in the Asperger’s program wishing to resume in-person instruction will be accommodated. 

 

I don’t remember which selection I made? Can I change my selection?

All families will receive notification of their previous survey selection via email on Tuesday, February, 23rd. They will have until Friday, February 26th, to change their responses. If you want to change your selection, please email Principal Rand (Gary_M_Rand@mcpsmd.org) prior to the 26th. Please cc admin secretary Vanessa Terry (Vanessa_L_Terry@mcpsmd.org), and attendance secretary Robyn Saunders (Robyn_N_Saunders@mcpsmd.org) when submitting your request. The process is also outlined here (special thanks to Nick Asante for the outline). 

 

Note: Within the Asperger's Program students may change their preference from virtual to in-person or vice versa at any time, and all such requests will be accommodated.

 

 

Lunch/Recess/Breaks

What will lunchtime look like?

All French immersion (and some Academy) students will eat lunch at their desks in their classroom.  Desks will be placed 6 feet apart.  Some Academy students, however, will be served lunch in the cafeteria with social distancing in place. (ETA-Mr. Rand acknowledged the comments from parents who requested outdoor lunch as a safer option, and said that the school would look into this possibility.)

 

 

What will recess look like?

All students will have recess. Multiple outdoor areas will be designated to keep classes separate whenever possible. All students will wear masks, sections/times will be designated by grade level, and safety guidelines will be in place.

 

Classroom Monitors

What training will classroom monitors have? Will they speak French?

The Classroom Monitor will meet or exceed the qualifications outlined in this job description and must meet all MCPS-mandated background checks.  According to MCPS, the Monitor will monitor classrooms for teachers who are providing virtual instruction to students in the building and will support in-person teachers instructing both in-person and virtual students simultaneously. They will:

  • Assist in maintaining order and discipline, as well as manage student behavior
  • Monitor students throughout the school day, including in the classroom, hallways, during lunch, recess and specials
  • Operate technology, including cameras, learning platforms, and learning tools
  • Perform a variety of administrative and non-instructional duties, as well as related clerical tasks to support teachers and other professional staff, such as keeping daily attendance
  • Ensure all CDC and MCPS safety protocols and procedures (such as fire drills) are implemented and followed

Monitors assigned to the immersion program will not be required to be fluent in French, and in all likelihood, will not speak French. If you are interested in applying to become a monitor, you can apply here

 

 

Specials/Specialists

What will Specials (Art, Music, Gym) and Specialists (Reading) look like?

Students will receive virtual instruction from the Specials teachers and Specialists.  Students who are in-person will remain in their classroom for this virtual instruction whenever possible to minimize movement and unnecessary interaction.  The possible exception to this rule would be those receiving specific individual intervention.

 

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