Virtual Parent Meetings Frequently Asked Questions

Dated information (such as referencing the first days of school) have been deleted. Please note that situations and procedures surrounding COVID-19 change rapidly. The district is working to keep this page updated but please confirm any questions you may have with your building administrators.

On August 13, 19 & 20, district officials hosted virtual parent meetings to answer questions about the upcoming school year and reopening plan. Please view these questions and answers by category below. This page will be updated frequently so please check back often. Any updated questions will be noted as updated with its corresponding date.

If you do not see a question you would like answered, please email reopening@gcsny.org.

View important news and updates by visiting the Reopening Our Schools page.


Overview of Daily Hybrid and Remote Learning Models | Health and Safety | Facilities | Transportation | Child Nutrition | Social Emotional Well-being | Remote/Hybrid Learning | School Schedules | Technology and Connectivity | Special Education

Overview of daily hybrid and remote learning models

On August 20, Assistant Superintendent Jason Carter gave a daily overview of the hybrid and remote learning schedules. View his description from the Aug. 20 Virtual Parent Meeting (begins at approximately 58:50)

Goshen High School

  • Buses will arrive at approximately 7:10 a.m. Arrivals to the building will be staggered every few minutes to help maintain social distancing while students exit and get into entrance lines for the temperature thermal scanners.
  • Drop-offs will be simultaneous to bus arrivals.
  • Classes begin approximately 7:30 a.m.
  • Class periods are approximately 42 minutes
  • There are 5 minutes between classes. Hallways will have proper signage to help maintain social distancing guidelines and remind students that masks are required.
  • Lunch will be served in the classroom during period 6. They will be delivered from the Food Service department and other staff members.
  • After lunch students will continue with periods 7-9.
  • Period 10 will be utilized for office hours, meetings, support, etc.
  • The school day ends at 2:20 p.m.
  • On Wednesdays, all students will learn remotely in the morning. Secondary students will work on pre-established assignments independently.
  • Remote learners will follow the same schedule as in-person learners, utilizing Classlink and Google Classroom and following the regular bell schedule just as if they were in school.

C. J. Hooker Middle School

  • Buses will arrive at approximately 7:30 a.m. Arrivals to the building will be staggered every few minutes to help maintain social distancing while students exit and get into entrance lines for the temperature thermal scanners.
  • Drop-offs will be simultaneous to bus arrivals.
  • Classes begin approximately 7:50 a.m.
  • Class periods are approximately 45 minutes.
  • There are 5 minutes between classes. Hallways will have proper signage to help maintain social distancing guidelines and remind students that masks are required.
  • There are multiple lunch periods based on student schedules. Each student will receive this info in their mailed welcome packet.
  • End of day is approximately 2:30 p.m.
  • On Wednesdays, all students will learn remotely in the morning. Secondary students will work on pre-established assignments independently.
  • Remote learners will follow the same schedule as in-person learners, utilizing Classlink and Google Classroom and following the regular bell schedule just as if they were in school.

Goshen Intermediate School

  • Buses will arrive at approximately 8:45 a.m. Arrivals to the building will be staggered every few minutes to help maintain social distancing while students exit and get into entrance lines for the temperature thermal scanners.
  • Drop-offs will be simultaneous to bus arrivals.
  • Class begins at approximately 9 a.m.
  • Lunch time routines will be established and the information shared with families in each student’s mailed back-to-school packet.
  • There will be scheduled recess periods to provide students with fresh air and physical activity.
  • Outdoor areas may be used for instruction and mask break purposes.
    End of day procedures will begin at approximately 3 p.m.
  • In remote learning models, students will follow the same schedules as their in-school peers. Teachers will establish general content and special area times based on each classroom.
  • Remote students are not expected to be on screen live for a full day. There will be live streaming for direct instruction and also time for students to disconnect to complete assignments independently.
  • When at home, students will have access to teachers via blue tooth headsets, so they are able to communicate with their teachers at various times during remote instruction, such as during whole-class instruction and independent work.
  • All students will utilize class link in order to access assignments and tools and help track attendance.

Scotchtown Avenue Elementary School

  • Buses will arrive at approximately 8:50 a.m. Arrivals to the building will be staggered every few minutes to help maintain social distancing while students exit and get into entrance lines for the temperature thermal scanners.
  • Drop-offs will be simultaneous to bus arrivals.
  • Class begins at approximately 9:05 a.m.
  • Lunch time routines will be established and the information shared with families in each student’s mailed back-to-school packet.
  • There will be scheduled recess periods to provide students with fresh air and physical activity.
  • Outdoor areas may be used for instruction and mask break purposes.
  • End of day procedures will begin at approximately 3:15 p.m.
  • In remote learning models, students will follow the same schedules as their in-school peers. Teachers will establish general content and special area times based on each classroom.
  • Remote students are not expected to be on screen live for a full day. There will be live streaming for direct instruction and also time for students to disconnect to complete assignments independently.
  • When at home, students will have access to teachers via blue tooth headsets, so so they are able to communicate with their teachers at various times during remote instruction, such as during whole-class instruction and independent work.
  • All students will utilize class link in order to access assignments and tools and help track attendance.

Health and Safety

Q. Are masks required?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: Yes. Students, staff and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear face coverings at all times, indoors and outside, including on the school bus and in classrooms. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, band classes for instruments that require masks to be removed and physical education classes that are outdoors — all with required social distancing. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one. If you are seeking a medical exemption, please contact your child’s school nurse.

Q. What is an acceptable face covering?

A: Cloth face masks that cover both the nose and mouth that include, but are not limited to, a surgical mask, cloth mask, balaclava or bandana and must completely cover the individual’s mouth and nose. A plastic face shield alone is not an acceptable face covering. More information about masks and mask care can be found at the Centers for Disease Control website.

Q. Will masks be provided to students and staff?

A: Face coverings and related necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost. Staff and students are allowed and encouraged to use their own acceptable face covering.

Q. Are students and staff screened before entering the school buildings?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

Yes. All individuals will be screened via medical screening questionnaire and for temperatures before they are permitted into the buildings.

Questionnaire: Students, employees and visitors must complete a medical screening questionnaire prior to entering any district building. This questionnaire will be accessible via the district website or QR code posted at all main entrances. Paper copies will also be provided. View the medical screening attestation.

Temperature: Staff will be required to monitor their own temperatures prior to arrival on campus and throughout the day. Students and visitors will be screened for temperature at arrival; however, parents are encouraged to monitor for temperatures and symptoms prior to sending their student on a bus. If a child presents with any of the following, they should be kept home from school:

  • Fever or chills (100°F or greater);
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Fatigue;
  • Muscle or body aches;
  • Headache;
  • New loss of taste or smell;
  • Sore throat;
  • Congestion or runny nose;
  • Unexplained rashes;
  • Pink eye;
  • Nausea or vomiting; and/or
  • Diarrhea.

Q. What should my child do if he or she feels sick during the school day?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: If a student feels sick, he or she will report to the health office where a school nurse will assess the individual.

The school nurse will contact the student’s parents to pick up their child. Students who are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated in a designated area, separate from others, with a supervising adult until their parent/guardian is able to pick them up from school. The parent or guardian will be instructed to call their health care provider, local clinic or urgent care center. Any areas used by the sick individual will be closed off, cleaned and disinfected.

Q: What do I do if my child is showing COVID-19 symptoms at home?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: Parents are encouraged to contact your child’s doctor if your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19. Your child should not get on the school bus or attend school if they are displaying these symptoms.

Q: If my child exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, how long will he need to be out of school?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:

  1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
  2. Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
  3. Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation

The district will refer to the Department of Health regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department. Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations.

Updated Nov. 16: A health care provider’s note is mandatory in Orange County schools to return to school if any member of the school is not attending due to potential symptom(s) of COVID-19, confirmed positive/ diagnosis of COVID-19, and/or post exposure to COVID-19 positive case quarantine or travel-related quarantine. Learn more about this mandate from OCDOH.

Q. What happens if a student in my child’s class tests positive for, or shows symptoms of, COVID-19?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. The following will occur:

  • If a child tests positive for COVID-19: all students in that class must quarantine for 14 days. The Orange County Department of Health will be notified.
  • If a child shows symptoms of COVID-19: there is no quarantine unless there is a positive test result.

Testing labs must respond to the department of health immediately and within 24 hours, the department of health will notify the district. The district will then conduct contact tracing to let all individuals know if they may have been affected and must quarantine for 14 days.

Q. If a child tests positive and has a sibling in the school, should the school keep the sibling out of school?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A.Yes. Unless the siblings reside in separate households, the sibling must be placed on quarantine which would mean that the sibling should not attend school during the required period for quarantine.

Q: My child or a member of my family is considered to be high-risk for COVID-19. What are my options?

A: We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, live with a person who is at an increased risk, or simply do not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities.

Parents of children that are more at risk of COVID-19 should speak with their child’s doctor and/or medical professional(s) to determine the best academic and service options for their child. Staff should contact [provide contact] if they have conditions that put them at an increased risk of COVID-19. Students who have family members who are in high risk groups may also need to attend school remotely. If a child is unable to return to in-person instruction this fall, remote academic instruction and related services will be provided to meet the individualized education program (IEP) and/or instructional program to the greatest extent possible.

Q. My child has asthma. Can she still use her inhaler at school?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

Current CDC Guidance recommends the use of spacers/valved-holding chambers and an MDI instead of nebulizer delivered asthma medication when feasible, to reduce the chance or aerosolization and transmission of COVID. Please ask your child’s physician.

Should your child be in need of a nebulizer, we will be administering any nebulizer treatment outdoors as this is the safest area.

If your child is able to self carry an inhaler, we are going to ask them to remove themselves from the classroom as they have to remove their mask to administer. Of course at any time, the student may come to the Health Office and go outside to take their inhaler.

Q. Are immunizations and school physicals still required if you are choosing the remote learning option?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Please be aware that mandated immunizations are still required by NYS during this pandemic regardless of whether our District has hybrid, remote or full in school learning. Immunizations are due within the first 14 days of school or your child will not be allowed to attend hybrid, remote or in school learning. All of the required pre-K vaccines should be completed or in process as per NYS guidelines. Tdap is due in 6th grade or when your child turns 11, 7th and 12th grade requires meningococcal vaccine. There are
no exemptions for immunizations except medical which needs to be renewed every year.

Health physicals for grades K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 are mandated and should be sent to the Health Office within the first 30 days of school. Mandated physicals can be dated one calendar year from the beginning of the previous school year. In other words, any physical dated after September 4, 2019 would be acceptable.

Q. What happens if a student refuses to wear a mask?

A: Just as any other instance in which a student refuses to follow school rules, teachers and other staff will work toward compliance with the student.

Q: Will testing for COVID-19 be conducted at school?

A: In the event that testing will need to be conducted at the school, the district will work with the local health department to support implementation.

In order for a staff member or student to return to school after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or testing positive, they must provide documentation from a health care provider of a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result and symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation.

Facilities

Q: Will students and staff have access to water fountains? How will water fountains be cleaned?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: The district will ensure that students and staff have access to drinking water during the school day. They will be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Water fountains with bubblers and water bottler fillers: the bubbler will be turned off and the ability to fill water bottles will remain on. Water fountains with only bubblers will be turned off.

Q: What are the district’s plans for cleaning and disinfecting school buildings?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: The district will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.

During the course of the day, the cleaning and disinfecting of most frequently touched surfaces (handrails, door handles, door jambs, etc.) will occur. In addition, other objects or areas will be cleaned and disinfected, as required, due to daily circumstances or conditions.

At the end of the school day, each classroom and office will be cleaned and disinfected. Battery operated foggers will be used for disinfecting rooms nightly. Fogging takes approximately one minute per room. Surfaces that students and staff will frequently touch (e.g. desk tops and chairs) will be wiped down after fogging.

Disinfectants used for classrooms and offices are the same disinfectants that have been previously used in the buildings.

Q: Will fire drills and lockdown drills still be conducted? What will be the process for maintaining social distancing?

A: Schools must continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.

Q. Will outside visitors be permitted into school buildings? Will outside groups still be able to use school facilities?

A: Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings. Outside groups will not be allowed to use district facilities.

Q. What is the school district doing about getting clean airflow into classrooms?

A: Upon reopening, the district plans to increase ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible (e.g., opening windows and doors) while maintaining health and safety protocols, particularly for younger students.

Air handling systems have been inspected for function with higher MERV rated filters.Where applicable filters will be exchanged for MERV rating ranging from 11-13. Fan motors speeds will be increased where applicable to ensure volume and flow of 15cfm minimum. More frequent maintenance and inspection of the systems will occur to mitigate extra strain on systems. Filter replacement schedules will be more frequent.

Q. How big will the class sizes be for in-person instruction?

A: Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart. Occupancy in each classroom will be specific and determined based off of the overall square footage of the space. Depending on the size of the classroom, there will be 10-15 students maximum.

Q: Will the bathroom capacity be limited?

A: To ensure that social distance can be maintained in communal bathrooms, only one occupant may use the bathroom at a time.

Q: How is the district ensuring that any changes to its facilities are in compliance with fire code and other regulations?

A: All spaces to be occupied by school students and staff must meet the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Code. The district will work with Orange-Ulster BOCES Risk Management and the local fire department to ensure compliance with these codes.

Q: Will students and staff have access to hand sanitizer?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: Hand sanitizer will be available in designated areas throughout the buildings including entryways and classrooms. Parents may opt their child out of using alcohol-based hand sanitizer while at school. (Note: this opt-out is required by NYSED, effective March 2020.) View a letter to parents about hand sanitizer use in school.

Q: Is the district doing anything to reduce congestion in hallways or lobby areas? Will there be a staggered bell schedule at the secondary schools?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: To adhere to NYSDOH and NYSED social distance guidelines, the movement of students will be minimized. Six feet spacings will be marked when appropriate to ensure appropriate social distancing. Where feasible, hallway traffic may be limited to single flow direction. Where single flow is not applicable, bi-direction traffic will be permitted. Directional flow will be identified by indications on the floor/stairs. Adequate distancing will be obtained between all individuals by taped off lanes on the corridor floors/ stair treads. All individuals must also allow for adequate space between when traveling in the same direction. Reception areas have had seating removed or adequately spaced to provide at minimum of 6 feet of separation.

Child Nutrition

Q. Will school meals be available to students?

A: School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely. Breakfast and lunches will be served in the classroom while maintaining social distancing via rolling carts. There will be no sharing of food permitted. Students may also bring lunches from home. Food Service will continue to follow all New York State and Federal regulations.

Q: What hygiene practices will keep students safe during meals?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: Students will be required to perform hand hygiene before and after eating. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating as long as they are appropriately socially distanced. Sanitizing wipes will be provided for students to allow each to clean their hands and desks/workstations prior to putting on face coverings and disposing of the service settings.

All equipment used to transport meals outside of the cafeteria will be sanitized before reuse for meal transportation. The food service department will work to maintain social distance requirements and prepare food that is safe and sanitary for the students in accordance with the district reopening plan.

Q. What type of meals will be offered?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Our intention is to begin with cold meals until the schools and cafeteria staff get the systems needed to get hot food to the classrooms in a timely basis.

Breakfast will be available in each school for students who need their morning meal. Breakfast will be cold and individually wrapped. Lunches will be delivered to the classrooms. Lunches will be cold and individually wrapped. Over time, hot food items may be added.

Q. Where will children eat their lunch? And how will social distancing be enforced?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Students will eat lunch in the classroom. Desks will already be spaced/arranged to meet the criteria for social distancing. There will be minimal movement. If necessary, larger areas will be utilized for school lunches keeping in mind social distancing.

Instead of standing in line to receive your meal in the cafeteria as in past years, meals will be ordered via a Google form to ensure social distancing and minimum movement. More details will be shared with families as soon as possible.

Q. Can students bring their lunch from home? Are there any guidelines of what foods can be brought from home?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Students are able to bring lunches from home. Your child’s classroom may have restrictions due to allergies, such as peanut butter. We will work closely with our families to address any allergies in specific classrooms.

Students with allergies will be identified before meals are served – please ensure district nurses are aware of all food related allergies.

Q. Can students eat outside every day that it is not pouring rain?

A. The goal is to limit movement of students in the building, therefor this will likely not be an option.

Q. Can the district please consider having buses deliver meals to bus stops of children who need the meals as well as having a designated time weekly to pick up meals?

A. Food Services and Transportation departments are looking into this option.

Q. If schools will be serving lunch in each classroom, how will you ensure the safety of children with life threatening allergies?

A. The Food Service department is very concerned about allergies with serving in the classrooms. Please ensure your student’s allergies are registered with the school nurse. We have a plan to check each homeroom/lunchroom for allergies before service; for instance, we will not violate peanut free rooms at Scotchtown Avenue. Every meal will be checked every day for allergies against the list of allergies we have on file. We truly respect the process and want to keep all students safe.

Q. Will the cafeteria be opened or will they sit in a classroom? Will they be required to bring their food from home?

A. At this time there is no plan to use the cafeterias in each building. The plan is for food service to feed in the students in the classroom, parents and students will have the choice to purchase meals or bring from home.

Q. Will CJH and GHS students be allowed to “sign up” for lunch classrooms with their friends so they can have some social interactions with their friends?

A. Unnecessary movement in the building is not planned for the lunch periods.

Q. Will children be washing their hands with soap and water before eating lunch?

A. Students are encouraged to wash their hands and practice personal hygiene before school meals. Most elementary classrooms contain sinks for students that will be utilized before lunch periods. The Food Service department is taking the additional step of purchasing individual hand wipes for the students with each meal delivered.

Transportation

Q. How will social distancing be enforced on the school bus?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. All occupants of the bus must wear a mask. Buses will run at 50% capacity with one student per seat. Students from the same household are permitted to sit together. Students will be given assigned seats. When they board the bus, they will sit in the seats towards the back of the bus first; that way, they are not walking past their classmates. When students exit the bus, the students sitting at the front of the bus will exit first to avoid walking past their classmates. Staff will help guide students and will wear gloves if they need to physically help a student get on or off the bus.

Q. Will students’ temperatures be checked before entering the bus?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A:  Students’ temperatures will not be checked before boarding buses. Their temperature will be checked by trained staff once they arrive at school. Parents are encouraged to check their child’s temperature before letting them ride the bus via a medical screening questionnaire. It needs to be completed by parents for all students prior to entering bus each day. View the COVID-19 Screening Attestation. 

Q. If my child starts the school year utilizing the fully remote learning model, and I decide after the first marking period to have them attend via the hybrid model, can he use transportation at that time?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A.  If your child is starting out with the full remote option, you will check NO on the transportation questionnaire that is due Aug. 24.  After the first semester/trimester, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to change what learning model their child is using (hybrid to remote, or remote to hybrid, or stay the same). At that time, parents will also be able to change their transportation arrangements as well. Details for how to do so will be shared with families before the first week of November.  This previously said marking period but it’s semester/trimester.

Q. What is the schedule for cleaning the buses?

A: All buses that are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/ disinfected once a day. High contact spots will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) run depending upon the disinfection schedule.

Q: Will hand sanitizer be available on the bus?

A: School buses will not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.

Social-Emotional Well-being

View Dr. Matthew O’Brien’s presentation from the Aug. 20 Virtual Parent Meeting

Q. Can you explain what social-emotional learning is?

Updated Aug. 21, 2020

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults:

  • understand and manage emotions
  • set and achieve positive goals
  • feel and show empathy
  • establish and maintain positive relationships
  • make responsible decisions

Q. Why does my child need social-emotional support? He seems just fine.

Updated Aug. 21, 2020

A. Our students have dealt with an enormous amount of change since mid-March. They have spent months in isolation and dealt with an abrupt change to the school year, activities, athletics and more. More importantly, some students have undergone a certain level of trauma that varies from student to student. The loss of a loved one, dealing with illness, home life disruptions, financial insecurities are just some of the traumas our children have undergone.

It’s important to recognize that social-emotional well-being is the top priority in our schools. Without it, learning cannot occur.

Q. How will my child’s social-emotional health be supported?

Updated Aug. 21, 2020

A. The Social-Emotional Learning team consisting of teachers, school counselors, mental health professionals and school administrators has developed a cohesive and strategic plan to support students and staff as we enter the 2020-21 school year. This is a three-tiered system:

  • Tier 1: Universal supports designed for all students. These are proactive strategies, versus reactive strategies. It includes:
    • For Teachers:
      • professional development for all teachers K-12
      • trauma-informed social-emotional strategies for the classroom
      • tips and trick for self-care
      • training from the Institute for Social Emotional Learning
      • training for youth mental health first aid to help identify students in need and how to respond effectively
    • For students
      • social-emotional enhanced/modified health and physical education classes
      • daily mindfulness exercises
      • guided breathing exercises
      • reflections and journal writing
      • scheduled advisory periods for students to participate in meaningful discussions, connect and share feelings
      • surveys to assess a student’s level of social-emotional support needs (responses are confidential and will be viewed only by building administrators and service providers)
  • Tier 2: More Intensive Supports for students who require additional support above Tier 1. This includes:
    • Utilize school counselors, psychologists and social workers for greater supports
    • Regular check-ins with school counselors, psychologists and social workers
    • Parent consultations
    • Small group counseling when appropriate
  • Tier 3: Highly intensive, individualized supports for students who require additional support above Tier 2. This includes:
    • Referral to student support team
      • social worker, psychologist, counselor and administrator in conjunction with parents/guardians
      • support with available community resources
      • individual counseling sessions and behavior/safety plans

Q: How will social-emotional support be provided during remote instruction?

A: Students who will learn via the full remote learning model will be provided the same social-emotional supports and students who are learning via the hybrid learning model and therefor have in-person classes.

Q: What is the district doing to support the mental health of its staff?

Updated Aug. 21, 2020

A: The district has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instructions. This includes access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers many free services including face-to-face and virtual counseling. They will be provided with meaningful social-emotional professional development, training on self-care, time for healing, adjusting and reconnecting with their new work environment and colleagues.

Q. How can I help my child?

Updated Aug. 21, 2020

A. Our goal is to provide parents with opportunities to have open, collaborative dialogue with school personnel about their child’s well-being. We encourage parents to address any concerns with their child’s teacher, principal and/or counselor. We will provide helpful resources to help parents reinforce social-emotional concepts at home.

In an effort to lessen anxieties, the district plans to provide brief informational videos that address the new classroom set up, mask wearing, new traffic patterns in the buildings and clarity on the new guidelines and protocols. These videos will be posted on the website and the district’s YouTube channel in the next few weeks.

Remote/Hybrid Learning

Q. Will there be live instruction offered with remote learning? How will my child receive the help that they need remotely?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Remote instruction will be provided by the classroom teacher in a live stream format through the use of Google Meet. Students will be able to communicate with the teacher and ask questions in real time. Students requiring AIS services will be scheduled appropriately during the school day and provided in-person to the extent possible.

Q. What will remote learning look like, whether it’s part of the hybrid plan or fully remote plan?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. It is our intention to provide an authentic educational experience whether remote or in-person. At-home learners will receive the same lessons as students who are learning in the classroom.

Teachers will teach the students remotely by a live stream and Google classroom. Exact schedules will vary by building/age level with scheduled times for the start of each subject at the elementary level and following the bell schedule at the secondary level. Specials, such as physical education and art, will be delivered just like other classes.

Students will be expected to log into their class periods as the schedule will indicate with their times and participate daily. It will run as close to a normal school day as possible through live instruction with time for breaks, lunch, independent work, and group work mixed in. We will be working with engagement strategies to help teachers negotiate the ways of involving students at home through tech applications as well as in practice, such as using the google meet chat feature or creating ways remote students can share their screen to show work.

Teachers will be able to determine due dates and times for assignments based on the curriculum. Websites utilized will be determined by the lesson, the implementation of Classlink will make logging into the various sites simpler.

The initial part of this year will certainly focus on building relationships and rapport within the classes as we have students learning in different environments. Our teachers will also be receiving Professional Development in students engagement and building trust in the virtual/physical classroom. We are looking to provide as much live instruction as possible and as authentic instruction as possible.

Q. Can you describe a typical day with in-person learning and remote learning? Will any paper assignments be sent home to complete on remote learning days or will the assignments be completed online?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Teachers will provide a schedule of when each class begins. There will be live instruction via Google Meet synchronous with the student in the classroom, group work, independent work, breaks, lunch, etc. Teachers will be able to determine due dates and times for assignments based on the curriculum.

There will still be opportunity to use appropriate learning sites and platforms as in past school years. Websites utilized will be determined by the lesson; the implementation of Classlink will make logging into the various sites simpler. Paper assignments may be sent home at the teacher’s discretion and based upon the students’ needs.

Q. Will the remote learning be a live stream to view when it is not your child’s day to attend school?

A.Yes, live not recorded.

Q. Will live remote learning sessions be recorded for future viewing in Google classroom or other?

A. It is at the teachers discretion as to whether or not to record those days using Screencastify or another similar program, but is it not required. Teachers can however provide other supplemental materials through Edpuzzle or enrichment videos they create.

Q. Will Wednesday remote lesson be live with the teacher?

A. Yes.

Q. Why would schools be closed on Wednesdays and waste a day of instruction?

A. All students will have remote learning instruction in the morning on Wednesdays. Staff development will be held on Wednesdays as well to discuss the best way to continue offering the best education possible for our students. The buildings will also be cleaned and disinfected.

Q. Can I request a full remote learning option for my kids?

Yes.

Q. If you choose remote learning, do you have to stay remote learning for the whole year?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. The choice will be for one full semester or trimester and then you may decide to change your child’s learning plan. This will be approximately the first week of November 2020. Specific dates to make changes will be given out by the district.

Q. My child will have to attend daycare on the days he is not in school and will not be able to access his remote assignments. Will the remote lessons be accessible outside of his assigned days/times? Will there be videos to access?

A. We realize that this may not be an ideal situation for many families with working parents/guardians. Teachers and staff will continue to determine methodologies to connect with students and support learning while students are working remotely (e.g., online platforms, tools, available resources, etc.). You are encouraged to contact your child’s teacher(s) directly as well as the building principal with your individual concerns.

Q. What will interaction between student and teacher look like if they are doing remote learning? If my kids have questions or concerns how would they communicate that with the teacher from home?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. If a student who is home utilizing remote learning has a question, they will have the ability to communicate with the teacher in real time. Students are able to use the chat feature on Google meet. This allows them to type right into the screen in real time and have their concerns addressed. There are additional apps that allow for students to “raise a hand” or the like to alert the teacher to their question. In addition, our teachers will be available 10th period for office hours to further support the needs of all students, remote or in person. Google meets can be set up to ensure that all students needs are met and they are able to attain mastery of the content. This is also a great time to build relationships and rapport.

Q. Why are students in K-2 only getting instruction two days per week?

A. We tried to get K-2 to attend school more frequently but there are obstacles in terms of transportation and space in our school buildings while maintaining required social distancing guidelines from CDC.

Q. Will the lesson plans be the same for remote and hybrid students? Will there be teachers giving lessons for the remote students, eg., Whiteboard lessons vs. website lessons from YouTube and other sources (like the spring).

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. It is our intention that at-home learners receive the same lessons as in-school learners. Remote students will live stream via Google Classroom and will be able to communicate with the teacher in real time.

Q. Will accelerated classes still be offered and if so, will they be able to keep up and be successful?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Yes. Our goal is to offer all classes to the greatest extent possible; however, it may not be possible especially at the secondary level to offer every content area elective. With maintaining a proper schedule of both in-person and remote learning, we believe that we will be able to provide the required curriculum so that students will be able to meet the rigors of the course.

Q. If you opt for virtual learning, will special education students receive virtual services such as speech and Occupational Therapy?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. We prefer to provide services in-person to the greatest extent possible. If we must move to a fully remote model, we will provide services using asynchronous and synchronous (live or pre-recorded) based on the scenario.

Q. How will AP classes be conducted in the HS? What about Labs, etc., in both hybrid and remote learning settings?

A. AP classes will be taught at GHS. We worked hard in our scheduling process to ensure a breadth of opportunities in course offerings remained available for our students including AP courses. Teachers can model the lab process and provide students with alternate activities to simulate the process and/or work through the problem or condition with manipulatives in class or those who are remote can further utilize edtech platforms and engage in virtual labs approved by NYSED.

Q. Is there an option to attend school more then two days a week ? For example, for a student who requires AIS or extra help.

A. As per the district reopening plan, there is only an option for 2 days a week in person learning unless your child receives special education or bilingual education services. The reopening plan was developed from the many conversations that district officials had with a large number of stakeholders. The feedback we received from all our volunteers played a critical role in our decision. District also sent out a survey to the parents and community asking if they preferred hybrid or remote.

Q. When will there be a commitment letter indicating which option for sending students (hybrid or fully remote)?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. The district released a questionnaire to select your child(ren)’s learning model for 2020-21. If you have questions, you may contact your building principal at:

Q. How will the district decide if there is a need to go fully remote? Will that decision be made district-wide?

Updated by Aug. 20, 2020

A: The district will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in the school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level. We must also take into consideration guidance from Gov. Andrew Cuomo; requirements and guidelines may change at any time during the school year.

School Schedules and Information

Q. Will mandated quarantine be considered absences or can the children participate in remote learning during those two weeks? What about if a child is home sick with a non-COVID-19 illness?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. If a child is able to actively participate remotely from home while in quarantine or under the weather, he or she will not be marked absent. If a child is too sick to participate, he or she will be marked with an excused absence. Mandatory quarantine or illness will not be considered an illegal absence. We will follow all CDC and NYSED guidance on this issue.

Q. Will parents be given a syllabus or curriculum outline? How do we get text books and chromebooks?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Teachers will continue to plan together and adjust the lessons as needed to meet the NYS standards. Each teacher will conduct parent meetings through a yet to be determined method, as we do normally. Textbooks will be given out in class for hybrid students and will be available for pickup for fully remote students. Chromebooks are available for students who many need to borrow one. Distribution will be organized at each building level. The details of this information will be provided as we get closer to the start date of the 2020-21 school year.

Q. Will CJH students change classes?

A. Students at the middle school will be changing classrooms. Stairwells and hallways will be designated with signage to allow for social distancing.

Q. Are the guidance counselors available to talk about my child’s schedule?

A. Please email your child’s guidance counselor with the request and they will follow up.

Q. If my child is learning remotely, will I need to provide all supplies for lessons?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Supplies and materials for project-based learning will be provided to the greatest extent possible. Our teachers will select activities so that children will not have to bring supplies back and forth into the buildings and we also do not wish to put those finances on our families who have chosen to educate their children via the fully remote learning model.

Q. Will students have to share schools supplies?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. We do not wish for students to share supplies during the school year. For our hybrid students, our hope is that students will have supplies in class as well as at home to avoid having to bring them in and out of the buildings, but know this may not possible for all families. We also realize it may be difficult for our fully remote learners to have all supplies on hand while learning from home. We will be flexible and compassionate with supplies, offering them as much as we possibly can and providing what’s necessary to the furthest extent possible.

Q. What will recess look like during the day at school?

A. Recess will be scheduled throughout the day in a manner that will maintain social distancing. At this time, the playground structures will not be utilized, but other open spaces will be used to the maximum extent possible.

Q: Will students still have assemblies? Field trips?

A: Pursuant to NYSDOH guidance, schools must ensure that appropriate social distancing is maintained between individuals while in school facilities and on school grounds (inclusive of students, faculty, and staff). Because of these guidelines, assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities will not be held at this time.

Q. Will students stay in the same classroom all day?

A: School schedules for the reopening of school will be designed to minimize the movement of students within the building. Lunches, special education, academic intervention services, and specials (art, music) may be delivered in the classroom instead of traveling to other classrooms.

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

Q: How will PE work for all grades?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: Students will still participate in Physical Education classes. Whenever possible, students will use outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to NYSDOH guidelines of maintaining 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity. Masks will be required at all times but may be removed when outdoors while practicing appropriate social distancing.

Q. How will “special” subjects (art, music, PE, etc.) be delivered to students?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A: Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be held in the classroom, large open spaces or delivered via the remote learning model. Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity and activities such as band and chorus, as required by health regulations.

Students will be required to wear masks except in specific cases when it must be removed; for example, to play their instrument.

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

Q. Can a student’s A/B cohort be changed due to childcare needs on off days?

A. Please contact the building principal via email. District officials will do the best we can to accommodate families while also balancing health and safety, as well as class size.

Technology and Connectivity

Q. Will all my children be supplied with a Chromebook or just one per household?

Updated Aug. 20, 2o20

A. Every student in Goshen will be provided with a district owned Chromebook in order to access school work. In the hybrid model, those students will be expected to bring it fully charged back and forth to school.  Tutorials will be created and disseminated for families to help their students learn the devices. A collection process for devices that were shared with students in the spring will begin soon so that they can be inspected and cleaned, and a distribution schedules for families to pick up a Chromebook will be shared in the near future.

Q. Will connectivity access be provided or discount codes to providers we are currently using, as we will need to purchase additional WiFi strength for online meetings?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. The majority of families who answered our surveys have stated that they have adequate Wifi for remote learning.

There are resources on our website posted April 14th as well as this service flyer from BOCES about internet access. The website www.everyoneon.org can help families discover programs that may address family need for discounted internet service.  A small number of WiFi hot spots have been purchased by the school district to address known areas of need through the Spring 2020 school closure.  Families may contact the building level administration to inquire about obtaining a WiFi hotspot.

GCSD’s internet bandwidth and wireless capabilities stretch beyond the classroom walls.  Families can access wireless internet in many of our parking lots and facilities without breaking social distancing guidelines. The Goshen Public Library also has a public wireless service that can be utilized outside of their facility and in Salesian Park.

At this time, we have acquired approximately 40 mobile “hot spot” Wifi devices that we will be able to distribute to families who are in need of such a device. Families should contact their building level principal if they are in need of a hot spot.

In the event students do not have sufficient access to a device or high-speed internet, the district will provide the students with alternate methods to access materials and instruction, i.e. pick up materials at school, drop off materials to students’ homes, etc. The district will also schedule opportunities to connect with families to educate them on how to use the technologies and connect to the instructional activities.

Q.  What devices are students expected to have if they are hybrid learning? What devices are students expected to have if they are remote-only learning? Will the schools continue to use Zoom? Or will there be video conferencing capabilities for remote learning days?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. For Hybrid students, if they have a device they prefer to use they may bring it to and from school in adherence with the revised electronic policy and they will be provided access to the Bring Your Own Device Network to use the device for educational purposes. There are not set expectations for the device other than that is is wifi compatible, has a camera, word processing program (work, docs, etc.) and a battery that will sustain a school day. We do understand that occasionally batteries will need to be charged but it is the expectation and responsibility of the student to bring their device every day and bring it fully charged. For students who are at home as a part of hybrid or fully remote, a computer with a camera and mic will allow students to join the Google Meets (we are not using Zoom).

Q. Are students able to use their own device?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. At this time, we feel this is allowable at the high school level. We are not ready to make a definitive decision for the other grade levels at this time.

Q. Will children who are doing the hybrid plan need to bring their device back and forth to school?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Students will need to bring their device back to school each day. The devices should be fully charged before students enter school each day.

Q. Will access to websites and platforms be streamlined? The number of passwords and usernames needed last spring was overwhelming.

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. The district will use Classlink, a portal that will serve as a “password locker” so that students may not need to repeatedly log in with their password. It will also help with privacy and safety, per NYS EdLaw 2d to protect your child’s identifiable information and online privacy. Students will log into Classlink and can then access the websites and portals that they need in order to complete their classwork. Every site featured in Classlink are compliant with the EdLaw 2D. Tutorials and information will be shared with families in the ear future.

Q. What happens if my child has trouble with the technology and I can’t help her?

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

A. Technical support will be be available for district owned devices only.  There is a Technology Support Request Form on our district website to inquire about help. If you need personal instructional support, please contact the classroom teacher first, then any of our building technology support personnel:

Instructional Technology Coordinator Jonathan Redeker will also be able to assist you.

Special Education

Updated Aug. 20, 2020

Q. Why does my child have an IEP through the Special Education Department with accommodations, services and a co-teaching need yet he does not qualify for full time instruction?

A. Students who attend a special class have been grouped together because of similar individual needs for the purpose of being provided specially designed instruction (SDI). Students in an integrated co-teaching setting require SDI; however, the students within this setting do not require as intense a level of service in the academic, social, physical, and management domains, as those assigned to special classes.

Q. Are the special education students required to wear face masks?

A. Yes, as per the guidance issued from the Department of Health, all students are required to wear masks in cases when social distancing cannot be maintained. This issue will be reviewed on an individual basis for students with disabilities.  As per the district’s reopening plan, “Additional breaks may be allotted to allow individuals time to leave the space to remove their masks. Specific determination of these conditions will be determined by the individual’s program supervisor. Additionally, Some special needs students who are medically fragile may not be able to maintain social distancing, hand or respiratory hygiene, or wear a face covering or mask. It is important for parents/ guardians to work with their child’s healthcare providers so that an informed decision can be made on how best to meet the child’s needs at school while protecting their health and safety. As these students transition back to the school environment, our trained teaching staff will plan and coordinate with the following so that a healthy transition is made:

  • school health services personnel
  • special education personnel
  • pupil personnel services and
  • administration.

Additional PPE for staff caring for such students will be provided on a case-by-case basis. Staffing assignments will be examined to provide the lowest teacher-to-student ratios possible.

Q. How will Special Education classes be done? how will the IEP be handled? IE therapy, speech, reading. Will my student be in the classroom at all times and the therapist come to him? How will he receive the one on one needs of these sessions without distractions from the class?

The school district is still operating under the March and April Guidance provided by the NYS Education Department, as it pertains to special education programs and services. If a child receives a related service, attempts to provide services utilizing a push-in model will be trialed. If students are unable to receive services within the classroom, they will receive them in the therapy rooms.

Q. If I were to keep my son home how would his related services be met?

This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If students start the year remotely, related services would be provided remotely. Should the district close all services would be provided remotely. Synchronous related services will be provided to the maximum extent practicable. Services will be delivered through online platforms including, but not limited to:

  • Zoom
  • Google Meet
  • Google Voice (Phone)

Asynchronous related services may also be provided to support previously learned skills provided in a synchronous manner. These services will be delivered in the following manner:

  • Google Classroom
  • Pre-Recorded Videos

Q. My daughter is in special ed and will need extra help with online learning. Can she get extra help remotely by a teacher or an online tutor per her IEP?

A. The student’s needs will be assessed by the child’s teacher. As in the case during the school year, if a student requires additional support or assistance, opportunities will be afforded to them base upon an individualized review of their needs

Q. How will speech services be provided to students with an IEP? If they are only in school 2 days a week I don’t want my child to be pulled and miss valuable class time with the teacher.

A. As per the district’s reopening plan, “Having related services (speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, school counseling) scheduled and prioritized on students’ in person days to the maximum extent practicable. Scheduling and planning will occur in accordance with each child’s individualized education plan. Attempts will be made to provide services utilizing a push-in model, when practical; otherwise services will be provided in the therapy rooms. Group sizes and frequencies may need to be modified based upon the group size and the size of the therapy room.” Depending on the frequency of each service, some related services may be provided remotely via an online platform. Synchronous related services will be provided to the maximum extent practicable.

Q. Will 504s now include plans for distance learning?

A. 504 plans will be followed as they are written to the maximum extent practicable. Since 504 plans consist of either classroom modifications for testing accommodations, it is not necessary to add remote instruction to each 504 plan as a disability related accommodation. The district will continue to follow the NYSED Guidance provided in April and March regarding implementation of the 504 plan and IEPs

Q. How will special education be supporting students with accommodations that allow for movement breaks if they are to remain in their classrooms?

A. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Accommodations will be made to the extent practicable and necessary, following the guidelines set forth by the Department of Health.

Q. Children have sensory boxes, fidgets, and special seating accommodations in their classrooms. Are they still allowed?

A. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Students may require individual sensory tools stored separately.

Q. How will my child receive ALL his services while doing remote learning that aligns with his IEP?

A. The school district is still operating under the March and April guidance provided by the NYS Education Department as it pertains to programs and services. The IEPs and 504 plans will be implemented to the extent practicable. Please refer to the reopening plan for building specific information as it pertains to schedules and the implementation of instruction.

Q. BUILDING LEVEL SUPPORT SERVICES: Will the students receive building level school support (such as speech improvement) this year, who are learning remotely?

A. Improvement services were offered through asynchronous learning opportunities last spring. Speech improvement services are not mandated services. During the 2020-21 school year attempts will be made to provide improvement services in-person on the days students are attending school, when practicable. Group sizes and frequencies may need to be modified based upon the group size and the size of the therapy room. Depending on the frequency of the service, some building improvement services may be provided remotely via an online platform. Synchronous services will be provided to the maximum extent practicable

Q. Occupational therapist , counseling , speech , how will they social distance?

A. Pupil Personnel staff will follow the same guidelines as the district staff. Appropriate PPE will be utilized.

Q.  If a parent opts for virtual learning for first semester will special education students receive virtual related services for example speech and OT? More specifically will a speech teacher or OT conduct services through google meet?

A. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If students start the year remotely, related services would be provided remotely. Should the district close all services would be provided remotely. Synchronous related services will be provided to the maximum extent practicable. Services will be delivered through online platforms including, but not limited to:

  • Zoom
  • Google Meet
  • Google Voice (Phone)

Asynchronous related services may also be provided to support previously learned skills provided in a synchronous manner. These services will be delivered in the following manner:

  • Google Classroom
  • Pre-Recorded Videos

Q. Is AIS a special education service?

A. AIS services are a general education service, rather than a special education service.

Q. My child has a 504 plan. Will he still receive his social skills counselling and other accommodations? This did not really happen this spring, which I understand but that cannot continue as like other families we are dealing with regression.

A. Services provided this fall will be different than the delivery of services provided in the spring. As per the district’s reopening plan: “All students will receive live synchronous related services to the greatest extent practicable. Some related services may need to be modified to include synchronous and asynchronous opportunities.

Synchronous related services will be provided to the maximum extent practicable. Students will be grouped according to ability levels and services will be delivered through online platforms including, but not limited to:

  • Zoom
  • Google Meet
  • Google Phone

Asynchronous related services will be provided to support previously learned skills provided in a synchronous manner. These services will be delivered in the following manner:

  • Google Classroom
  •  Pre-Recorded Videos”