Frequently Asked Questions

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Please note: The following list of Frequently Asked Questions will be updated as necessary. Specific questions regarding your individual student should be directed to your child's building principal.
  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

2020-21 school year
(Updated July 20, 2020 - Updates indicated with "NEW!" in front of the question)


GENERAL OVERVIEW QUESTIONS


When is the first day of school?

We are currently on pace to begin school for all students on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, as proposed in the calendar that was approved by the Board earlier this year. We are currently planning to have our teaching staff return on August 18, 2020.


How was the District’s Health and Safety Plan developed?

The District’s Health and Safety Plan, which serves as our Back to School Blueprint, was developed by a team of Board members, administrators, teachers, nurses, the school district’s physician, the school solicitor, and other staff members. Many of these task force members are also parents of Cumberland Valley students.


Further, the plan incorporates data from the District survey on returning to school and ThoughtExchange sent to parents in June, as well as guidance and planning guides from numerous state and federal groups to include the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.


What will determine how school looks throughout the school year?

Our hope is to open school on August 25, 2020 … and remain open. However, our Health and Safety Plan outlines three models of content delivery - fully online, hybrid, and fully face-to-face. The plan also addresses temporary closures due to positive cases. Ultimately, the determining factor will be the level of viral transmission during the school year within our region and within our schools. We plan to use incidence data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System’s Dashboard to determine viral spread in our community.  We are still working to identify a more rapid way of knowing if a student or staff member has tested positive to determine viral spread within our buildings.


You may view our Health and Safety Plan at www.cvschools.org/BacktoSchool. Additionally, Dr. Christopher’s Reopening Schools Safely video presentation outlines a draft school closure decision matrix. The matrix is available beginning at the 22:40 mark of the video. The matrix will continue to be reviewed with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and may be updated as additional guidance is provided.



SCHOOL SCHEDULES AND LUNCH


What will my elementary child’s school schedule look like at the start of school?

Elementary students K-5 will begin the year attending school face-to-face five days per week. To better adhere to best practices for student spacing we will minimize movement and contact by reducing class sizes. Students will be placed into groups of 20 or less and will spend most of their day within their classroom. Instruction will be led by certified teachers with support from specialists and educational assistants. Students will have access to recess and specials, however, those classes might not look exactly like they have in the past. We are still finalizing details on how we will incorporate specials into the school day.


Will elementary students still have recess?

Yes! Our elementary students will be able to get outside, play, and burn off some energy at school. Recess will occur in classroom cohorts, where students will be purposely scheduled to use various facility spaces, including playground equipment. Supervised children who are engaged in activities that keep them 6ft apart during recess will not need to wear a face covering.  However, students who are playing within 6ft of other children will need to wear a face covering as per the Pennsylvania Department of Health Guidelines. It is our goal to provide opportunities for play during recess where students do not need to wear their face coverings.


We will continue to follow our “real feel” guidelines of 17-100 degree outside temperatures for both recess and physical education. Please dress students accordingly. 


How will my elementary child eat lunch?

While we are still finalizing plans, elementary students will likely eat lunch in the cafeteria and in their rooms on a rotating schedule. While this might look slightly different in each school, we want to ensure that students are supervised in a way that still allows for interaction with their friends. The needs of students with food allergies will also be taken into consideration when planning the lunch process and schedule for each classroom.


Students will maintain social distancing while waiting in line and will sit in a fashion that maintains appropriate distance between students. In cafeterias, when feasible, individuals will be seated in staggered arrangements to avoid “across-the-table” seating. Individuals will be required to sanitize or wash their hands prior to, and after, eating. We may consider using assigned seating for students in cafeterias and other congregate settings to help assist with contact tracing.


We will ensure that students on Free and Reduced Lunch, whether they attend face-to-face or Cumberland Valley Virtual Academy, have access to meals. More information on that will follow prior to the start of school.


What will my secondary child’s school schedule look like?

Simply put, we are unable to bring all secondary students in together while still achieving proper social distancing. Secondary students grades 6-12 will begin the year attending school on an A/B schedule - face-to-face two days per week and remote (online) instruction three days per week. Students will be grouped into classes of 20 or less, but will move between classrooms within the building based on their individual schedule. Please note: Schedules may be modified to reduce the number of students in hallways at any given time. Hallways will be one-directional or divided to help with social distancing.


On days when students are working remotely they will complete a variety of assignments and have access to asynchronous video instruction as well. Teachers will have dedicated time during the day to respond to student questions and to provide students with additional supports.


What is the school schedule for special education students?

The school schedule for students who receive replacement core instruction will likely be 5X per week, even at the secondary level.  Individual IEP team meetings will be convened to address the specific learning needs of students who receive special education services. Special education supervisors will be reaching out to individual families. 


Will I be able to choose which schedule (A/B) my secondary child will follow?

Because of the complexity of the scheduling process, which is focused on maintaining 50% ridership or lower on buses while maximizing busing efficiency, families will not be provided with a choice for whether they will be on an A or B schedule. However, the District will work to ensure that all students in the same household are on the same schedule.


Will my secondary child be provided with a device to use on the days in which they are not receiving face-to-face instruction? 

Yes! This year all students in grades 1-12 will receive a device (laptop, iPad, etc) for use throughout the entire academic year. More information will be provided in the coming weeks regarding this program.  


How will my secondary child eat lunch?

While we are still finalizing plans, secondary students will likely eat in the cafeteria or annexes so that there will be appropriate distancing between them. Additionally, while this might look slightly different in each school, we want to ensure that students are supervised in a way that still allows for interaction with their friends while maintaining distance between students so that students can comfortably remove their face coverings while eating and socializing.


We will ensure that students on Free and Reduced Lunch, whether they attend face-to-face or Cumberland Valley Virtual Academy, have access to meals. More information on that will follow prior to the start of school.


Will school activities (field trips, assemblies, fun runs, evening events, etc) still occur?

Our staff will make sure that school remains a FUN place to be! However, we must do so safely. At this time, it is unlikely that most field trips or other activities where social distancing cannot be easily maintained will occur. We will  plan to work to continue to provide specific activities that are a core function of our educational program. Additionally, there will also be no shared birthday treats of any kind.

NEW! Will the District still hold instrumental lessons?
It is still our intention to hold instrumental lessons. However, we are working out the details of how we might best accomplish this safely.


Will visitors be permitted in the building?

All non-essential visitors, volunteers, and, likely, all activities* (including assemblies and parties) that involve other groups will not be allowed this year. *See above regarding activities that are a core function of our educational program. 


Will my child have access to breakfast?

Yes. Breakfast will be available K-12 and will be served grab-and-go style to eat in the classroom.


Is the school schedule subject to change?

Yes. We will start with a blended/hybrid option at the middle and high school levels and small class sizes for face-to-face instruction at the elementary level. It is our hope to be able to move to a more traditional full time face-to-face model for all students. However, we do have contingency plans in place should we see broad viral transmission or community spread.


CV Virtual Academy, our fully-online option, will be taught by Cumberland Valley teachers. At any point in the school year, should viral transmission require that we move to a district-wide fully-online option, those classes will also be taught by our teachers.


Is my child permitted to bring a water bottle to school?

Yes. Water fountains have been turned off as per the Governor’s order and, therefore, the district is planning to install water bottle fillers in all buildings. Students should bring their own bottle with an opportunity to fill when necessary. To reduce the potential for queuing at the water bottle fill station, it is hoped that students can bring water with them to school, but it is not required. Should students need a container for water, one will be provided for them.



FACE COVERINGS, HEALTH CONCERNS, AND DAILY CLEANING


Will my child be required to wear a face covering?

At the direction of the Governor and Secretary of Health, all students and staff must wear a face covering while on school transportation, in hallways, and in classes where 6ft of physical social distancing between students or staff is not possible. Unfortunately, this might be the majority of the day for some of our students. When possible, we will provide opportunities for face covering breaks to help ensure student and staff comfort. 


The guidelines clearly define all options that are considered a face covering and also reviews medical conditions that fall within an exception to this order. You may view that order here.


Parents/guardians will be responsible for providing a face covering that complies with the orders issued by the Secretary of Health and the Governor. It is recommended that students have an extra face covering with them in the event one gets lost or somehow rendered unwearable during the school day, and that students begin to spend time wearing their face coverings so that the first day of school is not the first time that students are asked to do this.


Will breaks from wearing face coverings be in my child’s schedule?

Our teachers will look to identify opportunities for students to remove their face coverings for breaks throughout the day.  It is our goal to ensure that our campus is a safe place for students AND that students are comfortable at school.  By spending time now identifying the best type of face covering for your child, you will greatly support both of these goals.


How are we enforcing the wearing of face coverings?

We have been informed by numerous staff members that they will be very uncomfortable returning to work if face coverings are not required for students. At this time we have not identified how wearing a face covering will be enforced by the school, but there will be expectations that all students are wearing a face covering unless they are exempt due to a medical reason.  


What if a student cannot wear a face covering?

Students who cannot wear a mask should experiment with other face coverings that are identified in the Secretary of Health’s order to identify if one is available that meets their needs.  For students with medical conditions that do not allow them to wear any type of face covering, the district will work individually with student’s families to put in place safety procedures and other physical supports and distancing options to ensure that staff members who work directly with those students and other students within the building are safe.


Will my child be prescreened for symptoms?

Yes. We are developing a plan to prescreen all students and staff, to include temperature checks, for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering any CVSD building on a daily basis. Parents/guardians will also be asked to complete pre-screening prior to putting a student on the bus and/or dropped off at school. For this to work, neither students nor staff can attend school if they are symptomatic or ill. Specific protocols will be put into place to sequester any student or staff member who exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms.


How will the District manage healthcare privacy?

The District will abide by the regulations set forth by the Department of Health.


If our family travels during the school year to a state in which the recommended quarantine order is in effect, will my child be required to quarantine prior to returning to school?

While at this time the District does not have the authority to exclude students from school who have traveled to areas identified by the Governor and Secretary of Health as having a higher risk of COVID-19 incidence and potential for infection, we will ask students to self quarantine and participate in remote learning only should they travel to an identified region, state, or country.


What are the daily cleaning procedures?

In addition to nightly cleaning of our buildings, our custodial crews will disinfect high-touch areas throughout the course of the school day. Additionally, all staff will be provided with appropriate cleaning products and be asked throughout the day to wipe down their personal spaces. Please also know that contractors will ensure that all buses are sanitized on a daily basis.


When possible, staff will keep each student’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, lockers, or other areas. For devices and materials that must be shared, staff will ensure cleaning and disinfecting between uses.



TRANSPORTATION


What will transportation look like for my child?

School start and end times will be staggered by building so that buses may run at 50% capacity. This will result in a slightly shortened school day. Members of the same family who attend the same school may be seated next to each other so that we may increase the amount of physical distance between households.  We are still finalizing the specifics of the transportation schedule and will provide more information as available. Buses will be sanitized on a daily basis.


I’m not comfortable with my child riding a school bus. May I drive my student to school instead?

Absolutely! Look for information closer to the start of school from your child’s building principal regarding student drop-off and pick-up procedures for the start of the 2020-21 school year.



CUMBERLAND VALLEY VIRTUAL ACADEMY


Will there be a fully-online option for my child, should I so choose?

Yes. We understand that these are challenging times and we know that every family needs to make a decision that is best for their personal circumstances. Cumberland Valley’s Virtual Academy option will provide increased rigor with both live instruction by CV teachers and recorded lessons for students. CVVA’s online curriculum and instruction are aligned to CV’s standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices. More information, including sample schedules and an overview of instruction, can be found at www.cvschools.org/CVVA.


Can students move between Virtual Academy and face-to-face learning?

We are asking students who sign up for CVVA for a commitment of at least one grading period (Secondary students = Marking Period / Elementary Students = Trimester) before other enrollment options are considered. Should students begin school using face-to-face instruction and then decide they would like to move to CVVA, the District will work to accommodate that request.


Are CVHS students who take courses at Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School able to enroll in Virtual Academy?

CV Virtual Academy is open to any CV student K-12. However, Virtual Academy students will not be able to simultaneously take courses at CPAVTS.


If I want to enroll one of my children into Virtual Academy, must I enroll all of my children who attend CV schools into the fully-online model?

Parents are encouraged to select the model (CVVA or face-to-face) which best suits each individual student’s needs.


What is the grading process for CVVA?

CVVA students will be graded in the same way traditional students are graded. Elementary proficiency will be recorded in Mastery Connect.  Secondary student grades will be visible in Schoology and will sync to Skyward. High School transcripts will read “Cumberland Valley High School.”


If students do not get the courses they want or need in CVVA can they re-enroll in CV traditional BEFORE the start of School?

We hope to be able to accommodate student course requests, but until everyone is registered, we will not know if we will be adequately staffed to accommodate all requests. Due to the challenges of scheduling inherent in this year’s process we are unable to guarantee that all courses normally offered will be offered in either the face to face or virtual model.


Is my student able to return to traditional when the virus subsides?

You can make a new enrollment decision at the end of each grading period, but we ask that you wait until the END of the grading period before re-enrolling your child in traditional learning. 


Will there be an option to participate in music lessons and/or the school band, either virtually or in-person?

Students enrolled in CVVA are considered full time online students and will not be permitted to take classes inside the school building. At this time, we are unsure if students will be offered instrumental sectionals remotely as part of the Virtual Academy. Much of that will depend upon teacher availability.


If parents enroll students in CVVA, but later in the summer COVID is being contained and it is now safe to send their child back to traditional, is that an option?

Changing a student enrollment closer to the start date of school will be challenging, as it impacts other student and teacher schedules. We ask parents to make the best decision you can now, and we can explore those options as the school year approaches.


Can students take BOTH online courses AND traditional courses at the same time, in order to take electives or courses NOT available in CVVA?

Students enrolled in CVVA are full time online students, so coming into the building will not be an option. This is due to the daily schedules of CVVA and CVSD schools not aligning.


When will I be able to move my child back to the traditional classroom?

You can make a new enrollment decision at the end of each grading period, but we ask that you wait until the END of the grading period.


Will my child be able to take Honors and/or Advanced Placement courses through CVVA?

Course offerings are dependent upon student enrollment request numbers. We need to first look at student enrollment numbers and then create the levels of courses based upon those students’ schedules to ensure that we have a certified teacher available. Course schedules will become much more concrete once the registration process for CVVA is completed.


Will my child be able to participate in middle/high school athletics and extracurriculars through CVVA?

Yes, CVVA students are invited to participate in school athletics and extracurriculars when these programs are running.


Will my child be able to participate in the District’s music and/or JROTC program through CVVA? 

This has yet to be determined.


Will CVVA students be provided with anything beyond a device (laptop, iPad, etc)? 

Course materials will be provided digitally unless the student's academic learning plan requires a hard copy. Elementary students may be provided a mix of materials.


Will CVVA students have access to the school library to borrow books? 

CVVA students will have E-books and numerous digital resources available for check out. District library staff is exploring options for student check out of materials from our libraries within the Health and Safe guidelines established by the district and state.

NEW! Will my child get all the courses (and will they have the same rigor) in the Virtual Academy that they would have on their schedule if they were face -to-face?
We believe that if we use both live instruction as we proposed in the original email about the Virtual Academy and also supplement courses with primarily asynchronous courses from the Capital Area Online Learning Association that are taught by CV teachers, we can honor a substantial number of course requests, provide similar rigor to other CVHS courses, and potentially have some additional levels of courses also available for students.  The change to also offer some courses through the Capital Area Online Learning Association is based on concerns we have heard from parents about student schedules and the possibility of loss of some courses if students  went to the Virtual Academy.  While not all courses we traditionally offer may be available, we are willing to work with individual students who select the Virtual Academy to try create schedules that substantially meet student course requests.

NEW! Does my child have to be present for live instruction during CVVA courses? 
In order for us to provide live instruction through CVVA to our students (that allows for similar rigor in courses and for students who enroll in CVVA to move easily back to face-to-face instruction during the school year), we think that students should attend classes with live instruction at the times they are scheduled. Students who miss class will have the same options they normally have if they are absent and will be able to keep up with coursework in schoology and also connect with teachers during office hours to make up missed activities. Students who are scheduled into courses through the Capital Area Online Learning Association will have similarly rigorous courses, but a trade-off for additional course offerings may be that the CAOLA courses do not align exactly with CVHS face-to-face offerings.  Should a student chose to return to face-to-face instruction, students will be given the option to remain in the Capital Area Online Learning Association course until the end of the semester to ensure adequate completion of course standards.

NEW! What about AP classes for students enrolled in CVVA?
Many AP course offerings are also available through CAOLA. Once the District has a firmer number of students who have enrolled in the Virtual Academy, we can identify which courses can run in the Virtual Academy as it was designed and which can run using CAOLA. There may be some AP courses that are not available in either format, but that number will be considerably less with the addition of CAOLA options for students.

NEW! Is my child’s enrollment binding, or can I see what their schedule looks like and the opt back into face-to-face instruction if they are missing too many courses?
As we stated, we believe that if we use a combination of both CVVA courses as described on the CVVA website and asynchronous courses using CAOLA content we can greatly address student course requests. However, there are still going to be some very low enrollment courses that may be difficult to schedule in the Virtual Academy.  Students will have the option of moving back to face-to-face instruction once they receive their CVVA schedule.

NEW! Why aren’t all classes available in all formats?
The CVHS schedule is one of the most complex high school schedules in Pennsylvania.  This is due to the size of the high school and also the breadth of courses offered to students.  In addition, this summer we are working to support teachers who have underlying health conditions and cannot safely return to face-to-face instruction.  To do this we are attempting to align work for those teachers with student requests as much as possible in order to reduce the need to adding many additional staff to the high school in a very short timeframe. We are working diligently to try to align opportunities through all formats.  By adding options for asynchronous course work through CAOLA to the menu of courses, we feel we will be able to provide a more robust and similar experience for students who select the Virtual Academy.


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