School Reopening Information
I hope this message finds each of you safe and enjoying summer! Things are busy here at Brooks, as we plan for the upcoming school year.
As you know, both Governor Cooper and Wake County have announced that schools will open this year under Plan B. I know this plan creates a great deal of hardship for many and is leading families to think of the options they have available. Given this information, I want to share as much as I can regarding Plan B at Brooks, so that you feel you can make the best decision for your family. Please know that I do not have all the answers! In fact, I don’t know much more than what’s been released to the public! However, it is important to me that I provide you with some details that will hopefully make your decision a bit easier.
Below you will see that I have organized the information into questions and answers. I’ve responded to a great deal of emails from families over the past week, and you’ve asked some great questions that I know others can benefit from seeing. This information is subject to change if/when new guidance is received.
What are my options?
The first option is to attend school under Plan B. Only 1/3 of students will be in the building at a time, so students will come for one week and receive in person instruction and then engage in 2 weeks of remote learning. The second option is to register for the WCPSS Virtual Academy. This is a fully online school that students can attend if safety is your top priority.
If I choose Plan B, when will I know which rotation my child will be on?
This information will be provided in early August.
Will students have the same teacher for in person, remote learning, and/or Virtual Academy?
This is dependent upon the number of students that sign up for the Virtual Academy. It is very likely that students may have one teacher for in person instruction and another for remote learning.
What will instruction look like for in person instruction, remote learning, and the Virtual Academy?
Students will have 5-6 hours/day of instruction while in person or engaging in remote learning or the Virtual Academy.
Teachers will work collaboratively in their PLT (professional learning team) to ensure alignment of the curriculum and instruction provided to students in all three environments (in person, remote, Virtual Academy). Therefore, all students should receive the same instruction at the same time.
How much screen time will students have in remote learning and the Virtual Academy?
Remote learning will require 5 hours of live instruction per week. The Virtual Academy will require 2.5 hours of live instruction per day. Live instruction includes, but is not limited to, teacher presented lessons, small group instruction, morning meetings, lessons provided by the counselor, etc.
Will students still have AIG, Special Education, ESL services?
Yes, these will be provided in all settings. We have not received guidance on how students will receive these services in person, meaning, we are not sure if they can be pulled out of the room or if these services will be provided in their classroom. More information will come once guidance is received.
How many students will be in each grade level every day?
This cannot be determined until I know the number of students that enroll in the Virtual Academy. Only 1/3 of the school population will be here each week.
How many students will be in each classroom?
This will be determined once I know how many students are attending school under Plan B. Social distancing will be considered and furniture will be arranged to support this.
Will students have recess, specials, and eat lunch in the cafeteria?
At this time, students will have specials, but they will likely have them in their own classroom. This includes art, music, media, and science. We are awaiting more guidance regarding PE.
We are awaiting guidance on recess, but it is likely that it will be a school-based decision. If that’s the case, we will have recess, but students will not be permitted to access the playground equipment. They can utilize the track, field, basketball courts, and area behind the school and will be encouraged to engage in activities that allow for distance to be maintained.
At this time, students will not eat lunch or breakfast in the cafeteria.
Can we have kindergarten staggered entry?
At this time, we have not received this guidance. I am hopeful we can make this work during the 2 week “orientation” period at the beginning of school.
Can we have traditional Meet the Teacher and other school-wide events?
No, we cannot have in-person events as we normally have. However, the leadership team is already brainstorming ways to have a virtual “Meet the Teacher” event.
Do students need to wear masks all day?
Yes. Students, staff, and visitors must wear masks while on the campus.
What new processes will be in place to support safety of staff and students?
Daily, when staff and students arrive on campus, they will be required to participate in a health screening and temperature check. If they cannot pass the screening or have a temperature about 100.4 degrees, they must return home immediately.
Given the necessity to ensure the safety of students and staff in the building, we have received guidance that buildings should have minimal visitors. Due to this, it is unfortunate that we will need to change some of the long-standing traditions that have helped Brooks become the awesome school community that it is. This includes that parents will no longer walk children into the school building in the morning and that visitors and volunteers will be severely restricted. Parents cannot come to eat lunch with their student(s). I know this will be disappointing for many families and staff, but unfortunately it is what’s required to keep everyone safe.
How will arrival and dismissal be impacted?
Arrival will change slightly because students will need to wait in their cars or on the bus until health screenings and temperature checks will be conducted. This may add a small amount of time to the wait in carpool, but it should not be significant, given that we will only have 1/3 of our students on campus at any given time.
Dismissal will be different as all students will be dismissed from the classroom. This may add time because we cannot dismiss large groups of students at once, so we’ll have to be strategic about releasing grades/hallways at a time. Additionally, for walkers and carpool, students will have to walk to the main entrance from their classroom, rather than the gym or cafeteria, so that may take a bit more time. Again, we will only have 1/3 of students on campus, so hopefully this will not be a significant time increase.
Will Brooks still have the Before/After School Care program?
The district has not given us this guidance yet. We will let families know as soon as we receive that information.
I hope that you find this information useful as you plan what is best for your family in the upcoming year. Please don’t hesitate to call or email me if you have additional questions or concerns that I can help you with.
I know this upcoming year will be full of changes, but one constant that remains is the love we have for our children and community! We will get through this year and make it the best possible. We are eagerly awaiting the time when we can see you all again!
Marie Palmer, Principal