Reopening FCSD

Reopening Classroom Layout VR Tour

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    Our classrooms are in the process of being made physically distanced and learning safe. Above are three examples of these new layouts, at G. Ray Bodley, the Jr. High and Lanigan Elementary

Online Only Learning Option

  • Dear FCSD Families:

     
    At this time we have received additional information and we will now offer an online only learning option for all students PK-12. This choice can be different for each child in your family.  
    • All teaching, materials and resources will be provided by the Fulton City School District.  
    • Student attendance will be taken daily in the online format.
    • Families who select this option are expected to commit to online learning for at least the first ten weeks of the school year.
    In order to select this option for your child or children, please complete a separate form, which you will find l linked below, for each child for whom you intend to select the online only learning format.
     
     
    A link to the form will also be available on our website at www.fultoncsd.org.
     
    If you are unable to access the form, please call 315-593-5509 for assistance.

    We will follow up in writing to verify this choice for each child.
     
    We have attached the updated summary of our current plan for reopening, for your information. Thank you for your ongoing support of our district and students.
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Brian Pulvino
    Superintendent

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding plans to reopen our schools, and always feel free to reach out to us via email or phone (315-593-5511) with any additional questions. 

    We will respond to all questions in a timely manner and in the order in which they were received. Your input is critical in our mission to provide a healthy and safe learning environment.  
     

     

    General

    What’s the timeline for determining how and when we will open?
    Decision-making about reopening will be informed by several factors, including:
    • the input from our school community;
    • federal and state guidance;
    • level of community transmission;
    • characteristics of our community; and
    • the capacity of our local healthcare and public health systems.
    As we move forward in time, after reviewing available information, we expect to be able to narrow the number of possible reopening options. This will be dependent upon guidance from New York State (we hope to provide our initial reopening scenario at some point in early August, if not earlier). Any initial reopening scenario may be subject to change during the school year based on the factors outlined above.

     

    What are the possible reopening scenarios?
    We are planning for five (5) possible scenarios for the fall, based on the CDC's steps for scaling up operations (please note, these are not Governor Cuomo's reopening phases):
    • Step 1: Schools that are currently closed remain closed. Virtual learning or Remote learning opportunities should be provided for all students. Ensure provision of student services such as school meal programs.
    • Step 2: Reopen with enhanced social distancing measures and for children who live in the local geographic area only.
    • Step 3: Reopen with distancing measures. Restrict attendance to those from limited transmission areas (other Step 3 areas) only.
    Step 1 - Remain Closed
    SCENARIO 1: Full Virtual/distance Learning
    Step 2 - Reopen with Enhanced Social Distancing Measures
    SCENARIO 2: Staggered Return (AM/PM, every other day, or another back-and-forth approach)
    SCENARIO 3: Partial Return (PK-6 return and 7-12 continue distance learning, or another split of some returning and others continuing distance learning)
    SCENARIO 4: Blended, Choice-Based Return (families determine which distance learning, in-person learning, or combination of both work best for them)
    Step 3 - Reopen with Social Distancing Measures
    SCENARIO 5: Full In-Person Learning (with some exceptions including those for vulnerable populations) 
     
    How can I provide feedback or share ideas to support understanding and assist decision-making?
    We are connecting with our school community through surveys sent out to the FCSD community. Visit our Reopen FCSD webpage and please also always feel free to reach out to us via email or phone (315-593-5511) with your questions, feedback, and concerns.

     

    If we reopen in person, how can students who have pre-existing conditions remain safe? Can they stay home?
    Guidance from the CDC and other agencies ensures that in all aforementioned reopening scenarios/“Steps,” there are special considerations for all who are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Current guidelines from the NYS Department of Health for special education summer school, for example, require all schools to “Protect and support staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness by considering remote options for telework and virtual learning, if in-person is not feasible at a given time.”

     

    If we reopen in person, how can staff who have pre-existing conditions remain safe? Can they stay home?
    Guidance from the CDC and other agencies ensures that in all aforementioned reopening scenarios/“Steps,” there are special considerations for all who are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Current guidelines from the NYSDOH for special education summer school, for example, require all schools to “Protect and support staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness by considering remote options for distance and virtual learning, if in-person is not feasible at a given time.” The continued partnership between union leadership and administration will support final determinations regarding implementation.

     

     

    Culture

    How can we ensure that students stay physically distanced or that they continue to wear masks (if recommended by New York State)?
    We believe that we must engineer our environments for both affirmation and safety. This means that the way we design our spaces matters. From classroom and cafeteria set-ups to child-centered markings on the floors and signs in hallways. The physical appearance of our schools can help students and adults alike remember the importance of physical distancing and other safety measures. The visual reminders of physical distance must be child-friendly, supportive, and phrased in positive language. In addition, the ways in which we communicate with students to pre-teach and remind them of physical distancing measures will be key.

     

    How will school staff handle situations when students come close together or remove masks (if recommended by New York State)?
    Children (and adults) have a natural drive to be socially close, especially when engaged in something they really care about. This natural closeness has to be replaced with a skill of social distancing for now, as a way to show taking care of oneself and others. So, when kids move toward social closeness, we have to work with them through our restorative practices lens to understand, support, teach, and provide opportunities for students to make amends if amends are needed. Discussing what happened, feelings associated with the occurrence, ways in which anyone involved has been harmed, and strategies for repairing the relationship and community will continue to be key. Our students and adults need us all to engage in these discussions in order to shift our culture to one in which we think collectively and act individually. We all have a responsibility to love, support, and teach one another as we learn these new norms together.

     

    Physical and Environmental Health and Safety

    Will staff be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
    Yes. Based on an interim advisory issued by the NYS Department of Health (June 8) and consistent with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.17 (April 17), staff will be required to wear a face covering whenever they are within six feet of students or other staff. Employees must wear a face-covering unless they are unable to medically tolerate such covering. The use of face coverings and other PPE is subject to change based on future guidance.

     

    Will students be required to wear PPE?
    Based on an interim advisory issued by the NYS Department of Health, students are required, to wear acceptable face coverings. Additionally, this advisory notes:

    Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2, or for anyone who is unable to medically tolerate such covering, including students where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction.

    Guidance from the Governor’s Office and the Board of Regents is pending and this measure may be subject to change. 

     

    Will the FCSD provide PPE?
    Yes. Although FCSD staff may choose to wear their own face coverings, the FCSD will provide access to acceptable face coverings at no-cost to employees and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of replacement. Additionally, face coverings will be available for all students to encourage their use.

     

    How will health and safety education work for students?
    Education will be provided to students on an ongoing basis, consisting of simple, accurate, and age- and developmentally-appropriate information. Education activities include, but are not limited to:
    • Posting signs that promote everyday protective measures in highly visible locations (e.g., at entrances and exits, in restrooms)
    • Broadcasting regular announcements (building-wide and/or morning meetings)
    • Including messages (through videos, for example) about behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19 in student and family communications
    • Reminding students to wash their hands frequently and to cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue and throw used tissues into the trash
    • Engaging students in the development and dissemination of information campaigns, messaging, and activities that support health and safety

     

    How might classroom configurations work?
    Classroom configurations will vary based on location, square footage, and use. Available guidance recommends configurations that support social distancing - space seating or desks 6’ apart, faced in the same direction, or students sitting on only one side of tables, spaced apart. We will need to be flexible in how we utilize our physical spaces, including cafeterias, gymnasiums, outdoor spaces, rooms traditionally used for individual or small group instruction, and more. Our team has inventoried available desks and we are identifying possible furniture needs.

     

    Will athletics, fine and performing arts, and extracurricular activities continue?
    Athletics, fine and performing arts, Extended Day, and clubs will function as permitted by state and local health officials at the time of reopening. Available guidance recommends limiting gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict group size, as feasible.

     

    Social-Emotional and Academic Learning

    What will social-emotional and academic learning look like in any of the reopening scenarios?
    As we enter a new normal, we agree that we cannot simply go back to the way the FCSD was. We understand that the likelihood of returning to some version of distance learning again is high and we recognize that students have had varied experiences since closing our school buildings and that our educators have created remarkable learning opportunities for young people in this new era. 

    Our approach to learning in the fall will continue upon the FCSD foundations of social-emotional learning as well as health and safety.

     

    How might "blended or Hybrid learning" work?
    Blended learning is an educational approach that combines distance and physical learning in a flexible, fluid manner. Varied opportunities for student interaction, grouping, scheduling, and choice in pace, place, and path are all interwoven in this approach. Teachers and other educators function much more as facilitators of learning. The combination of in-person and distance learning presents us with a level of responsiveness we have not seen before and may require flexible schedules for students and staff, which we will explore in partnership with union leadership, and of course with families. 

     

    Knowing that students had very different experiences with distance learning, how can we support student learning when students return?
    We fully recognize that the world and our community have had varied experiences with distance learning. As a school district, we believe we need to honor each child’s academic and social-emotional strengths and work from there. Understanding where students are and providing inclusive, meaningful, and equitable learning experiences will be key moving forward. While some school districts are planning to focus on rote skill and knowledge development upon a return to physical settings, we aim to honor the ways in which students have been learning while away from our spaces (whether through the content and means we provided or not), as this is a much more responsive approach that aligns with our core values.

     

    When will staff receive professional development and how will this work?
    Our goal is to provide our educators with PD that is relevant to the needs of our young learners and is focused on providing learning experiences that will transcend beyond the current crisis. Details regarding schedule, sessions, and compensation will be forthcoming.  

     

    To limit cohort mingling, will we be changing class schedules?
    This remains to be determined, based on guidance at the time of reopening, and will be determined in collaboration with administrators and teachers.

     

     

    Communication

    How is the FCSD collaborating with the local health department
    The FCSD maintains regular communication with county health officials to collaboratively develop and monitor health and safety measures. In the event there is a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 among our students and/or staff, we will work with our partners at the Oswego County Health Department to notify our school community, in accordance with New York State Public Health Law and FERPA provisions, and to make a determination as to whether a closure is necessary. 

    The local health department also provides the district with information about students and staff impacted by quarantine restrictions, including when those students and staff, if under movement restrictions, may return to school.

     

    How can FCSD staff, students and parents provide input on distance learning and wishes for reopening?
    Surveys were sent to the FCSD community to gather imput on reopening. Members of the FCSD staff and administration will be meeting to discuss the results of those surveys.