Frequently Asked Questions for Employees
Have a question about something else? District and school administrators are working to continue making plans and sharing information. More information will be shared as it is available.
When, if ever, will other learning phases be implemented?
It is our goal to provide the optimal educational experience, while minimizing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, we have developed a phased approach to plan for a range of scenarios. It is our intent to begin the school year in Phase 5, with all students attending school in-person. However, it is possible that, on the advice of local health officials, LCSC may implement one or more additional phases throughout the course of the 2020-21 school year. We felt it was important to share all phases in order to provide as much information as possible to aid families in preparing for the 2020-21 school year.
Are we still planning Opening Day in person on August 3?
At the time of this publication, we plan to meet in person. We will utilize large spaces to allow for social distancing, rotate presenters, and minimize large groups in order to facilitate a safe environment.
Our professional development focus this year is educational neuroscience in order to understand and maximize learning. We believe this is especially critical at this time, as it is inclusive of social-emotional learning and synergistic trauma.
If any changes are necessary, we will communicate accordingly.
Are face masks/coverings required?
Current guidance indicates that wearing face coverings is one of the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. We want to be clear that students will be asked and expected to wear a disposable or cloth face covering throughout the day.
We expect administrators and teachers to ask students to wear their masks when in the hallways, in line in the cafeteria, and when transitioning from individual desk work to other group or academic activities in the classroom.
Students will be expected to comply with the administrator, teacher, and staff member requests to wear masks.
Students are expected to have a face covering or mask with them at all times.
Teachers may request students to wear masks during instruction time. Administrators and teachers will model the wearing of masks throughout the day, including in the instructional setting and consistently in hallways and transition times.
We understand there may be medical reasons for students to remove masks or not wear a mask. In these situations, the student is still expected to have a mask with him/her at all times, as there may be a mask requirement such as when a student meets with a staff member and social distancing is not possible (i.e. student enters the health clinic, meets with an administrator or counselor).
The school has a limited supply of masks. Therefore, we are asking parents to include masks in their back to school shopping and preparation and to have a supply of disposable or reusable masks prepared to send with the child each day.
We ask for the help of parents and guardians in practice the use of masks with your children including practicing wearing them for longer durations. The Indiana Department of Education has provided a helpful graphic to assist families with this.
When students defy the requests or consistently are unable to follow the requests to wear masks, an administrator may contact the parent to determine if the in-person instructional setting is the best fit for the child.
In Governor Holcomb’s recent press conference, he shared the following regarding the use of masks: “We ask that Hoosiers take responsibility for their own actions and wear masks.” We are asking our students to take this responsibility. We want parents to know the expectations and considerations regarding face coverings on buses so the best decision regarding student transportation may be made by your family.
Will masks be required on school buses?
We expect students to wear face coverings while riding on the school bus, and we ask for the assistance of parents in communicating and supporting this message.
We want our bus drivers’ focus to be on the road ahead and on navigating the safe pick up and drop off of students. It is difficult, if not impossible, to expect drivers to have a focus on driving safely while also monitoring the use of face coverings by students. Additionally, our drivers need to have a clear vision and remain undistracted while performing their jobs. As some drivers wear eye correction or have medical conditions prohibiting them from wearing masks, we ask that parents understand that drivers may wear face coverings at times, but some may not be able to model this behavior for our student riders.
We will be reducing ridership to two students per seat (unless siblings), using assigned seats, coordinating the filling and emptying of buses to reduce student proximity to one another, and cleaning and sanitizing buses each day.
Can I require masks to be worn in my classroom?
Yes. Furthermore, we expect teachers and staff to model the use of face coverings, and ask that students wear them when in hallways, lines, and when transitioning in the classroom. For more information, please see the question regarding face coverings/masks.
Are teachers expected to purchase their own face masks/shields? Will some be provided? Will teachers be reimbursed (with receipts) for such PPE?
We have purchased enough reusable cloth masks for all teachers and several other items as well. If a teacher believes he/she needs something to assist them in being comfortable in teaching in the classroom, he/she should request it from the principal. If it is something that the principal has not already been provided, the principal will request it from Mr. Tait and Mr. Martin. If it is a reasonable request, we will do our best to provide it.
Classroom Procedures and Supplies
What precautions and expectations do I need to follow when setting up my classroom/learning environment?
When setting up your learning space, it is important to follow LCSC Classroom Guidelines. These guidelines have been developed by a group of administrators, with assistance and input from classroom teachers, to maintain a consistent and hygienic learning environment. It is essential to adhere to these guidelines to allow proper and thorough cleaning and sanitation in all classrooms.
I’m concerned about being able to social distance with the number of students in my class. What should I do?
It is recommended to reduce any opportunities that require sustained close contact. Teachers are encouraged to seek alternate methods for small-group activities, and to utilize virtual opportunities as much as possible. Avoid circulating the room, and create signals for mask breaks and transitions. You are encouraged to schedule time to go outside (weather permitting) or in the hallway or other large spaces when possible.
When can I access my classroom?
Buildings will be open for staff to work in at their discretion beginning Wednesday, July 22. Only employees are permitted to enter the building. No spouses, children, or friends may enter the building to assist.
Prior to entering any LCSC facility, you must complete a self-assessment regarding COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors.
Will there be money to support extra materials like lamination film, card stock paper, containers, etc. so each child has their own?
Principals have been told that we will provide what is needed regarding preparation of classrooms. We may wish to ask parents to provide some individual containers for their child as part of their back to school shopping.
Will my teaching assignment or classroom roster be affected?
It’s possible. Students may choose at-home learning initially, then return to the classroom. We encourage, and in some instances, require the transition to occur at natural breaks (e.g. quarters and/or semesters). Classroom teachers may be asked to oversee at-home learning in lieu of an in-person assignment. As more students return to school and more sections are needed, it is possible that class rosters will change as a result.
What precautionary measures is the district taking to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19?
We are continuing to add equipment, steps, practices, and protocols to enhance the safe return of our students and staff including but not limited to:
- Expectations of the use of masks and face coverings (see above)
- Equipping each classroom with hand sanitizer
- Equipping each classroom with sanitary wipes
- Purchase of Ultraviolet Germicidal Light Source Devices (to be delivered)
- Installation of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) approved Merv 13 air filtration systems in all schools
- Purchase of electrostatic sanitation backpack sprayers to sanitize busses, playground equipment, PE equipment and other surfaces
- Expanded seating in cafeterias
- Additional lunch periods to minimize number of students in cafeterias
- Purchase of masks and shields and other devices for staff members
- Purchase of masks for student use (limited supply)
- Additional custodial staff assigned to each building to wipe frequently touched surfaces throughout the day
- Purchase and installation of plexiglass dividers at point of sale areas in cafeterias, office areas, and for teacher spaces in classrooms as needed
- Installation of no touch hand sanitizer stations in cafeterias
- Installation of touchless water bottle filling stations in each school
- Daily sanitation of playground equipment
- Daily sanitation of buses
- Use of additional entrances and exits during student entrance and exit from buildings
If a teacher or staff member is in need of equipment to assist in his/her comfort in the work and learning environment he/she should make a request to his/her supervisor.
We continue to investigate best practices and equipment that may be implemented and purchased to enhance the safety of our learning and work environments.
Are high-risk teachers given priority to teach virtually over non-high risk? Who determines this?
Teachers will be assigned their normal class schedules. If we reduce sections due to the number of families choosing the remote option, principals will make the determination as to the teacher that may be asked to support the remote learning students. This may be determined by several factors including the grade level that has the lowest student/teacher ratio, the subject the teacher teaches, or teacher licensure. The risk factor of the teacher may also be one of those considerations as well, but it is not the starting point in the decision-making process.
What if I am sick?
Staff should not return to work until they are fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. It is important to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19:
- A fever of 100.4 or greater
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your supervisor.
Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
How will staff and families be notified if someone in the classroom/building tests positive for COVID? Will teachers be notified if they are exposed?
There are some different rules regarding HIPPA during a pandemic, as contact tracing is often part of a notification process. That being said, if there is a report of a case in the school and it is confirmed, we must notify the Indiana State Health Department. They take over at that point and everything, including how and who we notify is determined by their protocols.
What is the process if a teacher/staff member contracts COVID?
It is not possible to outline this process, as there are multiple scenarios that would determine the course of action. The procedure to handle positive cases is changing often. It is a case-by-case basis according to the determination of the Indiana State Health Department.
Regarding leave time, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provisions detail allowances of leave, including FMLA. Information regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act can be found here and has been posted in all buildings.
Will a teacher be required to quarantine if exposed?
Not necessarily. There is a difference between exposed and having close contact. We will provide the exposure information to the State Health Department, and they will determine the required steps.
If a student is sent home with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, will parents/guardians have to provide proof of a negative test before allowing a child back to school?
We are not able to answer this question in an absolute yes or no. The ISHD will determine all requirements when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. Because COVID-19 and flu symptoms are similar, students may be required to exhibit no symptoms and be fever free without the use of medication for a period of time before being allowed to return. This requirement may be similar for staff members as well.
Can I use sick days if I am uncomfortable coming to work?
No. Sick days are to be used for illness.
If I am required to quarantine, do I lose two weeks of sick days? What if a staff member must quarantine multiple times in a year?
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act allows for ten days of leave related to COVID-19 through December 31, 2020. It also details additional leave options, including FMLA. Information regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act can be found here and has been posted in all buildings.
If a teacher or staff member is required to quarantine, will they be able or expected to work from home?
Teachers and staff should consult the FMLA guidance regarding COVID-19, as LCSC will follow this guidance.
It is possible, either through request from the teacher or the administration that a teacher may be able to teach from a remote location while isolated from in-person instruction. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If a teacher is allowed or approved to teach remotely during the quarantine, illness days or FMLA would not be applied.
How will the district promote testing opportunities and information? Will the district offer testing?
LCSC is not an official COVID-19 testing site. We continue to communicate with the Boone County Health Department and will work with the Department to direct stakeholders to the best and most efficient testing facilities when needed.