Springhurst Elementary School FAQ
1. Will children/staff who have traveled to states on the NYS 14-day quarantine list be required to stay home from school during that time period?
Yes- this is required under the law. We want to ensure that all of our students and staff returning to school on Tuesday, September 8th are safe and COVID-free. To try and mitigate the chance of infection, we are asking our school families to please adhere to the following advisory from New York State.
New York State Travel Advisory
Please be aware that New York State has issued a travel advisory for anyone traveling into New York from one of the 33 states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. If your child will be in any of those 33 states, your child must quarantine for 14 days from the time they return to New York before they will be allowed to come to school.
With the first day of school scheduled for September 8th, that means that if you have traveled to any of those 33 states you must return from your travels no later than August 22nd and begin to quarantine if your child is planning to attend school and is participating in any of the hybrid models. Your health and safety means everything to us!
2. What will remote instruction look like in a hybrid model for children who are quarantined?
If the whole class is quarantined, the class would most likely switch to remote learning. If individual children are sick, those parents should be in close contact with their assigned classroom teacher to figure out how to support their child while they are absent.
3. What would prompt the District to switch from hybrid to remote? (Is it only the infection rate guidance that Cuomo issued, or are there other District-specific events that would trigger a switch to remote?
The infection rate as related by the Governor would certainly close schools in a region and require the switch to remote. If there are building-based cases, this will be a District decision determined by a number of factors. We would obtain guidance on this kind of closing decision from our District Medical Director, and it would also depend on how long it will take for cleaning and sanitizing. Closures of anywhere from 24-72 hours should be expected.
4. If you choose the remote learning option, will there be intervals where you can opt in or out?
Yes. Current intervals (subject to change) include the following quarters; August 16-November 1, November 2-January 31, February 1-April 5, April 6-June 25. These dates have been revised since the survey.
5. Will any teacher who wishes to opt-in to remote teaching be accommodated?
The District has obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act that require this if teachers meet the criteria as established by the CDC or DOH. A reasonable accommodation could be an assignment to remote instruction.
6. Why isn’t livestreaming being considered?
We feel that for K-5 students it is of little instructional value. Students would be staring at a computer screen all day with no interaction with teachers or peers. We felt it was not developmentally appropriate for this age group.
7. Will you be sending around surveys throughout the year to check in about how the hybrid or remote learning is working for everyone?
Yes, we will be regularly reviewing how things are going and asking for feedback and input from teachers and counselors, as well as parents.
8. How much oversight can there actually be for hand washing/sanitizing?
Handwashing will be explicitly taught (ex. Instructional videos etc.). Every grade level classroom is equipped with a sink, so most handwashing can occur under the supervision of an adult in the classroom. In addition, there are portable hand washing stations, as well as hand sanitizer for those students needing to be in the cafeteria.
9. Will you be doing temperature checks or COVID-19 testing?
We are following the NYSED and CDC guidance on this procedure. Each morning parents will have to complete the daily health screening assessment at home, including a temperature check, using a web based application that can be done on a computer or smartphone. We have temperature kiosks that will be set up at school entrances and we will randomly check students’ temperatures to make sure everyone is complying as required. The District will take steps to ensure that any process has multiple avenues of completion and is not used as a basis to exclude students from school. Students who may require screening to be completed at school will be treated in a confidential manner and will have the screening completed as quickly as possible to minimize time away from class. COVID-19 testing will not be done on site. Students or staff with temperature or symptoms will be immediately isolated and referred to a testing center. We expect parents to partner with us in making sure that we do everything possible to keep our students and staff safe, so that we can continue to keep our youngest students in the school. This is a community responsibility.
10. Will specials and after-school activities be available?
At Springhurst most, specials will be remote during the time when students are not in school. For example - the AM cohort will have specials in the PM. Our District Medical Director has advised us that we need to cancel all in-school chorus and orchestra, including any performances because of the airborne nature of the virus, therefore these will be offered remotely only. After-school activities are suspended at this time.
11. Will school community events be canceled?
Most school community events will be cancelled or repurposed virtually at least for the time being because of the large number of people and the size of our community spaces.
12. What will the virtual portion of the hybrid model look like?
In the hybrid model, when students are not in school, they are participating in virtual learning. Every child will receive their daily special in this manner (ex. Art, Music, Technology, PE & Library). Additionally, all students in grades 2-5 will receive Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES - Spanish) instruction in this manner. Students may also have homework/follow up assignments to be completely independently from the in-person time they were in school. Virtual Special Education/Related Services/Academic Intervention Services will be provided during this time as needed. Additionally, band/orchestra/Science Technology Engineering Art Math (STEAM) will be provided as applicable.
13. What are the expected class sizes?
It differs by grade level since the size of the classrooms are different, so capacity is adjusted to reflect that. Additionally, depending on the model (e.g. co-taught class) adjustments need to be made to the class size depending on the number of adults that will need to be in the room. There is a range of students allowable; in some cases we do not reach that max number.
14. Will children remain in a cohort?
15. Will the childcare center be following the social distancing guidelines?
Yes, the children attending the Springhurst Wrap Around Program will be following the requirements for wearing masks and social distancing guidelines. Frequent hand washing will be directed and thorough disinfecting will take place as surfaces/equipment are used. All staff and children will be screened daily for any observable illness.
16. Will elementary school students be required to wear masks all day?
Yes, unless prohibited for medical reasons. According to health officials, it is clear that masks *plus* social distancing are the most effective preventative measures in mitigating the chance of transmitting COVID-19.
17. How staggered would the Springhurst start be?
- 8:00 or 8:35 start for AM cohort
- 12:15 or 12:50 start for PM cohort
- We will also be using multiple entrances and exits to decrease the volume of students entering/leaving the building together during arrivals/dismissals.
18. How will restrooms be used and will they be cleaned after each use? For instance, wouldn’t class cohorts mix together in restrooms? This seems like a high-touch area without ventilation.
Many classrooms have bathrooms located within them. All restrooms (classroom and hallway) will be thoroughly disinfected in between the AM and PM cohorts, maximum capacity signs are posted on every bathroom and hand-washing signs will be located above each sink. To maintain social distancing, a limited number of sinks and toilets will be identified for use in each bathroom. We will be providing direct instruction to students regarding bathroom procedures.
19. How will kindergarteners be accommodated in a remote learning environment?
While the description of remote learning includes 180 minutes of learning daily facilitated by a teacher or staff member, the number of minutes daily will differ based on children's development needs, readiness, independence level
20. Can the school accommodate requests for the AM or PM time since many parents have other children and have to coordinate schedules, jobs and childcare issues?
Siblings will be kept on the same schedule, however, Springhurst cannot accommodate these other requests/needs. There are so many factors, including space limitations, services, staffing, siblings, rations and more that are required to be considered-- it is just not possible to honor individuals’ specific preferences. Once cohort assignments are released, student peers can match up if families so choose. Before we can release AM/PM schedules or classes, we need to know for certain which students and staff are not returning/ not participating in the in-person hybrid classes.
21. What will happen in a week where there is a Monday school holiday?
All students will attend in person four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) in either the AM or PM cohort. Wednesdays are designated as Flex Days. However, in the case of a Monday holiday, students will also come to school that week on Wednesday to make sure they have four in person days. For more detailed information on the Springhurst AM/PM Hybrid program, please visit the “Reopening Dobbs Ferry Schools Website”
22. What is the School Bus capacity?
Transportation will be taking into consideration social distancing guidelines when determining the maximum number of students that can fit on a bus. Sibling may sit in a seat together thereby increasing overall bus capacity. Capacity will also vary based on the bus route and number of siblings.
23. What will the student schedules look like?
Each student will receive a minimum of 180 minutes of contact time each day (excluding Wednesday). This will hold true whether we are in “hybrid” or “remote”. Some students will receive more than 180 minutes depending on their individual needs/schedule (ex. Service requirements).
Since sharing a sample schedule during the Springhurst Parent Forum on 8/12/20, we have revised the schedule to better meet the needs of students and that can be used in both hybrid and remote learning situations. This schedule provides for smaller group sizes and more effective interaction between students and staff. Additionally, the schedule also allows for greater flexibility and maximizes the amount of time staff can spend working with students. Once school starts, your child’s teacher will share a more detailed schedule with you.