COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (Updated 8-4-20)
The Little Rock School District intends to provide timely responses and information regarding plans for returning to school in the 2020-21 school year. Please note that this document is designed to address the most frequently asked questions. For responses to questions that specifically pertain to your child's school or individual circumstances, please contact your principal. We will update this document regularly.
Please note that if you are new to the District, you will need to complete online registration before selecting your choice of instruction, as you will need a student ID number for your child. Remember the deadline for submitting your choice is this Friday, August 7th. Indicating your choice of instruction on the Back to School 2020 FAQ form is not the correct format, please use the survey. Thank you for your understanding. (Updated 8-4)
How does the school plan to implement health and safety guidelines in the school setting?
What are the plans for sanitation in the schools? (classrooms, restrooms, cafeteria, main office, portables, chrome books, computers, playground equipment). Sanitation measures will be put into place to include cleaning of common areas, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer for all students entering and exiting classrooms. Frequent handwashing will also be encouraged among students and staff. Hand sanitizer will be provided by the school.
Will staff and students be trained on safety protocols? Yes.
Will masks be required? We expect all students and staff to wear masks. We will provide masks for students and staff and we will have a supply of masks at schools and worksites for anyone who forgets their masks. Masks “will be required in areas where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” As we plan for the school year we know we will have settings where social distancing will be a challenge—buses, hallways, lunch rooms, and most classrooms, but we can assure you that the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remain our priority. (Updated 7-10)
LRSD encourages parents/guardians to send a face mask with their student to school that their child feels comfortable wearing. The District will have 3 ply disposable masks available along with hand sanitizer on campuses, as well.
Will my student be sanctioned for not wearing a mask? We are still working to determine the best response to this potential concern and will be gathering input from stakeholder groups consisting of parents, staff and students.
What is the plan for social distancing during classroom instruction? Social distancing will be observed to the extent possible, including the spacing of desks and limiting physical contact. LRSD is exploring the potential use of underutilized spaces in the District.
During transition times (arrival and dismissal, recess, lunch times, restroom breaks, class changes) LRSD will work to ensure social distancing to the extent possible and encourage use of face masks. Each school will develop a plan to social distance as much as possible during all transitions.
Will the schools continue to have assemblies? To achieve social distancing, assemblies may be held virtually.
What is the plan for athletic and extracurricular team/group activities? Guidelines have been established by the Arkansas Athletic Association (AAA) and the Arkansas Department of Health. (https://www.aractivities.org/covid19)
How much signage will be provided to promote/encourage proper hygiene and safety habits? The District's administrative team will work with campuses to increase signage at LRSD schools and buildings and will promote the same through the District's various communications platforms: website, lrsdtv.org, and social media. (6-30)
Will there be temperature checks each day? LRSD will establish a procedure based on Arkansas Department of Health guidelines as we get closer to the start of the school year.
Is anything above 98.6 considered a fever? No. A fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater. However, LRSD will isolate any student with a temperature of 100 degrees. We will stay abreast of directives from the state and Arkansas Department of Health and will make adjustments according to updated guidelines.
If so, will the child be sent home immediately? LRSD is working to put a detailed procedure in place.
What about parents who are unable to pick up students immediately, where will they be housed? LRSD is working to put a detailed procedure in place.
If students are sent home, when can they return to school? Here are the procedures governing notification, which also consider HIPAA laws.
Will parents of other students be notified when another student has a fever? See attached chart.
If so, will the student/family’s identity be protected? If so, how? Notification is based on CDC guidelines. (See attached chart)
If parents are not notified in an isolated incident, will they ever be notified of fevers/illness in student groups? Notification is based on CDC guidelines. (See attached chart)
What is the plan for high risk students and employees? Notification is based on CDC guidelines. (See attached chart)
What is the plan for students and staff that are diagnosed with COVID? Notification is based on CDC guidelines. (See attached chart)
How will food preparation be monitored for the safety of students? Safe
handling/preparation procedures will be observed/practiced according to USDA guidelines. Meal supervision is provided certified cafeteria managers. (7.8)
Will the workers be required to wear masks and have temperature checks? Yes.
Where will meals be served? Meals will be available at all school sites. Decisions regarding location of meals are still being determined based on the layout of campuses. (Updated 7.8)
Meal applications are available at www.myschoolapps.com.
What are plans for academic instruction?
How will students be instructed? On-site or virtual? Students have the option to receive their instruction on-site or virtually.
Do parents have a choice between on-site or virtual instruction? Yes, students will be expected to participate in the virtual environment daily, however, will have some flexibility to best meet the needs of students and families. (Referenced in letter, dated June 24, 2020)
If so, how will student attendance be maintained? Students who choose on-site instruction will have attendance recorded as normal. Students who choose virtual instruction will have attendance taken based on participation in virtual instruction. Students will be expected to participate in the virtual environment daily, however, will have some flexibility to best meet the needs of students and families. Attendance will be taken daily.
Will a hybrid be offered? If not, why? No, we are offering two options - fully virtual or fully in person. LRSD explored all options for instruction in the fall. Based on input received from surveys, emails and phone conversations with parents and teachers, the District determined that the implementation of a rotating schedule for instruction would place an undue burden on the majority of our families. By enrolling in fully virtual instruction students will be assigned to a LRSD teacher, have virtual interactions with their peers, the ability to take elective classes and participate in any extracurricular activities they choose. (Updated 6-29)
What is the definition of blended learning? Blended learning is when students receive part of their instruction at the school and part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace. Blended learning is not simply providing a rotating schedule for attending school. Based on input received from surveys, emails and phone conversations with teachers and parents, the District determined that the implementation of a rotating schedule for instruction would place an undue burden on the majority of our families. (Updated 6-29)
What if parents don’t have the option to do virtual instruction? All students have the option to choose either virtual or on-site instruction.
What about families with no internet access? LRSD is currently researching options to support students.
Will the District provide computers/devices to students? Yes, LRSD will provide a device for any student who needs one. Your child's school will notify you about the pick-up process. (8-4)
Since students will have been out at least five months in August, what protocols are in place to help students catch up (if needed) from the 4th quarter of 2019-2020? Teacher groups are working over the summer to revise curriculum documents to provide teachers with resources to use in the fall to assess student academic needs upon return. Teachers will utilize diagnostic assessments to determine the needs of students and provide instruction accordingly.
How will teachers determine who needs increased academic support? Teachers will utilize diagnostic assessments to determine the needs of students and provide instruction accordingly.
How will teachers make sure other students who don’t need increased support do not fall behind on current instruction? Teachers provide instruction daily based on grade level standard to all students and interventions during small group instruction. By utilizing Schoology, teachers will be able to personalize instruction for all students. Students can be provided with individualized lessons and activities to either address areas of needed support or extend to learning.
Are teachers/instructors required to have a different delivery method for teaching? Teachers will have the autonomy in their classrooms to provide instruction in the method that best meets the needs of their students. All teachers will utilize Schoology to enhance the classroom experience.
Will my child’s actual teacher be delivering online instruction verbally via video or live stream? Children who are fully virtual will receive their instruction in a variety of formats - pre-recorded videos from their assigned teacher, videos from other sources that are selected by their assigned teacher, or through live video conferencing with their assigned teacher. (Updated 6-29)
Will my child have the same LRSD teacher assigned for instruction? LRSD teachers will be utilized to provide the online instruction. There will be designated LRSD teachers who will provide the fully virtual instruction and others who provide fully in-person instruction, therefore, if a child changes their mode of instructional delivery, they may be assigned to a different teacher. The only exception might be in the area of some electives in the high school where virtual instructors may be utilized outside of LRSD. To the extent possible, teachers from the building of record will be utilized to provide the virtual instruction. (Updated 6-29)
Could you please clarify whether the LRSD teacher will be one of the teachers at the student's school and to whose room the student might have been assigned had his or her parents or guardians selected the "on site" option? Same as above.
Will the classroom teacher be providing on-site and virtual instruction simultaneously? No, those in the classroom will provide instruction in the classroom while others will provide instruction fully virtually. Virtual instruction will be a combination of live sessions with the assigned teacher, pre-recorded videos from the classroom teacher or other resources chosen by the teacher, and activities the student will engage in on their own. Younger students may require assistance in completing their work, especially early in the year as they get comfortable.(Updated 6-29)
What is the plan for the students who need remote instruction and parents have to work and are not available to help teach or have work obligations? If you are choosing the fully virtual option, it is recommended the student have adult support at some point during the day or evening to assist with completing their work. Students will be required to complete work in Schoology daily. All live lessons will be recorded and accessible via Schoology. Students will access their lessons and assignments via Schoology. Parents should be aware that students might need assistance in completing their work and becoming familiar with the online platform. Students will not be in direct instruction all day, however, they will have to complete assignments or tasks independently throughout the day. (Updated 6-29)
Will Pre-AP and GT courses be available for students in the fall? If so, how will that curriculum be delivered for on-site vs. virtual attendance options? Yes, all courses will be available on-site and virtually. The delivery will be the same for GT and pre-AP as for any other course. Attendance will be based upon participation in Schoology and turning in daily assignments. (Updated 6-29)
Will any on campus elective classes be canceled should the course be lacking a significant amount of students? The availability of elective courses will be determined based on enrollment. We will follow the same protocol as we normally would to determine if a class will be taught or not. (Updated 6-29)
How long and binding is the commitment to whichever education option we choose? The survey is for initial planning purposes. Parents will be provided an opportunity to make a change to their decision prior to the start of school. We are requesting parents commit to at least one quarter when choosing their option so the district can plan for meals, transportation, classroom support and student/staff safety. In the event of an extenuating circumstance (change in job status, illness, etc.) students may be allowed to change their method of instruction by making a request directly to their child’s principal. (If you have already selected an option and wish to change your preference now, you may do so on the survey. Your latest submission will be the one that is counted. The deadline for completing the survey is Friday, August 7, 2020.) (Updated 8-1)
Or can we move back and forth between the two as we feel the need? See above.
Will non-core classes be included virtually? For example, Spanish, Career Finance, etc.? Yes.
If students were participating in internships, how will this be accomplished, if they attend virtually – are there any options? The teacher of record will direct the students as to how they will complete their internship. (Updated 6-29)
Are there virtual options in a household, i.e.., can one student be virtual and another choose in-person instruction, who live in the same house? Yes.
What are the plans for LRSD pre-K program? The District will offer in-person instruction for Pre-K students per State and Arkansas Department of Education guidelines. (7-31)
Teaching often requires close contact (typically in pre-K and elementary, some secondary). How will this be managed by teachers? To the extent possible buildings will put social distancing procedures in place. Adults will be required to wear face masks when social distancing is not possible.
Will kindergarten students be considered for virtual learning? Yes, If so, how will their course work look and be scheduled since they will be new to the school environment? Students will be assigned a teacher who will provide lessons and assignments via Schoology the same as all K-12 students.
Can a parent have one child do traditional learning and one do virtual? Yes, especially classes for Pre-K ( Please note: Pre-K will be in-person only per the State and the Arkansas Department of Education) and Kindergarten students who don't understand the concept. (Updated 7-31)
Will my child lose his/her Pre-K spot if we do not choose in-person instruction? As part of federal and state requirements, we will have to drop students; however, LRSD will maintain a list of students who opt out so they will have the opportunity to return. (7-31)
If my child has to miss a day from school can they do virtual learning to keep up? Students will be able to access any assignments that were uploaded by the teacher via Schoology. (Updated 6-29)
Can they do both learning options like go to school on certain days and do virtual learning on others? No, see above.
What will be the protocol for students moving about the classroom during a project or needing to work in groups? Social distancing and the use of masks will be required in group settings.
Will there be a change in teacher-student ratio because of social distancing? The required student to teacher ratio has not been altered. To the extent possible, we will reduce classroom size by utilizing all available building space and staff.
Will there be after school care for those who choose to do onsite instruction? This has not been determined yet.
Learning Platform (Update 6-29)
What is Schoology and how was it selected? Schoology is a Learning Management System (LMS) that enhances classroom instruction. It does NOT replace the teacher. Teachers will still teach their students, Schoology just allows teachers and students to interact in the classroom setting and virtually. It is similar to Google Classroom, but with more features that are designed to support instruction. A variety of stakeholders gave input into the selection of Schoology. Schoology was chosen because it easily integrates with eSchool, provides a central location for communications between teachers and families and allows for integration of resources into one place. You can learn more about Schoology here: Getting Started with Schoology
Will a demo of Schoology be available so that both parents and students can better understand how the application works? Yes, a demo will be coming soon.
How much time should be dedicated to virtual learning? Depending on the needs of each child, the time needed to engage in virtual learning will vary. Student attendance will be based on completion of daily assignments as determined by the teacher.
How will virtual students be tested/graded remotely? Our main concern is that students demonstrate their learning and understanding of content. Teachers will monitor student learning and engagement via Schoology as well as hold virtual sessions with students in whole group, small group or one-on-one settings. Teachers will provide daily assignments and assessments via Schoology, just like would be done in a normal classroom. Students will be expected to log in to Schoology daily and attendance will be taken based on student access and completion of daily assignments. Grades will be taken on assignments required by the teacher. Schoology allows for students to submit work in multiple formats and for teachers to provide feedback in the system.
Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities like sports and band?
Band, cheer, other activities? Yes. All students, virtual and in-person, will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at the school where they are assigned. LRSD will adhere to guidelines provided by the State and Arkansas Department of Health.
Athletic activities - sports? Yes. All students, virtual and in-person, will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at the school where they are assigned based on guidelines provided by the Arkansas Athletic Association (AAA), the State and Arkansas Department of Health.
Will outside recess be allowed? Yes, weather-permitting. (Updated 6-29)
Will students be allowed to exercise in the gym? Yes, PE will still be offered. Social distancing will be practiced to the extent possible. (Updated 6-29)
What will counseling services, emotional support, and mental health look like?
Who will help students with their emotions when coming back to school? Trained LRSD counselors, social workers, Mental Health providers and community agencies will be available to support students.
What about parental support and engagement? Workshops for parents will be provided by LRSD Mental Health providers. The following initiatives will be covered in multiple training sessions. All training will include how to make referrals, PCP referrals and yearly exams and education about Screeners and permission needed.
Will the teachers have support? Workshops for teachers and Para-Professionals will be provided by LRSD Mental Health providers. The following initiatives will be covered in multiple training sessions. All trainings will include how to make referrals, PCP referrals and yearly exams and education about Screeners and permission needed.
Emphasis on grief, racial tension, social injustices, new normal, etc.? Support will be provided to address and include implicit bias training, addition of social workers with site-based directors and counselors, implementation of enhanced intervention services, and intensive support for students and staff.
How will students get to school?
Will there be school buses? Yes.
Will my student have to wear a mask on the bus? Yes. LRSD is committed to the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. To support this effort, students and staff on buses will be required to wear masks. (6-29)
Will buses be sanitized? Yes. LRSD will follow State and Arkansas Department of Health guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing buses. Parents are encouraged to provide face coverings for students, but hand sanitizer and masks will also be available on buses. (Updated 6-29)
Will social distancing be observed on buses? How will students be separated on the bus? We are working to establish specific guidelines and will share with you, soon. We can say definitively that our decisions will include guidance from the State and Arkansas Department of Health. (Updated 6-30)
Will the buses run on a regular schedule?
Are principals and teachers involved in planning process? Yes, and they will continue to be throughout the planning and impletmentation. Principals and teachers have participated in focus groups and provided additional input regarding potential concerns and questions from within their peer groups. They will also be supported through ongoing professional development.(6-30)
A separate list of FAQs has been developed for employees. Here is the link to the HR FAQ page. (Updated 7.1)
*Please note that this information is fluid and may be updated based on changing health conditions and guidelines. Responses to your submitted FAQs will be posted on this page.