|Q.||Where do we direct questions/concerns?|
|A.||Please email email@example.com|
|Q.||What would trigger a change in learning model?|
|A.||At this time, we are closely monitoring the number of Danvers and school cases as well as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health dashboards. To view the weekly dashboards, please visit Mass.gov
Our school committee members will continue to vote and propose changes to a learning model, while strongly considering the DESE expectation for Learning Models chart, below:
|Q.||How are these decisions made?|
|A.||The District will continue to work collaboratively with the local public health director to make recommendations to the school committee using guidance provided by the DESE Commissioner’s letter.|
|Q.||Does the district have other learning models prepared in case there is a need for change?|
|A.||At this time, the district is utilizing the hybrid model: 2-days in-person learning and 3-days remote learning.
As guided by DESE, the Danvers Public Schools has developed three learning plans – full in-person model, full remote model, and hybrid model with both in-person and remote learning. Please view the detailed information here: DPS Reopening Plan.
We have these plans in place so we can move fluidly from one plan to another based on health and safety guidance from the State.
The district also offers a full remote learning alternative model offered by the Danvers Public Schools taught by Danvers teachers and using Danvers Public Schools curriculum.
|Q.||What are the logistics of a future switch to remote learning?|
|A.||If the health and safety metrics indicate that learning must take place remotely, your child will continue to be educated by our Danvers staff, who will be teaching remotely using Google Classroom for assignments and learning expectations, Google Meet/Zoom for live lessons, recorded video lessons, online resources, and more. The District will then continue to work towards the goal of returning to the hybrid or in-person model when the health and safety guidelines indicate it is appropriate.|
|Q.||Has the District’s visitor policy changed due to COVID?|
|A.||Yes, please view our Visitor Protocol.|
|Q.||Are there resources available to parents for additional tutoring/services if needed for a student?|
|A.||Families should continue to check in with their building principal and the student services department if their child needs additional support.|
|Q.||How will staff and parent meetings be held?|
|A.||The goal is to utilize technology to have as many meetings as possible with parents held remotely. When meetings need to happen in person, they will be by appointment only and done in a socially distanced manner. Parents will be asked to complete a self screen they are symptom free and be required to wear masks. Where possible, the in person meetings will be held outdoors.|
Hybrid Learning Model
|Q.||How is the hybrid schedule divided?|
|A.||The hybrid schedule includes Cohort A and Cohort B. Cohort A students attend school in person Monday, Tuesday and learn remotely Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Cohort B students learn remotely Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and attend in person on Thursday and Friday. Faculty and staff may opt to work in school or from home on Wednesdays.
Students in high needs groups (PreK, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, special education, ESL, etc.) may attend school for 4 days in person.
|Q.||Can a student rejoin the hybrid model, if they had started the year remotely? Will they be able to change back?|
|A.||There will be opportunities to change your learning model at certain times in the year. Please contact your building Principal to learn about the process and if space is available.|
|Q.||If a student attends in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, what happens when there are Monday holidays? Are the In-person days made up on the Wednesday of that week?|
|A.||The revised 2020-2021 academic calendar accounts for the Monday holidays with adjustments to the schedule to provide equitable time for Cohort A and B.|
|Q.||Are the requirements the same whether a student is in the hybrid model or in the full remote model? For example, will they have the same testing requirements, grading, pass/fail, etc?|
|A.||Yes, students in both full remote and hybrid will have the same testing requirements, attendance taken and grading / assessment. This year in all models, assessments will be given to have grades / standard based report cards completed.|
Hybrid Model Learning: In Person Days
|Q.||What precautions are the schools taking while hybrid / in person?|
|A.||Please review our safety protocols for a complete list of all health and safety protocols at each grade level.|
|Q.||Are kids allowed to have recess and playground time? (Elementary Level Only)|
|A.||Separate cohorts of students will participate in recess in designated outdoor spaces. Physical distancing protocols and disinfecting of high touch playground surfaces will be ensured by school staff.|
|Q.||On in-person days, are students allowed to interact with peers and classroom materials while social distancing?|
|A.||Yes, students are able to interact with each other while maintaining social distancing. We are working to ensure that all students have their own set of materials for learning. When this is not possible, materials are disinfected between cohorts of students.|
Danvers Remote Learning Alternative
|Q.||What is the Danvers remote learning alternative?|
|A.||As of January 2021, we have about 450 students learning remotely, out of a total of about 3,500 students in the district.
The full remote students have both synchronous (live) instruction and asynchronous work 5 days a week. The DPS teachers who are working remotely are the teachers for the students in the fully remote program. The students opting for the fully remote model will be assigned a Danvers grade-level teacher who will work with students across the district.
The program will look a little different at the elementary level than at the secondary level given the ages of learners. The elementary students will have synchronous reading, word study, writing, and math instruction 4 days a week (Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri) along with small group instruction on Wednesdays. The secondary students will have live instruction in their 7 classes across the 5 days of the week.
|Q.||What legal guidance can be provided regarding remote learning?|
|A.||Please read our legal notice regarding remote learning.|
if Hybrid or Remote
|Q.||What kind of resources does the town have available for families – via Danvers Rec and Fun Club for example- for additional childcare services given a hybrid return to school or full remote?|
|A.||The District continues to partner with the Danvers Recreation Department and the YMCA to support their options for families for both models.
The Danvers Recreation Fun Club program and YMCA program run on the days the students are in attendance for in-person learning. Please contact the programs directly for additional information on sign ups and waitlists.
|Q.||Is school lunch available to purchase whether eating in class or another room?|
|A.||Yes, school lunch is available for purchase while in school through our traditional menu. School lunch is provided for families in need on remote learning days.|
|Q.||How are food allergies handled now on in person days? Will all classrooms become nut free zones?|
|A.||We continue to maintain 6 feet of social distancing and disinfecting procedures between lunch groups. Allergy protocols are followed in all spaces.|
|Q.||Has the District changed their transportation policy?|
|A||Yes, the policy has been changed to now prioritize students over 2 miles from the school. Please click here to view the policy updates for transportation.|
|Q.||What safety precautions are being taken on the bus?|
|A.||Masks are required for the students and the bus driver at all times. Students will be provided an assigned seat, with empty spaces between students for physical distancing. Drivers routinely monitor students while on the bus. All safety requirements from DESE will be followed including the reduced capacity on buses, mask requirements for all students, and air ventilation recommendations.|
|Q.||Does the IT department help students and parents overcome technology issues? How can we request help?|
|A.||Remote technology support will be provided to both staff and families with our on-line help desk and through school based computer paraprofessionals.
Faculty and Staff Online Help Desk
|Q.||What should families with no wi-fi do during remote learning days?|
|A.||If you do not have internet service, the district has worked with Comcast for eligible families to participate in their Internet Essentials program. New customers receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which then is available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.|
Athletics / Extracurricular Activities
|Q.||What after school programs are running for the days kids are in school?|
|A.||The Danvers Recreation Fun Club program and YMCA program runs on the days the students are in attendance for in-person learning. Please contact the programs directly for additional information.|
|Q.||Are there any organized school athletic, club, or activity events happening during the Fall?|
|A.||We continue to follow DESE and EEA guidance about what the extra-curricular landscape will look like throughout the year. Please contact the Athletic department or your building Principal with specific questions.|
Health and Safety Precautions
|Q.||Are all students required to wear a mask?|
|A.||Yes, ALL students preschool through grade 12 are required to wear a mask. The district is following the DESE guidance of grades 2-12 while ALSO following local requirements for a mask for all people over the age of 2 which includes Pre-K through Grade 1.|
|Q.||Will there be any regulations on the types of masks worn? Can students or staff wear masks with a vent or a face shield instead?|
|A.||We require the use of either medical masks or cloth masks made of cloth (and not a knitted or crocheted material). No gaiters or masks with a vent are allowed. The CDC states they do not recommend using masks with an exhalation valve or vent for source control. (Source control is defined as the use of cloth face coverings or face masks to cover a person’s mouth and nose to prevent spread of respiratory secretions when they are talking, sneezing, or coughing.)
The CDC also does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks. But, face shields may be an option for those students with medical, behavioral, or other challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings. If face shields are utilized in this manner, they must be accompanied by gaiters.
|Q.||If a child or adult has been exposed or tested positive, how are students and DPS staff members notified?|
|A.||The District utilizes the quarantine guidelines provided by DESE along with recommendations and collaboration with the Danvers Department of Public Health.
Please refer to the DPS Family COVID Info Sheet.
|Q.||What is the policy on notifying parents of positive COVID tests results?|
|A.||If there is a positive case in the school building that results in contact tracing for your child and/or family, then you will be notified by the school nurse or building administrator. Additional contact tracing may take place through the local and state supports available to all residents of the Commonwealth. Please know that student privacy remains an important aspect of our community and will not disclose identifying information to the public regarding a positive test.
All families and staff are notified via email of a positive case in their building, without any specification as to whether it was a student or staff member for privacy purposes.
|Q.||What additional counseling is in place should the need arise due to a COVID-19 related illness/death that may affect students/staff or Community.|
|A.||As with any tragedy, Danvers has always and will continue to provide counseling for students and staff affected by the tragedy.|
|Q.||Does the school have a supply of masks for children who do not have one?|
|A.||Students are expected to arrive at school with a mask per the DESE regulations. For families in need, they should reach out to their building administrator for support.|
|Q.||Who is held liable if a student or teacher gets sick?|
|A.||While we cannot make “guarantees,” state and federal law generally provide public employees (including teachers) with broad protections from liability for acting reasonably and within the scope of their employment. For example, the Massachusetts Torts Claims Act (M.G.L. c. 258, sec. 1 et seq) (“MTCA”) shields teachers and other public employees from personal liability for negligent or wrongful acts or omissions they commit while acting within the scope of their employment. See M.G.L. c. 258, secs. 2, 10. The MTCA does not immunize teachers from liability for intentional torts. M.G.L. c. 258, sec. 10. Additionally, the doctrine of qualified immunity generally shields public officials from personal liability in Section 1983 civil rights actions, unless the public official’s conduct was unreasonable in light of clearly established law.|
|Q.||Does DPS provide COVID-19 testing?|
|A.||As resources become available, the District will explore how to implement these options (pooled testing, Town of Danvers COVID Testing, etc.)
Currently, we offer rapid antigen COVID-19 tests to those staff and students who are exhibiting symptoms in school. It is not intended for those who MAY have been exposed and don’t have symptoms. Anyone who is tested at school still needs to be dismissed promptly from school. In order to receive testing, you must have previously consented by registering with project beacon. Contact your school nurse to register.
If the rapid antigen test is negative, a molecular PCR test is required and you must be symptom free prior to returning to school. Our own school nurses will be administering the test. Results will be sent to the person who registered. Our school nurses will submit test results to Project Beacon and DESE Rapid Response Help Center.
If you have additional questions, please refer to our DPS Family Covid Information Sheet or reach out to your building principal.
|Q.||Is the Influenza vaccination required for all K-12 students?|
|A.||No, on January 15, 2021, the Department of Public Health updated the school immunization requirements and removed the flu vaccine requirement for the 2020-2021 school year.|
|Q.||How and when do you plan to schedule deep cleaning of classrooms?|
|A.||The District has developed a cleaning and sanitization process in conjunction with the Department of Public Works. Please see the attached.|
|Q.||What is being done to ensure the air quality is at a safe level and what are the procedures for cleaning the HVAC system?|
|A.||Portable HEPA Air Purifiers have been placed in each classroom and office space throughout the district.
The HVAC system has filter changes and preventative maintenance completed on a quarterly basis. On a daily basis, the outside HVAC contractor monitors the system for any malfunctions and addresses the problems as soon as possible.
|Q.||Would it help to change HEPA filters once a month, rather than quarterly?|
|A.||The Department of Public Works continues to evaluate the right balance of filter level with the number of air exchanges which can take place with each level of filter and what upgrades are possible. The system can not utilize HEPA filters while completing enough air exchanges. Additionally, the filters used are certified for a useful life of 3 months. Changing them more frequently would not catch more particles.|
|Q.||Will the HVAC testing results be made public?|
|A.||Quarterly maintenance reports are available through the Central Office.|
|Q.||Will faculty and staff be provided with any PPE or supplies?|
|A.||All staff will be provided with PPE. You will be given cloth masks and a face shield. Gloves and disinfectant will be available. We can work with DPW to create plexiglass that will work in your given space.|
|Q.||Do students on IEPs have their services delivered by Danvers staff if they are in Cohort C (Danvers Remote Learning Alternative)?
Are students in Cohorts A and B receiving their same services?
|A.||Yes, all students with a signed IEP will have those services delivered in a remote model or a hybrid model. Students will receive their accommodations while they are in-person learning and the special education provider/teacher will work with the student on accommodations that may be needed while learning remotely. Staff is provided with the appropriate PPE to address the needs of the students that will be in person for services.|
|Q.||Are IEP meetings held remotely or in-person?|
|A.||IEP meetings can be held either remotely or in person. Remote IEP meetings worked quite well as scheduling appeared easier for most participants including parents/guardians.|
|Q.||Some students have frequent breaks or are pulled out for specific needs written into their IEPs, how do we handle those?|
|A.||IEP services will be delivered albeit differently than if schools were to open as usual. Teachers/liaisons will be in contact with parents/guardians to document and explain the service plans.|
|Q.||Are students on a 504 considered high needs learners and therefore eligible for the 4 day a week option?|
|A.||A 504 plan is an accommodation plan, not a services plan. A student’s accommodations as written in the student’s 504 plan will be delivered while the student is in school. Generally, a student who has an accommodation plan would not be considered a “high needs” student.|
|Q.||How is the preschool operating?|
|A.||Children will come to school two days per week, either Mon/Tues OR Thurs/Fri from approximately 8:30 – 1:00. This will give the children about the same number of hours as they would pre-COVID. We will be encouraging parents/guardians to pack a lunch for their children. All students in the district will be home on Wednesdays.
Those children currently enrolled in the Intensive Preschool will be invited to come all four days from 8:30 – 1:00 (M/T/Th/F).
|Q.||Will services such as Title I tutoring continue for students not on an IEP?|
|A.||Our Title I and Reading intervention services have continued in both the hybrid and remote learning models. These services are part of the small group, differentiated learning that is one of our goals for all our learning models.|