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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 7/24/2020

 SCHOOL HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES

 
What metrics are being used to determine when HSE Schools moves into the next phase?
HSE Schools will rely on key data provided by the Fishers Health Department to drive decision-making:
  • 14-day downward trend in positive COVID cases.
  • Daily infection rate remains below 5% or lower using a 14-day average.
  • An average daily student attendance of 80% or greater.
  • Each phase will be no less than four weeks.
How did you determine the phases and metrics?
Our reopening metrics are based on local health data provided by the Fishers Health Department, including daily positive COVID-19 test results and weekly average positive cases. We will also adhere to the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Governor’s Office.
 
How will Phase II work?
Students districtwide will be divided alphabetically by last name and assigned a schedule to attend school. Siblings will be scheduled to attend school on the same day regardless of their grade level or building.
·      Students assigned to Group A will meet Mondays and Wednesdays.
·      Students assigned to Group B will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays.
·      Fridays will be virtual instruction for all students.
 
This 50/50 approach will lessen the number of students in a building at any one time. Fridays will be virtual for ALL students to allow for better symptom monitoring and deep cleaning in the buildings.
 
How will Phase III work?
For a period of no less than four-weeks, all students who are attending school on-site will return Monday through Thursday. Fridays will be virtual for all students. The 80/20 model gives students three-days to allow for better symptom monitoring and deep cleaning in the buildings.
 
How will Phase IV work?
All students will return to school full-time (Monday through Friday).
 
Can students remain in Phase I (100% virtual) due to health and safety concerns?
Families will be given a two-week notice of when HSE Schools will transition to Phase II based on key data. Students who wish to remain 100% virtual will have to commit to virtual instruction until Phase IV. The deadline to select if a student will remain virtual will be approximately one-week.
 
How long will each phase last?
Each phase will be no shorter than four-weeks. Families will be given a two-week notice of when HSE Schools will transition to the next phase based on key data (See ‘Reopening Metrics’ in the Reopening Plan).
 
Can students change their mode of learning – going from on-site to 100% virtual and vice versa?
There will be an appeal process at the building-level for students wishing to change their mode of learning.
 
What happens if my student gets sick during Phase II, III or IV? Will they be able to receive virtual instruction?
Any student who presents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, tests positive, or is identified as a "close contact" and directed to quarantine will participate virtually at home with lessons coordinated through their teacher(s) until their quarantine period is over.
 
What if positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise? Will the plan change?
The School Reopening Task Force has designed a four-phased approach for reopening schools. The method considers the number of active cases in the City of Fishers.
For example, in Phase 3, all schools are open; however, short-term closure procedures will occur for COVID-19 affected buildings. These short-term closures may be followed by reopening with reduced on-campus hours (moving between virtual and on-site learning). The phased approach includes data-driven and safety-minded criteria based on COVID-19 case information from the Fishers Health Department, which can be found here. The aim of this approach is, first and foremost, to protect the health and wellbeing of our students and staff, while minimizing the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure and maximizing on-site learning opportunities.
 
When we return to school, will students and staff be required to wear a face covering at school?
All students and staff will be required to wear a face covering. This includes:
·      On the bus
·      During passing periods
·      In the restrooms
·      In classrooms, except when class and/or recess is being held outside and social distancing can be maintained
·      Entering and exiting school buildings
·      In the health clinic
 
HSE Schools will provide one (1) washable face mask to each student. Families are encouraged to provide their student with their own face covering.
 
Will students have to constantly wear a face covering? When can they remove them?
Students are required to wear face coverings throughout the day, except when eating lunch, class and/or recess is being held outside and social distancing can be maintained.
 
What if I Don’t Want My Child Wearing a Mask?
The Indiana State Department of Health cited a 40 to 60 percent reduction in COVID-19 transmission when masks are used by all, which is why we are requiring them for certain portions of the day. This is especially important since some carriers of COVID-19 may not have any symptoms. Children, despite being generally less affected by COVID-19, expose staff and adults at home who may be more at risk.
 
Students who cannot or will not wear a face covering during the required times at school will need to utilize virtual instruction at home.
 
What is the consequence if a student refuses to wear a face covering? How will teachers manage enforcing the student face covering policy?
The face covering requirement for on-site learning will be treated like part of the dress code. Schools will have masks available to provide to students who need them. If a student is in violation or refuses to wear a mask without an approved accommodation, their families will be asked to consider a virtual instruction for their child.
 
Are there guidelines for students who due to health needs or their disability will not be able to wear a mask?
In these cases, parents should talk with their healthcare provider about whether returning to school in-person is medically appropriate. Face shields would also be an option in such instances.
 
What type of cleaning regimen will be used to disinfect and sanitize classrooms, facilities and playgrounds?
HSE Schools will be utilizing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures in all buildings. Custodial crews will focus on “high touch” points in common areas throughout the school day where bacteria or viruses are most likely to be transmitted, which include but not limited to:
·      Desks, chairs, tables
·      Door handles and push plates
·      Stair rails
·      Water bottle refilling stations
 
Electrostatic disinfectants will be used in buildings as needed for intense after-hours cleaning of hallway furniture and playground equipment.
 
Upon return, will schools provide PPE for students and staff members?
HSE Schools will provide one (1) washable face mask to each student. Families are encouraged to provide their student with their own face covering. A face shield will be available to all staff and may be required for some individuals.
 
What provisions have you made to keep teachers and other staff members safe?
In addition to enhanced cleaning, more than 300 plexiglass barriers have been installed throughout the buildings to provide another layer of protection for those working and reflects the best guidance regarding healthy interactions. Some of the barriers have been strategically placed in the following areas: front offices, guidance offices, on the desks of school registrars and treasures, bookstores, cashier stations in the cafeterias, fan and concession stands.
 
Are face shields an acceptable form of PPE as an alternative to face masks for students or staff?
The best protection is a face covering that fits tightly over your nose and mouth. However, face shields may be appropriate for young children or others who cannot for medical reasons or choose not to wear a mask.
 
What is the school nurse’s role during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The school nurse’s roles are to educate students and staff about COVID when they return to the school building, to be the first line of screening for students who may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID, and to interface with local public health personnel when schools have positive cases. The school nurse will assist in implementing guidance provided by the state department of health on when ill students, students who test positive, and students who are a close contact of COVID-19 patients can return to school.
 

FACILITY MODIFICATIONS

Will the school water fountains be available, or will students need to provide a water bottle each day?
All water fountains will be turned off in the buildings. Water bottle filling stations have been installed to provide students and staff with access to water throughout the day.
 
Will hand sanitizer be available and/or provided to students and staff?
In addition to hand sanitizer being available to students and staff in classrooms, all buildings have been equipped with free-standing hand sanitizer stations that can be placed where administrators feel they are most useful.
 
MITIGATING SPREAD
Will parents and/or visitors be allowed in school buildings?
Access for parents and/or visitors will be limited to the main office areas in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The following school visitor/volunteer activity is suspended until further notice:
·      Lunch Visitors
·      Classroom Volunteers
·      Oasis Tutors
 
Buildings will designate one point of entry/ exit for the following:
·      Late drop-off/ early pick-up of students
·      Delivering student belongings
 
Will PTO Board members be permitted in the schools?
PTO Board members will be permitted in the school provided they follow all health protocols and are conducting PTO-related business.
 
Will visitors, including parents and/or guardians, be required to wear a face covering when they enter the building?
Yes, any visitor to the building will be required to wear a face covering before being admitted to the building.
 
Will students, staff and/or visitors be screened prior to entering a school building?
It is the expectation of parents to send healthy students to school each day. Prior to the start of the school year, families will complete a waiver indicating they will NOT send their student to school throughout the year if they exhibit the following symptoms:
·      Temperature of 100.4 or greater
·      Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
·      Repeated shaking with chills
·      Sore throat
·      New loss of taste or smell
·      Cough
·      Rash
·      Nausea
·      Diarrhea
·      Muscle pain
·      Congestion or runny nose
 
Staff will participate in a screening process prior to coming to work. Should a staff member not be working on any given day, protocols in place will determine whether COVID testing and/or quarantining is necessary, and how the absence will be categorized.
 
Self-screening notifications will be placed in all buildings alerting individuals to NOT enter the building if they are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19.
 
What kind of training are you providing staff on COVID symptoms and screening measures? What about substitute teachers?
All staff will be provided training on safety protocols related to the prevention and transmission of COVID-19 and the proper hygiene protocols necessary for prevention.
 
If a student or staff member exhibits COVID symptoms, what are the procedures to keep others safe?
If a student or staff member presents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the individual will be sent home and presumed to have COVID until such time as a healthcare provider determines the illness is caused by something else and provides a note. Without a healthcare provider’s note, the individual would need to stay home from school for 10 days and be fever-free for 72 hours without use of fever-reducing medication.
 
How will contact tracing be done?
HSE Schools will immediately contact the Fishers Health Department upon learning of a positive COVID case among the student body or staff. The Indiana State Department of Health will lead contact tracing and case investigation in consultation with the Fishers Health Department.
 
If a family member of a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, what are the procedures to keep others safe?
Individuals who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes of someone with confirmed COVID-19) will quarantine for 14 days and must remain symptom-free before returning to school.
 
Who decides if an individual school is to close for 2 to 5 days? Can part of a school, instead of the whole school, be closed?
Decisions on whether part of a school or an entire school will close will be made in consultation with the Fishers Health Department as part of contact tracing and case investigation. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on movements of the infected individual. CDC guidelines say that schools MAY need to close for 2 to 5 days, but case investigation will ultimately determine the most appropriate actions.
 
During Phase II, III and IV, will HSE Schools require families that travel to other regions (hot spots) to quarantine?
During all phases of the HSE Schools’ Reopening Plan, we will continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and Fishers Health Department regarding current travel restrictions. 
 
Are in-person guest speakers prohibited?
Guest speakers who are registered in the CurioCity portal will be permitted to present in-person to a class provided they follow all health protocols. Virtual sessions are recommended when possible.
 
In addition, the following service providers will be permitted to visit buildings, but must follow and meet all health protocols:
·      School Resource Officers
·      Mentors
·      Vendors
·      Contractors
·      Mental Health Providers
·      Community Health Network
·      PTO Board Members
·      YMCA Employees
·      Mudsock Youth Athletics Workers
·      College Reps/ Armed Forces/ College Recruiters
·      Student Teachers
·      Band/ Choir/ Orchestra Professionals
·      Rental Agreement Users
 

ON-SITE LEARNING

In Phase II, what if I have two children that live in my house with different last names. How can I ensure they go to school on the same days?
While we will be splitting students alphabetically by last name, all children living in the same household will be grouped together.
 
How will students transition between classes?
Buildings will take measures to lessen congestion in hallways and improve conditions for social distancing.
 
Will students be given additional time to wash hands during passing periods, other times during school day?
Yes, it is the expectation that students will practice hand washing or sanitizing when entering the building, prior to meals and whenever using the restroom. Passing periods may be adjusted as well, and flexibility will be given to students using this time for increased hygiene protocols.
 

VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION

What plans are in place to improve the educational experience for those selecting virtual instruction?
Professional development will be provided to all teachers on best practices for conducting virtual instruction. Teacher Professional Development classes are being designed to grow capacity for a richer instructional experience.
 
What will the curriculum look like for virtual instruction?
Virtual instruction may be conducted using synchronous and asynchronous methods.
·      Synchronous instruction takes place when a virtual learning student is able to join a live online lesson from another location and is participating in real-time instruction with other students. Example: A student joins a Zoom meeting with their teacher and other students at 10 a.m. during their math class.
·      Asynchronous instruction takes place when a student accesses virtual content provided by the teacher at the time of their choosing. Example: A student watches a recorded math lesson on Canvas and completes an assignment at a time the student chooses.
 
Will all classes be available through virtual instruction?
All courses that are typically offered through on-site instruction will be available through virtual instruction.
 
When will my student receive their rental device, pre-order school supplies and/or text/workbook?
Your student’s building will be sending out information via Skylert about the pick-up of rental devices, pre-ordered school supplies and text/workbooks, if applicable. If you further questions, call the school for assistance.
 
Will fall athletics continue under virtual instruction?  
At this time, we will be carefully moving forward with summer athletics and performing arts, following protocols issued by the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and the Indiana State School Music Association. Athletic Directors are monitoring the situation for fall sports and will make a determination as appropriate.
 
How will students who rent devices receive their rental iPads and Laptops?  
Buildings are working on plan for the pick-up of devices. More information will be forthcoming from buildings.
 
Who do we contact if we are having problems with our virtual instruction experience?
Teachers will communicate to their students how they may be reached for questions or concerns.
 
How does my student log into Canvas?
Canvas resources for students and parents can be found here.
 
What are the parent expectations for virtual instruction?
During Phase I, parents are still expected to have students up and ready to learn each day as they would if they were attending school on-site. Parents will not be responsible for teaching. Teachers will provide the structure and content for the day and support students when they need help understanding the standards being taught.
 
What if I do not have a WiFi connection at my home?
If you have not done so already, please fill out the Back to School forms in Skyward indicating that you have a WiFi connection concern. You can also visit the HSE Schools’ website for access to WiFi locations around the district and local libraries.
 
What about virtual instruction for band, orchestra and choir?
A curriculum to address band orchestra and choir is still being developed. More information will be forthcoming.
 
What about virtual Instruction for hands-on classes such as, Welding or Robotics?
If the school hosts the class on-campus, they will be offered in Phase I. If the class is hosted by JEL, it will be held virtually until further notice.
 
How will attendance be taken during virtual instruction?
Students are expected to make every effort to attend their scheduled class times according to the Phase I virtual instruction schedule. Attendance will be taken by teachers based on a student’s presence during their class time.
·      If your student is sick or is not able to attend class virtually (doctor's appointment, family emergency, etc.) call the school to report the absence.
o   When a student misses an assigned class period, an option will be provided (i.e. alternate assignment and/or ability to view the class at a later date/time).
o   If the student is able to complete the missed work assigned by the teacher, they will be counted as present.
 
I need to work during Phase I (100% Virtual). Is there a childcare option for families unable to stay at home with their students all day?
HSE Schools is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to offer childcare for families during Phase I (100% Virtual) of our reopening plan. If you believe you will utilize the YMCA for childcare, complete this brief survey as soon as possible to help the Y gauge the need. (*There is no need to complete the survey if you are not going to utilize the YMCA for childcare purposes.)
 
Survey: https://ymcayouthdevelopment.wufoo.com/forms/rbuqvr81r4hzk1/.
 
If you have any questions regarding this option, contact the YMCA directly at 317-484-9622 or via email at beforeandafterschool@indymca.org.
 
What calendar changes will we see as a result of the virtual instruction schedule?
A calendar revision will be brought to the school board to approve a Teacher Day on  Wednesday, August 5, 2020 and a Student Day on January 5, 2021.
 
Will instruction be asynchronous or synchronous?
Yes, teachers will use a blend of both techniques. We have often referred to this as the "flipped method." See the Reopening Plan for more details.
 
Will students receive grades during virtual instruction?
Yes, standard grades will be issued and HSE Schools will follow the quarterly grading schedule.
 
Will high ability students receive high ability instruction?
Yes, high ability instruction will be accommodated.
 
Do I still need to fill out the ‘Intent to Return’ form in the Back to School section on Skyward? Is there a deadline? Can I change my mind once I have submitted?
Yes, if you have not already done so, please fill it out as soon as possible. You may change your answers at any time. This district is monitoring this information and may use it for Phase II planning purposes. However, a second survey may be sent out if warranted.
 

STUDENT TRANSPORTATION

Will students be screened prior to boarding the school bus?
Students will not be screened prior to boarding the bus. We ask that parents familiarize themselves with the COVID-19 screening checklist and perform this each morning prior to sending a student to the bus stop.
 
What is the protocol for handling a sick student who may board the school bus?
If it is apparent that a student is sick, the driver will notify the school prior to arrival, so a school nurse or designee can meet the bus once they arrive.
 
How will social distancing guidelines be applied to bus transportation?
While it is not possible to follow social distance guidelines while on the school bus, all passengers are required to wear a face covering.
 
Can students opt to walk or ride their bike to and from school?
Although riding a bike or walking to school could serve as a healthy alternative, HSE Schools prohibits this from occurring due to safety concerns (i.e. lack of sidewalks and safe passageways to our buildings).
 
When will the buses be cleaned and sanitized?
All the buses will be cleaned and sanitized prior to the start of the school year. After the start of school, buses will be cleaned after the morning and afternoon routes. High-touch areas (such as handrails in the student entrance area) will be given additional attention to ensure they are disinfected.
 
Will the students need a face covering while on the school bus?
Students are required to wear a face covering while riding on the bus. Since students will not be able to social distance from one another, this will provide an extra layer of protection.
 
When will my student receive information on their bus pick-up?
Information will be posted in Skyward no later than September 2, 2020.
 

FOOD SERVICES

How will school lunch periods be handled during Phase 1?
·      Meals (breakfast and lunch) will be available for order by all students.
·      All meals will be pre-ordered on Thursday for pick-up on the following Tuesday.
·      Families will be sent a link via Skylert each week to pre-order meals.
·      The amount charged for a meal will be based on a student's eligibility for free, reduced or paid meals.
·      Meals will be available for pick-up at the student's school on Tuesdays (Time TBD).
·      Families picking up meals for more than one student may designate one pick-up site for convenience.
 
When we return to school, can high school students leave campus to each lunch?
Due to safety concerns of our students, the high schools will remain a closed campus. Students will not be allowed to leave the building for lunch.
 

DEPARTMENT OF EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS/PRESCHOOL

How does the district plan to support Exceptional Learners in Phase I?
Information regarding how we will serve Exceptional Learners can be found here.
 
Who should I contact about my student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)?
The Teacher of Record should be contacted with any questions you have regarding a student’s Individual Education Plan.
 
What steps should I take if my student does not want to wear a mask or can’t wear a mask due to a medical condition?
All students are required to follow the HSE Schools Reopening Plan guidelines across the district. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and HSE Schools recognizes that there are times when a student may not be able to wear a face covering in accordance with the Reopening Plan. In the event of this situation, a parent will need to determine with their health care provider if the student is able to attend school in person. If not, the parents may opt for the virtual learning opportunity. If the student is able to attend school, but sometimes may not be able to wear a face covering, the following steps will be taken:
·      Discuss with your family doctor and share with school staff the physician's recommendations and why the student is unable to wear a mask.
·      Determine if a face shield is a suitable alternative for the student.
·      If the student is not able to wear a mask or face shield due to their disability or health condition, the school team will need to hold a case conference committee meeting to determine what accommodations or strategies need to be put in the students' IEP. This IEP revision will need to take place prior to the student attending school.
·      If a student does not have a medical reason and is not able to be compliant with wearing a mask, the Case Conference Committee will determine if a student is in need of social stories, practice sessions to desensitize them to wearing a mask, or a specific behavior intervention plan regarding the wearing of masks.
·      For situations that fall outside of the two examples listed above, building administrators will work with the Department of Exceptional Learners administrators to determine what steps need to be taken.
 
What is the status of my student’s evaluation that was not completed as a result of the pandemic?
At the start of the school year, your student’s school counselor and the evaluators will work with you on re-establishing the evaluation due date in order to complete the evaluation. Since the evaluation is conducted in a one-on-one environment and within proximity, precautions have been developed to ensure the safety of both the student and evaluator to minimize direct contact, sharing of materials and disinfecting materials and workspace used. Parents will be contacted prior to a student’s evaluation to discuss the specific precautions that will be in place.
 
How will Case Conferences/ 504 meetings be handled?
Any meeting with teachers and staff will be held via Zoom or teleconferencing. In the event a meeting needs to occur in-person, all participants will be required to wear a face covering. In addition, parents will need to follow the district’s health protocols as they pertain to entering a school.
 
Will special education services be available to my student if I choose the virtual option?
Yes, special education services including accommodations will be provided to the extent possible via virtual instruction. A Case Conference Committee meeting may need to be held to discuss and revise the current IEP to reflect service delivery.
 
Will the HSE Preschool open when the entire district reopens?
Virtual instruction will be provided for all preschool students beginning on Monday, August 10, 2020. HSE Preschool will follow the four-phase reopening plan schedule.
 
Will peers be taking part in the preschool program for the 2020-21 school year?
Yes, peers will attend as they did during the 2019-20 school year.
 
In the event a school building or the district needs to shift back to virtual instruction, will services be provided?
Yes, students in preschool through grade 12 will continue to receive special education services virtually according to their IEP/ 504 Plan to the greatest extent possible.
 

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

What things can I do to help support my student with this transition?
Start having conversations now with your student about some of the changes you are aware of. Offer opportunities for your student to talk with you about their concerns and do your best to stay calm and remind them of the things they can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (i.e. handwashing, social distancing and wearing a mask). Remember that your student is looking to you and observing your responses closely around this, so do your best to be positive when discussing the subject. Here are some resources that may be helpful:
·      Resources from Conscious Discipline:
o   The Task of the Mask
o   Social Distancing  
o   Handwashing
·      Digital Books:
o   Going Back to School
o   Welcome Back to School
 
Who should I contact if I have concerns about my student’s mental health or am worried about how they will handle the transition back to school?
Please reach out to your student’s school counselor to address these concerns. They can help connect you to the appropriate supports.
 

MISCELLANEOUS

If daycares can provide childcare services during this global pandemic, why not reopen the schools?
More often than not, daycares operate with less children and staff in one building. There are mandated caps on the number of children that can be served by an adult, where the average class size in a school is 22:1 sometimes higher. In addition, schools provide direct instruction, small group conferring, students may sit side-by-side with classmates and participate in hand-over-hand learning. Childcare typically involves more supervision of play and independent work.
 
Will “back-to-school" activities that are traditionally held for students and families happen in-person prior to the start of classes?
The following activities will not occur in a face-to-face setting until further notice:
·      Back-to-School/ Meet the Teacher
·      Ice Cream Social
·      Grade-level Student Orientation
·      Building Fundraisers/ PTO-sponsored Events
·      School Preview
·      Freshman Orientation
·      Open House
·      Registration
·      Parent-Teacher Conferences
 
Some of the listed events may be conducted virtually at the building or classroom-level via live streaming, video conferencing, "flipping" and/or digital recording. The buildings will provide more information on the future of these events.
 
 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

  • Central Office
  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
  • Office Hours: M - F 7:30am - 4:30pm 
  • (317) 594-4100  (800) 905-6665
  •  

  • HSE Schools wants to hear from you! To send a general inquiry to the District Administration Office, click here. 

Our Mission

Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides educational opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.