Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School

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Reopening FAQ

Please see the below FAQ related to the reopening of the school for 2020-2021.  Many of the answers can be found in the Ready School, Safe Learners Guidance for the school year 2020-21.  If you have not already reviewed the document, we recommend you do so.  Please note all answers are subject to change as guidance and orders are released.


Question:  When will school start?

Answer: We recently learned that we have to align with the BSD start date, so the first day of school will be Sept. 8 unless we receive new guidance from the state. Thanks to everyone who completed the survey!


Question:  When will we know cohort groups?

Answer:  To be determined by Director Michelle.  We will update at a later time, as there are many factors that need to be determined before cohorts can be determined.  Siblings will be grouped together.


Question: Can we request the days our student attends?

Answer:  We can try to accommodate requests for specific days, but it may not be possible because we will need to equalize the group sizes for each cohort.


Question: Can we be grouped with our carpool?

Answer:  Our goal is to minimize contact among cohort groups.  Carpooling actually makes that more difficult.  As much as we would like to encourage carpooling for the convenience of our families and for the health of our environment, we may find that we cannot accommodate carpool requests.


Question:  Will Buenos Dias/Tardes be offered?

Answer: At this time, we do not believe we will be able to offer before/after care, as we cannot maintain social distancing requirements and maintain intact cohorts.


Question:  Will there be after school extra-curricular activities (dance, music, sports)?

Answer: We will not be offering any in person extra-curricular activities. 


Question:   Are uniforms still going to be required on the days students are in school? 

Answer: Yes, uniforms are still required for all in person school days


Question:  Will kids wear face coverings (ie: masks)?

 Answer: Per the latest update from ODE: Face coverings are now required for all students in grades kindergarten and above along with all staff in schools. Students who are not willing or able to use face coverings will have the option to enroll in full-time distance learning. Students with a disability or medical condition that prevents the use of face coverings will be assessed on a case by case basis. 


Question:  What steps are planned to minimize spread at school?

Answer:  All requirements that the school must meet to minimize the spread can be found here.  We will also post our reopening blueprint on our website when it is complete.  This is due to ODE by Aug. 15.


Question:  Will there be live instruction so kids can watch the teacher on the at home days?

Answer: To be determined by our reopening workgroup. We will update at a later time.



Question: What will be the communication protocol if a child or staff member gets COVID?

Answer:  To be determined by our reopening workgroup. We will update at a later time. We will follow the guidelines from our local public health authority regarding communication of any suspected or confirmed cases in our school.


Question: What will you do to maximize outside play/socialization time on contact days?

Answer:  To be determined by our reopening workgroup. We will update at a later time. Currently, our plan is to move all PE classes outside to keep cohort groups sharing the gym.  That means students will need to be prepared to be outside in any weather.


Question:  What level of sickness would trigger the school to move to all online for a period of time?

Answer:  This decision will be determined by our local public health authority.  One reason that intact cohorts are important is to prevent a total school closure in the event of a confirmed case.  We will institute daily logs to monitor everyone who comes in contact with each cohort group.


Question:  What happens if a child shows symptoms after they've been at school?

Answer:  We request all families report any symptoms to the school immediately so we can work with our local public health authority to determine any outbreaks and keep our school community healthy. We are required to report any confirmed cases as well, as any time we have two incidents of students or staff with similar symptoms but no confirmed diagnosis.


Question:  Will students have their own desks and supplies for the days they are in class or shared desks?

Answer:  Students will have the same assigned seat when in class.  There will be no shared supplies.  Students will keep their supplies in a container and will either take them home or store them in the classroom when they are not at school.


Question:  How will the school disinfect/clean the school?

Answer:  We will follow all guidelines found here.   We will meet all cleaning requirements and will do a more thorough cleaning on Wednesdays between cohorts. We plan to hire an onsite custodian to do frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces during the day.


Question: What subjects will be taught in person and what will be distance learning?  

Answer: To be determined by our reopening workgroup. We will update at a later time.  Our emphasis will be on Spanish, Math, and English Language Arts until we are able to determine the extent of any learning gaps students might have.


Distance Learning

Question: What will the full distance learning option look like?

Answer:  To be determined by our reopening workgroup. We will update at a later time. We know that some families will choose distance learning for the full year and others may choose intermittent periods of distance learning based on their families’ health status.  


Question: What is the process for signing up for distance learning only?

Answer:  We’ll ask families to make a final decision by mid-August so that we can create balanced cohort groups.  If families choose full time distance learning, we’ll ask that they continue for the entire semester so that we can maintain balanced classes for in-person instruction. Families will have the option to change their decision and return to in-person learning at the beginning of second semester (early February).  Families will be allowed to move from in-person learning to distance learning at any time if they have health concerns or are at higher risk.


Question: What are the attendance requirements for distance learning?

Answer:  To be determined by our reopening workgroup. We will update at a later time. 


Question: Can we switch to just distance learning depending on the state of infections in the area?

Answer:  Yes, you can decide when to send your child to school during this time.  You can move to online only at any point or as needed/comfortable with current COVID conditions.


Question: What are the requirements for families who wish to utilize distance learning full time?

Answer:  To be determined by our reopening workgroup. We will update at a later time. 


Question: Will distance learning be flexible in terms of the time in which it takes place? Does it only take place during school hours?

Answer: This plan is not fully developed, but we know that we’ll need to offer flexibility in order to meet the needs of our families.  There will likely be a combination of real time and asynchronous learning activities.


Question: If students are not on campus all days per week they will need childcare of some sort the rest of the week. Imagine each child from the cohort going to numerous different childcare situations on the off-campus days of the week. Having students onsite for education and before/ after school care reduces their ability to generate outside infections which may be contracted at each additional childcare situation. Having students on campus full-time in their small cohorts could reduce the infection rate of the school by not introducing numerous additional cohorts. How can we stop the spread of Covid if we are forcing parents to choose unsafe childcare situations due to lack of school? Educators know that parents utilize school as a free or reduced cost form of childcare and by eliminating this children WILL be put into unsafe conditions. Let's find a way to have the children safely on campus.


Answer: We know that parents rely on schools for child care and we would like to be able to offer this service, but we do not have the capacity to do so in a safe manner at this time.  However, it is a high priority and we hope to start Buenos Dias and Buenas Tardes as soon as we can in the future.  The question regarding cohort groups is also beyond our scope.  We will control the groups to the best of our ability while students are at school in order to lower the risk of infection, but we cannot manage out-of-school contacts.


Question: What if I can’t afford internet or a dedicated computer?

Answer: The school is providing devices for students.  If you do not have internet at home, please contact the school office and we will connect you with local resources.


Question: What about daily food for children, will there be a daily pick-up of food for those who rely on school lunches as their only reliable meal?

Answer: We will offer daily pick up at school for families who receive meal benefits.


Question: Will the “in person” classroom teacher be the same as the online support teacher?

Answer: Yes.  Homeroom teachers will do frequent check-ins with students who are learning from home, ELA teachers will provide all lessons remotely and will do small group check-ins, and Instructional Assistants will provide Spanish support to remote learning students.


Question: What will be the hours of the school day if your child attends in person instruction?

Answer: This information is still being determined and we hope to have a final schedule available in the next few weeks. Please respond to this survey by Aug. 7 if you have not already.


Question: If your child attends in person, will they receive any direct instruction Online on their three days at home?  

Answer: Students will have a check in time with a teacher each day when they are learning from home, and will have access to teachers during weekly office hours. 


Question: What will happen if the teacher is sick? Will there be a substitute even though Arco is trying to minimize contact with non-cohort individuals?

Answer: We are working with the service that provides our substitutes to ensure that anyone who comes into the building is trained in our safety protocols.  We plan to provide substitutes unless we get new advice from the health department that prohibits it. 


Question: Also, if someone in the cohort test positive for COVID-19, will everyone quarantine for 2+ weeks?  

Answer: We will follow the advice of the Oregon Health Authority for all cases as they arise. 


Question: In the 2 cohort model, it would appear that the main teacher will be teaching on Mon-Tue AND Thu-Thu to the kids that come to school. In this case, what happens to the online-only-kids?

Answer: Teachers will video their lessons to share with online-only kids.  In addition, these students will have daily contact with one or more teachers as well as support in Spanish from Instructional Assistants.  All English lessons and teacher support will be provided remotely.


Question: For the distant learning only option will the same in-class materials/content used in class be available for download? OR, will it be a collection of seesaw/online tools *different* from what was offered at the school setting?

Answer: We will attempt to make the in-person and online learning experiences as similar as possible.  We are purchasing additional digital curriculum tools and licenses to increase our ability to share content via distance learning platforms. 


Question: We only focused on three subjects for the end of last year. How will this be addressed in the fall?

Answer:  We know that many students will have learning gaps and we will continue to focus on the content areas that are most critical to students' future academic success.  In our case, those subjects are Spanish, Math, and English at the elementary level, and all of the above plus Science at the middle school level.  Realistically, our instructional hours will be reduced so we will need to carefully prioritize our use of time.