Here is a summary of questions that we received from parents regarding our plan for Fall 2020. We will update this information as and when we have additional questions that have not been answered so far.
Why have we decided to open the school?
Given the current guidelines from the health department, combined with our small class sizes, we feel we are in a good position to have in person learning in fall. In opening the school, it is our goal to give the students and teachers a chance to connect with one another, familiarize themselves with the daily routine and be well prepared to pivot to remote learning if we need to do so.
Under what circumstances would we pivot to remote learning?
We would pivot to remote learning in the event that we have to shelter in place or if the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is compromised in any way.
What steps are we taking to ensure the health and safety of the Carden community?
We will be following the safety protocols put in place by the county health department. We are
looking at our entire school day and all the processes from the lens of physical distance,
hygiene and safety. We are then making alternate plans for everything. These plans are being
mapped in a way that is easy for our faculty and staff to understand. We are training everyone
to ensure effective implementation of these plans. We have also hired extra staff to help
maintain the health and safety of the students and invested in touchless technologies where
Will the school look and feel the same?
We are making every effort to recreate the learning experience in a way that the students get the full extent of every aspect of the learning process. However, school will feel very different and not everything will be done exactly the way the students have been used to doing in the past. We will be focused on getting our students used to this new normal. As we always do at Carden, we will be cognizant of the challenges our students might face and help them be
comfortable in the new setting.
Are masks mandatory?
Yes, it is the mandate of the Santa Clara County Health Department.
Who provides the masks?
The parents will provide the masks as they know best what is most comfortable for their child.
Are there any guidelines for what type of masks are permissible in school?
We request the prints, designs, images, writing on the masks be school appropriate. The students MUST be able to put on and take off the masks themselves, without the help of a teacher or another student.
How many masks should the children have?
Each child should have at least 3-4 clean masks for use each day.
Will the children be allowed to take off the masks?
The children will be allowed to take off the mask in a safe setting, outdoors and away from everyone else if they are uncomfortable. They will be REQUIRED to change their mask at least thrice during the school day.
What happens if a child forgets or loses a mask?
The school will have extra supplies of masks for the children in case they need one. The parents will also have the option of leaving extra masks with the teacher if they so desire.
How would the children be recognized with a mask?
They will all have name badges to put on their uniforms.
Will the amount of recess time, PE time, still be the same?
If we are eating inside how will the class be divided if there are only 2 groups of 6 desks in the classroom?
Everyone will go through rotations being inside and outside.
What is social distanced play for recess? What does it look like?
We have been working on some real fun games for all ages that can be played while being afar. The children will learn all about these when they are back on campus. The students will have to learn to be 6 feet apart from one another no matter where they are.
Why are we doing rotations with one group of students outside the classroom?
It is to enable social distancing while having only 12 students in the class at a time.
How would the students be divided into groups?
The students will be in the academic groups that we have always had in our classes. The only difference will be that instead of all the groups being in the class at the same time, one group will be working separately with an aide.
Will the children be moved around to a number of different places during the day?
No. Every grade will have one designated spot that they will use at all times for their rotations.
Will the differentiated learning be impacted by these rotations?
No. Our group teaching techniques and differentiated learning will remain unchanged.
How are we handling grouping by skills? Will grouping students in small groups make themisolated?
The children will rotate in their academic groups. Since those groups are not the same at all times, and all three groups will rotate in and out of the classrooms, they will not be with the same group of children all the time.
With some desks being used for group learning, will the children no longer have assigned desks? Will desks be cleaned as students rotate through?
Children will have assigned seating which will change from time to time but they will not have an assigned desk to keep their books and other belongings. There will be other areas in class for that purpose. The children will be trained to wipe their space after use.
Will each grade now have their own aide?
Yes, but the aide will only supervise the students and not teach them.
How are Arts, PE, Computer and Music classes taught under the new health protocol?
Art, computers and music will be with rotations. PE will be outdoors but physically distanced. We will have an additional PE teacher this year to help supervise the PE activities.
How will the desks be cleaned between students changing groups?
The students will be trained to clean everything they use. It will be their responsibility and will be closely watched by the teacher. It’s like when we go to the gym, we are responsible for cleaning the machine after we use it.
How often are classrooms, desks, and spaces disinfected?
Everyday, multiple times. (e.g. desks and chairs that will be rotated among students for group learning.) The students will be trained to wipe the areas they use, after each use, and the teachers will closely monitor this.
Are the Carden-supplied items (books etc) assigned to students so that they always use the same item?
How are library books handled safely?
No hard copy books will be issued. Children will have access to online resources for reading. The library period will consist of read- alouds and will be held in the classroom with the students rotating out or outdoors (physically distanced) if the weather is good.
Is there any new health protocol if a student is hurt or becomes sick in school?
Yes and very strict ones. Parents will be signing off on those as a part of the paperwork they sign each year.
What will happen if someone at Carden gets sick with COVID-19?
The families will be required to report all such instances. Exposure notice will be sent to parents. The school may need to be closed down for a period of time as required by the county health officials. All spaces will be deep cleaned and disinfected.The students will be back on campus when we have clearance for them to return safely. All guidelines for patient privacy will be followed throughout the process.
What else will be modified to maintain the safety and hygiene at school?
There will be no offsite field trips. We may bring some experiences to the school, if we feel confident that they will not impact the safety of our students. No treats or goodie bags would be allowed for birthday celebrations at school. Class parties will be recreated. All events like the Ice-Cream Social, Back to School Night, Fall Festival, Thanksgiving Feast, Turkey Trot, Holiday Show, Spring Musical, Art Show will not be held this year. Depending upon the circumstances we may try to recreate them if possible. We will have parent teacher conferences either in person or remotely.