Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions and answers regarding the opening of school.  The answers to these questions are based on the information we have now.  Information is subject to change and all students, staff and families must remain flexible when information or circumstances change.

1.     Will school resume in August?   Yes, the first day of school for students is August 20, 2020.

2.    Does my child have to attend in person?  No, Sto-Rox School District has implemented a Cyber Academy called the Virtual Viking.  Any parent wishing to enroll their K-12 student into Virtual Viking can visit the District website for enrollment information or call 412-771-3213 ext 2000. 

3.    Will my child attend school every day?  Yes, at this time we are scheduling student attendance for each day of the week. At this time we are not scheduling half days or alternating days. Should circumstances change this form of scheduling will be considered.

4.    What if school opens and then closes again?  In the event of another school closure the District has purchased Chromebooks for each student.  If schools close again all students will transition from physical in-school instruction to on-line instruction. All teachers have the ability to interact via the Chromebook with their students.

5.    Does my child have to wear a mask?  Yes, the Department of Health published mask guidelines on July 16th for all schools.  These guidelines state the wearing of masks when 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible. The full set of guidelines can be found at https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/SchoolReopeningGuidance/ReopeningPreKto12/PublicHealthGuidance/Pages/default.aspx

6.    Will the school physically distance my child?  Yes, each classroom is being arranged to meet the 6 feet of physical distancing between desks.

7.    What if the school cannot physically distance my child? When classroom sitting arrangements cannot meet the 6 feet of physical distancing students will then be separated far apart as possible and be required to wear masks.

8.    Will my child be able to remove their mask during the day? Yes, through the CARES ACT Funding we are hiring additional staff to decrease class size.  When students are physically distanced by 6 feet or more they can remove their masks.

9.    Where will my child eat breakfast and lunch? Multiple locations are being designated for students to eat breakfast and lunch.  Students will eat breakfast in their classrooms as always.  Lunches will be served and students will be directed to multiple locations so not to all be in the cafeteria at the same time.

10. What if my child has to use the restroom?  Primary school students take restroom breaks as a class. These restroom breaks will continue and students will be required to wear their masks when in the hallway.  Physical distancing in the hallways will be possible due to the large size of the space. Repeated handwashing will take place after all restroom breaks and throughout the day.  Upper Elementary and Jr Sr High School students will be permitted to use the restrooms as always but are required to wear their masks.  Handwashing for the older students will be repeatedly recommended.

11. Will my child have recess? Yes, outside recess will continue. Recess will occur in smaller groups, physical distance will be monitored and reinforced and handwashing will occur after recess.

12. How will the schools be cleaned?  Through the CARES ACT funding each school will be staffed with an additional daylight custodian to clean throughout the day.  Cleaning will include the disinfecting of all common space areas, all restrooms, all frequently touched items and classroom desks multiple times throughout the day.

13. Will busing still occur?  Yes, but this is the greatest challenge.  Parents are encouraged to transport their child to school when possible. Masks are required on the buses.  We encourage siblings to sit together and for all students to remain seated at all times.  Hand sanitizers will be placed at each school entrance for students to sanitize their hands before entering the building. Buses will be disinfected after each run. A meeting is scheduled next week, with the transportation company, to further outline details and a public update will be sent following the meeting.

14. Will the nurse be available to see my child if he/she is sick? Yes, however students who appear sick should remain at home.  Children who have a fever should remain at home.  If your child becomes ill while in school we ask that you or a designated guardian is available to pick up and bring your child home.

July 24, 2020 Update

Below is the second in a series of Frequently Asked Questions based on information we are receiving from parents and students.

  1.  My child has an IEP and receives special education services, will those services continue?  Yes, regardless if your child is in-school or in Virtual Viking your child will receive their services as written in their IEP.  Each IEP is individualized so their program will be written in cooperation with you the parent.
  1. Does my child get to keep their laptop?  No, laptops will be returned to the school district at the end of the academic year.
  1. Can my child use their own computer?  Yes, but only if the computer has the hardware required to live-stream and manage our educational programs.  Please let the school know if you decide to use your own computer to ensure it will be appropriate.
  1. Can my child bring their own lunch to school?  Yes, your child is permitted to bring their own lunch to school.
  1. If my child is enrolled in Virtual Viking are their specific hours they must be logged on?  Yes, even though Virtual Viking is a cyber academy their teachers will be available Monday through Friday during school hours.  If for example your child has questions on a Saturday or Sunday a teacher will not be available to them on weekends.
  1. Does my child have to wear the face covering all day?  Yes, but we will schedule a time and location for students to take mask-breaks.  These mask-break protocols are not yet finalized.
  1. Will the Boys and Girls Club still be open? Before COVID-19 the Boys and Girls Club moved their programs to the Sto-Rox Upper Elementary School.  The Boys and Girls Club are still planning their re-opening and will let us know their details in August.
  1. What happens if a child or teacher tests positive for COVID-19? Allegheny County Health Department is writing the protocols for all schools should a student or teacher test positive.  The protocols will be published once they are fully completed.
  1. When do I have to decide if I am choosing Virtual Viking or In-School? We are currently phone calling each family to confirm their decision.  Phone calls are being placed everyday.  You will need to make a decision when you receive your phone call but no later than Wednesday July 29, 2020.
  1. Can I start and stop either In-School or Virtual Viking?  The decision to change mid-stream of either Virtual Viking or In-School will be determined on a case by case basis.  The process to change is not recommended and will be considered for extreme circumstances.
  1. Does my child need to be COVID tested before starting school?  No, your child will not need to be tested for COVID before starting on August 20, 2020.

 

  1. If my child is sick for several weeks with COVID-19 will I be fined for them missing too many school days?  If your child is missing several weeks for COVID-19 and is too ill to participate in remote learning you will not be fined.  However, verification is required from your child’s physician that they indeed had COVID-19.
 

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