• Updated 9/4/2020 

    New info in red

     

    SMS FAQs & As

     

    Based on the questions we have been receiving, we created this summary with more information for our SMS community. These FAQs & As will be updated as new information becomes available.

     

    Remote vs. Hybrid

    • Students who are attending in-school via the hybrid learning model will be receiving the same instructions as the students who are doing remote learning. The teacher will be teaching both groups at the same time. 
    • Staff are training and practicing so that they can manage both groups at once. Instructional assistants in most rooms will be able to help facilitate the lessons. There will be built-in time for independent work time, with remote students working on assignments independently and the in-school students working with the teacher. Then they will switch so that in-school students work on the assignment independently while the teacher works with the remote students.
    • Approximately 10 students will be in each classroom.
    • Families were asked to choose between the remote learning model or the hybrid learning model for each of their children. All families who did not choose a model will be assigned to the hybrid model.
    • Changes will be allowed. If a parent of a student in the hybrid model chooses to move to remote learning, they may do so immediately. If a parent of a remote student chooses to move to hybrid learning, it may take up to 2-4 weeks for the change to be made due to the complexities of scheduling and the allowed number of students for each in-person cohort.
    • Remote students will engage with their teachers and classmates via Zoom. 



    Cohorts

    • Each homeroom will consist of two cohorts. One cohort will attend SMS in-person on Monday and Tuesday, and will attend remotely on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The other half of the homeroom, the other cohort, will attend remotely on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and attend SMS in-person on Thursday and Friday.
    • The Monday/Tuesday cohort will be for students with last names A-M.
    • The Thursday/Friday cohort will be for students with last names N-Z.
    • There will be exceptions as we will need to balance our homerooms that are built on world language selections.
    • All Wednesdays are full remote and will be early release days (12 noon) for all students. Students will remotely meet with their teachers to check in at the beginning of the day and work independently for the remainder of the morning. Staff will schedule meetings and attend professional development training in the afternoons.




    Teams

    • There will be three teams per grade. Students will be assigned to one homeroom in that team, where they will stay for the day unless they are required to move to their math class.
    • In grades 7 & 8, students may move to a new classroom for standard or accelerated math class, depending on their math level.
    • Teachers will travel to each homeroom classroom in the team. World language teachers and specialist teachers (art, music, technology, PE, special education, life skills) will also travel to the students’ homerooms.

     

    Schedules

    • Student schedules will not be released until the week before school starts. You will be able to view the schedule on PowerSchool at that time.
    • Whether students are hybrid or remote, the school hours will be the same as they have been in the past. School starts at 7:40am and runs until 2:10pm. On Wednesdays, all students will be remote with classes 7:40am-12pm.

     

    IEPs and 504s

    • We will be providing all IEP services and 504 accommodations, as well as accommodations for students identified as “high need.” Students may be scheduled for full, in-school building learning if required by identified and approved need(s).
    • All IEP and 504 meetings will be held via Zoom. Families will be contacted to schedule these meetings.

     

    Attendance

    • Attendance in both in-person and remote classes is required.
    • If a student is in-person or remote and will be absent for the day, parents must call the school absence line by 9:00am to report the absence and the reason for the absence. 
    • For in-person days, teachers will take attendance in the morning advisory. Parents will be contacted if their child is absent and we haven’t had notification on the absence line. 
    • For remote classes, teachers will take attendance during each class block. Parents will be notified via text if a student is not in attendance for each class block they do not attend.
    • Families with students with excessive absences will be notified according to the guidelines in the student handbook.

     

    Grades and Expectations

    • Students will receive grades for their work. Active and appropriate participation is expected from all students.
    • Our teachers and staff plan to make both experiences robust for all students.
    • Expectations for student participation are different than they were in the spring. For example, students are required to log in for Zoom sessions; attendance will be taken; and grades will be given.

     

    Health Office

    • If your child has any symptoms of COVID (coughing, fever, etc.) you should keep them home from school.
    • Our school nurse will be on-site. In addition, we have the district nurse in our building to assist if it is required. Our nurse will have medical grade masks, PPE, gowns. Staff and students will bring masks from home. Additional masks will be available for those that need another one during the day. Staff and students can bring their own shields and goggles if they want. Masks are required  to be worn with shields.
    • If a child is hybrid and not feeling well one day, they could still participate in the class remotely from home that day if they feel well enough to do so. They will be counted as present if they choose to do this. Please call the absence line to let us know that this is what the child will be doing so that we can adjust the attendance report and inform the teacher to take attendance for each class period.
    • More information about protocols for health issues will be available from the Health office soon.



    Technology

    • For any PowerSchool questions, please email psquestions@sharonschools.net
    • All of our classrooms are wired with speakers and microphones for the teachers. We will continuously monitor the sound and video in the classroom and over Zoom so that we can ensure clear instruction is provided to all.
    • Our information technology specialists are located in school and available to  support teachers and students throughout the school day. 
    • We have ordered Chromebooks for all of the rising 8th graders. Due to backorders, they will not arrive at SMS until October, so we will distribute Ipads to some 8th graders until the Chromebooks arrive.
    • We will prioritize distribution to families that don't have devices at home. To request devices for Remote/Hybrid learning go to https://forms.gle/N3W2d8JsGvvgTAUV6
    • Many families have reached out to ask about a recommendation for purchasing a device for their scholar. If you are interested in purchasing a device for your household, we would recommend the following:

     

      • Chromebook: any currently available (new) Chromebook will be sufficient.
      • Mac: any Mac device running High Sierra or later should be able to run all needed apps, any current new Mac will easily cover minimum requirements. Minimum of 8 GB of RAM is recommended for any new purchase. Antivirus software is recommended.
      • Windows: any currently available or recent windows 10 computer should be sufficient, recommended 8 GB of RAM for new purchases.  We always recommend antivirus and anti-malware, and require antivirus when brought onto the Sharon Public Schools networks. 

     

    • If you would like to purchase a device for your student, we are happy to help you choose the best one. 
    • Classes will be held via Zoom. Assignments will be available on Schoology.
    • Some teachers may use Google Classroom to facilitate their lesson plans.

     

    Lunch

    • Students will eat lunch in classrooms or pre-determined outdoor lunch sites. The cafeteria will offer a small menu of meal choices that students can order in advance. Meals will be delivered to classrooms. More info to follow from our Food Services Department.

     

    Supplies

     

    Textbooks

    • Textbooks will be distributed to remote only students according to the following schedule:

     

    Grade 6 Tuesday, September 8     

    Last Name A-M   8-9am

    Last Name N-Z   9-10am

     

    Grade 7 Thursday, September 10

    Last Name A-M   8-9am

    Last Name N-Z   9-10am

     

    Grade 8 Monday, September 14

    Last Name A-M   8-9am

    Last Name N-Z   9-10am

                                

    • Hybrid students will get their textbooks on their first day of in-school learning.

     

    Orientations and Open Houses

    • We are going to offer an orientation for incoming 6th graders. Save the dates and be on the lookout for sign ups. We are working on plans to offer separate time slots for incoming 6th graders to have a brief tour / orientation. Monday 9/14 and Tuesday 9/15.
    • Open Houses will be held by Zoom this year. The dates will be announced soon.

     

    Clubs, Extracurriculars, Sports

    • Many clubs will be able to meet virtually during Advisory or on Wednesdays.
    • Chorus, band, drama, Student Council, Peer Leaders, and other group activities will be able to meet virtually on Wednesdays.
    • We do not know about the status of our sports for the fall. We will let the community know as soon as possible.

     

    Transportation

    • Contact  Fran Derry at fderry@sharonschools.net for all transportation concerns.
    • If you choose full remote, and change to hybrid, you will need to apply for transportation through Fran Derry. She will know the capacity of each bus.
    • The fee for transporting students will not change for two days of transportation because of the cost of securing busses through our vendor, the Connelly bus company.
    • There will be adult monitors on each bus to ensure proper mask use.

     

    Building Maintenance and Safety