Seneca Valley Return to School FAQs
The following are frequently asked questions that will be added to and updated regularly. Additional information on all of these areas, including learning model options, cafeteria procedures, face covering details, facilities preparation, health monitoring points, hygiene practices, social distancing protocols and transportation processes are also segmented into easy-to-read bulleted sections found right on our Return to School page at www.svsd.net/ReturnToSchool).
To view a video that outlines Seneca Valley Models and options for families, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UgIHGpQFAQ&feature=youtu.be.
TRANSPORTATION - https://www.svsd.net/Page/26299:
How do I notify the transportation department that I will be driving my child to and from school?
Parents who can transport their child to and from school are strongly urged to do as this will help to reduce the number of students on school buses. You can learn more and opt out of bus transportation by filling out the transportation form at: www.svsd.net/TransportationRequests.
How many students will be in a seat?
Our goal is to have no more than two students per seat. Students will be assigned seats based on both the location of the bus stop and other household members also using district transportation. As per the order of the Secretary of PA Department of Health, face coverings will be required when using District transportation. More on the transportation processes and procedures for return to school can be found at https://www.svsd.net/Page/26299.
Will bus routes still run at the same times as in the past?
Bus routes will remain the same. Specific times for student pick up and drop off can be found in the SV Portal.
Are masks required on the school bus?
Yes, masks are required when using district transportation, as per the Order of the Secretary of the PA Department of Health. Bus drivers will also be wearing masks. More can be learned about transportation processes and procedures at https://www.svsd.net/Page/26299.
Does this change to the five-day model change pick-up or drop-off procedures at the schools?
No, it will continue to function as it has since we started school.
If Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School (BCAVTS) is on a different schedule than Seneca Valley, will transportation still be provided to BCAVTS?
Yes, as of Aug. 13, BCAVTS intends to return on a five-day schedule. Transportation will be provided to vo-tech all five days for Seneca Valley students who attend, Monday through Friday. In fact, Seneca Valley provides transportation on all days that vo-tech is in session and Seneca Valley is not. For more details, please see the linked vo-tech letter by clicking here.
ACADEMICS (IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION) - https://www.svsd.net/Page/26300:
Will students be changing classes and following their own schedules as in the past?
Students will be changing classes if needed and when possible using social distancing protocols and procedures. More details on the return-to-school school environment can be found at: https://www.svsd.net/Page/26310.
For in person, if there is a switch from Green to Yellow, will the remote instruction be similar to the remote instruction that occurred in the spring, or will it transition to cyber for the days at home?
Yellow would be different because the students would be in school two days per week. The other three days would be remote learning days in a structured environment. The teachers will be providing that information to the families, but all students will log into the portal where assignments will be posted. The district also will be using Microsoft Teams for both traditional and cyber students.
Will elementary students be changing classes or staying in the same room all day? Will they still have Band? Will they be going to different rooms for Specials?
These plans continue to evolve; however, we can share that, in the green phase, students will be changing classes, but as a whole class. We are working to allow time in the schedule to wipe down desks prior to exiting the room to allow the next class to come in. There will still be band, but it will have to be modified. Our music teachers are working diligently to restructure their programs to best allow for safety precautions to be met. This would include social distancing and working with small group ensembles on a rotating basis versus meeting with the entire band. For specials, in the green phase, students will be traveling to the special areas.
Are masks required all day at school?
As per the Department of Health executive order requiring universal face coverings and the corresponding documentation outlining application for schools, children and adults will be required to wear face coverings while in school and congregating indoors. This order remains in effect until further notice. As outlined in the order, individuals must wear a face covering (mask or shield) unless they have a medical or mental condition or disability, documented in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school. Students may remove their face coverings when students are eating or drinking, seated at desks or assigned workspaces at least six feet apart, and when engaged in any activity at least six feet apart.
Individuals seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired or who has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication, are not required to wear a mask; however, individuals should consider using another type of face covering such as a plastic face shield.
Are kids and teachers expected to wear masks all day in Evans City where there is no air conditioning?
Air conditioning units are being installed in each classroom at Evans City Elementary School and Evans City Middle School.
ACADEMICS (FULL-TIME CYBER INSTRUCTION) - https://www.svsd.net/Page/26300:
If a student selects full time cyber but decides to switch to in person/hybrid prior to the August 26 start date, is that ok? For example, should the county move to Yellow and we’re comfortable with the cohort model.
We do allow families the flexibility of movement throughout the cyber program, hybrid and the traditional school model at any time. However, when possible, it is best for the student to transition in or out of programs during the end of grading periods - or as the master schedule will permit - to allow for a smoother transition. We evaluate each case individually so that we make sure your child is not missing any instruction by changing teachers.
Is there a minimum/maximum number of courses a child can select for cyber vs. being present for in-person instruction?
No, the choice of courses is based on what works best for the family.
Can families indicate their preferred time of day for a child to attend the class(es) for which they will receive traditional classroom instruction?
Yes, however, the courses may depend on the master schedule. For instance, band is only offered certain times of the day. We try to accommodate as much as we can, but there may be limitations.
Can you please let us know if the district will be providing district owned PCs for the students that choose full time cyber?
Yes, we do provide students with a school-issued laptop. As a one-to-one school, all students in grades K – 12 are issued a computer if they would like one. Full-time cyber students will receive detailed information on pickup of the computers once we have completed all students' schedules. Students in grades K – 4 will also be provided with a binder of offline materials for students to complete. We strongly recommended that parents purchase the $30 insurance to cover accidental damages to the laptop during the school year. This can be done through www.myschoolbucks.com or via check (made out to SVSD) that can be sent to your child’s school office.
If a student’s cyber course is designated as a “special” (i.e. music, art, foreign language, health, etc.), how many sessions of that cyber course will they have each week? Do these cyber courses occur daily or less frequently as they do in the traditional school setting?
Each grade level is different based on state regulations. Elementary specials are at the parent’s discretion and students must complete a minimum number of hours per special area. Secondary specials are courses and its recommended students engage with the content 2.5 - 3.5 hours per class per week.
What differences (if any) or improvements can be expected in the cyber experience this year as opposed to the remote learning experience from spring 2020?
We are structured for online success. Student achievement and growth will be closely monitored to ensure students are on track to meet end of year learning targets. We have teachers who have been teaching online for 15 years within our department, so we are very much prepared to respond to cyber learning. The student’s Seneca Valley teachers will host live sessions during traditional school hours to support student learning (intervention, extension, tutoring). Required live sessions may be necessary based on evidence of student learning and the students’ availability during the school day.
Do the offline materials in the cyber binder need to be completed and submitted to the cyber teacher? Are these assignments graded?
Student work is assessed, based on grade level expectations, and will be used to determine how students are progressing in their understanding of specific skills and concepts. As such, offline assignments are to be completed and submitted. Offline and online materials are based on standards and we follow the same practice as the traditional school. The off-line material is important for us to assess to make sure that fine motor skills are age appropriate and that students can transfer what they are learning online to paper and pencil.
Is the actual time online tracked for cyber, or is it assumed that you’re completing the required amount of time if you complete all the assignments?
We will reach out to families when the idle time becomes a concern. Cyber learning requires collaboration between parents, students, teachers and administrators. Each cyber student will be assigned a cyber education advisor and the advisor will be in constant contact.
If my student has an IEP or GIEP and I select cyber, what supports and services will my student receive?
If you choose the full-time cyber option, we will schedule an IEP or GIEP meeting within the first 30 days of school to revise your student’s plan so that it is conducive to the cyber environment.
My student receives occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech or language therapy, vision support or hearing support. How will they be provided these services in the full cyber model?
These services will be provided remotely.
ACADEMICS (HYBRID INSTRUCTION) - https://www.svsd.net/Page/26300:
What does the hybrid model look like?
The hybrid option provides you the traditional classroom teacher for the time frame that you would want your children in the school building. Based on the building’s master schedule, your child would then have to take the other courses via our cyber program. Our cyber program has certified teachers who are cyber teachers and they are the ones who would grade and support your children for their online experience. Therefore, in the hybrid model your children will have both a traditional teacher and cyber teacher. We work as a team, so your children will also have traditional and cyber administrators.
More information can be found via the cyber experience video at https://svtube.svsd.net/play/?id=uf9xdfn4zm. You can also view a video describing the (secondary) hybrid model at www.svsd.net/HybridModel.
I was wondering if we pick the hybrid option, will our kids be mixed in with the full-time students or will they be separated?
Students who opt for a hybrid schedule will be blended with traditional students who opted for full-time traditional classes. Some courses within the master schedule only provide a single course offering; therefore, we cannot designate those who have opted for the hybrid schedule to only be with other hybrid students.
I wanted to know what days a week they would be in the building if we were to choose the hybrid option?
In the hybrid option during the (current) green phase, students will spend a portion of each day in school and a part of each day completing cyber courses online. We will move to a cohort model of two days in school (and three days out) if we must move to the yellow phase for the whole district.
What are the options available to a hybrid student who wishes to still be involved in their gifted “purpose” group and band/orchestra programs?
They can be involved; however, the courses depend on the master schedule, so there may be limitations on timing.
I have students in different schools. Are there any distinguishing factors/differences to be expected in the hybrid method of learning between these two schools?
Yes, the time frame between the schools and what courses are available will be much different at the elementary level as compared to the secondary level. Due to the way schedules and courses are structured, there is more flexibility in the secondary schools to accommodate a variety of situations. Elementary schools are on a fixed schedule and following a master schedule. The timing is more limited, but hybrid learning can be done at the elementary schools.
SPECIAL EDUCATION – www.svsd.net/ReturnToSchool features special education areas in several of the segmented areas:
In the green phase will my child receive their supports and services listed in their IEP/GIEP?
Yes, special education/gifted staff will provide supports and services documented in your student’s plan while remaining in compliance with the District Health and Safety Plan.
In the yellow phase will my child receive their supports and services listed in their IEP/GIEP?
Yes, when your student is in the building, they will receive supports from special education/gifted staff. When on remote learning, your child’s IEP/GIEP will be met through an assigned special education or gifted teacher.
How will IEP/GIEP meetings be conducted in any phase?
All IEP/GIEP meetings will take place virtually or by phone.
Who can I call or email if I have specific special education questions?
Special Education Grades K-6: Dr. Mallory Eyles 724-452-6040 Ext. 1631: email@example.com
Special Education Grades 7-12: Mr. Gerald Miller 724-452-6040 ext. 1633, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifted Education: Dr. Jeff Roberts 724-452-6040 ext. 1635, email@example.com
CLEANING/MITIGATION - https://www.svsd.net/Page/26298:
Will kindergarten classes be cleaned between the AM and PM sessions?
Yes, kindergarten classes will be cleaned and disinfected between AM and PM sessions.
HEALTH MONITORING – Please note that these guidelines are subject to change as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) - https://www.svsd.net/Page/26297:
What is the isolation protocol for testing positive or exposure to someone who tests positive?
The following is the protocol as per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH). We will be taking direction from the PADOH:
• The isolation period if one tests positive is 10 days from the first day of symptom(s). They must also be symptom-free and fever-free for 72 hours without the use of anti-fever medication before returning.
• If they tested positive, but had no symptoms, the isolation period is 10 days from date of positive test result. They will not be required to have a negative test result for return to school.
• The quarantine period for someone who was in close contact with a positive case is 14 days. For example, if a parent tested positive, the child would be required to be out of school for 14 days.
What are the plans for screening symptoms?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance in late July stating that, given the wide range of symptoms and the fact that some people with the COVID-19 infection are asymptomatic, there are limitations to symptom screening conducted by schools for the identification of COVID-19. Based on the best available evidence at this time:
• CDC does not currently recommend universal symptom screenings (screening all students grades K-12) be conducted by schools.
• Parents or caregivers should be strongly encouraged to monitor their children for signs of infectious illness every day.
• Students who are sick should not attend school in-person.
The guidance notes that symptom screenings will fail to identify some students who have COVID-19 infection. Further, symptom screenings will identify only that a person may have an illness, not that the illness is COVID-19. Some students may develop symptoms of infectious illness while at school, and schools should take action to isolate students who develop these symptoms from other students and staff. However, excluding students from school for longer than what is called for in existing school policies (e.g., fever free without medication for 24-hours) based on COVID-19 symptoms alone risks repeated, long-term unnecessary student absence.
If we go back to school, what is the plan if/when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19? Will the school need to close? Will students be required to quarantine? Will school remain open and parents will be given the option of sending their kids or keeping them home?
We will work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) on positive tests, exposure and contact tracing, and will follow the guidance given by them for notification and to determine if schools remain open.
Are there quarantine restrictions regarding travel?
The Governor’s Office issued an advisory that addresses travel to “hot spots.” Families and staff should bear in mind travel dates with our first student day of August 26 - or travel anytime during the school year. The most up-to-date list of hot spots and more on the advisory can be found at https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx.
Will the school calendar change?
A revised calendar was released in August 2020 and can be found at this link.