School is back in session and we want to share some of the most frequently asked questions about the 2020-21 school year, including our plans for continued rigorous and joyful instruction, whether in-person or online, and the steps we are taking to ensure your scholar is connected, healthy, and continuously learning.
Back to School Schedule & Updates
Where can I go to get the latest information about going back to school?
Please visit https://ideapublicschools.org/back2school2020/ to get the latest information and back-to-school updates. You can also contact your campus directly or follow your campus Facebook page to receive campus and region-specific guidance, as available.
Will my academic calendar change due to COVID-19?
All school start dates will remain the same as noted on IDEA’s academic calendars. Please learn more under the “Academic Calendars” section at https://ideapublicschools.org/back2school2020/academic-information/.
Will students require uniforms for distance learning?
Students are required to wear the uniform top only. If you need more guidance on uniforms, please see your region’s official Uniform Guide under the “Uniforms” button at https://ideapublicschools.org/back2school2020/academic-information/ Guidance around backpacks will be provided on a campus-to-campus basis. Please reach out to your campus for more information.
Will children be able to follow lessons online with teachers? Is the schedule the same for online?
Yes, lessons will be livestreamed to students who are learning and working from home. Students who are not able to view the lesson during the livestream will be able to watch it later at any time via Microsoft Teams.
How will students get their technology devices for 1:1 Tech plan? When and where do I pick those up?
Technology distribution will be handled on the campus level. Campuses will provide information for technology pickup and other directions. Please contact your campus directly for questions about our scholar’s 1:1 device.
How do students log in online with their new technology devices?
For steps on how to log in to your scholar’s new technology device, visit https://ideapublicschools.org/learningtech/. There, you can find the “Getting Started Guide,” watch tutorial videos, download the student technology user agreement, or request technical support.
Where can we find information on school supplies?
For the available lists of school supplies, please visit the “School Supplies” button at https://ideapublicschools.org/back2school2020/academic-information/. If your campus is not listed here, please reach out to your campus directly via phone, email, or on their Facebook page, and they can provide more details.
Where can we find information on health and safety protocols?
For information on health and safety protocols, please visit https://ideapublicschools.org/back2school2020/health-and-safety-information/.
How will my campus be communicating with me moving forward?
To learn about the various ways your campus will be sending communications to families, please visit https://ideapublicschools.org/back2school2020/ways-to-connect/. You can find information on Teams, the Parent Communication Flow Chart, and how to add a class via the Remind app.
When returning to school in person, have you considered block scheduling such as A/B/C days to minimize COVID-19 exposure?
No. We will provide in-person instruction to any student/family who wants it, so we cannot do A/B days where certain students are not allowed to attend on certain days.
When returning to school in person, will students still go out for recess, have P.E. or have some time to break or move their bodies besides lunch, especially in the younger grades?
Yes, we know how important physical activity and brain breaks are for students. We are invested in Healthy Kids Here. Students will have regular brain breaks throughout the day and a daily PE activity that will be done in class. After a couple of weeks, schools will identify opportunities for some of those activities to move outside in a safe manner. Outdoor recess will also be incorporated when feasible.
When returning to school in person, how and what teachers will be rotating for instruction?
To minimize the spread of COVID-19, no rotation, student or teacher, will occur in grades PK-2. For grades 3-12, staff rotation will be limited as much as possible, while ensuring students receive the subject education they need.
Health & Safety Protocols (Related to In-Person Learning)
When returning to school in person, will medical professionals be present at every IDEA campus?
Yes, as per usual, every IDEA campus will have a medically trained health aide present for the entirety of every school day.
When returning to school in person, will teachers be equipped with disinfecting wipes for daily use in classroom?
Yes, teachers will be equipped with cleaning materials.
When returning to school in person, what happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19? Will siblings of the student—and the student’s class—be quarantined, since transmission often happens BEFORE someone is symptomatic?
If the school is notified of a positive case on campus, staff will consult with the health department to identify those who may have been impacted and what next steps are needed. The infected individual must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the Health Aide confirms the below conditions have been met: 1) At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications): 2) The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); 3) and at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared. The school will communicate updates to parents and staff as they are confirmed.
We have had flu outbreaks and strep outbreaks before. How can we protect our students and families from COVID-19?
We are confident our updated health and safety protocols—which include frequent hand sanitation, personal protective equipment (PPE), temperature screenings, and much more—will keep our Team & Family safe. Please see our updated health and safety protocols here.
Will students with asthma be required to wear masks?
All staff and students are asked to wear a facial covering while on campus. Students who request accommodations need to submit medical documentation indicating their need. Accommodations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
When returning to school is an option for parents, how much advance notice will be required from the parents to make changes [from virtual to in-person or vice versa], as the school (transportation, cafeteria, and teachers) will need to plan accordingly?
We will encourage parents to state their preferences a week at a time. However, we will make every effort to accommodate requests that come in-between weeks. Our goal is to provide families the most (reasonable) flexibility possible.
When returning to school in person, in the case of a cluster of COVID-19 on campus, will the campus shut down and go back to virtual learning?
We are strictly abiding by CDC guidelines and local health authority direction. A school can close a classroom, a building, or an entire campus. Please note that the close will be temporary, and instruction will continue online.
How will we provide social distancing in classrooms if TEA guidance states that all students can attend in person if desired?
While not a requirement, our plan is to space desks 6 feet apart as classroom capacity allows. In some cases, we may need to slightly reduce distancing to accommodate all students as we are required to provide in-class instruction for all families interested. Some schools will also use spaces like gyms and cafeterias to serve as additional classrooms.
When returning to school in person, if a student has a fever in the middle of the day, what procedures will be taken for that student, for students in that class and the teacher?
If a student shows symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) of COVID-19, teachers will request a screener to come to the classroom. If student symptoms are verified, they will be taken to a containment room and parents will be asked to take the student home.