FAQ
Questions about the gating criteria or virtual/blended learning models may be submitted using this form. All responses will be provided in the FAQ below. 

Where can I find the Virtual Opt-in Survey? What if I need help filling out the survey?
The survey was available on the Parent Portal and closed on December 23, 2020. If you need assistance in selecting virtual or blended learning for your student, please contact your student's school.

Where can I find more information about gating criteria, virtual learning model, and blended learning model prior to filling out the survey?
You can find information regarding the gating criteria and hybrid model on the District’s website or in the GBAPS Forward Plan (page 24).

My child is in 11th grade. I see it says grades 10-12 will remain virtual. Do I have to fill out this survey if my child will remain virtual?
Yes, because once the gating criteria meets 100 COVID cases per 100,000 in the past 14 days, 10-12th grade will return to school in the blended model, unless the parent has indicated that the student will remain virtual.

When do students with Individual Education Plans (IEP) go back to school?
Students who receive special education services who are unable to have their IEP needs met virtually have been contacted regarding returning in-person to receive services. If it has been determined that the IEP is able to be met with virtual learning, the student will not return until the gating criteria is met. 

Will the cohorts no longer be used with the blended model?
Correct, the District will no longer be implementing the cohort model.

If I choose the blended model for my kids will they get bussed to school?
Students will be bussed if they are eligible for busing.

How did the gating criteria change?
The Board of Education modified the gating criteria from 200 to 250 to bring PK-5, 6 and 9 grades back in a blended model. Grades 7-8, and 10-12, would still return when the gating criteria met 100. The Board vote did require the Board to revisit the blended learning model for the secondary level at the January board meeting. 

What would trigger the schools to close again once open?
The gating criteria would be the trigger. So once COVID+ cases increase above the approved threshold, the District would move back to all virtual. Please see gating criteria chart, which indicates when the District would be virtual and when we would be in blended.

If the burden rate rises above 250 once the children are in school, what will happen? In case of a rise in the burden rate, would the closure be by school or the whole district?
The gating criteria approved by the Board of Education would require the District to move to virtual should there be 250+ COVID cases per 100,000 in the past 14 days. This burden rate gating criteria is District-wide, the Board of Education did not approve gating criteria by school.

What happens if we cross the 100 gating threshold, everyone attends school in person for a week or two, but then cases rise and we have to go back to the blended model? What if that happens several times? Will students who choose virtual end up bouncing between two different teachers as we transition between the blended and fully in-person models?
Families who select virtual learning, will continue in virtual learning, even if the COVID+ cases move below 100 per 100,000. Virtual families will be able to choose to move to onsite at the February 18 and April 9, 2021 grading periods.

If the board decides to adjust the gating criteria again to a higher number AFTER our choice to go virtual or blended is made, are we able to adjust our selection?  A family may be comfortable with 250 but not with 500. What happens if the gating is loosened more?
At this time the District must work with the information before us. So at this time we are asking parents to make the selection based on the current approved gating criteria, so that we may begin staffing for the blended and virtual models beginning in January.

From all of the research it seems that masks and distancing are the most important ways to reduce spread. How did you as a district decide that distance was no longer as important and it is ok to have classrooms look “similar to they did before March 19”? 
It was shared at the November 23rd Board meeting that the cohort model would not work for a multiple of reasons (see Nov. 23 Board presentation). In an effort to return to school, the District proposed to the Board that all 4K-5 grade students return, with the understanding that we would social distance wherever and whenever possible. 

If parents choose the virtual model for their students, will the students be in virtual for the rest of the year or can they be switched if family circumstances change?
The District is providing two opportunities for families to switch from virtual to blended or blended to virtual - February 18 and April 9, 2021. However, we always ask families to contact their school principal to discuss unique situations.

If I choose virtual, will my child at least have a teacher within the same school? (The site just indicated it would be a GBAPS educator.)
At this time we are unable to guarantee that a student will have a teacher from their school.

If we opt for virtual, will we switch to that new virtual teacher whether or not schools even open at all? If so, when will that switch take place? Or will all stay as is until schools open up and THEN we would transition to a new teacher?
Students will remain with their current teacher until the District moves to blended. At that time students will transition to the virtual program if that is what parents have chosen. 

In the blended learning model, how many days of school will students attend in person and how many days will be online?
Students in the blended learning model will attend school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Will they still have virtual meetings for those students that are virtual for groups like Student Council or Peer Support?
Yes, club sponsors will be asked to provide a link for those activities that can be supported this way.

If parents choose to keep their students in the virtual learning model and the students have to be with a teacher from a different school, do they forfeit lessons specific to the school (for example, piano and violin lessons at Webster)?
Once the District moves to blended learning, students who remain in virtual learning will be taught by a GBAPS teacher and will be engaged in the District’s curriculum. However, if a student remains in virtual, and currently attends a specialty school (such as Webster), the unique aspects such as piano and violin lessons would no longer be available for the time the student remains virtual.

If parents choose to stay virtual, but a student has a specialized class like culinary, woods, tech ed. etc, and would be able to find a ride 1 day a week or 1 time every 2 weeks, would they be allowed to attend an in person class?
No.

Who do I contact regarding my student who is struggling in some classes to get him in-person help? What options do parents have to help their students when learning virtually isn’t working?
Parents are encouraged to work with their child’s teacher or contact the school principal.

As a parent of a child with anxiety my biggest concern is minimizing trauma by staying with the current teacher. How can I indicate that I want my child to stay with their teacher no matter which format they will be using?
The District will do its best to keep students with their current teachers in the blended learning model. However, if a parent chooses the blended learning model and the child’s teacher is not able to be in-person for medical reasons, that classroom will have a different teacher. Parents should work closely with their school principal regarding their concerns. Students who are in the virtual model will most likely have a different teacher from their current one. 


Will there be modifications for elementary students if they return to the blended model?
Please see pages 19 and 20 of the GBAPS Forward Plan, which explains the mitigation efforts that will be implemented for the blended model.

If my child is taking dual credit courses and decides that the best option for him/her is to stay virtual, can you please explain how that might look? Would the instructor be seated at their computer during the lessons or would my child be watching lesson sessions videos post-in-class time?
This will depend on the specific course, number of students in the course who request the virtual model, and staff availability. The course may be available completely virtual as now, the student remotely joining the class live, or viewing a recording of the class later.

How much space is needed in K-5 and in 6th and 9th grades for the students to keep social distanced and how much space is currently available? 
Under the new blended learning model, the District will physically distance wherever and whenever possible. However, we recognize that some classrooms may look very similar to what they did prior to March 19, as far as number of students in a classroom.

What if anything has been done for better ventilation in our buildings? Any filtration? Which of our older buildings have had HVAC upgrades?
The School District has put a lot of effort into updating the District's mechanical systems over the past several years to replace aging equipment and to reduce energy. The District's air handlers have been well maintained and are in very good condition.

Air in schools will be purged for a minimum of four hours before building occupancy. Minimum positions for outside air dampers have been increased by 20% on all HVAC equipment. We are also monitoring our systems to make sure we are balancing comfort by monitoring outside air temperature and humidity with the available chiller capacity to maintain comfort. We also extended our building school hour occupancy times by two hours at the end of the school day to make sure we have several air exchanges to purge our buildings at the end of the day. We are changing filters on air handlers monthly for six months and then reevaluate.

Will classroom size be factored into balancing class size?
If it is possible. Until we have all of the data regarding who and who will not be returning once the District moves to blended, it is difficult to know how many students will be in each classroom. 

What do the rooms look like? Do the desks/tables have dividers? 
Desks will be placed 6 feet apart wherever feasible and faced forward. Plexiglass may be used for small group or individual instruction. (see example below).
Classroom plexiglass

Are they eating lunch in the cafeterias or their classrooms? 
This will be determined by the school principal and the Food Service Department for each school. 

Are they staggering start times or dismissals to reduce hallway crowding at those times? 
At the elementary schools, principals will work to create schedules to minimize students in the hallways at one time. This may also include using alternative doors for entering and exiting.

Will younger kids have handwashing monitored? 
Students will be taught proper handwashing skills; however, there will be no formal monitoring. See video that will be shown to students.

How liberally will mask exemptions be given? How will the kids who wear masks improperly or remove them be handled?
Please review our face coverings information on the District website

Will 4K students be required to wear masks if they are under age 5?
Yes, all students will be required to wear masks, unless there is a medical exemption. 

Will caregivers/volunteers be allowed in the buildings for any reasons? 
The District will be limiting all non-essential visitors and volunteers, please see page 19 of GBAPS Forward Plan.

Will any sort of temperature checks be done?
The District will not be taking temperature checks. Families/students will be required to fill out a screening questionnaire each day. Please see page 16 of the GBAPS Forward Plan under Symptom Checks.

Who will be responsible for the cleaning needed during the day?
Classrooms and offices will be cleaned and disinfected nightly by custodial staff. Daily cleaning and disinfecting will be done by the staff using the space.

Will they be allowed to walk next to friends down the hallway or will they need to be single file? Will they be able to hang out at their lockers with friends? 
Students will be expected to be physically distanced in hallways. They should not be gathering by lockers.

Some schools don’t allow students to carry their backpacks. Will this be changed so students don't have to go to lockers?
Students will be allowed to carry backpacks to minimize use of lockers.

If a student is sick, where do they go until a parent comes to pick them up? Who is going to watch them? What if multiple students are sick? What constitutes being "sick"?
Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home. Students will wait in an “isolation room” with a staff member monitoring them from outside of the room until they are picked up. Students will be spaced in the room as best as possible to provide 6 feet of space.

How will quarantines be handled and reported? If there is a positive in the classroom who will need to quarantine? 
Please review our GBAPS Forward Plan, which provides examples of communications and process.

What is the safe bussing plan for the kids who must take the bus?
Please see page 20 of the GBAPS Forward Plan that explains mitigation efforts for Transportation.

Will there be choir/singing during music class?
Music (singing)/choir classes will be held with students masked in larger spaces.

Can I opt my child out of gym if masks will not be required during that class?
At this time physical education classes will require masks.

Health guidance seems to suggest it's safer if children wear masks on the playground during recess. Can parents opt their children out of recess for another opportunity within the building if not comfortable? Are there plans to stagger recess to lower the number of children on the playground at a time?
The District is recommending face coverings at recess but not making it mandatory. Elementary schools will be expected to stagger recesses, and assign small cohorts to specific areas of the playground to limit interactions.

When will athletics start? Can students start practice this week?

At the December 14th board meeting, the Board of Education approved that the District may use its Face-2-Face approval process to bring high school students on campus for athletics and activities. The first priority will be competitive sports. The approval process will be by sport, not school. At this time, the District anticipates that students will be able to begin practice for competitive sports as soon as December 21.

Why was middle school athletics/activities not included?
At this time the District is beginning with the high school in order to ensure that our custodial staff can keep up with the cleaning needs, as well as to “test” our protocols to ensure we are able to have in-person athletics and activities without negatively impacting vital services such as food service due to quarantines. 

Will athletics and activities be voluntary?
Yes. Athletics and activities will be voluntary for students and staff. The District will work with advisors and coaches who may not be able or feel comfortable serving in-person, to have a replacement for this school year, but allow the advisor or coach to step back in the same role next school year.

If students in grades 7-8/10-12 will not be in school, will practices be held after 5, so that the kids who want to partake in sports can possibly find a ride to school? Or will these students that are not in person at school be excluded from sports and activities because they are not in person? 
High school sports are running right now with practices starting at 3:15/3:30 pm. As to Middle School activities, we are still working on our capacity to run these programs. The problem with starting practices at 5 pm, is that you have two groups using the gym so the 2nd practice would start at 7 pm and not end until 9 pm, which is late on school nights for our younger students.

Do you have enough staff to deal with trauma from kids crowding into schools and having to switch teachers, classmates, and possibly schools with little notice?
The District will continue its social/emotional learning during Circle Time/Homeroom/Advisory. However, we recognize that there is a shortage of mental health services available in our community. 

If students travel internationally will they need to quarantine?
Yes, if students travel outside of the continental United States they will need to quarantine for 14 days. 

Face Coverings

What if a student chooses to wear their own face covering, instead of those provided by the District?
Student face coverings must follow the District’s dress code policy.

Will my child be required to wear a face covering?
Yes, students of all ages will be required to wear face coverings while being transported to school (whether that is on a school bus, metro bus or District van), and while in the school buildings. 

Will 4K students be required to wear masks if they are under age 5?
Yes, all students will be required to wear masks, unless there is a medical exemption. 

What is required for an item to be considered a face covering? 
Staff and students are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings that can be washed daily. The face covering must cover the individual's nose and chin and fit closely to the sides of the face. Each staff member and student will be provided with two (2) face coverings. If students arrive at school without a face covering, they will be provided with a disposable face covering. Clear face shields are allowed as long as the individual is also wearing a face covering over their nose and mouth.

Can the District legally require students to wear face coverings?
Yes. The Green Bay City’s Ordinance requires face coverings for everyone ages 5 and older in public places (which would include public schools/public transportation). The District is also legally allowed to require face coverings, no different than the District is able to have a dress code policy.

Will my child be disciplined or asked to go virtual if they cannot keep a face covering on?
Students will be expected to follow all safety protocols established. These protocols will be shared with staff and students, and schools will communicate with families and/or provide examples of the behavior expectations being taught in school. For students who do not follow safety protocols, teachers will work with the families on a case-by-case basis.

What if my child has a disability (such as Deaf or Hard of Hearing), will face coverings still be required?
The District will have limited exceptions that include medical conditions and disabilities. When the District moves to the blended learning model, we will determine which classrooms will need face coverings that provide the ability to read lips and see facial expressions.  

Updated 1/6/21
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