FAQs

FAQ’S for School Reopening Plan


Calendar

1. Will there be any changes to the 2020-2021 student and/or staff calendar? 

The School Board voted to support the Superintendent’s recommendation to move the start date for students to August 24th to give school administrators added time to plan schedules and staffing assignments for both virtual and in-person instruction and provide teachers additional professional development and planning time, when they return. There are no other changes to the student calendar. The staff reporting dates will not change

Return To School
1.  When will school open?

All students will start the school year in a virtual environment on August 24th, except for students in the Preschool Program. Preschool students will begin the year attending school on Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday. 


2.  What should parents expect when seeing his/her child in a virtual learning environment?

A parent will see his/her child working virtually with the teacher and completing individual assignments.  The work hasn’t changed, just the method of delivery.


3.  When do you anticipate that school buildings will reopen for face-to-face instruction?

Beginning mid-September, the superintendent will begin considering a recommendation to the School Board about reopening school buildings for those students who wish to come to school for face-to-face instruction.  The decision will be based upon the spread of COVID-19 and the phase the state of Virginia is in at that time.


4.  Once school reopens, what are my child’s options for learning?

There are two program options: face-to-face and 100% virtual.  Parents and guardians are required to fill out a form now for their children to come back to school on Aug. 24th.  This information will assist DPS in planning for meal distribution, transportation, and the delivery of instruction.  Students cannot change programs or transportation choices until the end of the semester.  If you have not filled out your form, please call your child’s school directly for assistance.




5.  I have several children who attend DPS.  Once school opens, will all of my children go back to school at the same time or will it be staggered?

Students who selected the 100% Virtual Program will stay virtual and with their current teacher.  Students who selected the Face-To-Face Program will return on a staggered
schedule: 

       ○ Phase 1- Week 1: K-3, special education self-contained and high school seniors    
      ○ Phase 2 - Week 2: Elementary: Grades 4-5; Middle School: Grade 6; High
          School: Grade 9

       ○ Phase 3 - Week 3: Middle School: Grades 7-8; High School: Grades 10-11


Childcare

1.  When it comes to childcare, especially for working parents, what is the district doing to help parents?

DPS recognizes childcare is a need for our teachers and the Danville community.  We conducted a survey to determine how many DPS teachers and parents are in need of a community-sponsored child care program and have identified approximately 24 providers who are eager to assist.  More information will be provided soon.


Child Nutrition

1. How is the district ensuring students get breakfast and lunch throughout the day?

Feeding our children is a top priority for Danville Public Schools.  Since schools closed in March, DPS has served over 400,000 meals via the DPS Food Truck and 23 meal distribution sites.  Moving forward, DPS will expand the number of meal sites and add a meal component to each one of our meals to include dinner.


Technology

1.  The district recently spent millions of dollars on new technology for students to be able to learn remotely.  Why was the purchase so important?

When we began remote learning in March, it became immediately clear that a  percentage of our families did not have reliable access to the internet nor the devices for the students to use in their learning. DPS purchased chromebooks for every student and laptops for every teacher so that they would be able to work from school or home depending on any situation which arose in the division. The division also 1,800 cellular hotspots for students who do not have WiFi at home and for teachers who may live in areas with poor internet coverage.  It was imperative that we find creative ways to narrow the digital divide by making key investments - investments that will provide equal access to education to ALL of our students. 


Health, Safety, and Security

1.  I am concerned about my child’s health when returning to school.  What measures are you taking to mitigate the risk of infection?

Danville Public Schools Return to School Health plan is based on guidance from the CDC, the Virginia Phase III Covid Mitigation Plan for Public Schools, local health department regulations, and Division staff recommendations. It is designed to protect our students and staff while supporting teaching and learning. 


● Digital thermometers will be used to take the temperature of staff and students prior to entering schools or other DPS facility 

● Schools will provide training for staff on COVID-19 mitigation to include mandatory physical distancing, mandatory wearing of face coverings, proper hand hygiene and staying home when presenting signs of COVID-19 

● Failure to wear a mask will be treated as a dress code violation. 

● Signage in visible locations such as entrances, offices, and outside restrooms designed to educate staff and students on proper COVID-19 mitigation strategies

● Classroom seating redesign to allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet 

● Discouraging and prohibiting congregation in communal spaces such as halls, entrances and exits 

● To the extent possible, meals will be served in classrooms and will be boxed or bagged 

● Any shared materials - toys, lab or art supplies, or PE equipment will be cleaned after each use 

● Limiting or prohibiting field trips
● Signage for each school will be supplied to ensure staff, students, and visitors stay safe and practice safe procedures.  Schools will be supplied floor decals to maintain 6 ft. apart, notice to wear face mask posters, social distancing posters, and wash your hands posters.  Signage will be placed strategically with the schools for high visibility to any individuals entering the building and while within the facility.
●  Hygienica Electro-Hygiene Systems were purchased for each school and facility.  Hygienic systems are the choice technology for technical remediation specialists and is the highest production sprayer in the market.  The system kills 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens when used in conjunction with EPA-registered disinfectants within 2-10 minutes.  Drying time: 2 hours.


2.  If there is a diagnosis of COVID-19 in a school building, what will happen?

In the event of a positive Covid case in a school, the Pandemic Coordinator for DPS will immediately contact the Department of Health, and start contact tracing.  The amount of exposures identified from the contact tracing will dictate any decisions on closures.  DPS will rely on the Department of Health for guidance during this process.  You cannot be exposed if you maintain social distancing and wear a mask.  An exposure is being within 6 feet of a positive Covid case for 15 minutes or more.  Limiting exposures by following mitigation strategies will help us stay safe, and have a great learning environment.  DPS will send a message to parents and staff about the positive case at the school for full transparency.

Maintenance
1.  What steps is DPS taking to ensure the schools are cleaned and disinfected?
● Daily consistent cleaning operations continue with a concentration of deep cleaning for high traffic areas including restrooms.
● High traffic areas include: All offices, guidance, nurse’s station, break areas, classrooms, cafeterias, libraries, play areas and playground equipment.
● Cleaning includes: light fixtures, moldings, vents, windows, desk, chairs, floors, light switches, toys, bookshelves, doors, door knobs, lockers, counters, tables, wall mounted equipment, office furniture, office equipment, phones and playground equipment.
● Each classroom will be provided a spray bottle with CDC approved chemical Buckeye E22, disinfectant. This disinfectant is safe, and fast drying. Periodically throughout the day teachers will be able to spray areas in the classroom for disinfecting.
● Additional cleaning will be done everyday with the Hygienca equipment.  Hygienica Electro-Hygiene Systems were purchased for each school and facility.  Hygienica systems are the choice technology for technical remediation specialists and is the highest production sprayer in the market.  The system kills 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens when used in conjunction with EPA-registered disinfectants within 2-10 minutes.  Drying time: 2 hours.

2.  How will you keep the buildings clean and disinfected once buildings are reopened?
● Each classroom will be provided with spray bottles containing CDC approved disinfectant, disinfecting wipes, and gloves. Teachers will use products to sanitize their classroom between class changes.
● Social distancing markers will be used in the hallways, to assist students that may have to wait a short period of time while the teacher wipes off the desks.
● All available personnel will be in the hallways to assist in moving students along to their next class. 

● Restroom cleaning and disinfecting will take place between each class change. Pre-School and Elementary school restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected every hour. 

● Custodial staff will collect trash from each classroom after lunch and at the end of each

● Hygienica Electro-Hygiene Systems were purchased for each school and facility.  Hygienica systems are the choice technology for technical remediation specialists and is the highest production sprayer in the market.  The system kills 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens when used in conjunction with EPA-registered disinfectants within 2-10 minutes.  Drying time: 2 hours.


Activities

1.  What is the plan for marching band activities this summer and fall? 

Marching band has been cancelled for the fall and will be reassessed in alignment with the VHSL.

2.  How will DPS handle outside groups who use the school after hours?
The reopening of DPS grounds and facilities to non-DPS groups will be determined as DPS determines the plan to return to face-to-face learning.  We will not be using the school campuses including the grounds at this time.

Transportation

1.Will my child be required to wear a mask while riding the school bus?

Yes. All individuals riding the bus will be required to wear a mask during the entire bus route. Parents should make sure their child understands the importance of wearing a mask on the bus and at the bus stop.


2. How many students will be allowed to ride the bus?

Buses will be at about half capacity. One child will be assigned to each seat, with the exception of siblings who may sit together in the same seat. Bus seats will be marked with a large X to designate where the student should sit on the seat.


3. I designated my child for parent transportation. Can I change my mind after school starts?

No. Your choice of school transportation must be honored until the end of the semester.

Buses will have students assigned to the bus based on parents who choose bus transportation at registration.Available bus seating spots will be filled with those students.


4. What are the pick up delivery times for my child’s school?

Pick up and delivery times may vary for the first few weeks. You may call your school prior to face to face start up to find out your bus number, bus stop, and approximate pick up and drop off times.


5. Will my child’s bus be sanitized each day?

Yes. Each bus will be cleaned twice daily by drivers and staff.