Frequently Asked Questions
Question: When hybrid instruction becomes available, will families be able to switch the education model they selected over the summer or is that still a binding decision?
Answer: At this point, families will not have another opportunity to switch the instruction model they selected for the school year over the summer (hybrid or 100% virtual). Teacher schedules, teacher roles, class schedules, class assignments, class offerings, zone assignments, transportation routes, social distancing requirements, building procedures, support staff duties, and a variety of other logistics were finalized based on the instruction model selections parents made over the summer. This was communicated prior to the instruction model selection deadline. That said, families with extenuating circumstances should share that information with their principal when the district transitions to hybrid instruction.
Question: What is the impact of a positive COVID-19 case on those determined to be close contacts?
Answer: Per St. Louis County Public Health Department guidelines, when a student/employee is determined to be a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, they will not be allowed inside a school building until the completion of a 14 day quarantine. Additionally, depending on whether they have symptoms and the extent of contact with a positive case, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health may also advise that everyone in the student/employee’s household quarantine. In other words, one positive COVID-19 case has the potential of resulting in multiple households being placed in quarantine. Positive cases also may force the district to abruptly close classrooms and buildings. HSD families participating in the hybrid school model need to be aware of this reality and prepared for their household to be impacted by a positive case.
Question: How will students with IEPs be served in a virtual setting?
Answer: Special School District has developed a plan to address the unique needs of HSD students with IEPs in a virtual setting. SSD has shared a hotline number for questions and an overview of the plan. Click on the following links to view the plan and the number:
Question: What support will the district provide to parents for them to become acclimated to virtual school?
Answer: Parent University will offer multiple opportunities for parents to learn more about how to navigate virtual learning throughout the year. Additionally, individual schools will host a variety of virtual parent information sessions. Please review the Parent U page for details about upcoming events. The page also includes resources, videos, and a feedback survey that allows parents/guardians to suggest topics for future Parent U events.
Question: What are the bell times this year?
Answer: The following bell times will be utilized throughout the entire year regardless of whether HSD is in the 100% virtual school model or blended school model:
High School: 7:15 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Middle School: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Elementary School: 8:50 a.m. - 3:50 p.m.
High School: 7:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Middle School: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Elementary School: 8:50 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Question: Where is the district getting its information about the COVID-19 infection rate in the Hazelwood community?
Answer: Daily infection rate numbers can be found on the following website: https://slu-opengis.github.io/covid_daily_viz/index.html
Question: Since all students will begin the year attending virtual school, what will HSD staff do each day?
Answer: Teachers will teach, administrators will lead, custodians will clean buildings, security will protect buildings, school nurses will provide health resources, food service workers will prepare meals, bus drivers will deliver meals, social workers will provide counseling, and other staff members will complete a variety of tasks to support the aforementioned duties and other projects. Additionally, all staff will continue to refine plans to return to school buildings.
Question: What are the basics of the district plan for the 2020-2021 school year instruction plan?
Answer: The plan offers all families (Pre-K through 12) the option of attending 100% virtual school or a blended option that calls for students to receive in-person instruction two days a week and virtual instruction three days a week. The plan includes a contingency that allows all HSD students to begin the year in the 100% virtual school model. On July 21, the Board of Education approved the plan and contingency. When conditions related to COVID-19 improve, the blended school model will become an option.
Question: What safety measures have the district implemented in buildings and buses?
Answer: Buildings and buses will be disinfected with electrostatic spray units daily/nightly. Also, alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations have been placed around our buildings and on our buses. We have also secured social distancing signage, Social Distancing Ambassadors, and created hallway/bathroom procedures. Masks will also be required for all staff and students grades 3rd through 12th (subject to change). Staff members are also required to complete the COVID-19 Self Report form on the website. Parents are also asked to check their child for symptoms each day. Additionally, Social Distancing Ambassadors will help encourage staff and students to follow guidelines. The district will also provide PPE and a variety of disinfecting products for each building, including Virex disinfectant bottles. The district will continue to educate students, parents, and staff about handwashing, social distancing, respiratory etiquette, and masks.
Question: What if my child’s classroom is closed due to COVID-19?
Answer: The class would switch to 100% virtual. Instruction would continue.
Question: What is the procedure for a student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19?
Answer: The process begins with notifying the St. Louis County Health Department. Based on the specific circumstances of the positive test, public health officials will give us guidance on the appropriate measures, including classroom/building/district closures, quarantines, and contact tracing. Next, relevant parents and staff will be notified about the positive test. Any students or staff who are identified as having been in close contact with an individual who tested positive will be notified as a part of the contact tracing process. The notification will reveal as many details as possible without violating any privacy laws.
Question: What happens if a student or staff member displays symptoms of COVID-19 in an HSD building?
Answer: Students who display symptoms will be taken to a special isolation room. Their emergency contact will be notified and instructed to pick them up immediately and seek a COVID-19 test. Staff who display COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home immediately and instructed to get a COVID-19 test.
Question: How should I handle a positive test for COVID-19 versus a regular illness?
Answer: Everyone must stay home if they are sick. Report normal absences and illnesses as usual. However, positive or suspected cases of COVID-19 need to be reported immediately to allow the schools to take appropriate action. Please report such cases as follows: Parents should contact the building administrator of their child’s school. Staff members should contact their building administrator or supervisor.
Question: What is the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?
Answer: The FFCRA gives HSD staff an additional 10 days (80 hours) of leave that can be used through Dec. 31, 2020. Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Question: Does the district have access to any childcare resources on virtual days for parents or staff who have to go to work?
Answer: We understand that trying to balance work and childcare during a pandemic is a major challenge. The State of Missouri has created a toll-free number called the Child Care Aware hotline that can be a great resource. The number is 1-866-892-3228. Additionally, our team of counselors is working to gather other information about community childcare resources.
Question: What options do staff who are high risk have?
Answer: Teachers who are high risk can request to teach virtually. Additionally, all staff can apply for accommodations through HR.
Question: Will the district have enough substitute teachers?
Answer: We are working with Kelly Services to address this issue.
Question: When the blended school option is implemented, will teachers and staff have to work from the buildings on Friday (all virtual day)?
Answer: No. They will have the option of teaching from home on Fridays (all virtual days). Additionally, staff will be able to work from home, unless their supervisor needs them to come to the building. However, since virtual days will be flexible, not all Fridays will be virtual days.
Question: What do the plan options mean for teacher roles?
Answer: We will have two sets of teachers: 100% virtual teachers and blended model teachers. Both sets will provide daily instruction.
Question: Will staff receive unlimited sick days for quarantining?
Answer: No. Please see the additional information on the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) above.
Question: Will HSD staff receive hazard pay?
Question: What sort of resources will teachers use to improve the virtual learning experience?
Answer: HSD purchased 1,300 state-of-the-art web cameras to make the virtual learning experience more interactive. Teachers will use the cameras to record lessons and deliver live lessons on a daily basis.
Question: What were the results of the Reopening Hazelwood School District Plan Survey?
Answer: On June 8, 2020, the district shared The Reopening Hazelwood School District Plan Survey. More than 5,100 stakeholders (parents, students, and staff) provided responses about a variety of topics, including virtual school, in-person school, and transportation needs. Parents accounted for 65% of the respondents. The staff comprised 29%. When asked if they preferred a 100% virtual school option, 30% of respondents answered in the affirmative. When asked if they preferred a blended school option (virtual and in-person school), 62% of respondents answered in the affirmative. The complete results can be found on the website under the Hazelwood School District: Evolving Together tab.
Question: What other input did the public have in the plan development?
Answer: During the planning process, the district also solicited input from students, parents, staff, and the community through three virtual forums. The forums gave participants a chance to submit questions to district leadership and get answers in real-time. On average, 600 people participated in each forum and 35 questions were submitted. More than two hundred additional questions and suggestions from stakeholders were gathered via email.
Question: What is the Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP)?
Answer: MOCAP is another online school option that HSD offers every school year. It is separate from the virtual school option we developed specifically to deal with COVID-19. More information can be found at https://www.hazelwoodschools.org/Page/7259.
Question: Can HSD guarantee that my family will not be exposed to COVID-19.
Answer: No district or organization can guarantee 100% protection from COVID-19. However, HSD has taken extraordinary precautions to mitigate the risks of exposure COVID-19 in our buildings.
Question: How will GALACTIC be impacted by the instruction plan options?
Answer: Due to COVID-19, there will be some changes to the program this school year. All classes will be virtual to start the year. When the blended option becomes available, the following procedure will be followed: if your family selects the 100% virtual school option, your child/children will attend GALACTIC exclusively online. If your family chooses the blended school option, your child/children will attend GALACTIC bi-monthly during one of the in-person school days. To assist our social distancing efforts, students from only two to three schools in 1st through 5th grade will attend GALACTIC on the same day.
Question: Will HSD provide technology for students?
Answer: Yes. All K-12 students will be able to check out a Chromebook and hotspot. Distribution information will be shared through HSD communication channels, including the website.
Question: What will the curriculum look like this year?
Answer: During the plan development process, workgroups consisting of teachers and curriculum coordinators created an appropriate curriculum, identified technology needs, and established educational supports for the school year. More than 100 teachers are working on this project. Additionally, the district has created teacher expectations.
Question: Will masks be required?
Answer: As of August 2020, all HSD staff are required to wear masks inside our district buildings. Additionally, children over the age of 5 are required to wear masks (subject to change). We are continuing to review recommendations from the CDC, public health departments, and the American Academy of Pediatrics for recommendations on mask-wearing for adults, children, and adolescents.
Question: Please explain how virtual and in-person school will look?
Answer: Students will work on identified focus standards each day of instruction (in-person and virtual). On virtual days, students will work on specific foundational skills. For example, the week may focus on a specific skill identified from the focus standards. On in-person school days, students will receive instruction on focus standards directly from their classroom teacher. These days will be run like a typical day in the traditional school environment. On the virtual days where half the students are at school and the other half are at home learning virtually, students will engage in online activities through Google Classroom and other suggested District-approved applications to support virtual learning, such as Redbird Mathematics. On the all virtual days, teachers will conduct instruction virtually with students, and students will complete online activities. Hazelwood teachers will be instructing our students using Hazelwood's own curriculum during both virtual and in-person days. The virtual option includes daily instruction from teachers.
Question: Will the blended option schedule impact the district’s ability to properly clean buildings?
Answer: No. The district has purchased state-of-the-art electrostatic spray units that will be used to disinfect buildings on a daily/nightly basis.
Question: Will having teachers in buildings on virtual days hinder the district’s ability to clean buildings?
Answer: No. Our facilities staff are trained to safely clean buildings while people are present.
Question: How will the curriculum and platforms support deaf and hard-of-hearing students who require an interpreter?
Answer: HSD is working with Special School District to ensure that curriculum and platforms support all students. Additional information will be shared with relevant families as soon as possible.
Question: Will HSD provide additional online platforms for students with accessibility issues?
Answer: Google Classroom is the primary platform HSD will use this school year. However, we are working with Special School District to make any necessary adjustments for individual students.
Question: How will HSD support students who struggle with closed-captioning?
Answer: We are working to provide a sufficient number of interpreters and manipulate scheduling to provide the necessary support.
Question: What will Community Based Vocational Instruction look like this year?
Answer: As of now, all Community Based Vocational Instruction has been canceled for at least the first semester. Unfortunately, getting students to work sites presents too many safety challenges.
Question: How will the district address asymptomatic people with COVID-19 who may enter buildings?
Answer: HSD will continue to follow all CDC and St. Louis County Health Department guidelines to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19.
Question: Will teachers be responsible for disinfecting their classrooms during lessons, before school, and after school?
Answer: Our facilities staff will disinfect all rooms on a daily/nightly basis. However, keeping our buildings clean and safe is a team effort, so teachers are encouraged to help keep areas clean. They will be given Virex disinfectant and paper towels.
Question: Will there be any options outside of the normal weekday schedule for learning?
Answer: We are considering offering some extended learning opportunities for students on Saturdays and in the evening. If these options become available, the details will be shared through HSD communication channels.
Question: Will HSD use Launch this school year?
Answer: We do not plan on using Launch. Exceptions will be made for students who sign up for the Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP).
Question: When will children in the 100% virtual school model take EOCs?
Answer: In the fall and/or spring. The state will provide additional guidance soon.
Question: When the blended model is implemented, will children have their temperature taken by district staff before entering buildings or boarding buses?
Answer: No. Taking temperatures of students before they enter buildings or board buses is problematic for the following reasons: First, it has the potential of causing bottlenecking at the school bus/building doors, which would impact our ability to practice social distancing. Additionally, asking staff to take temperatures prior to letting a child enter a bus/building would drastically impact classroom instruction time. According to health officials, children with COVID-19 often do not have a fever. Taking a child’s temperature in front of other children and subsequently refusing to let them board a bus/enter a building could result in bullying. Temperature alone is not enough to determine if a child has COVID-19 or is sick. Many children consistently run high temperatures. Especially, if they have been waiting outside at a bus stop on a warm day.