Centennial School District FAQs on the Opening of School for 2020-21


    General Questions 

    Will the school district provide masks if a student loses his or hers?
    Replacement masks will be provided to the extent possible should a student or staff member lose or forget their face covering. As the use of face coverings in public is a State directive, the expectation is that both students and staff will have procured their own face coverings. 

    Is the district offering only one option for the opening of the 2020-21 school year?
    No. Although the district will choose from three scenarios for the opening of the 2020-21 school year, parents will have the option to choose enrollment in the Centennial Virtual Learning Academy. The requirement is that if a student enters this program, he/she will stay a minimum of a semester for a secondary student and a trimester for an elementary student. All instruction is provided by the VLN staff using the VLN curriculum but with the Centennial School District providing the necessary program equipment and curriculum materials.

    How will the district handle half-day schedules in 2020-21?
    Half-day schedules will run the same way they have in the past.

    Will the district provide a list of curriculum oriented software applications to support virtual education?

    Will Kindergarten students be provided with their own supplies such as crayons, scissors, glue, etc.?
    Parents/guardians should provide these supplies as they will need to be taken home each day. 

    Will the district provide masks if a family can’t afford them?

    Which options will include instrumental music lessons?
    The hybrid (when on-site) and full in-school models will include music lessons.

    In scenario 1 (Full-in-person) are there limitations on the use of district facilities?
    Yes. In the Full in-person scenario, social distancing will be measured at 6 feet separations. Therefore, some school facilities such as classrooms, cafeterias, gyms, and large group areas may be capped at lower than normal capacity due to social distancing for “normal” class sizes at the elementary, middle and high school level. Capacity issues will occur on a school-by-school basis.

    How much money will the district lose if children leave to enroll in a bricks and mortar or cyber charter school?
    In 2019-20, the per pupil regular education (bricks and mortar and cyber charter school) tuition cost per pupil was $14,980.64 and the special education per pupil cost (bricks and mortar and cyber charter school) was $35,160.77.  The district’s total cost was based on the partial school year. The 2018-19 total cost for both bricks and mortar and cyber charter schools was $14,387.31 per pupil for a regular education student and $33,461.05 per pupil for a special education student.

    Will the school district’s scenario solutions be put in place for the entire school year?
    No. Circumstances relative to COVID-19 may cause the district to shift to one of the three scenarios.

    Will there be exceptions for special needs children?
    Yes, accommodations for identified children will be provided based on IEP, 504 or medical needs.

    If the district was to open with a Full in-person scenario, would children in grades K-2 be scheduled for the morning and children in grades 3-5 be scheduled for afternoon sessions?
    No. All students in a Full in-person scenario will attend school as close to a “normal” schedule as possible. Some school start and end times may have to be adjusted due to transportation schedules.

    Can parents select either scenario 1 or scenario 2 and change into scenario 4 at some point?

    What type of new signs will the district post in the schools?
    Appropriate signs on how to curb the spread of COVID-19, symptoms to look for, good hygiene reminders and school district protocols. 

    If the district chooses either scenario 1 or scenario 2 and the district is forced to close schools based on COVID-19 issues, what programs will the district offer?
    The district will be prepared to offer a full virtual program taught by Centennial certificated staff using the Centennial curriculum. Students will be provided with all necessary devices to participate fully in the program. Parents can also choose the Centennial Virtual Learning Academy.

    Will staff be paid if they do not work for any reason due to COVID-19 related issues?
    Staff COVID-19 health related issues will be addressed in a sensitive and confidential manner on a case by case basis. There are laws such as the Family First Response Act (ends in December 2020), FMLA and contractual provisions that determine the status of affected staff members.

    How will the district fill in for staff that is out sick?
    The district has already met with its substitute teacher provider and will also actively recruit certified substitutes to join the substitute provider service.

    Will the Blended and Full in-person scenarios be offered at the same time?

    Can we anticipate a return to Full in-person education for January 2021?
    This is unknown at this time.

    Since my child can attend a free charter school, whom do I contact to get a tax refund? How long will it take and I will not take no for an answer.
    It is a myth that charter school and cyber charter school students’ tuition is free. Centennial School District taxpayers pay for charter school and cyber charter school per pupil costs. The truth is that charter school and cyber charter student per pupil costs exceed those of a Centennial School District student. We would respectfully suggest you to contact your legislator and ask them to support an overhaul of the charter school and cyber charter school tuition formula.

    Will there be mask breaks for students?
    Yes but it will be more difficult to find social distancing of a 6ft. separation in a Full in-person scenario. The Blended scenario has most of its spaces set up for 6ft separation for social distancing and students must be at least 6ft. apart to have a mask break.

    In a Full in-person or a Blended scenario, will my child receive library, art, music, gym, etc. instruction?
    In secondary schools, yes.

    Can class sizes be the same for the Full in-person and Blended scenarios if the social distancing requirements are different?
    No, keeping students apart will impact class sizes.

    Will students have to wear face coverings all day in the Full in-person scenario?
    Yes. If there are appropriate spaces with 6ft of social distancing that can be found, mask breaks will take place. 

    How will the district handle an untimely death of a staff member or student due to COVID-19?
    The district will follow policy, will act with compassion, empathy and respect. Communications will be handled in the most appropriate manner depending on the circumstances. Guidance and counseling services will be offered to colleagues and students. 

    What is the basic difference between a 3 ft. social distancing separation and a 6 ft. social distancing separation?
    Classroom capacity will be reduced by half in a 6ft. social distancing scenario. The district might be able to use other spaces such as cafeterias due to the smaller number of students in a Blended scenario.

    Will Centennial parents have a virtual option if they do not want to send their child back to school buildings?
    Yes. The Centennial Virtual Learning Academy is available as an option. 

    How will teachers and principals enforce face-covering requirements?
    Students will be reminded to wear face coverings.

    Will teachers be paid overtime for creating virtual lessons?

    How will the district address the socialization of students if a virtual program is implemented?
    Students will work together in classes, virtually.

    Will the Spark program be used this year?

    Has the district considered challenging the face-covering requirement for students and staff?

    Why did the district even consider a 3ft. social distancing plan?
    When the planning process began, the Bucks County School Districts worked in concert with the Bucks County Department of Health. The head of that department issued a written set of guidelines to observe when planning for the opening of school in September. Well into the planning, the district received information from the PA Department of Health and the CDC that suggested a 6ft. social distancing separation was safer.

    When will the district make a final decision regarding the opening of school in September?
    August 4, 2020 the Board of School Directors will vote on a decision at the meeting.

    If the Board of School Directors adopts scenario #4, what will happen to Centennial teachers?
    The Centennial Virtual Learning Academy will always be an option for parents. It will never become the sole virtual choice. If circumstances dictate a return to a virtual program, the district is fully prepared to offer an outstanding program taught by our excellent Centennial staff using our Centennial curriculum.

    Is there a possibility that parents can select a Full in-person program if the district selects the Blended scenario?
    No. The district does not have the capacity or the fiscal resources needed to operate both a Full in-person scenario and Blended scenario at the same time.

    How is the district working with staff members who might be uncomfortable about returning to school in September?
    The district has initiated confidential one-on-one meetings with staff members who want to talk about their status for the 2020-21 school year.

    Will students have the option of wearing a cloth mask?

    How will lunch be handled at secondary schools?
    Depending on the scenario, the cafeteria will likely be used with socially distancing in place. We will utilize “grab n’ go” lunches and outdoor spaces when possible.

    How will lunch be handled at the elementary schools?
    Lunch will be preordered in the morning when students are signing onto their devices for the day.  Meals will then be delivered to the classrooms by the cafeteria staff.

    Will students be in the same classroom all day?
    Secondary - no. 
    Elementary - yes.

    Will students at Davis have their regular IMG pullout program?
    IMG will be delivered in a setting that meets all guidelines. Final details will be determined asap.

    Can parents choose a different scenario for each of their children?
    Yes. Parents can choose the Centennial Virtual Academy for one child and have another child in one of the other scenarios.

    If the district selects scenario 2 (Blended) can my child remain in that program until there is return to a normal school day?

    If and when students can return to a normal school schedule, will the Centennial Virtual Academy option still be available?

    At what point will the district return to a Full in-person program?
    If the Full in-person scenario is not selected for the opening of the school year, the district will look for guidance from the Bucks County Department of Health, the PA Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to enact such a move.

    Will accommodations be made for children with medical and sensory conditions?
    Yes, as per IEP/504.

    Will Scenario 3 (Virtual) happen even if some students want to go to school in the buildings?
    Yes, if the Board of School Directors selects that scenario. 

    How will free and reduced lunch work?
    No change.

    If the district selects either scenario 1 or scenario 2 will parents be able to choose a virtual option taught by Centennial teachers?
    The district will examine data from parent surveys to determine if a district operated with Centennial teachers using the Centennial curriculum were implemented at the elementary level. Unfortunately, the district does not have enough staff at the middle school and high school levels to offer a district-operated choice coupled with a scenario 1 or 2 selection.

    Can teachers and not children change classrooms for instruction this year?
    This is not possible in the secondary schools.

    How will attendance be taken in all scenarios?
    Teachers will take/monitor attendance.

    Are teachers being prepared for each scenario?
    Children will be expected to wear a face covering for the duration of the day with the exception of lunch and predetermined ‘mask breaks’. 

    Will students have to wear a face covering all day in the Full in-person scenario?

    Will students be eating in the cafeteria in scenario 1?
    For secondary schools, yes. For elementary schools, no.

    Will the schools start and end at the normal times this year?
    Times - secondary - yes.
    Elementary - no. Times are to be determined based on the restrictions of transportation and the number of students returning. 

    What has the district done to train teachers in remote teaching techniques?
    Extensive Professional Development has been and continues to be provided.

    Virtual Instruction Questions/Answers

    Will teachers use the Centennial curriculum?

    Will all teachers be employed by the Centennial School District?

    How often will children be able to access their teachers?
    Individual teachers will set up schedules with their students.

    Will students in this scenario be able to participate in sports, clubs and after school activities?
    Yes if they are offered

    Will teachers use email to assign work?

    Will the district provide the necessary devices to fully participate in a virtual program?

    Will children receive instruction in all subjects?

    How long is a marking period or trimester?
    A marking period is 46 days. A trimester is 61 days.

    What will be the determining factor(s) in moving from a virtual program back into an in-person program?
    The overall readiness of the district in terms of health and safety issues will determine if the school district goes back  to the school buildings

    Will there be more “live” teaching this year?

    Will the district consider forming interest groups or study groups for students who want to connect with other students?
    The district can assist parents in forming groups. 

    Will the district be able to sustain this type of program until a vaccine helps this situation?

    Will there be more flexibility in assignment deadlines this year?
    Teachers will develop their own assignment schedules with their students.

    How much instructional time will students get in a virtual setting?
    Proposed daily schedules for each level (elementary, middle and high school) can be found on the district website.

    Describe what a virtual day would look like at each level?
    Each grade level will have a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Teachers will use a variety of techniques including large and small group instructions. Examples of the schedules can be found on the district website under Online/Virtual Scenario Presentation.

    Will there be report cards?
    Yes. The district will follow the normal marking periods calendar.

    How will classes that are co-taught at the high school be affected in a virtual setting?
    The high school will use co-teaching in some Math and English classes this year. Teachers will follow the same routine that they used in previous years.

    Can teachers teach from home or do they have to teach from a classroom?
    Teachers will have opportunities to teach from their own classrooms  since their materials are there. However if they feel that they can deliver an outstanding program from somewhere other than their classroom then they will have that opportunity as well. Please be reminded that the Governor’s guidelines permit teleworking from remote locations.

    Will textbooks be digital?
    Most of the Centennial curriculum is in digital form. Students in elementary schools will be given Eureka math workbooks this year.

    If scenario 3 is implemented is there a set time for staying in the program?
    The current plan is to have all students and staff return to their school after November 9th. The plan is to shift into a blended or hybrid schedule for all three levels.

    Will pacing guides be offered to students and parents?
    Centennial School District does not use formal pacing guides. However teachers will communicate with parents on a variety of curriculum matters.

    Can a child who is quarantined “drop into” a virtual classroom to stay current?

    Will the district accept parental input on distance or remote learning platforms?
    The district has determined that Google Classroom will be used for Grades K-5 students and Canvas will be the platform for students in Grades 6-12

    Can lessons be presented on Zoom so that each student can follow their own schedule.
    The district will be using Google Classroom as its K-6 platform and  Canvas as its 6-12 platform. As the year progresses there may be opportunities to use tools other than the aforementioned platforms.

    How will the decision be made to return to a full in-person program?
    The administration will present updates to the Board of School Directors on September and October. The report will address the district’s progress toward moving students and staff back into the buildings after November 9th.

     Blended/Hybrid Instruction Questions/Answers

    How will students be grouped in the Blended scenario?
    Last names A-L, M-Z. Considerations will be made for students with different last names in the same family. 

    How often will there be live interactions with teachers in the Blended scenario?
    Two days traditionally and one day virtually per week.

    Where will lunch be held in this scenario?
    Elementary lunches will be held in their classrooms. Secondary lunches will be held in the cafeteria and other open spaces.

    Will only teachers assigned to a specific school interact with only the same school students in this scenario?

    Will staff use Canvas in a consistent manner this year?
    Yes. Elementary (K-5) will be Google Classroom. 

    Can you give us an estimate of how many students might be in cohort?
    Approximately fifty percent of each building (roughly 350 in the middle schools, and 900 in the high school).
    Elementary will be half - approximately 350-400 students depending on the building. 

    Can you tell us how many students might be assigned to cafeteria tables in this scenario?
    Secondary students will be seated at socially distant seats according to guidelines.
    Elementary students will be eating in the classrooms.

    What subjects will be taught in the in-school days?
    Secondary - all subjects.
    Elementary will be the core content (RELA, Math, Social/Emotional Learning).

    What subjects will be taught online?
    Secondary - all subjects.
    Elementary - Science, Social Studies, Specials

    Will there be a consistent timeline given for the completion of online assignments?
    Timelines will be determined by the teacher based on the assignments.

    Can the district provide training or assistance to parents in learning how to navigate through Google Classrooms and Canvas?
    Yes, this training is available and continually updated.

    Will AP courses be offered in this scenario?

    Will attendance policies be flexible in this scenario?
    No. Attendance is mandatory. Policies will be followed.

    Will there be any electives offered at the middle school level in this scenario?
    Yes, all classes are provided.

    Will teachers in the same grade level or course use consistent communication methods?

    Will parents be given consideration for the two-day schedule if they have child-care issues?
    Students A-L will be scheduled Mon-Tue; M-Z Thur-Fri. in the buildings.

    Will children have recess in this scenario?
    Elementary - students will be provided with breaks in their day. There will not be a ‘traditional’ recess time. 

    Will the district be offering enrichment programs in this scenario?
    Yes, per GIEP and student needs.

    How will Wednesdays work at each level?
    Secondary - AM schedule includes all students synchronously, PM asynchronously.
    Elementary - AM will be the Monday-Tuesday cohort synchronously. The Wednesday PM session will be the Thursday-Friday cohort synchronously. 

    Will students be able to go to MBIT in the Blended scenario?

    Will the virtual days at each level follow a suggested schedule?

    What grading practices will teachers use in the Blended scenario?
    Standard grading practices will be used.

    If the district starts in a Blended scenario, will it be ready to switch to a full virtual program should COVID-19 circumstances change?
    Yes, we are able to change between all scenarios.

    Will the district monitor the remote part of this approach so as to ensure a quality education experience for the students?

    Will the district be able to switch to a Full in-person program should the COVID-19 situation change?

    Will children interact with their teacher at home while that teacher is working in school with another cohort?
    No. However, email is available.

    What are the children expected to do on Wednesdays?
    Students will be expected to participate synchronously in the morning and follow teacher instructions in the afternoon.

    Can students be given more paper assignments while at home rather than tablet or computer work?
    Yes, because under the blended model, teachers will be able to distribute assignments to students. 

    Will adequate social distancing be observed in the Blended scenario?

    If scenario 2 or 3 is implemented how will the district monitor for quality education?
    Administrators regularly monitor for quality instruction via teacher observation and other methods.

    How frequent will children have live interactions with their teachers?
    Secondary - three times per week.
    Elementary - two full days per week and one virtual ½ day per week and three days of virtual specials (twice a day).

    Will students in the Centennial Virtual Academy have access to sports, clubs and activities at their home school?

     Health Related Questions 

    Must all children be vaccinated?
    We will continue to follow the state mandates for vaccinations. If you chose not to vaccinate your child we need a signed statement from the parent stating religious or personal exemption. 

    How will the district address if spikes in COVID-19 infections happen in Bucks County?
    We will remain in contact with the Bucks County Department of Health and they will complete contract tracing and will provide any results. We will follow their direction in regards to any increase in cases in both our buildings and our county.

    Will parents be responsible for taking their child’s temperature each morning before school?
    Yes parents or older students will be responsible for taking their temperature daily. 

    Will the district be offering suggestions for helping to identify any symptoms of COVID-19?
    Yes we will be providing families with screening tools (COVID-19 screening questions). Educational video to follow.

    What advice will you give to parents if their child feels ill in the morning before going to school?
    Parents know their children the best. Use your best judgement as you would normally do on any given school day. Do not send your child to school with a fever. Do not medicate your child with fever reducing medication to prevent a temperature at school. Advise the building nurse of your morning assessment if you feel unsure of your decision.

    If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19 what will the district do?
    We will be notified by the Department of Health. We will notify the parents of that classroom that a case was identified. The room will be cleaned at the end of the school day. 

    What will the district do if a student or staff member contracts COVID-19 at a school?
    It would be impossible to truly identify where a student or staff member came into contact with COVID-19. But the district will notify families of any positive cases in the classroom.

    How will the district handle contact tracing?
    The Bucks County Department of Health will be completing all contract tracing. 

    What will be the protocol if a student or staff member’s family member contracts COVID-19?
    The county in which that person resides would offer families direction in what to do in specific scenarios. 

    What happens if a child comes to school sick?
    If a child comes to school sick they will be sent to the Nurse’s office. The parent will be called to pick up the child. If the parent is unable to come within a reasonable time frame we would have the parent call another adult to pick up the sick student. The student may not stay in the Nurse’s office for a prolonged period of time.

    Why not check student temperatures at lunchtime?
    It is not medically necessary to check temperatures as a screening tool during the school day. We are asking parents to check their child every morning in order to help keep our schools safe.

    Will the district pay for medical bills if a child contracts COVID-19 at school?
    Families would need to use their own insurance to care for a sick child. If a family needs assistance, the School Nurse or School Social Worker can provide direction. 

    How will the district work with the Bucks County Department of Health?
    The district will work very closely via email and phone calls with the Department of Health Nurses and Medical Director. 

    Will students who are exempted from wearing a face covering have their temperature checked before entering school?
    No, we are asking parents to check temperatures every morning.

    What type of health procedures training will students and staff receive?
    Review of handwashing, social distancing, and covering your cough and sneeze. Students and staff will become very familiar with the prevention and symptoms of COVID-19. 

    If a parent or family member of a staff member or student is quarantined will the child or staff member be quarantined too?
    Not necessarily. Tthe Department of Health would offer direct guidance. 

    How will children of health care providers be affected?
    Unknown at this time. 

    What is the impact of the slow time for testing results to come in for children and staff in the schools?
    We are hoping as we progress with testing the results will not take as long as we have seen in the past. 

    Cleaning Questions

    How often will desks and classrooms be cleaned?
    Classrooms will be cleaned daily. We will be encouraging staff to wipe down all desks/tables after use and between the shifting of classes.

    Where will hand sanitizer dispensers be placed in the schools?
    It is the intent of the district to provide hand sanitizer in classrooms, offices, and common areas.

    What is meant by a “high touch “area?
    “High Touch” refers to desk, chairs, door handles, non-automatic faucets and handles, water fountains, shared items, etc.

    What accountability procedures will be put in place to ensure that proper cleaning takes place?
    Custodians will be required to complete a cleaning checklist on a daily basis.

    How and when will classrooms be cleaned in the Blended scenario?
    Classrooms will be cleaned daily. We will be encouraging staff to wipe down all desks/tables after usage and between the shifting of classes.

    How often will classroom or items such as gym equipment be cleaned?
    Classrooms will be cleaned daily. We will be encouraging staff to wipe down all desks/tables after usage and between the shifting of classes. Equipment, to the extent possible will not be “shared”. All equipment (shared or otherwise) will be wiped down after usage and upon the end of class.

    How often will bathrooms be cleaned?
    Restroom will be sanitized multiple times per day. When sanitizing is being performed, the restrooms will be closed and the student/staff will need to utilize another restroom. Restrooms will be cleaned at the end of the day. Restrooms within classrooms (K-2) will be sanitized and cleaned at the end of the day so as not disrupt the education of the students.

     Transportation Questions

    At present what is the bus-seating plan for 2020-21?
    At this time, 2 students per seat, with the front row being unoccupied. However, this may change at the direction of PDE and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

    Why can’t your buses operate with one student per seat?
    At 1 student the district does not have enough buses, drivers, nor time to effectively transport students.

    Why are you not considering social distancing on school buses?
    CSD will be following student transportation guidelines from CDC, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Bucks County Health Department.

    What is the bus plan for students at the middle and high school?
    At this time, 2 students per seat, with the front row being unoccupied. However, this may change at the direction of PDE and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

    Will you need to purchase more buses?

    Will there be sports and after school clubs and activities this year?
    At this time, no.

    How often will buses be cleaned and sanitized?
    Buses will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each afternoon run.

    Can siblings sit together on the bus?
    Yes, it is encouraged that siblings sit together on the bus.