• School Reopening Frequently Asked Questions


    General and Learning Scenario Declaration Questions
    Health and Safety Questions
    Academic Experience Questions
    School Routine Questions
    Athletics and Activities Questions
    Staff Reopening Information Questions

    Updated 8/21/20 

    General and Learning Scenario Declaration Questions

    Who can I contact with additional questions? For more information, or if you have questions or concerns, please contact your school or the District office at 816-858-5420. You can also submit comments, concerns, compliments and questions using our “How are we doing?” form on the homepage of our website.

    I don’t have a Parent Portal Account. How do I choose my child’s learning scenario? Families with new kindergarten or Great Beginnings PreK students should have received an email on July 22 from sishelp@platteco.k12.mo.us with the subject "Parent / Student Portal Account Information" with instructions for setting up your Parent Portal account. Please check your spam folder for this email and contact the District office or your child’s school for assistance. Click here for instructions on using Parent Portal, and instructions for completing Parent Portal online forms.

    Our family is new to the District. How will I choose my child’s learning scenario? For new families enrolling in our district, you will indicate your student's learning scenario selection during new student enrollment. New Student Enrollment dates are scheduled in all of our buildings on August 6 (noon -7 p.m.), August 7 (8 a.m.-3 p.m.), and August 10 (8 a.m.-3 p.m.). Face coverings will be required in our buildings during enrollment.

    Do I have to complete the learning scenario e-Form if it is our intention for our students to attend in person? We would like all parents to complete the form as we are capturing some additional information that will be helpful to the District as we plan for the school year. If families do not complete the form, we will assume you've opted your student for in-person learning.

    I’m requesting for my child to attend a virtual school outside of PCR-3 during this pandemic. How do I go about that and who do I contact for approval?Eligible students wishing to enroll in any virtual school program under the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program law must receive approval from his or her school district or charter school. Dr. Aaron Duff, Coordinator of Academic Services, is PCR-3’s contact for these situations.

    Are we able to select a different learning scenario after we’ve made a decision? Parents will need to make a selection for their student to either be in-person or remote learning by August 10, 2020. The selection you are making for your student will be for the first semester.  Additional information for the second semester will be shared with parents in late fall. Due to the delivery of instruction, switching formats will be difficult, and we are asking families to commit to a learning scenario for a semester. If there are extenuating circumstances, please communicate first with your child’s principal.

     

    Health and Safety Questions

    Why are PreK-5th grade students starting the school year in person and 6th-12th grade students starting in an alternating schedule? An alternating schedule at the secondary level (decreasing the building occupancy by about 50%), allows for increased ability for physical distancing during transitions and reduces student capacity in our largest schools. According to local health authorities, although we are seeing a substantial increase in cases of COVID-19 in under 10 and 10-19 age groups, it appears that this is primarily stemming from adults transmitting this disease to children. To date, for children under 10, we have little evidence of significant levels of child-to-child transmission. We also have little evidence of significant child-to-adult transmission. Therefore, based on this evidence, and the challenges of virtual learning in the younger ages, area health officials are highly encouraging in-person education for all PreK through grade school students.

    Will students and staff be required to wear a face covering? Students and staff are expected to wear protective face coverings when attending in-person learning (full in person or alternating schedule). Face coverings are required on the bus and during all transitions such as, entering or exiting the building, passing periods, traveling to the lunchroom, lunch lines, nurse’s office, etc. Any time social distancing is not possible, students and staff should wear face coverings. Face coverings may only be removed when seated alone at your desk and guided by the teacher, once appropriate distancing has been established and can be maintained. Refer to CDC guidance for use of cloth face cover. There may be classrooms where face coverings are required at all times due to limitations for physical distancing.

    What about students with medical issues or special needs? Will they be required to wear a face covering? If a student is unable to wear a face covering, communication with the school nurse is essential. Please communicate directly with your school nurse if there are specific issues related to face coverings. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), you may also communicate directly with your child’s case manager. Questions about face coverings can be directed to Dr. Jennifer Beutel, Executive Director of Pupil Services.

    Will the District be providing face coverings for all students? No. We are asking parents to provide an appropriately-fitted face covering for their students. If you are unable to provide a face covering for your child, please contact your school. Each school will have a limited number of  extra face coverings on hand in the event someone forgets, soils, or loses their own.

    Can my child wear a face shield instead of a cloth or other face covering? CDC guidance on face coverings outlines the emerging evidence on the effectiveness of cloth face covers.  According to the CDC, face shields are not recommended as a substitute for cloth face coverings.  In order to be effective, face shields must wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend below the chin.  Face shields can be used in conjunction with but not in the place of cloth face covers. Questions about face coverings can be directed to Dr. Jennifer Beutel, Executive Director of Pupil Services.

    Will staff and students' temperatures be taken each day as they enter the building? Because a large portion of people with COVID-19 do not present with fever, experts shared with us that temperature checks are not a reliable indicator. Families and staff are requested to complete a Daily Wellness Check. If you or your child are exhibiting symptoms, please stay home

    What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19? Upon notification of a positive test, the District will work with health officials to initiate contact tracing to identify and notify any individuals who may be at risk, per the CDC definitions. All individuals will be expected to adhere to health department guidance and complete all processes before returning to the school building. We will work with local health authorities to determine what precautions we must take and whether we need to close a classroom, building, or school.

    In what situations would PCR-3 communicate about a student/staff member testing positive for COVID-19? The District will work with our local health department on a case by case basis. The health department may instruct us to contact specific individuals who have been determined to be a “close contact” of a person confirmed to have COVID-19 or inform larger groups of risk of exposure. Close contact is defined as proximity less than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. Privacy laws limit what districts can share about those who test positive for COVID-19, and it’s important to remember that the protocols the health department instructs us to implement may or may not include a mass notification to a classroom, school building, or the district. If your child has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or whose medical provider diagnosed them with a presumed case of COVID-19, you will be contacted by the health department. 

    How will students receive learning if they are confirmed as COVID-19 positive or as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual and quarantined? The District will follow normal absence protocols to deliver coursework and acknowledge sick days for our students who are learning in-person.

    How do I know when to keep my child home? Use the District’s Wellness Check to determine if your child has any symptoms related to COVID-19. If any symptoms are present, please keep your child home. Questions about your child’s health can be answered by your school nurse and/or your health provider.

    We might have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19. What do we do? Contact your health provider for guidance. This graphic from the CDC is helpful in determining next steps. Please also contact your child’s school and the local health authorities to let them know.

    Will we ask students or staff to quarantine after they travel? We will follow the guidance of local health officials, and there are no current travel restrictions. We will limit work-related travel for PCR-3 employees, and we are suspending students’ school-related overnight travel for now. We will reconsider this as circumstances change.

    Will cleaning supplies be made available for teachers? We will supply teachers with cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer so they can disinfect their classroom throughout the day. Our custodians will be disinfecting high-touch areas on a consistent basis throughout the day, by wiping down surfaces and using electrostatic disinfectant sprayers. as well as other methods. We have hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the building, and will schedule time to have students use the stations when coming and going. i.e. using hand sanitizer when walking out of the doors for recess and when coming back into school.

    Will students be sharing their supplies? What if I cannot find all of the items listed on the supply list? Our prevention efforts include reducing the sharing of school supplies, and we will sanitize the supplies we must share. Each student should have their own school supplies for their own personal use. We understand that some items on our school supply lists are difficult to find, i.e. Clorox Wipes.  Please supply what you can.  If you need assistance in purchasing supplies due to hardship, please contact your building’s School Social Worker.

    Will in-person class sizes be smaller? Once student numbers for each scenario are stabilized, the District will reallocate teachers to meet the needs of both in-person and remote learning students. Due to the reallocation of some teachers to remoting learning, class sizes will not necessarily be smaller with a number of students choosing remote instruction. If the District’s learning scenario is the Alternating Schedule Scenario, reducing the capacity of the students in our building could result in smaller class sizes.

    How will we distance students with tables and higher class sizes? Building administrators have completed room audits to determine which actions need to be taken to maintain physical distancing. We will follow the DESE recommendations of a minimum of 3 feet of physical distancing, but will work toward as close to 6 feet as possible. A component of our audits is to determine which tables need replaced or re-configured so that students are facing the same direction or that those who are sitting across from each other have a physical barrier to promote safety.

    What is the District doing to address the air quality in our buildings? The District is making changes and will continue to research and review other recommendations for improving air quality during a pandemic. These changes include:

    • Increasing the air filtration from our standard 8MERV to 11MERV by the start of school. Ultimately, the District plans to adopt an even higher filter level, as those filters become available for purchase and when our units can maintain the appropriate air flow. With this change in filtration rate, and to further improve indoor air quality, the air filters will be changed more frequently.
    • Increasing outside air circulation by lowering the demand control ventilation set points. This will increase the amount of fresh air that will circulate through our ventilation systems. Increasing outside air has the potential to bring more humidity to building spaces. With this in mind, the temperature and humidity set points will be adjusted to allow us to manage humidity levels effectively. All HVAC systems will be set to bring in more fresh air by increasing outside air damper positions.
    • Pursuing air purification systems to be installed in areas of each building such as music rooms, health rooms, locker rooms, and classroom spaces. Areas with greater humidity and ventilation challenges will be the first priority.

     

    Academic Experience Questions

    Is there a separate school supply list for students in the remote learning scenario? We understand that some families have already purchased supplies. If you did so through our online ordering system, buildings will be in contact to arrange a pick up time. If you haven't purchased supplies, you may choose to wait until you meet with your remote teacher(s) or purchase the existing school supply list.  Remote learners may not need all of the items on the list, however if you choose to return to in-person learning second semester, you will need those supplies. 

    Why are PreK-5th grade students starting the school year in person and 6th-12th grade students starting in an alternating schedule? An alternating schedule at the secondary level (decreasing the building occupancy by about 50%), allows for increased ability for physical distancing during transitions and reduces student capacity in our largest schools. According to local health authorities, although we are seeing a substantial increase in cases of COVID-19 in under 10 and 10-19 age groups, it appears that this is primarily stemming from adults transmitting this disease to children. To date, for children under 10, we have little evidence of significant levels of child-to-child transmission. We also have little evidence of significant child-to-adult transmission. Therefore, based on this evidence, and the challenges of virtual learning in the younger ages, area health officials are highly encouraging in-person education for all PreK through grade school students.

    How will remote learning be different from our spring 2020 emergency plans and learning? Remote learning for the 2020-21 school year will focus on new learning as well as continued connections with teachers. Students and families should plan for more rigorous expectations of engagement through instruction, work completion, and project work that mirrors our in-person instruction more closely. Learners can expect to receive teacher-directed instruction on the new learning for the day followed by a learning activity to practice and apply new skills. This instruction may be in real-time, through pre-recorded video, or other means. This can be anticipated for every core content/course in a student’s schedule each school day.

    When will my middle school or high school student receive their revised course schedule? After the declaration period, Academic Services will work with middle school and high school administration and counselors to review student schedules and modify those based on student need, staffing, and other available resources.  Our intent is to prioritize this review and schedule modification process, beginning with upper classmen, in order to support achievement of graduation requirements and goals after graduation, and high school plans for our middle school students. Our goal is to provide our secondary students with their course schedules by our school buildings’ registration days.

    Will my child be able to choose the courses they want? Elementary and most middle school students will be placed in courses based on their grade levels. High school students will be first enrolled in courses needed to graduate. However, because high-school course requests and teacher availability will vary during this COVID-19 pandemic, we will have limited options and students might not get their preferred courses.

    How much time and work will full remote learning require from students and their parents? All students will need to complete daily assignments in each subject/course. Elementary students might need help from a family member or caregiver to complete their work. While students can expect to be directly engaged in learning for approximately 4-6 hours each day, students will need a different amount of time to complete their daily learning activity as students learn at different rates and times.  

    May my child, who has an Individual Education Plan, sign up for full remote learning? Full-remote learning is an option for all enrolled PCR-3 students. If you are considering remote learning, your child’s case manager will work with you and the rest of the IEP team to determine whether full remote learning is the best fit for your child’s needs. IEPs will be amended as necessary to support your child.

    How will interventions be implemented? Our Tiered Assessment Plan will indicate students who may need additional support and intervention. In a remote environment, those interventions may be implemented through online learning platforms or through teacher-directed lessons designed to address areas of need.

    May my child participate in high-school or middle-school sports, band or other MSHSAA activities if we select full remote learning? Yes. The rules from the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), say that full-remote students may participate in MSHSAA activities if the District is also offering in-person learning. Families must provide transportation for their children in these cases. Please keep in mind that, while we will take all the safety precautions we can, we can’t always provide full physical distancing or ensure face coverings with these activities.  We will follow the guidance from local health authorities, MSHSAA, and the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference for all athletics and extracurricular activities participation. MSHSAA’s eligibility requirements will also still apply, including attendance, a semester of enrollment, and making progress toward graduation.

    Will students in full-remote learning still take tests? Will students in AP or dual credit classes at the high school level take tests online or in-person at the school building? Yes, in addition to class/course specific assessments, students participating in full remote learning will also take state assessments. Students in full-remote learning will access assessments online, provided the governing body (DESE, AP, dual credit, etc.) has an online platform available for testing.

    My child is an NCC student. What are the learning scenarios there? Can PCHS students choose remote learning at PCHS, but in-person learning at NCC? NCC is partnering with the Platte County R-3 School District and its six other sending school districts to develop its own reopening plan. NCC’s plan is tightly aligned to the PCR-3 plan, but has a few differences to support its approach to offering Career and Technical Education (CTE). NCC will release a plan to parents on Thursday, July 30. At that time NCC will request that the parents of students make the same declaration that you are being asked to do as a PCR-3 parent.  You will have until 7:00 AM on Friday, August 7, to share that decision. NCC students may choose remote learning at their sending school, and in-person learning at NCC.

    Will Northland CAPS continue as planned? Yes, but with some new guidelines and procedures. Please see the attached document with information from NCAPS. NCAPS  follows guidance provided by the North Kansas City School District. Students will receive individual schedules from NCAPS administration; please note the difference in schedule between a first- and second-year NCAPS student.

    Will students in full-remote learning have access to his/her teachers during set times? Will students need to go to the school building to talk/meet with his/her teachers, or speak with them via phone, or in an online format? Students in full-remote learning will have daily access to teachers. Designated times will be determined and communicated with students and families. In-person access to teaching staff will not be an option for students in full-remote learning.

    Will all remote learning teachers be Platte County School District teachers? PCR-3 staff will teach the full-remote learning students to the best of our capacity. If PCR-3 staff are not available, the District may contract with outside providers. All teachers will be certified and highly qualified. Remote learning teachers may not be from your student’s home school.

    Will all classes be available through remote learning? If not all will be available, what determines if they are available or not? After the declaration period, Academic Services will work with middle school and high school administration and counselors to review student schedules and modify those based on student need, staffing, and other available resources. Our intent is to prioritize this review and schedule modification process, beginning with upper classmen, in order to support achievement of graduation requirements and goals after graduation, and high school plans for our middle school students. Our goal is to provide our secondary students with their course schedules by our school buildings’ registration days.

    Will my child be in remote learning classes with students they know from school? Students in full remote learning will come from across the District.

    What connection will my student have to their home school if they are in full-remote learning? Remote teachers will be sure students and parents receive pertinent home school information and before/after school events details. They will also engage students in school-level initiatives such as Leader in Me at the elementary level and Character Strong at the middle level.

    Will my child have access to the technology they need? Our goal is to issue a Chromebook to all full-remote learning students. The District will assist families who need internet access.

    How will I know how my child is doing in their courses? Parents will receive regular communication from teachers via email, and parents may schedule meetings with staff as needed. We will follow the district calendar for parent-teacher conferences in a virtual format.

    How will students earn grades for these courses? Consistent with full in-person learning, PCR-3 remote learning teachers will assess students throughout the semester and will utilize the established grading procedures. All students will receive quarterly grade reports, and middle- and high-school students will receive final letter grades each semester. Teachers will record grades in Parent Portal SIS K-12. High-school and middle-school students will see these grades reflected in their overall grade point average.

    How will students learn these “new ways of doing school?” All learners will be in new environments this fall, whether they select in-person or remote learning. Staff members will participate in professional development designed to address coping strategies and pandemic-related trauma as they return to work. Specific focus will be on learning coping strategies that can be used with adults and students. Staff will be able to apply these skills to assist in reducing stress for themselves and their students. For in-person students, we will help students understand how school will look different during this pandemic, teaching them about health and safety. This will include developmentally appropriate modules on handwashing, physical distancing, covering coughs, when to stay home, wearing face coverings and avoiding face-touching. All students will learn about toxic stress, how it affects the body, and strategies for coping. Our School Counselors and School Social Workers will continue to provide support and resources for students and families, regardless of learning platform.

    How and when would students transition from remote back to in-person? Depending on the current COVID-19 condition as the spring semester approaches, the District may provide the same options as in the fall or students that are in remote learning will transition back to in-person learning at their home school.  At this time, class assignments will be re-evaluated based on enrollment.  Students previously enrolled in full in-person learning will not change schedules or teachers (pending course selection 6-12).

    Will classrooms continue guided reading (at the table in a small group)? How will that be implemented? It is our guidance to have students wear a face covering when they are not at their physically-distanced seat in the classroom. For example, if a student comes to the carpet for a class meeting or to the guided reading table they will need to be wearing a face covering. At this time, we are purchasing clear barriers in identified areas when other mitigation strategies are difficult to maintain. However, local health officials have been clear that the use of face coverings is the most effective strategy for mitigating virus spread.

    If students are in remote learning, will they have the same teacher and classmates everyday? How many kids will be in that class? Students in full-remote learning will have an assigned teacher and consistent classmates for the duration of remote learning. Class numbers will be determined after August 10, 2020.

     

    School Routine Questions

    Will schools still host Back-to-School Nights and registration days? Yes, but the dates might be altered and the format may be different from year’s past. Be looking for specific communication from your child’s school regarding these events.

    Will elementary schools have recess? Yes, elementary students will participate in daily recess for a total of 30 minutes. The district is developing processes to ensure equipment and shared objects to be disinfected between use.

    Will we be allowed to bring snacks to school or to share with classes? Snacks brought to the class need to be individually wrapped and peanut-free. In order to decrease contact, we will not be allowing students to bring treats for other students or staff. 

    Will students in remote learning be able to attend clubs, special events or class parties in preschool or elementary school? Students in full-remote learning will be able to participate in before- or after-school clubs, with transportation as the family's responsibility, but they will not access celebrations or special events during the school day, like class parties or assemblies.

     

    Athletics and Activities Questions

    May my child participate in high-school or middle-school sports, band or other MSHSAA activities if we select full remote learning? Yes. The rules from the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), say that full-remote students may participate in MSHSAA activities if the District is also offering in-person learning. Families must provide transportation for their children in these cases. Please keep in mind that, while we will take all the safety precautions we can, we can’t always provide full physical distancing or ensure face coverings with these activities.  We will follow the guidance from local health authorities, MSHSAA, and the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference for all athletics and extracurricular activities participation. MSHSAA’s eligibility requirements will also still apply, including attendance, a semester of enrollment, and making progress toward graduation.

    Will I be able to attend my child’s activities? Does the district have other options for spectators? We are currently reviewing options that will best allow our community to enjoy our student activities in a safe manner. Among the possibilities under consideration are limited attendance and broadcasting or streaming of activities. For activities held at other schools or sites, the rules for attendance will vary based on their local health department recommendations.

    When will we know if each sport or activity’s season will go forward as scheduled? Activity scheduling is currently a very fluid situation. The District is planning to proceed as planned with schedules until we hear otherwise. We will be following the guidance of MSHSAA, the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference and our local health departments. As the District learns more detail, we will share with our families.

     

    Staff Reopening Information Questions

    Will the District have an application process for teachers interested in the remote learning scenario? Yes, there will be an application process for those teachers interested in remote teaching positions. Teachers who are selected to work remotely, will be responsible for the students who elected to learn remotely.

    Is every teacher expected to do both in-person and remote teaching? Regular classroom teachers will be focused on students who attend in-person. However, it will be an expectation for every teacher will be to use an online platform such as Google Classroom to assist in the teaching process. This will ensure staff are knowledgeable regarding the ability to facilitate remote learning and can continue the learning process at a much higher level than last spring.

    How will the number of remote teaching positions be determined? After the student declaration period has closed (8/10/20), District staff will analyze the results and assess the needs of remote learning teachers and staff across the District. We are already at work monitoring the early results and will need to make decisions quickly. If it is deemed necessary, we will adjust schedules, teacher assignments, and potentially cancel some course offerings based on the results of the student declaration. 

    If our learning scenario shifts to full remote learning, will teachers teach from home or from their buildings? We have not yet determined if staff members will report to a building or will be located at home during a full remote learning scenario.