Friday, January 29, 2021

Dear Elementary Families,

As we work to prepare for an eventual return to in-person instruction, we want to provide you with some information that will give you a greater understanding of the two instructional programs that we will offer for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. We are using this FAQ format with the hope to communicate the particulars of the two options available to students and families and that it will allow for quick access to those specific components. You can expect to receive a survey that asks you to declare a choice for your student’s instructional program (In-Person Hybrid or remote learning via the Sherwood Cloud Campus) for the remainder of the school year. We hope you find this information helpful in making your decision.

What are the two programming choices being offered for our elementary students?

The two choices are:

  • In-Person Hybrid – this model will provide a five-day week of onsite instruction for all K-5 students. The days will be shortened, with no lunch served at school. Asynchronous video lessons for specials, counseling, health, science, and social studies will be offered at the end of each school day. Students will be phased into In-Person Hybrid starting with our youngest learners, likely kindergarten – third grade. Our hope is that fourth and fifth grade students will return soon after. 
  • Sherwood Cloud Campusessentially a replica of what all students have been participating in so far this year. It employs a Zoom link for live teaching and interaction via a screen with the teacher and classmates. Like our current Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) classes, our Cloud Campus utilizes the Seesaw learning management system. It will continue to run the same hours – 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – with asynchronous videos for specials, counseling, health, science, and social studies. This model would require families to continue to pick up supplies at scheduled times and days. 

My student(s) is currently enrolled in the Sherwood Cloud Campus. Can I request a change to an In-Person Hybrid Model?

Maybe, pending physical capacity at the school building, and based on state guidelines that require a minimum of  35 square feet per person in each learning space. If students change to In-Person Hybrid, they will be placed in a class with a different teacher within their home school, as space allows, as their current Sherwood Cloud Campus teacher and peers will be remaining online. Should several families request this change in class placement, there is a high likelihood that we will not be able to serve all students in-person. Staff plans to outline the process for allocating the limited in-person slots in a systematic manner should the need arise.

My student(s) is currently enrolled in the In-Person Hybrid. Can I request a change to the Sherwood Cloud Campus?

Yes, if a family decides that they are uncomfortable with the idea of returning to in-person school and would like to commit to online instruction through the Sherwood Cloud Campus for the remainder of the year, they are more than welcome to transition to that model. Please note: students will join a new teacher and peer cohort of students who are only receiving Sherwood Cloud Campus instruction.

Will I be able to keep the same teacher if I move to the Cloud Campus?

Currently, there are two teachers per grade level in the Cloud Campus. The number of students per grade level that elect to move to the Cloud Campus  will inform the decision regarding placement. If there is room in the existing classes, then your student would likely be placed with these already established classes. If enough students elect to move to the Cloud Campus at a particular grade level, then a new class would need to be created to accommodate the numbers. Although it is a possibility, the likeliest outcome is that a student who moves to the Cloud will end up with a different teacher for the remainder of the year.

If my child enrolls in the Sherwood Cloud Campus, will they have a teacher from their home school?

The current plan is for the Sherwood Cloud Campus classes to include students at each grade level from all four elementary schools (pending registration numbers). There will be one teacher per class, and that teacher may or may not be from your child’s home school. 

On what date will In-Person Hybrid start and will all kids start at the same time?

Right now our start dates for elementary have not been finalized. We do know, however, that per the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance we will have a staggered approach, likely starting with K-3 and following closely thereafter with grades 4-5. Once the details have been finalized we will communicate them out with all families.

I heard that school will not look like “school” if my student returns to In-Person Hybrid.  Can you explain what that means?

If you elect for your student to return to in-person school, it is important to know that it will look and feel different from what we remember about school pre-COVID.  Here are the main features of this option that will be different than what we’ve come to expect:

  1. All persons will be required to wear masks – students, staff, and guests – for the entire time that a person is on district property. Per the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, “students who abstain from wearing a face covering, or students whose families determine the student will not wear a face covering during On-Site instruction must be provided access to instruction. Comprehensive Distance Learning can and should be provided when this decision is values-based. However, additional provisions do apply to students protected under ADA and IDEA.” In these cases, the District will consult with the student’s physician and will develop appropriate accommodations in conjunction with the family and school team. 
  2. Students will have an assigned seat that is approximately 6 feet (to the maximum extent possible) from their neighbor as per the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance.
  3. Students will have an assigned point of entry and exit to be used every day.
  4. Upon arrival, every student will be visually screened for signs of ill health. Families will be required not to send students to school if there are any signs of illness..
  5. Anytime a student transitions, they will be required to either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer (i.e. upon entry, after bathroom and re-entry to room, returning from recess/snack break, prior to eating a snack).
  6. Students will spend the majority of their time in their classroom to minimize time standing in lines and minimize traffic in common spaces.
  7. Students will be assigned a specific bathroom for their use and bathrooms will be limited to a particular number of users at any given time.
  8. Students will have a recess break, but will only be allowed to play with the students in their specific class or cohort. They will be asked to wear their masks even when outside.  
  9. Although these cover the most significant changes, there are several others as well designed to keep students and staff safe.

What is the daily schedule for the In-Person Hybrid model?

In-person learning will focus on the following academic areas – reading, writing, math, and phonics (for our younger learners). In addition, our students will continue to participate in their class’s Community Circle time. Students will not eat lunch on campus. Instead, they will have a mid-morning snack and recess break. The afternoon will look much the same as it has throughout CDL with asynchronous videos for specials, counseling, health, science, and social studies. We expect to run the day from 7:55 am to 12:15 pm, but are currently working through transportation logistics caused by shortening the day having students eat lunch at home.  Final times will be announced soon.

DRAFT In-Person Hybrid Sample Student Schedule

7:45 – 8:05 Arrival/Transition to Class 10:40 – 11:00 Recess/Snack Break
8:05 – 8:20 Community Circle 11:00 – 12:05 Writing
8:20 – 8:40 Number Corner 12:05 – 12:15 Closing/Pack-Up
8:40 – 9:30 Math 12:15 – 12:45 Dismissal/Transition Home
9:30 – 9:40 In-Class Movement Break 12:45 – 1:30 Lunch/Break
9:40 – 10:40 Reading 1:30 – 2:45 At-Home Learning – Specials, Science, Social Studies, Health

I’ve heard the term “cohort.”  What is that?

Within the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, a cohort is any group of students who will be in close proximity (more than a cumulative of 15 minutes per day) of one another. For the most part, your students’ classmates constitute the primary cohort with whom they will associate. 

Will students be allowed to eat while at school?

Students are allowed to eat; however, in our model, we will only be taking one mid-morning snack break. This break will not be taken in the classroom. Students will be assigned a large space within our school (cafeteria, gym, covered area, playground) in which they can unmask to eat. They will be separated to the maximum extent possible within each of these spaces.

We will not be serving lunch or breakfast at school.

Will my student be able to receive a school lunch and/or breakfast?

Although we won’t be serving either lunch or breakfast at school, we will continue to provide a free lunch and/or breakfast for those who choose to take advantage of this opportunity. Nutrition Services will post a limited menu closer to the start date of In-Person Hybrid school. Each day the student will be sent home with that day’s lunch and breakfast for the following morning.  If you think you will be interested in meals from the school, please share this on the survey so we can estimate how many meals will be needed each day.

Will I be allowed into the building?

Only “essential” personnel are allowed inside the building. This means that parents/guardians and volunteers will not be allowed into the building unless there is a need to pick up a student for illness, emergency, or another pre-arranged event.

What will arrival look like?

Students will enter the school through an assigned point of entry. Upon entry, the teacher/staff member will visually screen each student and then direct them to either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer and then to go to their assigned seat. Only students and staff will be allowed into the building, and masks will be required. Any parent who walks their child to school will be required to wear a mask while on campus.  

What will dismissal look like?

Students will exit the school through an assigned door. We ask that parents not congregate on school grounds. This will look different at each elementary school. Stay tuned for updates on your school’s dismissal plan.

Can my students play on the playground after school with or without me present?

We ask that no students or families remain on the school grounds following dismissal for safety and cleaning purposes.

What if my child becomes sick or is injured during school?

If your child is injured while at school, the normal procedures will be employed – first aid applied and parent or 911 called when warranted. As always we will provide the best care for your student. If your child exhibits symptoms of illness, the office will be called and a specific staff member will follow the protocols outlined in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance. One of the primary features of this protocol is that an isolation room has been established in our front office area where any student who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will remain until a parent collects them.

How will I know if my child has been exposed to COVID-19?

The Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance has strict guidelines regarding maintaining contact tracing logs. The guidance requires that any time an individual spends more than 15 minutes with another person they need to be recorded on the contract tracing log. The typical exposure for the vast majority of our students will be with the other children in their class and the staff members assigned to that class. A major supplement to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners document is a protocol list for specific COVID-19 scenarios. This is the tool that the school will use to determine the appropriate response.

What happens if my child and/or their class has to quarantine?

All quarantines will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, relying on direction from the local health authority and the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance. Students who are out on quarantine will be provided with comprehensive learning options per the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, until they are able to return to school. 

What items should my child bring to school?

Students may bring a coat, a backpack, a water bottle, and their school assigned device (iPad/Chromebook) as directed by their teacher. We ask that each item be clearly labeled with the child’s first and last name.

Will items be shared with other students?

Students will have their own supplies that will stay in their backpacks or inside their desks. Each class will have its own playground equipment that will only be shared within their cohort. This equipment will be sanitized each day.

What will the sanitation of the room, bathroom, playground, and school look like, in general?

Throughout the day staff members will wipe down frequently used touchpoints in all areas of the school. At the end of each day, after students and staff have left, the building will be thoroughly sanitized as per Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidelines.

Which grades will attend school five days each week?

Students will be phased into In-Person Hybrid starting with our youngest learners, likely kindergarten – third grade. Our hope is that fourth and fifth grade students will return soon after. 

Hopefully, these answers provide clarification around plans for the potential return to in-person instruction and assist in helping you decide between the two options. Please stay tuned for a survey to be shared closer to a finalized opening date. Please also know that the four of us are always willing to help and answer any questions you may have. Our email addresses can be found on the web pages for each of the elementary schools at

With thanks,

Miranda Johnson, Penny Salm, Tim Smith & Jon Wollmuth