COVID-19 & School » FAQ


Scituate School Department FAQs: 

Terms to know before continuing: 

Synchronous learning is online or distance education that happens in real time, whereas asynchronous learning occurs through online channels ...
Synchronous learning refers to a learning event in which a group of students are engaging in learning at the same time.
Possible Examples:
  • Scheduled quizzes and tests.
  • Scheduled chat room time for students to share ideas.
  • Scheduled video conferences or group phone calls.
  • Live streamed lectures or demonstrations.
Asynchronous learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time.
Possible Examples:
  • Online courses.
  • Email.
  • Blogs.
  • Pre-recorded video lessons or webinars.
  • Online forums and discussion boards.


When will parents know which model school will occur?

   We will return under the model that the State of RI mandates. The Governor will decide which model exactly we return under. RIDE has mandated the percentages of students and which groups of students under each model will be returning and we will follow the direction given on August 31st (as of 8/11/20). 


Are students expected to wear their masks all day? 

  At the Town Hall meeting we shared that the governor has mandated that all individuals in the school building wear a face covering throughout the day. In developing our plan, we followed RIDOH guidelines as well as any governor mandates. If you wish to opt for your child to distance learn, please contact the superintendent’s office at 401-647-4100.


If we go back to virtual learning how will it be different/better than last spring?

   Teachers will be following the students’ schedule and there will be a minimum of 90 minutes of live instruction per week. All teachers will be using a standard Google platform (Google Classroom) and we are working on streamlining how the classrooms look. We are also working on streamlining attendance. These efforts are in response to the parent/students surveys we sent in the spring. Additionally we are creating a Google Handbook as well as clear expectations for teachers, students, and parents for distance learning.

How can we better support students with IEPs in distance learning?

Special educators will be invited to the teachers’ Google Classrooms to provide  appropriate support, accommodations and specialized instruction as outlined in the IEP.  Special educators will be participating synchronously in assigned co-taught classes.  Special educators will also be setting up their own Google Classrooms to provide explicit synchronous and asynchronous instruction.  IEP teams, including related service providers, will consider the provision of in-person services for our most vulnerable populations while adhering to recommended safety protocols.


How will instruction work when some students are doing distance learning while others are in-person? How do we protect student privacy if classes are being broadcast?

Teachers will be taping lessons and at times providing synchronous instruction where a camera will be focused on the teacher only.  No students will be on the camera.

Will there be Band and Chorus? If so will they be handled differently?

These details are still being worked out at this time. It may look different at elementary/middle/high.

If we decide to return in-person now, can we change our minds and join the distance learning group later?

There will be some flexibility for parents and students as circumstances change.  We will not be able to accommodate multiple changes from families.  For example we will not be able to appropriately accommodate parents changing between in person and distance learning each week. When the district returns to full in person learning distance learning will no longer be an option.

How will the school be prepared to support the mental health of students? 

Our teachers, social workers, psychologists  and other professionals are aware of the need to be vigilant in their observations of students' mental health and will support students as we have in the past with professional support and communication with families.

What will screenings for COVID-19 symptoms look like if a student or staff member exhibits symptoms at school? 

School nurse teachers will evaluate students or staff members by following the Department of Health guidelines for symptoms. Non-invasive assessments will be done. If the school nurse teacher determines that a student or staff member needs to be sent home, the family will be contacted and the student will be transferred to a separate supervised quarantine area while they wait for their parent to arrive.

Who will be doing the screening for students and staff before each day? 

As of August 6th, 2020 the district ordered Temperature Tablets that will be placed in each main office for staff to use as they arrive. The tablet will take staff temperatures and will automatically report via instant email to the building principal as well as the school nurse if a high temperature is detected. The email will have a picture of the staff member if a high temperature is detected. Parents are responsible for the screening of their children at home each day. 

How will students with IEPs and 504s be supported and services be provided? 

Schools will carefully consider caseloads, class assignments and schedules for students with disabilities so that they receive services consistent with their IEPs in the least restrictive environment while maintaining the current health and safety protocols.  When possible, if numbers of the stable group allow, the special educator (and/or related service providers) may provide direct instruction in the general education setting (reduced number of students, co-taught elementary classroom, etc.) consistent with the expectations of a “stable cohort”.  Special educators and related service providers may also provide special education services in the general education setting remotely from within the school building via video conferencing, instead of coming into the classroom to provide services.  This practice would minimize foot traffic in and out of classrooms while also providing access to services that support the inclusion of students with disabilities.  Instructional assistants can serve as facilitators in the general education setting as needed.  Additionally, special educators will continue to provide explicit instruction in the special education setting as indicated in the IEP (“other” location) in a manner that maintains physical distancing requirements and avoids overlapping with other staff and/or students. 


As protocols described the need to reduce the number of adults in a school building, IEP meetings will continue to be conducted virtually.  Parents have expressed appreciation for the flexibility of the remote meetings and participation is at an all time high.

Will the school provide socialization opportunities for students? 

Depending on what stage we return under that will dictate what socialization opportunities will look like and how many socialization opportunities will be available for students. Unfortunately at this time socialization will not occur as it has in the past due to health and safety guidelines set by the Department of Health, but the district is willing to explore possible socialization opportunities provided that they can follow the social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

What PPE and cleaning supplies will be available at the school? 

The custodial staff have been ordering all of the necessary sanitizing chemicals for each school. The Director of School Facilities has also been ordering supplies including sanitizing wipes for the district, hand sanitizing stations and refills for every classroom and all common areas, and 11 Protectus sanitizing systems. PPE has been ordered for staff for all of the school buildings as well as Nitrile gloves, masks and specialty PPE for the nurses.  The district has purchased masks for students who may not have one or forget theirs on any given day.

How will hybrid instruction impact sibling groups and blended families for in-person days? 

The student body will be split alphabetically by last name. Students will either report on Tuesday and Wednesday OR Thursday and Friday depending on which alphabetical group they fall under. In the case of blended families, the oldest school attending child’s last name will be used to group all remaining school aged children in the household, regardless of what younger siblings’ last names are - so all children in the household will attend school on the same days.

What is the mask wearing protocol for school? What is the protocol for when the weather is hot?

The Governor has mandated all staff and students to wear masks during the school day.  If this mandate changes the requirement will be adjusted.

What are the quarantine protocols for if a student tests positive? If a member of a student’s household tests positive?

The 14 day mandatory quarantine will be in place, as outlined by the Governor, if a student or immediate family member tests positive.

What cleaning will take place in between classes? How frequently will bathrooms be cleaned?

There is a cleaning procedure in our reopening plan that the staff will follow. Common areas as well as restrooms and all high frequency touchable surfaces are scheduled to be cleaned as frequently as every hour. The custodial staff will be using Protectus sanitizing systems as well as our sanitizing solutions in spray bottles to disinfect all surfaces.

How will the school keep high risk students or students with high risk family members safe?

All safety measures as outlined by RIDE and RIDOH will be followed. In addition, as is available for all families, distance learning is available. Please contact the Central Office to learn more about opting into Distance Learning. 

What will bus transportation be like this school year?

The transportation company is working with the RIDOH and the Governor’s office to finalize that plan.  There will be less children on each bus and the bus assignments must be static so that stable groups can be maintained.

If after reviewing this FAQ page you were unable to find an answer to your question or concern, please complete the On-Going Feedback Form. Survey responses will be reviewed by the Reopening Task Force at their next scheduled meeting. If you have a more immediate issue, please contact your school principal or the Central Office.