Below you will find the most commonly asked questions by the community pertaining to the subject of the preparations and plans for returning to school this fall. We hope that this will clear up any questions you may have. If you have a question that isn’t present on the FAQ please feel free to contact the school district.
Will the students essentially be remote learning in the classroom throughout the entire school day using google? Or is it just a small part of daily instruction with regular in-person classroom? In-person learning will be in a traditional manner. Google Classroom will be used for organizational purposes and communication.
Are students able to transition from in-person learning to remote learning if it becomes too stressful for them? It depends. We do not want students transitioning back and forth between the learning models. However, if stress were a major obstacle we would hopefully be able to provide support to our students that would allow them to remain. With that being said, we would consider such a request on a case by case basis.
Will there be extra measures taken for AP classes? AP classes are likely to be more interactive as the smaller class sizes lends itself to this type of instruction.
If a student chooses the remote learning path, can they participate in the PAL’s program? If so, how does that work? We are not sure at this time. More discussion will be taking place on this subject.
When do schedules come out? I know for me personally, what classes I’m enrolled in will weigh heavily on my decision to either choose remote or face-to-face learning. HS schedules will be ready before orientation.
My children would like to continue in the classroom, but I have questions and concerns. Will parents have the right to pull their children from class to virtual learning at their discretion? As in, if cases in the county/community begin to grow, or say at a parent’s employment (different county) there are cases, and the school has not yet switched to distance only learning, can a parent make that call or is it only going to be allowed in cases where the CHILD is actually sick or with symptoms? In this situation, students would be allowed to transition to remote learning.
Will my child be graded this time for remote learning? Yes. Grading will resume as they do in a traditional school year.
Will my child learn new concepts to stay on track / at grade level? Yes. Our teachers will be presenting new material to students to keep them moving forward at grade level while also filling gaps from the closure in the spring.
If we decide to enroll in the virtual school and things get better before the first day of in-person, can we change our mind and send our kids? Enrollment preferences can be adjusted by trimester to help with planning and staffing.
Can families with multiple children put some in school and some virtual school? Yes. The academic choice for each student can be separate. Any option will be on a trimester basis.
For MS & HS, will students stay in the same classroom all day and teachers rotate or will the students change classrooms? Middle and high school students will change classes. There might be some exceptions, but will primarily attend school as they normally would. For 6th-12th graders, they will be required to wear masks, allowing for them to switch classes.
The A/B schedule has three remote learning days. Do you have any idea what those days will look like? I have a kindergartner and first grader this year. Is this like 6 hours of watching their teacher on a call…virtual worksheets? How much time are we thinking it will be? We are still considering this answer. It is unlikely that a student would be required to sit in front of a screen for six hours, but the district must ensure that the state instructional hours are met.
For remote learning, would there be live/interactive lectures or recorded ones? We currently do not have the equipment to have all teachers deliver live lessons. Most material will be recorded and posted. Google Classroom will be the platform used to roll out resources and materials and collect materials from students for both in-person and remote instruction.
What will be the expected schedule for kids on their at-home learning days? The structure of the at-home learning days is still being worked out, but families should expect their child(ren) to spend more time than in the spring, but not the entire school day. In addition, there will be accountability for work done at home. More details to come as the first day of school gets closer.
Will the teacher be available to answer questions on the days the students are at home? Our teachers are available by email and students can also submit questions and comments through their online work in Google Classroom. Exact details will be planned by the teachers to best fit their content lessons.
How much time should students dedicate to learning on their days at home? The expectation will not be a full day, but students should expect more time on learning than in the spring. Each grade level will have different expectations. We will present those within a couple of weeks.
If we choose to do the virtual plan, how will the classes be structured? Will the students need to log on at the same time as the live classes are being taught at the school and join in virtually while the class is being taught live at the building or will the lessons be available for the students to log on and watch whenever? Students in the remote or virtual learning model will not need to be in front of the computer during regular school hours as if they were actually in-person. Lessons will be available to complete any time within the parameters given by the individual teacher. The learning time is much more flexible for these options.
I am choosing in-person instruction, but am concerned about not having reliable Internet for the remote instruction day. What should I do? Chromebooks can be set to “Work Offline” so that students can still use them at home. When in school, they will download materials needed directly onto their device (or put materials on a Flash Drive) so they can still access those materials offline — without internet access.
I am considering remote learning but do not have reliable Internet access, what should I do? You may check with our tech department to see if a hotspot would work in your area. If not, you should strongly consider the in-person option.
Is my child supposed to have a Chromebook to do learning at home? Will they have the option of packets? If you have internet access at home, your child will need a device to use. If you don’t have a device they can use for the day, we will provide their Chromebook to them for use. For those without internet access, we will still issue students their Chromebooks because we can provide information on flash drives, or through a download during their in-person instructional days, for work at home.
How will all this work with students who are supposed to be at the Tech Center this year? Will they still be able to be in-person or will it all be remote learning? The tech center will be holding classes five days a week, in-person during Phase 4. Whether our students select the remote or in-person option, they are still eligible for the tech center.
Virtual Academy Allegan County (VAAC)
If kids are in the Virtual Academy of Allegan County (VAAC) school, will they be doing the same courses they would if they went in person? For example, my 8th grader is in advanced math and should be doing algebra this year, would he be doing algebra through the county virtual learning? The Virtual Academy of Allegan County will use an online learning platform that will be aligned to learning targets and educational expectations of a student’s grade level. They will not be HPS specific classes. We suggest talking with the VAAC director and will pass along contact information when it becomes available.
If I enroll in the Allegan County Virtual School, is it for the entire year or a trimester at a time? The Allegan County Virtual School will accept enrollments on a trimester basis.
How will the Virtual Academy of Allegan County opportunity compare to the other models? Will virtual be more intense? The Virtual Academy of Allegan County will be an online learning platform to align with educational learning targets for a student’s grade level. It is not designed to be more intense.
Who can I contact regarding Virtual Academy of Allegan County to get more info? Allegan Area Educational Service Agency is taking the lead on this effort. Their website is https://www.alleganaesa.org/VAAC.
Specials – PE, Art, Music, Choir, Band, etc.
Are “specials” happening for elementary school? (Gym, Music, Art, etc.) Yes, there will be elementary specials. Safety protocols are under development.
How will band and choir work for remote learners? This is something that has not yet been determined. Guidelines from the CDC and local health department will guide these decisions.
For elementary students, how is recess going to happen safely? Will recess happen? Gym? Music? We are planning to run all of our specials. The safety precautions are being developed with guidance from the health department.
Will those already enrolled in band still be allowed to do band if they choose the Virtual Academy of Allegan County option? We are looking into this.
Will specials be occurring? Yes. Students will continue to have their specials/elective classes.
How will IEPs be accommodated, should students/families choose the remote learning option? An IEP meeting will be held at the beginning of the new school year to determine how programs and services will be provided.
Will students with IEPs still be able to meet with speech, OT, etc? Also will IEP meetings happen and regular testing for IEPs? Yes, special education services are still available with all learning options. Contact our Director of Special Education for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are you doing to sanitize classrooms / desks on a daily basis?Our custodial staff will be developing a daily cleaning schedule to make sure that all classrooms, common areas, and bathrooms are cleaned at least daily. Frequently touched areas will be cleaned every four hours.
Facial coverings must be worn by PreK-12 students, staff, and bus drivers during school transportation. Facial coverings must always be worn in hallways and common areas by PreK-12 students in the building except for during meals..
All students in grades K-5 must wear facial coverings unless students remain with their classes throughout the school day and do not come into close contact with students in another class.
Any staff or student that is unable to medically tolerate a facial covering must not wear one. *Other alternatives may be sought out if applicable.
How will mask breaks work? How often and how long will they be? We will consult with the ACHD. Mask breaks will be monitored and take place only when social distancing is possible. Each building will be scheduling the mask breaks a little differently. Check with the building principal for details.
Are we going to have a policy on what will be on masks etc? No confederate flags etc and such? Yes, student handbook and board policy will apply to masks. No confederate flags, no political statements, no drug or alcohol references, etc.
What if my child doesn’t have a mask/face covering? We encourage all families to provide their own face covering, but the school will have masks available for those students who do not have one.
What if my child has a condition that will not allow them to wear a face covering? If your child is medically unable to wear a face covering, we will need a doctor’s note to have on file. A humanity mask or face shield may be an option that can work for such a child.
How will the face covering requirement be enforced? Face covering requirements will be added to our dress code per our student handbooks.
Will my child’s teacher be required to wear a face covering in school? While our Region is in Phase 4, all staff are required to wear a face covering except during meals.
What phase do we need to be in that would not require our children to be forced to wear masks in school? Our region will need to be in Phase 5 before masks are no longer listed as Required. Under Phase 5, they are Strongly Recommended.
Will my child get their temperature checked before getting on the bus or entering the school building? We are following the Allegan County Health Department’s recommendation to have staff and parents self-screen each day. A signed form will be required. **If your child is feeling ill prior to the school day, please keep them home for observation and call your healthcare provider.
What happens if a child or staff member gets sick at school? When any child feels ill, he/she will go to the office to be screened for symptoms. If symptoms align with COVID-19, their parent/guardian or emergency contact will be called to pick them up from school. They cannot be sent home on school transportation. Each building will have a room separate from the office where students will wait.
What happens if a child or staff member tests positive for COVID-19? Will we be notified? In the case of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, we will coordinate with the Allegan County Health Department who will guide us in next steps and notify affected persons. The current process is outlined in the Return to School Toolkit produced by the ACHD.
Will desks be 6 feet apart? Classrooms will place students as close to 6 feet apart as possible to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The 6-foot distance is listed as “Strongly Recommended” under Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap and we will do our best to place students as close to that as possible.
How will students be taught about COVID-19 and safety practices in place? Our staff is working on hygiene lessons that will be taught in person.
What will busing look like? Our bus drivers are focused on providing your child a safe ride to school and back home.
We will be installing new hand sanitizing stations on every bus for students to use as they enter and exit the bus.
Students will have assigned seating to limit exposure to others.
All of our buses will be cleaned after each route.
Students and drivers are required to wear face coverings in Phase 4.
How will you ensure healthy practices for food service? Our food service team is making several adjustments to its service to create a healthy environment in which to serve meals to our students. Many details are still being worked out, but meals will likely be pre-packaged, all disposable utensils and trays and the serving methods will be modified to limit frequently-touched areas. Students will also be spaced out in the cafeteria and outside spaces will be utilized at the MS and HS when possible.
Will students eat in the classroom or cafeteria? We are currently working on spacing in our cafeterias for students to eat in the cafeteria. It is likely that most elementary students will be eating in their classrooms.
When will we know about athletics? TheMHSAA periodically places updates on its website. Hopkins will continue to work with conference athletic directors and local health officials on any adjustments, if needed.
Will there be any after-school or extracurricular activities? At this time, we will not be holding extracurricular activities. We are currently looking at what programs are possible, or other alternatives, that we can offer while adhering to social distancing guidelines. As programs are added, families will be notified.
If I enroll in the remote learning or Virtual Academy of Allegan County, can my child participate in athletics or extracurricular activities? Yes.
How will recess work? Will they have to wear masks outside? Safety protocols for recess are still being developed, but we are not expecting students to be required to wear masks at recess.
Will high school band camp still take place? Band camp is still scheduled to begin on time. This is conducted outside with social distancing in place. Contact Mrs. Williams at email@example.com.
How will I receive communication from the district as changes take place? District communications will be sent to your email address that is in PowerSchool. Please make sure your information is updated so you receive this information. You can also find the latest information in our HPS Return to Learn Plan pages on our website. Click on Return To Learn 2020 under the District menu at www.hpsvikings.org.
Where can I find the latest information from the school on reopening procedures and plans? All updates will be emailed to parents/guardians using the email addresses on record in PowerSchool. In addition, all of the latest information will be on our Return To Learn 2020 section of our website at www.hpsvikings.org.
How will the teachers be held accountable to hold open lines of communication? Teachers are very motivated to make remote learning successful. We have learned from our spring experience and improvements are being made. Training and using a common platform will be helpful. Feedback from students and parents was very helpful in the development of this plan.
What happens if we move back into Phase 3 of the MI Safe Start Plan after schools reopen? In Phase 3, schools are required to close, so Hopkins Public Schools will transition to a fully Remote Learning Plan where students will receive instruction and assignments as they will on Wednesdays. Our teachers are simultaneously working on both plans so there will not be a gap in switching between plans.
Am I allowed to volunteer in my child’s classroom? At this time, we are limiting the number of visitors into our buildings, so we will not be allowing classroom volunteers while we are in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan.