August 7, 2020
Following are responses to frequently-asked questions regarding the District’s reopening plan as submitted to the New York State Education Department on July 31, 2020. The plan is subject to change based on evolving NYSED guidance; local, state and federal guidelines; and, regional health indicators.
May I request that my child be placed in a class with a friend or attend school on the same schedule as a friend?
No. Schools cannot consider requests for class/friend group placements. The only schedule requests under consideration are those which would allow siblings residing in the same household who have different last names to attend school the same weeks. In these cases, parents should contact their child’s principal to make a request. Student records may be reviewed and additional documentation may be requested to appropriately review each request.
Can families opt for 100% in-person learning?
Due to current New York State guidance and space limitations, SOCSD cannot honor requests for students to opt-in to 100% in-person learning. The District will continue to monitor any changes the State makes to this guidance in the coming weeks.
Can schools provide parents/guardians with class lists?
To protect student privacy, SOCSD does not distribute class or grade-level contact lists. However, once class assignments are published, SOCES PTA will coordinate the development of class lists that K-5 families may voluntarily join. Look for information toward the end of August.
Is SOCSD implementing a 1-to-1 mobile device initiative?
Yes. The District has a 1-to-1 mobile device initiative at Tappan Zee High School, which has been in place for the past five years. The District will implement a similar 1-to-1 mobile device initiative for grades K-12 this fall.
However, due to the global pandemic, technology vendors are experiencing issues with the supply of technology products and equipment as the race to meet demand from schools and businesses world-wide. As a result of these supply-chain issues, delivery of the new devices we ordered in the spring has been delayed until mid-November. In the meantime, the District is updating classroom Chromebooks, iPads and laptops already in our school buildings to distribute to students in September.
Your child’s school principal will communicate information regarding device distribution to students later this month.
We plan to purchase a personal device for our child to participate in hybrid learning. Are there particular requirements for compatibility?
While the District cannot recommend specific manufacturers or devices, we can provide guidance based upon the feedback we have received from students and families. And although we cannot verify the comparative effectiveness of all the products on the market for remote learning, most popular consumer-based Chromebooks or laptops can be used for remote learning.
Remote learning instruction is provided using a number of web-based tools that require a current browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, etc.). Most remote learning last spring was easily managed using a simple browser-based device such as a Chromebook or laptop. Devices older than 3-4 years are not recommended.
If parents/guardians of enrolled students are not receiving emails, who should they contact?
Families should contact the main office of their child’s school to report problems with receiving school communications.