James F. Doughty School
Return to School: Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of common questions that parents may have about the return to school. If you have a questions that is not on the list, please email Mr. Hackett at email@example.com.
What are my return options for my JFDS student?
Three return options are available to families. Note that all three options have been made available and will run simultaneously:
Full-Time: The student will attend school in-person five days a week on the normal school schedule. This is the option that is closest to a normal school return.
Hybrid Part-Time: The student will attend school 2 days per week and work remotely from home on other days. In this option, students attend on alternating days (for example, attend JFDS on Monday and Wednesday, work from home on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday). Students are still required to meet the full expectations in their courses and will complete work at home on days they don’t attend in person.
Fully Remote: The student will not attend JFDS in person and will do all of their work from home through a combination of virtual contact with a teacher and completion of work as assigned through a learning management system, including Google Classroom.
The three options will run simultaneously, which means that students returning full-time (five days per week) will attend school with hybrid return students (one group on Monday & Wednesday and a second group on Tuesday & Thursday).
We will have multiple students at JFDS this year. Does this mean they all need to choose the same option for return?
Please contact the school at 941-6220 if you have multiple students at JFDS with different choices regarding their return to school.
Will full-return students participate in school-based courses with hybrid-return students?
Our goal is schedule sections that are only full-return or only hybrid students for many reasons. We believe this will be possible for most courses and is our top priority. However, it may be possible to safely combine full-time and hybrid students in some sections of courses depending on the content area and course coverage needs.
Can a student switch from one return type to another?
For many reasons, we are hoping that families will remain with the selected option, but we do recognize that some switching may be necessary for other very good reasons. It should be noted that there may be difficulty in replicating a student’s schedule after a switch because class sizes are being kept intentionally small, and we will therefore be running fewer sections of courses into which a student might move. We hope that families will choose the return option that best meets their needs and that students settle into a learning routine that works well for them through each quarter. Generally, however, it will easier in terms of replicating courses when a student moves from a higher level of school attendance to a lower level of school attendance, for example from Full-Time to Hybrid.
What will fully remote learning look like?
Students will not attend school in person. Students will be assigned to a remote section of a course that will be scheduled during the regular school day. A JFDS teacher will be assigned to teach the remote section. At this time, our plan for the teacher to synchronously teach and interact with students (via Zoom or Google Meets) “live” every other day. Students are expected to log into the live remote teaching on the days and times for each course they are taking and to complete assigned work independently. Learning will be managed by Google Classroom. Attendance will be taken and letter grades will be earned and issued on the semester level.
What safety and prevention steps are being taken at JFDS?
Key elements of our safe return plan for when students attend school in-person, which reflect the core prevention and safety measures established by the CDC:
- Separate entries designated by class to allow for distancing.
- Hand-washing upon arrival and frequently throughout the school day.
- Requirement of masks for all students and staff upon arrival and throughout the school day.
- CDC distancing guidelines observed in all classroom spaces.
- A combination of single direction foot traffic, staggered releases, and between-class sanitation of spaces to reduce contact and contamination.
- Elimination of locker and cafeteria use, including lunches brought to classrooms.
What will arriving and leaving school look like?
Students will arrive at school either by family-provided transportation (recommended by the CDC) or by bus (recommended to be limited by the CDC). Each grade level will have a designated entry: 8th Grade – near the library, 7th Grade – near the auditorium, & 6th Grade – at the end of the gym.
Masks must be worn upon arrival. Temperature and symptom checks are no longer recommended in schools as a screening measure. Students will proceed to hand washing stations and then on to their first class, with staff posted to ensure distancing / non-grouping. Students who eat breakfast at school will be provided a place to safely eat with distancing. Classrooms will be set up with proper distancing. Students will not access lockers but may have backpacks for the school materials.
Dismissal will be through the exit door closest to the student’s classroom at the time of dismissal. All foot travel throughout the day and including dismissal will be directed based on the area of the building and to maintain distancing.
Will the return choice affect my children’s eligibility to participate in sports, if they’re available. Do you know what sport seasons are looking like at this time?
We have not finalized plans regarding athletics, but do plan to offer them provided that the governing body of athletic and co-curricular competition sponsors those activities this fall. At this point, there is speculation that major shifts in seasons etc. are likely.
One of my children has a 504 in place, will this still apply regardless of selection? How will this fit in?
504 plans are in place for all learning scenarios (in-person or remote). Counselors will review 504 plans and hold virtual meetings to ensure that accommodations are in place and adjusted as necessary to the learning environment chosen by families.
I am available to transport my children to JFDS in the mornings but am unable to provide it at the close of the school day. Is this a time where busses would be provided?
We are committed to providing bussing as necessary, and we will be censusing each bus in the first days of school to ensure that stay under the maximum number of riders. Please call the main office at 992-5502 to indicate which bus letter your student(s) will ride– and indicate that the bus will be taken in the afternoon but not in the morning.
Are you allowing kids to wear full face shields instead of a mask? Or what types of masks are considered ok?
The following requirements for face coverings was updated by the Maine Department of Education on July 31 (https://www.maine.gov/doe/framework/part-I/#risk)
Masks/Face Coverings – Adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear a mask/face covering. Students age five and above are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth. (Updated 7/31/20) Masks are recommended for children ages two to four, when developmentally appropriate. (Updated 7/31/20). Masks/face coverings must be worn by all students on the bus. Face shields may be an alternative for those students with medical, behavioral, or other challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings. The same applies to staff with medical or other health reasons for being unable to wear face coverings. Face shields worn in place of a face covering must extend below the chin and back to the ears.
How is the school prepared to address students who refuse to wear a mask?
MDOE guidance is very clear that masks must be worn by staff and students. They have also clarified that non-compliance is a valid reason to excuse a person from in-person participation in school. We are taking this requirement very seriously, monitoring compliance very closely, and addressing non-compliance very responsively.