Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will my child need to wear a mask all day?
A: No, masks will be worn when the child is moving about the school and unable to maintain 6feet of distance. Examples are when the child needs to use the communal bathroom or when students are picking up school lunches. Masks will not need to be worn during instructional time when students are seated for instruction. We have also planned for distancing during music,P.E. classes, and art to allow students to participate without wearing masks.
Q: What type of mask does my child need? Can he or she wear a shield instead?
A: The state guidance requires staff and students to wear “cloth face coverings.” This would include masks, bandanas or scarves, or “gators” that pull up from the neck. Face shields maybe worn in addition to the cloth face coverings for extra protection if desired.
Q: Will kids be stuck at their desks all day? Or, how will they be able to move around/interact/play?
A: We do not expect students to be seated at desks all day. Many teachers now use frequent breaks and incorporate physical movement as part of their lessons. Students will still have the opportunity to participate in both recess and P.E. (PreK-6). Cooperative activities will be planned and students will wear masks when they are working or playing closely together.
Q: What if I decide I don’t want my child to attend school in person 5 days?
A: 80% of the families that completed our survey indicated that it was important for their child toattend in person instruction. The majority of families also responded they would choose 5 days of in person instruction. Our plan is for 5 days at this time. Virtual learning all year is not an option at this time. It may be necessary at some point to move to remote learning based on the NYS mandates and we will make the necessary adjustments to do that. Students will be taught how to use their Chromebooks and the platforms used for remote learning in the first weeks of school.
Q: If I decide to homeschool my child, can we return next year?
A: Homeschooling is an option and your instructional plan must be approved by Gouverneur Central School District. You would be reporting to the Gouverneur District. If you are choosing to homeschool, please inform us immediately. St. James has open enrollment so we accept new students at any time during the school year. You are welcomed back as long as there is room in the class. We have a maximum class size of 15 students and have started waiting listsfor classes that are currently at that limit.
Q: Can I still send a bagged lunch for my child?
A: Yes. Parents will still have the option to send a bag lunch for their child or children will havethe option to order a school lunch.
Q: Can my child still bring snack?
A: In grades 3-6, each student will continue to bring their own snack. In grades Preschool-2nd,during this pandemic, snacks must be pre-packaged, store bought snacks. This applies to birthday treats as well.
Q: How will you be screening staff and students for COVID-19 symptoms?
A: We are going to depend on parents to monitor their children and not send them to school if they are exhibiting potential symptoms, including an elevated temperature. Students who are dropped off by a parent, will be screened for temperature at the door, as well. Randomscreening for bus students will occur at the door. Teachers will be instructed to send students with apparent symptoms to the school nurse. For employees, there will be a daily screening process.
Q: What will happen when there is a suspected or positive case of COVID-19 in theschool?
A: St. Lawrence County is automatically contacted whenever there is a positive case in the county. If a staff member or student tests positive, Public Health will work with our school nurses to begin the process of identifying all of the individuals the patient had close contact with. Close contact is defined as closer than 6 feet apart for 15 minutes or longer. Close contacts will be notified directly by Public Health of their possible exposure to the virus so that they can betested and begin the quarantine process. Once contacts have been identified, Public Health will advise us as to next steps.