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We understand our community has a lot of questions about the reopening of schools. The answers to many of those questions can be found on pages dedicated to each of the three learning models from which parents will choose: Face-to-Face, OCVS Virtual, and OCPS [email protected].

You will also find additional frequently asked questions below. This page is being updated daily; however, some answers are conditional and subject to change.

For background on all previous School Board discussion see the following meeting video links: July 7; July 14; July 17.


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General Q&A

Note: recently posted/edited questions appear in blue.

Q. Why was the change made to move the start date from August 21 back to August 10?
A. The August 21 date was always a tentative date. This adjustment will afford all students and teachers with the experience of [email protected] in case the school or their class needs to pivot due to the pandemic or bad weather days, especially those in the face-to-face model This adjustment back to the August 10 start also means no shifting of planning days or adding instructional minutes to the day and there will be no delay or adjustments to employee compensation since the payroll calendars will be unaltered.

Q. On July 27 it was announced that we will have 9 days of distance learning. Will that be like what students experienced in March?
A. No. The state uses the term “distance learning” for what is allowable. OCPS will use our LaunchED platform for the 9 days.

Q. What will my child do if they show up to school on the 10th, will there be any learning happening, knowing that absences will likely be high?
A. These will be instructional days that include many of the typical exercises at the beginning of a school year and standard instructional time. The nine “distance learning days” will provide opportunities for all staff and students to become comfortable with the [email protected] platform, as it will be our default should we need to pivot from face-to-face during the pandemic or bad weather days. Teachers can also establish communications with parents and students as we work out any problems and answer questions.

Q. I’m a parent, what do I do if I made a mistake or change my mind regarding my registration choice for my child?
A. The registration period has now closed. Schools will confirm with families this week. If you aren't sure or are concerned, please reach out to your school.

Q. I didn’t receive any confirmation email, how do I know my choice I selected for each of my children was registered correctly?
A. Schools will confirm with families this week. If you aren't sure or are concerned, please reach out to your school.

Q. Can you change your mind during the first semester if your situation changes or if your first choice doesn't work for your child?
A. Keep in mind our plans are fluid and could change. However, the current commitment for the three models is as follows:
  • [email protected] – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • Face-to-Face – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • OCVS/FLVS – full first semester

Exceptions can be made within the first 9 weeks for any of the instructional models on a case-by-case basis if a student is not experiencing success.

OCVS/FLVS full-time programs do not have continual enrollment, so those families who do not enroll at the start of the first semester will not have the opportunity to enroll again until the second semester if a change is desired. Unlike [email protected] and Face-to-Face instructional models, the scope and sequence of the OCVS/FLVS full-time program is not similar, and switching from full-time virtual school back into a student’s enrolled school in the middle of the semester can be disruptive.

The Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s emergency order provided districts with flexibility to implement an “innovative model” ([email protected]) for the first semester of school. If the state of Florida and the Florida Department of Education Commissioner revisit the need to extend the emergency order beyond the first semester, it will be communicated to families as soon as it’s known by the district.

Q. What are the financial implications behind the Florida Department of Education Commissioner's Emergency Order? 
A. The emergency order requires any school district that desires to offer an innovative learning environment in addition to returning to school five days per week with traditional, face-to-face instruction and/or through standard virtual instruction to submit a plan to the Department of Education for approval. Without approval from the DOE, no flexibility would be granted for recording and reporting student attendance and instructional hours, which determines the revenues received by school districts for serving students. School districts currently receive revenues for traditional, face-to-face instruction based upon the number of hours of instruction received while students are in attendance at the school. Without state approval and waiver of current rules, there would be no funding for students receiving instruction through the OCPS [email protected] plan or any of the instructional time spent at home. School districts receive revenues for virtual instruction at a reduced amount (20-25% less than traditional, face-to-face) based upon successful completion of each class.  

Q. Can I hold off on starting my kindergartner until next year? 
A. A parent who chooses not to enroll his/her child in kindergarten is not in violation of compulsory school attendance laws. However, Florida law [Section 1003.21 (1)(a), Florida Statutes] specifies that all children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term. If a child enters public school at age 6 without evidence of kindergarten completion on an official transcript, then the district will place the student in the first program of study, and that is kindergarten. The child will progress according to the district's student progression plan.

Q. Are there the same choices for Pre K or VPK? 
A. We are awaiting direction from the FDOE Office of Early Learning as to whether or not we can offer a Virtual or [email protected] model for VPK students.

Q. If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid?
A. Any employee who tests positive must immediately report the positive test result to his/her supervisor, who will contact OCPS Professional Standards. Professional Standards will issue a “Medical Relief of Duty (ROD)” (with pay) to the employee (this is not disciplinary and no case will be opened), which will cover leave up to 14 calendar days. If extended time is needed beyond the approved 14 days, the employee will need to contact Professional Standards.

Q. What if someone who lives in the same house as a teacher tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid?
A. If an employee has direct contact with someone other than an employee who has tested positive, the employee must notify his/her supervisor and Professional Standards immediately, which will assess the circumstances by following the CDC and local health department guidelines. If leave time is recommended by the local health department, the time will be covered by the district. If approved by his/her supervisor, the employee may be permitted to telework.

Q. The information from last week's SB meeting indicated families would be asked to commit to one "way of learning" for a semester. Why do these options end in December? Will they be available still for the second semester to decrease the interruption?
A. Currently, the governor has provided district's with the flexibility to implement an innovative model for the first semester of school under his executive order. The state of Florida and the Florida Department of Education commissioner will revisit the need to extend the executive order and therefore the flexibility for district's to continue to implement innovative models at the time. 

Q. If I'm choosing to homeschool, what do I need to do? 
A. Home education is 100% parent-driven. By enrolling in home education, the parent assumes all educational responsibilities regardless of the mechanism used to educate his/her child. This includes all correspondence curriculum, books, or on-line curriculum (OCVS, FLVS). The Home Education Office does not have access to any of the above third-party educational records. Upon deciding to establish and maintain a home education program for your child, you will be governed by Florida statutes regarding compulsory school-age attendance laws as they relate to home education. You can learn more at https://www.ocps.net/departments/school_choice/home_education 
 
Q. Will every student be provided with a laptop for each of the three options: F2F, [email protected] and OCVS? 
A. Currently, middle and high school students enrolled at traditional brick-and-mortar schools already have district-issued laptops. For the 2020-21 school year, devices will be provided to all K-12 students participating in face-to-face and [email protected] models. All full-time students at OCVS will be able to be provided with district-issued devices, as well. The OCPS IT Department has plans to backup any school that needs assistance to ensure all students have devices to start school on Aug. 10 via [email protected] Schools will reach out regarding the plan for distribution of devices for the Aug. 10 start of school.

Q How will AP classes and science courses with labs be taught for high school if we choose OCVS or [email protected]?
A. Virtual lab options will be available to students in science courses with labs. It is already a practice to blend virtual labs during F2F instruction. This would be an extension of this practice. OCVS curriculum can be found at https://ocvs.ocps.net/academics_curriculum/curriculum_guide. Sample middle and high school courses can be toured at https://www.flvs.net/online-courses/course-tours. [email protected] courses will be taught using live lessons daily. 

Q. Will time be built in before school starts to educate teachers, staff, families, and students on new procedures?
A. District departments will be working on plans to educate students, parents, and staff on the new procedures. That information will be shared via Q&A sessions, in Meet the Teacher/Orientation programs and via Digital Open Houses. Schools will communicate this information to parents in the lead up to the start of school.   

Q. You were planning to change the elementary kids back to two students per computer instead of 1-1 because of money. But now we can buy cameras & trackers plus add live online stuff. How are you paying for all of this?

A. Additional funding provided through the CARES Act will be targeted for use to purchase 1:1 devices and additional tools to enhance instruction. 

Q. Will our magnet program kids who take their content classes online,  be able to come in for dance, music, art, etc?
A. The district is working to make every effort to provide students with an outstanding arts education. The intention is to offer all classes through [email protected], however parent choice will drive the offering of classes.The arts may look different as a result of social distancing requirements and virtual options for instruction. However, access will be provided in some form. There is a Visual and Performing Arts task force working to make recommendations on these options.

Q. How will performing arts work? Chorus, band, theater, etc.
A. The intention is to offer all classes through [email protected], however parent choice will drive the offering of classes. The performing arts courses including Band, Chorus, Orchestra, Dance and Theatre will modify instruction based on the selected back-to-school plan.Large ensemble rooms such as the band room will be divided into 6' x 6' squares where students will be assigned to stand in the center of each square in order to maintain a 6' distance from other students on all sides. Students will wear a mask at all times except in those instances where a mask inhibits a student's ability to play. In those cases, students will remove the mask while playing and then immediately place their masks back over their faces. In some instances, band students will need to maintain a 10' x 10' distance from other students. In those instances, it is likely band will move outdoors for a short time to rehearse. Chorus will follow the same guidelines; however, national research indicates that when singing inside while following social distancing guidelines, student can sing for no more than 30 minutes. Opportunities to sing outside will be taken when appropriate. Orchestra poses the least risk of the large music ensembles as there is no high-velocity air being produced in order to play those instruments.Minor accommodations to the rehearsal process will be taken to ensure the safest environment possible for students. Dance and theatre will follow similar accommodations and adjustments. Dance students will not be asked to change into dance-specific attire to avoid using the locker room. Dance floors will also be divided into 6' x 6' squares to help students maintain social distancing, per CDC guidelines.

Q. What is the best way for students to disinfect their OCPS devices?
A. Information on how to clean devices at home can be found on the website http://distancelearning.ocps.net. Click on "Distance Assistance - Tips for Families" and then select "Device Tips."  You will find detailed directions from each device manufacturer on how to clean their device safely. The direct link to the page is: https://www.ocps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=54703&pageId=1424506

Q. What happens if schools have to close down again?
A. Teachers and Students will switch to the [email protected] model.

Q. What resources and plans are in place for mental health & wellness of students and employees?
A. The OCPS Mental Health Services team has various resources for students, teachers and parents. In support of the OCPS 2025 Strategic Plan, we are utilizing a structure for district-wide professional learning that links leadership to social and emotional learning. This professional learning structure is Social and Emotional Learning & Leadership, also known as SELL. 
A virtual SELL overview was developed for teachers and administrators to view before schools open in order to establish our district-wide social and emotional learning focus. This includes resources to conduct wellness check-ins with students during the first 10 days of school.

Q. How will parent/teacher conferences or conferences with guidance be handled?
A. The district will continue the current practice of making parent/teacher conferences available by appointment utilizing PPE as well as offering telephonic and video conferencing options to participants.

Q. If a student has COVID, who do caregivers notify at OCPS to let OCPS know the child will not be attending?
A. A caregiver will need to contact the School Principal or Principal designee with information regarding their student.

Q. Will elective classes will be provided in all three modalities?
A. Elective courses are available in face-to-face, OCVS, and [email protected] models of instruction. The elective courses available in the face-to-face and [email protected] models are determined by the enrolled school. The intention is to offer all classes through [email protected], however parent choice will drive the offering of classes. The OCVS curriculum guide can be found here: https://ocvs.ocps.net/academics_curriculum/curriculum_guide

Q. What about hands on programs like PLTW [Project Lead the Way]? How will those be handled if a student signs up to do virtual or [email protected]?
A. OCVS does not offer PLTW. Students participating in the [email protected] model can attend via live stream and through engaging projects assigned through the Canvas Learning Management System. The PLTW curriculum is comprised of activity, project, and problem-based instructional design, with hands-on activities, projects and problems that support students in developing critical thinking skills applicable in the real world. These projects lend themselves to the distance learning environment, particularly as those courses are deployed in Canvas as developed by PLTW.

Q. Is there any way to make FFA work in a virtual manner so kids can still take part while staying safe?
A. At OCPS, we understand the value of the leadership development opportunities provided by Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) such as FFA, SkillsUSA, DECA, HOSA and TSA. We are committed to working with those agencies on opportunities to participate in state and national leadership conferences. Locally, we are developing plans that will provide students continued opportunities to engage in these valuable enrichment activities.

Q. What about field trips?
A. Field trips are subject to current state and county guidelines and executive orders at the time of the trip. In the event that a physical field trip experience is not possible, the district has access to a library of virtual field trips.

Q. Will the state waive the required drills (fire, active shooter, etc.)?
A. At this time, the district has not received waivers from the state as they relate to emergency drills. The district intends to conduct emergency drills with modifications to ensure the health and safety of all involved.

Q. Who will do the daily sanitizing required?
A. All custodians will be working to disinfect schools during occupied hours and after hours to prepare for the next school day.

Q. Is there a consequence to those parents who habitually drop off early or pick up late?
A. Student pick-up and drop-off will be addressed by the administrator at each school site.

Q. What is the decision regarding fall sports and marching band?
A.  The FHSAA announced the postponement of fall sports until August 24th. OCPS continues to monitor the situation to ensure that our student-athletes are able to practice and compete in a safe and healthy environment. Fall athletics practices and marching band practices which were scheduled to begin on Monday, July 27 are postponed until further notice. The Athletic Directors, Band Directors, and Principals were made aware of this decision Monday, July 20. OCPS is working on a plan to modify fall sports and marching band practice and competition schedules to provide for student health and safety. Please note that when a student participates in OCPS [email protected] or Orange County Virtual School they can still participate in athletics and activities at their assigned school, as they are rescheduled.

Q. How will cleaning happen for all schools?
A. The district has made changes to our custodial team schedules that allow for continuous cleaning and disinfecting throughout the school day. If a teacher has an issue in his/her room or the room needs attention, they should place a sign in the window.

Q. If my child chooses to do FLVS and later wants to return to her home school does she need to re-register at her home school? What if we choose OCVS, how will the return to her home school work then? How will disruptions to instruction be minimized in each option?
A. OCVS/FLVS full-time programs do not have continual enrollment, so those families who do not enroll at the start of the first semester will not have the opportunity to enroll again until the second semester if a change is desired. Unlike [email protected] and face-to-face instructional models, the scope and sequence of the OCVS/FLVS full-time program is not similar, and switching from full-time virtual school back into a student’s zoned or assigned school in the middle of the semester can be disruptive. Moving between them does require re-enrollment.

Q. What is the medical documentation that is needed to be exempt from mask-wearing?
A. Medical accommodation is based upon the individual medical circumstances of the student. Such accommodations may include, but not be limited to: utilization of face shield rather than a face mask/face covering; utilization of Plexiglas dividers; assignment to buses where social distancing can be maintained; assignment to smaller classes where social distancing of 6 feet or greater may be maintained; assignment to teachers who are willing to work with students without masks; or assignment to Hospital Homebound. Again, this will be based upon the medical circumstances of each student.

Q. What kind of support will be available for families where English isn’t the language primarily spoken at home in regard to their students assignments? Many of our students rely on the support of paraprofessionals in the classroom, and some of our families aren’t able to provide help with the content and homework so they are worried about their students' success.
A. OCPS Multilingual Support Services Department has already established a multitude of resources available to assist families in their native language. These services will support all of the instructional models that are available to families for fall 2020. Parent liaisons provide translation services and workshops for parents, both online and in person. Tutoring is available for students focusing on reading and math using supplemental curriculum resources such as picture dictionaries, leveled readers, curriculum programs and digital curriculum programs. Additionally, OCPS makes Language Line Phone Interpreting Services available to all schools to enhance communication between schools and parents in 240 different languages. Informational content on OCPS.net is made available in six languages other than English: Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Tagalog. If a family needs additional help, they just need to ask their school for assistance.

Q. What mental health resources will be made available for students who are struggling with this crisis, the transition to online learning, and their school work?
A. The Student Services Psychological, Social Services and Mental Health teams along with school-based counselors and SAFE Coordinators will be available to provide services via the Face-to-face, OCVS and [email protected] models. This year, a previously planned districtwide learning initiative linking leadership to social and emotional learning will be implemented. Additional services include curriculum for all students, wellness check-ins, the new “OCPS Supports” Online Service Request for families seeking assistance with a variety of social and mental health services. A mental health resource site for parents is also available online.

Q. What happens if your teacher gets sick? How will substitutes work? If a teacher does get sick, will there be able to be regular subs available for continuity?
A. The District is meeting and working with Kelly Educational Staffing to outline procedures for the use and assignment of substitutes.

Masks/Face Coverings Q&A

Q. Will masks be required?
A. Masks or face coverings are required for all students and staff over the age of 3, unless there is a medical reason why one cannot be worn. All masks must cover the mouth and nose. Face coverings must not interfere with the safe and orderly conduct at school.

Q. What about students who can’t wear one for medical reasons?
A. Students who are medically unable to wear masks/face coverings will be accommodated based upon the individual medical circumstances of the student.

Q. Where will masks be required?
A. Masks/face coverings must be worn on school buses and throughout the school. Masks/face coverings may be removed for meals, and when instructed by a teacher or administrator as long as social distancing requirements are followed.

Q. What about students who forget, soil or damage their mask during the day?
A. The district will provide face masks to individuals who forget to bring one to school or on the bus. 

Q. What happens if a student refuses to wear a mask?
A. If a student refuses to wear a mask/face covering, that student will be dealt with in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct.

Q. What happens if a parent refuses to have their child wear a mask or face covering?
A. If a parent refuses to have their child wear a mask/face covering, even if the student is medically able to do so, the student will not be allowed entry into the school. The student would need to attend school through one of the virtual options.

Q. What happens if a student takes a mask off and does something like intentionally cough in someone’s face?
A. This will be treated as an assault and handled according to the Code of Student Conduct.

Q. What about little children who can’t keep a mask on?
A. Students who are having issues with their masks will be assisted by school personnel to make adjustments to comply with the requirements to wear a mask. Parents/guardians can assist their children with the proper wearing a face coverings in advance of starting school.

Q. Will we require masks at PE, sports or band when outside in the heat?
A. Masks will not be required during outside activities such as physical education and recess as long as there is school supervision and social distancing requirements can be followed.

Q. What happens if the teacher isn't wearing his/her mask? Can the students tell them to put it on?
A. Teachers will be given discretion to temporarily remove their own mask for instructional and developmentally appropriate educational purposes. Upon removal, the teacher must continue to follow all social distancing requirements.

Face-to-Face Model Q&A

Note: recently posted/edited questions appear in blue.

Q. What happens if my child cannot participate in [email protected] for the 9 days beginning August 10th?
A. All students will benefit from any days on the [email protected] platform, especially because in the event of a shutdown due to the pandemic or a hurricane, students and teachers will have the experience of [email protected] under their belt. Students are not counted absent until their first day of attendance; no penalties will be administered for a student who enters school after August 10th. This is not new, students are never counted on the rolls until their first day of attendance.

Q. What will my child do if they show up to school on the 10th, will there be any learning happening, knowing that absences will likely be high?
A. These will be instructional days that include many of the typical exercises at the beginning of a school year and standard instructional time. The nine “distance learning days” will provide opportunities for all staff and students to become comfortable with the [email protected] platform, as it will be our default should we need to pivot from face-to-face during the pandemic or bad weather days. Teachers can also establish communications with parents and students as we work out any problems and answer questions.

Q. How will teachers be able to assist students while they are completing assignments without getting close enough to be able to see their work on small computer screens? 
A. While students are physically present in the classroom, teachers can access LanSchool from their laptop to view and enlarge the student's screen from a safe distance and provide assistance. Students may also share Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with teachers and invite them to comment on their assignments from a distance. 

Q. How will social distancing and class size work for classes like high school AP courses and others, where there is not a state-mandated limit on class size? 
A. Classrooms will follow social distancing guidelines when feasible. Class size will be addressed through scheduling and mixed modalities between face-to-face and OCPS [email protected]

Q. How will gym/fitness work?
A. Physical education courses will be modified to address the physical environment, including outdoor instruction (weather permitting) with social distancing guidelines, personal hygiene that includes hand washing and wearing face coverings, according to OCPS guidelines; and instructional strategies that focus more on individual pursuits or skills. Schools may advise students to come to school dressed in clothes that are appropriate for participation in physical education, whether indoors or outdoors, and eliminate the requirement that students must change into a physical education uniform for participation in physical education. Schools should eliminate the use of lockers unless students can be assigned individual lockers. A limited number of students should enter the locker room at the same time and follow social distancing guidelines. Schools will follow high traffic area sanitation procedures within locker rooms.

Q. When will supply list requirements be available?
A. Supply lists are made available by each local school by various methods.  Parents should contact their zoned school. 

Q. If my child has COVID or is placed in quarantine, will my child be able to continue working on class work virtually until a return to school is possible?
A. Students who are sick or in quarantine would be able to temporarily utilize the OCPS [email protected] until the student is able return to school. If a child is ill and cannot do lessons, they will be able to take an absence just as they would if they were sick on a regular (pre-pandemic) school day.

Q. When one or more positive cases show up, quarantine for the exposed students and teachers will be required, disrupting attendance and learning. How will you avoid chaos for those in F2F classes?
A. Students who are sick or in quarantine will be able to to temporarily utilize the OCPS [email protected] until the student is able return to school. In the event that there is evidence of community spread then there is a process to temporarily transition the class to the OCPS [email protected] for a designated time period. 

Q. Will students remain in cohort groups to facilitate easier testing when necessary and decrease exposure?
A. We will follow all CDC, state and county guidelines to provide a safe environment for all students during instruction and district and state test administrations. Schools are looking at the selections of parents and preferences of teachers to make matches where possible and this information will be shared with all parents.

Q. Masks make it difficult for students to hear. How will students be able to hear teacher instruction?
A. Using an Audio Enhancement, the company that manufactures classroom microphones used in OCPS, with a mask provides a better overall ability for students to understand and hear speech in the classroom.  A microphone has a substantial positive impact on the clarity of teacher communication while wearing a mask. All middle and high schools and all but 11 elementary schools currently have audio enhancement in all instructional spaces. Those 11 elementary schools are in the process of having audio enhancement installed. 

Q. Can we purchase extra art/classroom supplies for all our schools especially our Title 1 schools so students don’t have to share supplies?
A. The district is reviewing the need for specific materials related to arts classes as a result of social distancing.  There is a Visual and Performing Arts task force looking at this issue that will make recommendations for moving forward.
 
Q. Will efforts be made for classes to be held outside (when possible) to decrease the risks of transmission?
A. While type and location may vary, all schools have outside learning spaces that can be used at a teacher's discretion. Examples include pavilions, covered patios, courtyards, exterior lunch areas, etc.

Q.How do we manage crowded high school hallways, normally you can’t move they are so crowded?
A. Social distancing up to 6 feet will be enforced when feasible; there will be limited movement among students and staff; and directional signage will be posted to control traffic flow within hallways. 

Q. Are we taking temperatures? Who is responsible? What if my family does not own a thermometer or mask? Will the school provide these?
A. The district recommends that families check temperatures daily before students depart for school. In addition, schools will also periodically check temperatures. All students over the age of three are required to wear PPE. Schools have masks available for students, as needed. 

Q. How will fire drills work?
A. Fire drills will be conducted in a manner that ensures appropriate social distancing and the wearing of face coverings by everyone throughout the drill. Students will be organized in lines with separation of 6 feet or more between individuals. Students, in groups, will exit the school at appropriate social distances from other students and other groups. Once outside the school, instructors will reinforce social distancing among individuals and groups until recalled into the school. The return to school will follow the same procedure in reverse.

Q. How will [student] drop off and pick up times be handled?
A. District staff will be assessing arrival and dismissal protocols to reinforce safe practices. This assessment process will also examine staggered arrivals and dismissals as well as the use of dedicated entry and exit points.

Q.How will social distancing be done before school in the courtyard and at lunch?
A. Cafeterias and outside areas will be used for eating to maximize student distancing.

Q. How will you keep the student groups from interacting?
A. The movement of students will be limited during the school day and social distancing will be expected. Signs posted at entrances, offices, and areas throughout the school are to ensure proper social distancing and traffic flow.  

Q. Will dismissal be like a weather dismissal, where each student/ family is released? This will add more time to each teacher’s day, will this be compensated?
A. District staff will be assessing arrival and dismissal protocols to reinforce safe practices. This assessment process will also examine staggered arrivals and dismissals as well as the use of dedicated entry and exit points.

Q. If I don’t choose face to face will my child lose his/her spot in the magnet program?
A. All students enrolled in a magnet program or have an approved transfer as listed in School Board Policy JCA, will keep their seats for the entire 2020-21 school year. These students can choose any of the schooling options (e.g., OCVS, FLVS, Home Education, [email protected], Private School) for the fall of 2020 and rest assured their seat in the assigned school/magnet program will be preserved until the 2021-22 school year.

Q.How do PE and dance teach their standards while keeping the students apart? 
A. Implementation of standards-based lessons can be selected with little to no use of shared equipment or space by students. Self-management and interpersonal communication skills can be included. Additional guidelines will be shared from the Health/PE department for instructors once models have been finalized. Teachers will practice social distancing to the full extent feasible.   

Q.CDC recommends no sharing of items so will there be no teacher classroom-library or use of computers in the class? Will the school library be closed? Will teachers be able to have students use SMART boards?
A. Students will have an assigned computer and electronic text. Implementation of standards-based lessons can be selected with little to no use of shared equipment by students.

Q. Will science labs be able to happen?
A. Virtual lab options will be available to students in science courses with labs. It is already a practice to blend virtual labs during face-to-face instruction. This would be an extension of the practice. 

Q. What happens if a kid starts coughing or looks sick in class? What happens when a student has a different illness such as the flu? What if symptoms mimic Covid-19?
A. Clinic staff will notify parents when a child has a fever or other symptoms that prevent them from remaining at school. Clinic staff are not legally certified or responsible for diagnosing student medical concerns.  

Q. Masks make it difficult for students to hear. How will students be able to hear teacher instruction?
A. Teachers use an audio enhancement classroom microphone system. Even with a mask, it provides a better overall environment for students to understand and hear speech in the classroom. All middle and high schools and all but 11 elementary schools currently have audio enhancement in all instructional spaces. Those 11 elementary schools are in the process of having audio enhancement installed. 

Q. What will the students be reading if they do not have access to books from home? If a teacher is using a class library, who cleans it at the end of the day? With what?
A. Digital access to instructional textbooks, reading materials, as well as eBooks from the library will be available for students who choose the [email protected] model. Custodians are responsible for cleaning the building.

Q. What procedures will be in place for school clinics?
A. Procedures are posted here: https://www.ocps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=54703&pageId=1459946

Q. Who communicates to parents and staff when there is a positive case, and how will you know who should be included?
A. The principal will follow the guidelines and recommendations of CDC guidelines, by contact tracing and communicated with the impacted individuals.

Q. Will each school have to hire additional teachers for PE so the classes are not grouped together?
A. School administrators are actively tracking and managing their staff availability and making adjustments based on need.

Q. How will weekly resources, like gifted, occur if students are staying within their cohorts? Will there be one class per grade level with students who receive gifted services? What if that teacher is not gifted endorsed?
A. This will look different from school to school based on the number of gifted students and the model used by the school.

Q. What is the decision regarding fall sports and marching band?
A. The FHSAA announced the postponement of fall sports until August 24th. OCPS continues to monitor the situation to ensure that our student-athletes are able to practice and compete in a safe and healthy environment. Fall athletics practices and marching band practices which were scheduled to begin on Monday, July 27 are postponed until further notice. The Athletic Directors, Band Directors, and Principals were made aware of this decision Monday, July 20. OCPS is working on a plan to modify fall sports and marching band practice and competition schedules to provide for student health and safety. Please note that when a student participates in OCPS [email protected] or Orange County Virtual School they can still participate in athletics and activities at their assigned school, as they are rescheduled.


Q. Can you change your mind during the first semester if your situation changes or if your first choice doesn't work for your child?
A. Keep in mind our plans are fluid and could change. However, the current commitment for the three models is as follows:

 

  • [email protected] – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • Face-to-Face – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • OCVS/FLVS – full first semester

Exceptions can be made within the first 9 weeks for any of the instructional models on a case-by-case basis if a student is not experiencing success.

OCVS/FLVS full-time programs do not have continual enrollment, so those families who do not enroll at the start of the first semester will not have the opportunity to enroll again until the second semester if a change is desired. Unlike [email protected] and Face-to-Face instructional models, the scope and sequence of the OCVS/FLVS full-time program is not similar, and switching from full-time virtual school back into a student’s enrolled school in the middle of the semester can be disruptive.

The Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s emergency order provided districts with flexibility to implement an “innovative model” ([email protected]) for the first semester of school. If the state of Florida and the Florida Department of Education Commissioner revisit the need to extend the emergency order beyond the first semester, it will be communicated to families as soon as it’s known by the district.

Q. Can my child take some classes at school or via [email protected] and some on OCVS?
A. For years, middle and high school students have been able to take a portion of classes online with OCVS or FLVS (common choices include Driver’s Ed and HOPE). This option still exists under the Face-to-Face model and the [email protected] model.

Q. Will SROs still be on campus?
A. There are no changes to our SRO program at this time. One or more SROs will still be assigned to every Orange County Public School location.

Q. Will students take their plastic partitions/salad-bar sneeze guard to the “teacher table,” so we can differentiate with our students?
A. Face coverings will be worn in small groups and guidelines will limit proximity, while meeting the needs of the students to the greatest extent possible.

Q. If my child has COVID or is placed in quarantine, will my child be able to continue working on class work virtually until a return to school is possible?
A. Students who are sick or in quarantine would be able to temporarily utilize the OCPS [email protected] until the student is able return to school. If a child is ill and cannot do lessons, they will be able to take an absence just as they would if they were sick on a regular (pre-pandemic) school day.

Q. Will time be built in before school starts to educate teachers, staff, families, and students on new procedures?
A. District departments will be working on have plans to educate students, parents, and staff on the new procedures. That information will be shared via Q&A sessions, in Meet the Teacher/Orientation programs and via Digital Open Houses. Schools will communicate this information to parents in the lead up to the start of school.

Q. If a student is carrying their lunch and they drop it, are they allowed to go back if there is another class in the line?
A. Yes.

Q. When the student realizes they forgot a fork/spoon from the cafeteria, can they go back and get one?
A. If a school designates an eating area that is not the cafeteria, Food & Nutrition Services will stock extra cutlery in that area for ease of service.

Q. Will the students who have breakfast eat in the cafeteria in designated spaces or in their classroom?
A. This will be a school-based decision.

Q. If a child has severe food allergies, for example, reacts with anaphylaxis to even inhaling some of their allergens, how will our district serve these students if it's required that they eat in the classroom? Can we restrict one or more classes to being an allergen-free environment?
A. Students with food allergens are required to fill out the Diet Order Form and return to the food service manager. Schools will determine protocols based on the individual situation and designated eating location. A Diet Order Form is also still a requirement if a [email protected] student or their parent is picking up from Curbside Grab-and-Go meal distribution. The school’s Meal Service Plan will identify where and who will hand the student their meal when they come to pick it up. The Meal Service for Students with Food Allergens form will be available the planning week before school starts.

Q. How will social distancing work on a school bus?
A. After a review of other school district plans and discussions with health experts, students can sit closer together with lowered risk of transmitting the virus if everyone is wearing a face coverings or mask, Bus routes will be designed to assign no more than two students per seat. To help minimize the time in the bus aisle and passing other students, we will assign seats in order to load from back to front, and unload from front to back.

Q. How will buses be cleaned? How often?
A. CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least daily or between use as feasible. Buses will be cleaned, at minimum, after the morning and afternoon routes.

Q. If someone on my child's bus is exposed, will we be notified? How? What about if there's a diagnosis?
A. We will follow the reporting procedures established by OCPS Safety and Emergency Management.

Q. Will busses be sanitized between group pick-ups? Couldn’t we use foggers for that?
A. CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least daily or between use as feasible. Buses will be cleaned, at minimum, after the morning and afternoon routes with foggers being used. Drivers will wipe down high-touch areas between runs.

Q. Will bus still take kids to boys and girls club or other day cares/after school activities?
A. Current services will be continued unless there is a change in the program.

Q. Some gifted students are bussed to other schools for services, will that still happen?
A. Current services will be continued unless there is a change in the program.

Q. Will there be a monitor on each bus to make sure the students do not move around out of their seats?
A. Monitors are funded for ESE buses. The district will not be able to provide monitors on all buses.

Q. Will mode of transport to/from school be able to be adjusted after school starts?
A. Routes are adjusted throughout the year to improve efficiencies and ridership.

Q. Will there be a staggered dismissal?
A. Staggered arrival and dismissal times are being reviewed.

Q. Is it possible to break up one bus stop into more locations to spread the kids out more while waiting?
A. We will review stops with a high number of students and adjust if feasible.

Q. Will all students in the virtual class be at home, or will some be in the classroom at the same time?
A. This is based upon demand for the OCPS [email protected] model in each grade level for elementary school and each course in middle and high school. A classroom may have few or no students physically present, based upon parent selections.

Q. How will testing work between students physically in the building and those in [email protected] - won't those at home have a big advantage in not being monitored in person?
A. Classroom teachers who use the Canvas learning management system have the ability to choose to utilize the Respondus LockDown Browser when assigning assessments in Canvas to students at home or at school. This technology ensures that assessment windows cannot be minimized and removes or limits other functions of the computer to ensure test integrity. Click here to learn more. It is our plan to also allow students to use iReady at home.

Innovative Model (OCPS [email protected]) Q&A

Note: recently posted/edited questions appear in blue.

Q. I signed up for [email protected] but I do not have a computer for my child?
A. For the 2020-21 school year, devices will be provided to all K-12 students participating in face-to-face, [email protected] and OCVS. Schools will be notifying families about the schedule for distributing devices to those students who don’t already have one. If a family is in need of internet assistance, they can click here to learn about low-cost internet options at home or to request a hot spot.

Q. What happens if my child cannot participate in [email protected] for the 9 days beginning August 10th?
A. All students will benefit from any days on the [email protected] platform, especially because in the event of a shutdown due to the pandemic or a hurricane, students and teachers will have the experience of [email protected] under their belt. Students are not counted absent until their first day of attendance; no penalties will be administered for a student who enters school after August 10th. This is not new, students are never counted on the rolls until their first day of attendance.

Q. I saw hotspots may be distributed with devices for students. Will everyone receive one?
A. No. There is a special program offered to disadvantaged families who do not currently have internet access. If a family is in need of internet assistance, they can click here to learn about low-cost internet options at home or to request a hot spot.

Q. If I don’t choose face-to-face will my child lose his/her spot in the magnet program?
A. All students enrolled in a magnet program or have an approved transfer as listed in School Board Policy JCA, will keep their seats for the entire 2020-21 school year. These students can choose any of the schooling options (e.g., OCVS, FLVS, Home Education, [email protected], Private School) for the fall of 2020 and rest assured their seat in the assigned school/magnet program will be preserved until the 2021-22 school year.

Q. The idea of the LearningEd option is great in theory but I’m not sure how my 6 year old will do staring at a screen for 6 hours, 5 days a week. What plans are in place for elementary students doing [email protected] to ensure this doesn't happen?
A. The [email protected] model is designed to provide daily, live lessons to students using video conferencing; however, that does not mean the teacher will be lecturing for 7.5 hours. Here is an example: in face-to-face elementary math instruction, teachers may provide a 30-minute whole group lesson and then have students engage in guided practice with a partner and then independent practice on their own.

Q. Will teachers do in person teaching and distance learning at the same time? 
A. Based upon parent selections, for the OCPS [email protected] model within a grade level or course at a school, a classroom may have few or no students present. Parents will be able to choose to keep their children at home for the entire time or select a combination of in-school and at-home days with the OCPS [email protected] model. As a result, in some circumstances teachers may be teaching a lesson to a portion of the students in their class face-to-face while live streaming instruction to those attending the lesson at home.

Q. Will my child have the same teachers in the school and virtually?
A. To the extent possible, or as enrollment permits, students participating in the [email protected] model will have a teacher from their enrolled school.


Q.
Can you change your mind during the first semester if your situation changes or if your first choice doesn't work for your child?
A. Keep in mind our plans are fluid and could change. However, the current commitment for the three models is as follows:

  • [email protected] – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • Face-to-Face – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • OCVS/FLVS – full first semester

Exceptions can be made within the first 9 weeks for any of the instructional models on a case-by-case basis if a student is not experiencing success.

OCVS/FLVS full-time programs do not have continual enrollment, so those families who do not enroll at the start of the first semester will not have the opportunity to enroll again until the second semester if a change is desired. Unlike [email protected] and Face-to-Face instructional models, the scope and sequence of the OCVS/FLVS full-time program is not similar, and switching from full-time virtual school back into a student’s enrolled school in the middle of the semester can be disruptive.

The Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s emergency order provided districts with flexibility to implement an “innovative model” ([email protected]) for the first semester of school. If the state of Florida and the Florida Department of Education Commissioner revisit the need to extend the emergency order beyond the first semester, it will be communicated to families as soon as it’s known by the district.

Q. If we choose the LaunchED option, will students be placed into the same level classes as if they were on campus? I.e. gifted, accelerated?
A. Yes.  The OCPS [email protected] program does not effect course selection. They will remain in the courses they are currently scheduled for however, they will now attend those courses via livestream rather than face-to-face.

Q. Will the teacher(s) be from my child’s home school?
A. To the extent possible, the teacher will be from the child’s home school.  

Q. If students transfer into classrooms, even at the mid-year point, will this be with the same students and teachers they had in the virtual class?
A. The intent of the OCPS [email protected] model would be for students to retain the same teacher(s) at their enrolled school when they transition back to a face-to-face model at the end of the semester or earlier, when possible. This is dependent, however, on the ability of the teacher(s) to return to the face-to-face model as well. 

Q. How will unauthorized people, either hackers or others in the student’s home, be prevented from participating in the Swivl video?
A. Access to an OCPS-approved video conferencing system is based on authentication, which prevents unauthorized users from logging in to the link without teachers admitting them. 

Q. How much work is it to switch from the teacher camera to the whiteboard, etc.?
A. Most modern video conferencing systems have the ability to manage multiple modes of input easily. In this case, sharing the whiteboard is no different than sharing your computer screen.

Q. How will it work for clubs and afterschool activities for students who don't choose the Face-to-Face option? 
A. Students whose parents select the [email protected] option can participate in afterschool activities as they become available at their enrolled school. However, please note that the clubs and afterschool activities may only be available in a face-to-face format and not be live-streamed.

Q. Where does the video feed “live” – on the internet, on our servers, etc? 
A. OCPS video conferencing systems like Microsoft Teams is server-based and security measures are managed by the OCPS Information Technology Services Department. 

Q. Will parents have access to videos of classroom lessons?
That is up to the teacher. Teachers will decide if they choose to record their lesson and if they do choose to record it, where and if it will be posted. 

Q. Classroom management – looking at a small iPad screen, how can a teacher possibly see what 22 kids are doing at home? 
A. "Teacher iPads are 10.5” and teacher laptops are roughly 13”. Students appear as tiles on the screen, and teachers can scroll through students and click on individual students to enlarge. Teachers will be able to hear and see students. Teachers and students also will be able to have real time conversations in the chat window.

Q. Will parents be able to use Swivl videos of classroom lessons to bring allegations against teachers?
A. Live-streaming lessons does not require recording. It is at the discretion of the teacher to determine if s/he wishes to record a lesson as a part of the  [email protected] model. Students are prohibited from recording teacher lessons in the OCPS Code of Student Conduct. Therefore any recordings made in this manner would not be able to be used for such a purpose.

Q. Can IB or AICE be provided through LaunchED?
A. Yes, IB or AICE can be provided through LaunchED if a school chooses an IB or AICE teacher to teach via the [email protected] model. 

Q. How long will the Innovative Plan be in place?
A. The state has not provided guidance on the length of time the Innovation Plan, now approved, can be implemented.

Q. How will the innovative model work for high school students? Will they be offered all the same rigorous courses and electives as the face-to face students? Or when it says “select a model for your child” does that mean you get to choose from “group A” or “group B” which could be below your level or courses you are not interested in?
A. The [email protected] program does not affect course selection. Students will remain in the courses they would normally be scheduled for; however, they will now attend those courses via live stream. The intention is to offer all classes through [email protected], however parent choice will drive the offering of classes.

Q. What will the students be reading if they do not have access to books from home? If a teacher is using a class library, who cleans it at the end of the day? With what?
A. Digital access to instructional textbooks, reading materials, as well as eBooks from the library will be available for students who choose the [email protected] model. Custodians are responsible for cleaning the building.

Q. What happens if internet goes out etc.? Will students be counted absent?
A. We will not mark a student absent if there are issues with the internet. The student will be responsible to complete the missed assignments.

Q. What is the decision regarding fall sports and marching band?
A. The FHSAA announced the postponement of fall sports until August 24th. OCPS continues to monitor the situation to ensure that our student-athletes are able to practice and compete in a safe and healthy environment. Fall athletics practices and marching band practices which were scheduled to begin on Monday, July 27 are postponed until further notice. The Athletic Directors, Band Directors, and Principals were made aware of this decision Monday, July 20. OCPS is working on a plan to modify fall sports and marching band practice and competition schedules to provide for student health and safety. Please note that when a student participates in OCPS [email protected] or Orange County Virtual School they can still participate in athletics and activities at their assigned school, as they are rescheduled.

Q. Does a teacher teaching [email protected] from their classroom to students at home (without any students face-to-face in the classroom) need to wear a mask?
A. No.

Q. Can my child take some classes at school or via [email protected] and some on OCVS?
A. For years, middle and high school students have been able to take a portion of classes online with OCVS or FLVS (common choices include Driver’s Ed and HOPE). This option still exists under the Face-to-Face model and the [email protected] model.

Q. What if a parent does not choose an option – is there a default?
A. Schools will confirm choices with families.

Q. Will there be any training provided to parents to be able to address technology problems that may arise with their child's learning?
A. We are providing trainings for parents on utilizing the digital resources for OCVS, [email protected], Canvas, and Digital Etiquette.

Q. Will electives be available through [email protected]?
A. The intention is to offer all classes through [email protected], however parent choice will drive the offering of classes.

Q. What will you do regarding lunch if we choose LaunchED?
A. Students enrolled in the [email protected] instructional model will be able to go to selected schools and show their student ID to pick up meals. Parents can also come to pick up meals if they have their student’s IDs.

Q. How will testing work between students physically in the building and those in [email protected] - won't those at home have a big advantage in not being monitored in person?
A. Classroom teachers who use the Canvas learning management system have the ability to choose to utilize the Respondus LockDown Browser when assigning assessments in Canvas to students at home or at school. This technology ensures that assessment windows cannot be minimized and removes or limits other functions of the computer to ensure test integrity. Click here to learn more. It is our plan to also allow students to use iReady at home.

 

Orange County Virtual School Model Q&A

Note: recently posted/edited questions appear in blue.

Q. What is Orange County Virtual School and is it new?
A. Orange County Virtual School has been in existence for 10 years and is an option for full and part-time instruction for all students, kindergarten through 12th grade. Click here for more FAQs about OCVS on their website.

Q. How long is the commitment?
A. OCVS courses are one semester in length and credit is based on course completion. 

Q. So my children have to withdraw from school in order to apply for virtual school? That is what their school told me. Is this correct?
A. That is correct. To enroll in OCVS full-time, students must withdraw from their enrolled school and register to attend OCVS, which is a separate school. Online applications can be found at: http://schoolchoicevirtual.ocps.net/ .

Q. If I don’t choose face to face will my child lose his/her spot in the magnet program?
A. All students enrolled in a magnet program or have an approved transfer as listed in School Board Policy JCA, will keep their seats for the entire 2020-21 school year. These students can choose any of the schooling options (e.g., OCVS, FLVS, Home Education, [email protected], Private School) for the fall of 2020 and rest assured their seat in the assigned school/magnet program will be preserved until the 2021-22 school year.

Q. What is the difference between the two (OCVS and [email protected])?
A. The [email protected] model is a synchronous (real time) live model and OCVS is a primarily asynchronous or self-paced model. 

Q. When is the deadline to apply? Will it be extended? How do I apply?
A. The current deadline for fall enrollment at OCVS is July 31, 2020. Online applications can be found at: http://schoolchoicevirtual.ocps.net/

Q. How will ELL and ESE students be impacted by choosing OCVS?
A. ELL students are provided equal access to educational programs offered in OCPS, as established by the Consent Decree. OCVS highly qualified teachers will provide instruction in alignment with the Florida State standards and virtual curriculum to ensure grade-level instruction. OCVS will ensure that ELLs receive comprehensible instruction using effective strategies and accommodations. OCVS teachers will continually monitor the performance of students as they progress through the coursework. Virtual small group and individual assistance is available to meet the needs of learners.

Q. What is the decision regarding fall sports and marching band?
A.The FHSAA announced the postponement of fall sports until August 24th. OCPS continues to monitor the situation to ensure that our student-athletes are able to practice and compete in a safe and healthy environment. Fall athletics practices and marching band practices which were scheduled to begin on Monday, July 27 are postponed until further notice. The Athletic Directors, Band Directors, and Principals were made aware of this decision Monday, July 20. OCPS is working on a plan to modify fall sports and marching band practice and competition schedules to provide for student health and safety. Please note that when a student participates in OCPS [email protected] or Orange County Virtual School they can still participate in athletics and activities at their assigned school, as they are rescheduled.


Q. Can you change your mind during the first semester if your situation changes or if your first choice doesn't work for your child?
A. Keep in mind our plans are fluid and could change. However, the current commitment for the three models is as follows:
  • [email protected] – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • Face-to-Face – 9 weeks with the option for the full first semester
  • OCVS/FLVS – full first semester

Exceptions can be made within the first 9 weeks for any of the instructional models on a case-by-case basis if a student is not experiencing success.

OCVS/FLVS full-time programs do not have continual enrollment, so those families who do not enroll at the start of the first semester will not have the opportunity to enroll again until the second semester if a change is desired. Unlike [email protected] and Face-to-Face instructional models, the scope and sequence of the OCVS/FLVS full-time program is not similar, and switching from full-time virtual school back into a student’s enrolled school in the middle of the semester can be disruptive.

The Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s emergency order provided districts with flexibility to implement an “innovative model” ([email protected]) for the first semester of school. If the state of Florida and the Florida Department of Education Commissioner revisit the need to extend the emergency order beyond the first semester, it will be communicated to families as soon as it’s known by the district.

Q. Can my child take some classes at school or via [email protected] and some on OCVS?
A. Middle and high school students that elect to take a portion of their classes online with OCVS or FLVS need to choose the [email protected] option for the remainder of their courses.

Q. Will there be any training provided to parents to be able to address technology problems that may arise with their child's learning?
A. We are providing trainings for parents on utilizing the digital resources for OCVS, [email protected], Canvas, and Digital Etiquette.

Exceptional Student Education (all models) Q&A

Note: recently posted/edited questions appear in blue.

Q. What forms of PPE will be recommended for ESE teachers and paras who work with children: (a) who due to a manifestation of their disability, cannot wear masks (b) who cannot maintain social distance per the "supervision to maintain personal safety" line on the accommodation page of their IEP; (c) who have approved safety plans that specifically requires very close teacher proximity and/ or hand holding; (d) who require assistance for feeding and/or personal care as indicated by their IEP.
A. There will be an exception for students who are medically unable to wear PPE.  All other students will be required to wear PPE.  
Social distancing will be maintained to the maximum extent possible. 
PPE will be provided for staff who work closely with students.  Various medical professionals have been consulted. 
PPE will be provided for staff working with students who require feeding or personal care.

Q. How will social distance be maintained for students who are frequently repositioned by a teacher?
A. Social distancing will be maintained to the maximum extent possible. PPE will be provided for staff and students as needed to the extent supplies are available. In some circumstances it is acknowledged that social distancing will not be possible, such as when providing hand-over-hand instruction or assistance with daily living tasks.

Q. For schools with a designated/budgeted RN position for the ESE population, will the district purchase or budget a position for a school health assistant to assist the RN to ensure all students receive services on site? For the schools with a school health assistant only, will there be additional staff?
A. Schools are allocated either a health assistant or other medical personnel based upon their student population.  Additional allocations would have to be approved based upon the district budget.

Q. How do you address the concern that a child forced to wear a mask would obscure the teacher’s ability to recognize a reaction in time to save a child’s life?
A.  Students, with or without disabilities, who are medically unable to wear masks/face coverings will have to be accommodated in some form or fashion. Considering what the medical accommodations will be is an individualized inquiry based upon the medical circumstances of the student.  Such accommodations may include, but not be limited to, utilization of a face shield rather than a face mask/face covering; utilization of Plexiglas dividers; assignments to buses where social distancing can be maintained; assignment to smaller classes where social distancing of 6 feet or greater may be maintained; assignment to the class of teachers who are willing to work with students without masks; or assignment to Hospital Homebound.  Again, this will be an individualized inquiry based upon the medical circumstances of each student.  

Q. What happens when nurses can't get in touch with anyone on the contact list? In previous years if it gets to the end of the school day they would have been put on the bus to go home - which obviously can't happen now.
A. If a child becomes ill at the end of the day, and is unable to return to class, he/she will not be placed on the bus. Parents will be required to immediately pick up their child after the final school bell to minimize possible contact with and exposure to other individuals.  If a child is sick or not picked up, or his/her symptoms worsen, then school administration will be notified and they will call 911 Emergency Medical System responders and/or notify proper authorities, as necessary.

Q. How will IEPs be handled?
A. For Students with Disabilities (SWD) Following General Education Standards:

  • SWD who are on General Education Standards will follow the grade-level standards with any appropriate accommodations
  • SWD that need academic support in their general education classrooms will receive virtual support and instruction from their General Education Teacher and their Special Education Teacher
  • The Special Education Teacher will work in collaboration with the Regular Education Teacher
    SWD that are on General Education Standards and receiving support and services in a self-contained setting will receive virtual support and instruction from their Special Education Teacher

For Students with Disabilities (SWD) Following Access Point Standards:

  • SWD who are on Access Point Standards will follow Access Point Standards with any appropriate accommodations

Support Services:

  • Many disability-related modifications and services may be effectively provided online. These may include, for instance, extensions of time for assignments, videos with accurate captioning or embedded sign language interpreting, accessible reading materials, and many speech or language services through video conferencing (USDOE, 2020)
  • ESE Staff members that provide services for specialized areas (Speech/Language, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Vision, Deaf/Hard of Hearing) will review student IEPs and determine which services can be done remotely
  • In the event that a service cannot be performed virtually, online, or telephonically, the parent will have the opportunity to schedule face-to-face services at their enrolled school
  • Services conducted in a face-to-face environment will use enhanced safety and health protocols
Q. Are school to work programs i.e. Simon Youth Academy, Goodwill Industries, BETA, and Universal Education Center still an option for my child?
A. Yes, the Office of School Choice is working closely with our agency partners as they implement their corporate policies for reopening to include OCPS students. If you are interested in any of our sites, please email [email protected].

Q. How can my high school aged child with a disability participate in a job training program?
A. A sequence of courses are offered at the high school that focus on preparing students for employment. Career Preparation introduces students with disabilities to job exploration, interests, and social skills at the workplace. Career Experience provides non-paid work experiences during part of the school day. Students who are employed or looking for employment may take Career Placement in high school for credit. Students who have met the requirements for graduation, may choose to apply for deferment to continue to learn work related skills. Options for deferment depend on the needs of the student and their work readiness skills. Students who are ready for a more intensive work-study program may apply for the Bridges program or the ESE Transition School program. Those who are not yet ready for a more intensive environment may continue to focus on work related skills at their assigned high school. Students enrolled in the ESE Transition School are immersed in a full time work-study in partnership with an area business. The ESE Transition School works closely with Vocational Rehabilitative Services (VR) and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to transition students into the workplace when they are ready for paid employment.

Q. My school had general education kids on our ESE bus because there wasn't room on regular routes. Can that happen this year when we have medically fragile students?
A. General education students will not be placed on an ESE bus if there is a restriction on any student IEP.

Q. Can PreK VE and PreK ESE Full Day parents choose between [email protected], Face-to-Face, or OCVS Virtual?
A. The options for PreK VE and PreK ESE Full Day students are Face-to-Face and [email protected] All teachers and students will start off virtually on August 10. Families that chose Face-to-Face instruction, will start Face-to-Face on August 21. Parents that selected [email protected] will remain on [email protected] Services will be provided to the extent possible.

Q. What is the start date for PreK VE and PreK ESE Full Day students?
A. All teachers and students will start off virtually on August 10. Any families that chose Face-to-Face instruction, will start Face-to-Face on August 21; all others that requested [email protected] can remain on [email protected] Services will be provided to the extent possible.

Q. What happens if a PreK VE and PreK ESE parent does not want their child to attend face-to-face instruction?
A. Parents of students in PreK VE and PreK ESE may choose the [email protected] option for their child.

Q. What is the recommended class size for PreK VE and PreK ESE Full Day providers during the pandemic?
A. Classroom limits are as follows:10 students for PreK ESE Full Day and 12 students for PreK VE Part time A.M. and P.M.


VPK Q&A

Q. Can VPK parents choose between [email protected], Face-to-Face, or OCVS Virtual?
A. No, per Florida Office of Early Learning, VPK teachers and students must return with face-to-face instruction on Aug. 21. OCPS is able to offer [email protected] for a limited time (Aug. 10-20) due to a previous executive order.

Q. What is the start date for VPK students?
A. VPK students will begin [email protected] (virtual) instruction on Monday, Aug. 10 and through Thursday, Aug. 20 only. Unless the Florida Office of Early Learning provides an additional waiver, face-to-face instruction begins on August 21.

Q. What happens if a parent does not want their VPK child to attend face-to-face instruction?
A. Parents may choose to withdraw their child from the program to allow schools to enroll students from their waitlist.

Q. What is the recommended class size for VPK providers during the pandemic?
A. The Florida Office of Early Learning continues to support the class size maximum of 20. OCPS will follow social distancing guidelines when feasible.
To submit other questions, email [email protected].