Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 07-31-20
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: 


CLEANING/SANITIZING/DISINFECTING 

What steps are being taken to ensure the building is safe for my child?
We are implementing multiple safety procedures, including: 

• Increased ventilation in all buildings 
• Daily sanitization spraying of all spaces 
• Addition of hand sanitizer stations throughout building 
• Disinfecting high touch areas throughout the day 
• Bottle filling stations replace water fountains 
• All classrooms stocked with COVID approved disinfectant and paper towels 

For a full list, please visit our Health and Safety Plan

SOCIAL DISTANCING AND OTHER SAFETY PROTOCOLS

How is the District determining the appropriate social distance and other safety measures? 
We are following the guidance of the Chester County Health Department in designing all aspects of our plan.  Their current recommendation for schools is to provide a distance of 3 – 6 feet at all times.  We are moving forward with plans within those guidelines.  If the guidelines change, we will adapt our plans. 


Will masks be required?
Yes.  All adults are required to wear a mask or protective facial covering (face shield) at all times.  Students will need to wear masks when they are in transition from one area to another, and if required social distancing is not possible. 

What if a student refuses to wear a mask?

Masks or protective facial coverings are a requirement for in-person education.  If a student refuses, he/she will be counseled, and parents will be contacted, and the student may be moved to the PASD Virtual Academy for their instruction.  If a child has a doctor verified medical condition which precludes wearing a mask, our nurses and administrators will work with the family and staff to keep everyone safe and healthy. 

What other safety measures are being recommended?
Frequent handwashing (including before and after snacks and meals), reinforcement of safe cough/sneeze procedure, limiting movement throughout the building when feasible. 


Will staff and students receive safety training?
Yes, we have multiple training sessions and videos in the works! 


Why are we NOT following the strictest guidelines? 
PASD will incorporate guidelines as they evolve. All of the safety measures implemented will support the primary goal of educating the student population of the Phoenixville Area School District. We are a school district, funded by tax dollars, and operating as a medical-grade facility is not feasible at this time. Facial coverings, frequent hand washing, sanitizing and disinfecting, as well as social distancing, is the standard by which our decisions have been made. We understand your concerns about the spread of COVID19! If you feel that the standards by which we have reopened the 2020-21 school year will not work for your family, please consider our virtual option. 

If the District adopts an A/B or alternate day schedule, will siblings all be on the same day(s)? 
Yes.  We are committed to ensuring family members are on the same schedule. 


 TECHNOLOGY

Will every child have a laptop?   
It is PASD’s intent that every child have a device to use in both school and virtual environment. In June, the PASD Board of School Directors authorized the purchase/lease of additional devices to ensure every student has access to a laptop or tablet.  We are also expanding the Bring Your Own Technology program to all grade levels, to allow those students who would prefer to use their own personal laptop that opportunity. 

What are the specifications for purchasing a laptop if I want my student to bring his/her own? 
We do have guidelines in place for you to follow if you wish to purchase a laptop for your student.  These are the minimum specifications needed for both elementary and secondary.  If you have additional questions, please contact Monica Kressirer, our IT Manager.


DELIVERY OF INSTRUCTION


What are the options the District is considering? 
We will offer an in-person/brick and mortar option as well as a fully virtual option—the NEW PASD Virtual Academy.  Students in both options will be assigned to a classroom, and will either attend in-person or online through zoom.     

How will the virtual option function?   
Yes!  We have the NEW PASD Virtual Academy, which is a robust, engaging learning platform available for students K-12.  This option will allow students to remain in the Phoenixville Area School District, attending class with their friends and classmates.  Every student will be assigned to a classroom and able to participate through zoom.  Instruction will be synchronous (LIVE) with some pre-recorded lessons which can be accessed at any time, many opportunities for independent work and to “step away” from the computer. 

Is there a difference between the instruction students in the PASD Virtual Academy (all online) and students in the A/B (alternate day) schedule will receive when they are online?
Since all students are assigned to a classroom, the virtual instruction will be identical for all. Any student learning virtually for that day will be included in the zoom meetings/presentations, and will be able to participate by asking and answering questions.  


If I choose the PASD Virtual Academy or in-person instruction for my child, am I able to change my mind at some point?   
Yes!!  That is one of the best features of the design model we are implementing...students will be with the same teacher(s) in both options, so there will be a seamless transition from one to another if you decide to switch. 

Choices for parents—what does in school look like/virtual/etc., what are the virtual learning centers—who will monitor?
In the event of an A/B schedule, on-site, virtual learning will be facilitated by both certificated and support staff. For example, student desks will be socially distanced from one another, and students will work virtually (and individually) on their devices. Certificated and support staff will be supervising work, assisting with technology, redirecting behaviors, providing brain and body breaks, and above all – ENCOURAGING our students! 


ATHLETICS/EXTRA-CURRICULARS


Will students resume athletic activities?  
At this time PASD is committed to encouraging students to be involved and stay active in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Chester County Health Department.  The guidelines include physical distancing measures for athletes, staff and spectators, the wearing of face coverings, regular health monitoring and safety, in addition to cleaning and sanitizing.  Additional specific information can be found on the following link. Guidance for organized sports in the green phase  

Will students resume extra-curriculars/clubs? 
PASD clubs will be available and encouraged, but will operate in a different way and dependent upon the context of the club.  Some club meetings may be held through zoom.  It is also likely that traveling for academic competitions will be minimal.  


TRANSPORTATION


What are the parameters for buses? 
During the 2020-21 school year, students will be seated two to a seat with masks REQUIRED.  Family members will be seated together.  Windows will be open approximately 2 inches at all times.  To increase the flow of air, the roof ventilation system will be operating the entire time the bus is in service.  Between bus runs, the bus will be sprayed/sanitized prior to the pick-up of the next group of students.   

What if I choose to find other means of transportation for my child?  
That’s a great option.  We are reexamining our drop-off/pick-up areas at all buildings to make this process run as smoothly as possible.   


HEALTH & SAFETY


How are you monitoring staff and student wellness? 
All staff must complete a health assessment and self-monitor on a daily basis.  Parents will be given very specific “things to check” before sending your child to school.   

What will happen if a student or staff member becomes symptomatic during the school day? 
If a student or staff member appears sick, or reports not feeling well, they will put on a mask and be escorted to the nurse’s office.  The nurse will assess the student.  If there appears to be an elevated temperature, guardians will be contacted and expected to bring the student to COVID –19 testing, and/or proven medical clearance by a physician upon return to school when asymptomatic.   N-95 masks, gowns, and an isolation room are additional safety measures which will be implemented. 

If there is a confirmed positive case of COVID 19 will the classroom or school be closed for a period of time? 
It is our intention to keep classrooms and schools open.  Multiple cases may involve modifications to social distancing measures and will definitely include close communication and direction from the Chester County Health Department.  

If a student or staff member is confirmed positive, what steps should be taken? 
The Chester County Health Department should be notified if tested positive.  The district and the Health Department will work together, while using as little identifying information as possible.  
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