COVID-19 Updates March-June 12

COVID-19 Information - March 16 - June 14, 2020

FAQ (April 15, 2020):

Is the District taking attendance?
The Department of Public Instruction is not requiring school districts to report attendance during the period in which schools are closed for this public health emergency, regardless of whether schools are offering instruction. 

Has the District made any decisions regarding prom/senior balls?
As of now, all Proms and Senior Balls have been postponed. We will continue to provide an update on the status of these very special events when more information becomes available.

How will students get their yearbooks?
At this time we are looking at how best to distribute yearbooks and will provide an update when more information is available.

How is the District addressing IEPs and Special Education services during the closure?
During the school closure, the Green Bay Area Public School District will continue to provide special education services as identified in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) to the best of our ability.  
  • Special Education Initial Evaluations will be looked at critically to determine if teams feel they have enough existing data to move forward with an eligibility decision. Parents/guardians will be involved in that discussion. If parents/guardians agree those will be completed in the future. 
  • For any Special Education Initial Evaluation that the team feels they do not have enough information to proceed, parents/guardians will be asked if they would agree to an extension. If the parent/guardian does agree the Initial Evaluation will be extended until the Governor orders schools to reopen. If the parent/guardian does not agree, the team will proceed with the data that they have and go through with eligibility at the risk of the student not qualifying for special education services.  
  • IEP annuals and reevaluations will proceed with the data available. 
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) complaints and mediations will be extended and conducted as soon as possible once school reopens.
  • Special education services, related services, and interventions for Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) will be made available through online services for students in grades 3-12. Students in the Alternate Curriculum will receive services through the Unique curriculum either virtually or paper copies delivered to the home. 
  • For students involved in Work Experience, virtual work experience opportunities and instruction will be provided.
  • For students with disabilities, once school reopens individualized decisions about whether or not additional services may be necessary will be made.

If you have specific questions regarding your student, please leave a message stating the student’s full name and birth date along with your name and contact information at 920-448-2081.

FAQ:

The safety of staff and students is the District’s highest priority. The District will be closing schools following spring break due to an abundance of caution and to address concerns raised by staff and families regarding the potential spread of coronavirus due to travel during spring break. This aligns with Governor Evers’ Executive Order on Friday, March 13th, 2020 to close Wisconsin schools. Starting March 18 at 5 p.m., according to the order, there will be no classroom instruction, athletics/activities (including practices), before and after school programs, etc. We will continue to monitor and communicate as more information becomes available.

How will I know if I have been in contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19?
Brown County Health Department is responsible for identifying and contacting any community member that may have been in contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19. All questions about potential exposure should be directed to the Brown County Health Department. 

I have a student in grades 6-12 who did not bring a device home. What do I do? (Updated 4-6-20)
Parents whose 6-12th grade student needs a device, should contact their school principal. 

When will alternative learning beginning for GBAPS students?
During the week of March 30 and April 3, our teachers will begin transitioning to alternative learning. The week of March 23-27 will be used to to plan and prepare.  Starting April 6 until further notice, our teacher will transition to alternative learning. Until that time, parents are encouraged to use the resources that were sent home with students and/or explore the multitude of resources available online. 

How much work will my child be asked to complete (starting March 30th)?
4K= 30 minutes per day
Kindergarten - 2nd grade = 1 hour per day
3rd - 5th grade - 2 hours per day
6th - 12th grade = 3-4 hours per day (30 minutes per class/day)

What do we do for IEP meetings, 504 meetings, and evaluations that will be due during this time?
Evaluations: Someone from the evaluation team will contact you to determine if there is enough data/information collected in order to move forward with your already scheduled IEP meeting. If you do not hear from the team, please contact Executive Director of Student Services Claudia Henrickson at 920-448-2081.

Annual IEP meetings: Your teacher will contact you to set up an IEP meeting. These meetings will be held virtually. You can also participate via phone if that is your preference. Please work with your IEP teacher if you have questions.

Parent Guide to IEP Meetings   Parent Guide to IEP Meetings - Spanish.   Parent Guide to IEP Meetings - Hmong

504 Meetings: If you have a scheduled 504 meeting or need to schedule one, you school counselor will contact you to discuss the best option for meeting. Please contact your school counselor with questions.

How will my child's IEP goals and/or services be met?
Your IEP teacher will be contacting you within the next two weeks in order to develop a system to best meet your child's IEP goals. Every effort will be made for your child to continue to make progress during this unprecedented time. Any related service providers will also be in contact with you to discuss options. Every IEP teacher and service provider will have office hours, in the event you have questions or concerns. 

How will attendance be taken?
During this period of school closure, we will not be taking attendance.

What if we need technical support for online learning?
Please email servicedesk@gbaps.org, or for support over the phone, please contact the Help Desk at 920-448-2148, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Please note that calls back to you will be coming from a blocked number or an out of state number.

Where do I go if I have a question regarding what my student is being asked to do?
Parents/guardians may contact their child's classroom teacher or building principal with questions about classwork.

What if I don't have internet access?
Charter/Spectrum is offering 60 days of free high-speed internet for new customers with school-aged children in the household. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will also be waived. In addition, Charter/Spectrum will also be opening its Wi-fi hotspots for public use.

What if student medication is still at school? How can we pick it up?
Please contact your building principal to discuss medication distribution.

How is GBAPS making decisions?
The District has been monitoring the coronavirus or COVID-19 for several weeks. We have been in contact with the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Instruction, the Governor’s Office, city and county officials, local health providers, and state and local school superintendents. We have been following the guidance of public health experts who are recommending a 14 day self-quarantine for those that have travelled to affected areas in an effort to keep all who are part of our school community -- students, staff, family members and visitors -- safe in the midst of a growing health pandemic. This decision is being made in an abundance of caution and to address concerns raised by staff and families regarding the potential spread of coronavirus due to travel during spring break. 

Secondly, the District is focused on social distancing because a spread of the infection could result in the District not having enough bus drivers, substitute teachers, and other vital supports such as volunteers and crossing guards to keep the District functioning and supporting students and families. 

How will students who qualify for free or reduced lunch be supported during the closure?
As part of our emergency plan to address the closure of schools, we will provide meals prepared by our Food Service Department. Distribution sites are listed on our website.  This process will look similar to our summer feeding program; however, families will be asked to collect their meals and then return home, rather than remaining at the location to eat their meals as required for the summer feeding program. 

Are all athletics and activities canceled?
As of March 18th, Coaches/Advisors are not allowed to conduct practices, open gyms, off-site workouts and are not able to meet with individuals, small groups, or larger groups of athletes to conduct workouts. However, Coaches/Advisors may provide digital workouts as an option.  Digital workouts are to provide athletes with optional workouts in preparation of the restart of the season.  Digital workouts are to be optional and not mandatory.  

Will the District office be open?
At this time we are asking ONLY Emergency staff to report starting March 19. District leadership will be working to ensure that staff are being paid, communications are being sent to staff and families, and monitoring of the situation and preparation continues. The District will continue to communicate with parents, staff, students and community via phone and online during the closure starting March 19th.

Will student graduations be impacted? What about AP or IB testing?
We are in close contact with the Department of Public Instruction. There are a number of decisions that need to be made to support our students. As a District, we are prioritizing the needs of graduating seniors. Please see this webpage from the CollegeBoard regarding AP updates. 

Will students need to complete state assessments when school resumes? (UPDATED 3/20)
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on March 20, 2020 students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year.

What additional steps did the District take to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 prior to closing?
The District canceled all events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together starting the evening of March 12 in response to Public Health guidance and in an abundance of caution. This included, but was not limited to, large school community events, school day assemblies, all student travel, and activities outside of school hours (i.e. overnight field trips and competitions). These restrictions went into effect on March 12. In addition, school custodians prioritized disinfecting high use areas in the school buildings multiple times a day. Students were also asked to wash their hands regularly including when they arrived at school, prior to lunch, and anytime after using the restroom. Good hygiene habits are the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 according to Public Health and the CDC.

How are we supposed to register for the 2020-21 school year while schools are cancelled?
Beginning March 19th, the District’s Central Registration office will support regular and on-line registration of students for the 2020-21 school year via phone and/or online. Parents can reach central office staff at 920-448-2000. 

Will schools be closing for the remainder of the school year?
At this time, the Governor has closed all public and private schools indefinitely, under the emergency public health issue is resolved. 

How will Green Bay Area Public School District be keeping families, staff, and students informed regarding Coronavirus and information related to the closure?
GBAPS will send regular emails to families and staff to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and the district website and school sites will be updated frequently.

Will students need to make-up the missed school days? Will school be extended into summer?
The DPI will waive a state mandated hour requirement to districts requesting to do so during the ongoing public health emergency. Districts will still need to file a waiver, per state law, but the DPI will work to ensure an expedited process. Additionally, the DPI is asking Gov. Tony Evers to suspend a portion of the Wisconsin Administrative Code temporarily, so districts can use one simplified form and have it granted immediately. The DPI expects the process to be implemented through the coming weeks.

Is there any talk of a state level compensation for parents that have to take a leave from their work responsibilities to accommodate the District’s/Government’s decision to close the school system?
We understand that this situation represents an extreme hardship for many families and are sympathetic to these needs. At this time, we are not aware of any compensation plans at the state level.  We are monitoring what is being discussed at the federal level and anticipate that the state may follow suit.

What online learning or alternative learning opportunities will be available to students (both elementary and secondary)?
The District has been working to provide alternative learning experiences for ALL students during the closure. Families will be contacted through our School Messenger system this week regarding specifics as to when the alternative learning experiences will begin.

Can students and staff come into schools to pick up items from their lockers/classrooms?
As of March 19th, schools will no longer be open for students to collect personal items for lockers/classrooms.

If the pandemic lasts longer or worsens, will alternative opportunities be offered to remove children from school to homeschool them?
Parents always have the right to choose to homeschool their children.

If parents decide to remove our children from school starting Monday, March 16, will it be held against our student’s attendance?
The District is not taking attendance during the emergency closure.

Will the District be limiting or canceling student trips?
As of March 11, 2020, the District has placed a temporary restriction on out-of-state district-related student and staff travel. Learn more. 

Please know that the District is committed to assisting schools and families in efforts to mitigate financial losses as a result of having to stop unnecessary district-related travel as a result of this public health threat.

Can I still get a school tour during the statewide school closures?
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide school tours during school closures. We will follow up with all requests received during the closure, and schedule a tour once schools are reopened.

How can parents request enrollment verification documents for tax purposes and/or social security income or other government benefits?
Parents should submit their request through the District's Community Input Form and the request will be routed to the appropriate person.


Retiree Medicare Sessions: Prior to the current state of the public health emergency, invitations to Medicare education sessions were sent to District retirees on the District medical and/or prescription plan. The District remains committed to helping these individuals understand the basics of Medicare and the options for them so they can make the best decisions for their health insurance needs.  We are working with M3, our benefit broker, to make the sessions available via an online meeting.  If you received the letter and are interested in attending, please RSVP to the phone number in the letter and detailed information regarding the online meeting will be provided to you when it becomes available.  If you do not have computer capabilities for an online meeting and are interested in obtaining the information, please RSVP and indicate you do not have computer access so we can provide you with the information in another way as soon as it is available.  

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