Frequently Asked Questions About School Re-Entry

Please refer to the SGCS Re-Entry Website for detailed information on every aspect of our return to school plans.
ACADEMIC QUESTIONS:

1. When will school begin?

We will begin the 2020-21 school year with a rolling start.

- August 18: PK3-8th grade will begin school with Distance Learning.

- August 24: PK3-1st grades come to campus, 2nd-8th grades continue Distance Learning
- August 31: PK3-4th grades come to campus, 5th-8th grades continue Distance Learning
- September 8: All grades come to campus.

 

Throughout this time and forward, any family that has elected to do Synchronous Remote Learning may continue to do so.  Please make your selection on the Release and Election form in your mySGCS portal.

2. How will distance learning be conducted?

Distance learning will be conducted for all grades the first week of school, the week of August 17.  Device pickup for all grades will be scheduled in a staggered manner much like the spring drop off was conducted.  Students in all grade levels from PK3 through 8th grade will receive an Interactive Learning Plan which will include all the necessary links and schedule times for each student to successfully connect with their teachers, both core and specials, throughout the day.  Zoom will be used instead of Google Meets, and children will be able to participate in both online and off-line activities as part of their curricula. If a child participates in Synchronous Remote Learning (learning from home while others are learning on campus), they will continue to utilize the ILP and Zoom to engage in class in real time.

3. What about devices and materials for Distance Learning or Synchronous Remote Learning?

Any PK3-2nd grade students who need one will be given an iPad to take home to use if they are learning from home.
All 3rd-4th grade students will be given a dedicated Chromebook to use if learning at home.
When students are learning on campus, they must remember to bring the school device with them for use at school.

FACILITIES QUESTIONS:

1. How will the classrooms be set up during this time?

All classroom desks and tables have been separated according the recommended CDC guidelines.  Where necessary, larger furniture has been removed from the classroom to allow for correct spacing.

2. What social distancing measures will be in place?

- All students in Kindergarten-8th grade are required to wear masks to school and throughout the day.
- Students will be assigned to designated entrances and exits by grade level.
- Students will be assigned to designated bathrooms by grade level.
- Students will remain in homerooms and cohorts as much as possible with little transition to minimize contact.  Special subject teachers will instead move room to room.
- Students will walk in hallways at CDC recommended spacing in lines.
- Hallways and stairwells will be marked with unidirectional signs to minimize contact.
- LS students will eat lunches in their classrooms.  MS students will eat lunch in the Commons at a social distance from one another.
- PE classes will be conducted separately instead of by grade level so that students can be spread out during the class. Low intensity games and exercises will be taught to minimize spread of germs.
- Lockers will not be used in Middle School.
- Plexiglas dividers will be installed at reception desks and in the cafeteria.
- Parents and visitors will not be admitted to buildings until conditions change, for the purpose of minimizing transmission.  Tents will be set up outside entrances and exits for the comfort of our families if waiting for a student to leave the building at carpool or any other time.
- This list will evolve as necessary.

3. How long will these safety procedures be implemented?

The short answer to this is we just do not know at this point.  We will continue to stay on top of ongoing guidance as the situation evolves throughout the year.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS QUESTIONS:

1. Is the School conducting daily screenings?

Yes.  We will be using an application that parents will be given more information about soon.  Every morning parents will be asked to complete a self-screening on their smartphones at home for each child.  This screening will include temperature-taking as well as answering symptom questions.  If the child is cleared to attend school, there will be a screen that indicates this.  If the child is not cleared to attend school, there will be a screen that indicates this as well.  If your child is not cleared, please keep them at home.  A school representative will be checking the self-screening results each morning and will reach out to you directly that day to follow up should there be a failed screening.

When families arrive at school, carpool monitors will look to be shown the screen with a clearance for the child.  Children will also have their temperatures taken with a non-touch forehead thermometer before leaving the car.  If the temperature is below 100.0 and the students have a clearance from the self-screening, and they are wearing a mask, they may leave the car to enter the school building.  If a child’s temperature is at or above 100.0 at carpool, parents will be asked to bring their child home instead and a school representative will reach out to you directly that day to follow up. 

2. What are the policies for symptomatic/no positive test or a lab-positive test for children and teachers?

Please see the extensive information about this in the Health Procedures section of the Re-Entry Website.  The response is the same for both students and teachers.  Symptoms of SARS-COV-19 and a positive test are treated the same per CDC guidelines. We will follow CDC protocols for contact tracing and classroom closures depending on the results of that contact tracing.  Notifications of positive or presumed COVID-19 cases will be sent to families, but all identification will be kept confidential.  The Travis County Health Department will be notified and consulted for next steps.  CDC guidelines for quarantining will be followed and the person may return once they are cleared per the same.

 

If a teacher must be out and teach from home, an assistant will be in the classroom with the students just as if there was a substitute for any other reason in a classroom.  If a child is out ill, they may participate in Synchronous Remote Learning until they are cleared to return.

3. What are the requirements for wearing protective equipment for students and teachers?

All students and teachers and visitors must wear a mask to enter the building.  (However, we will not be having any parents or visitors on campus until conditions change.) 1st-8th grade students must wear their masks during the day.  PK3-Kindergarten are not required to wear masks developmentally at these ages, but families are free to ask their PK-K student to keep a mask on during the day if they would like.


Teachers will also wear face shields.  Students may wear face shields if they would like, but the mask is what is required.  A face shield without a mask is not acceptable to be on campus. Masks may be any color (there is no need to adhere to particular school colors unless you’d like to), but they may not have words on them.

4. What are the plans for at-risk faculty?

The health and wellbeing of our faculty and staff is of paramount importance to us.  The biggest request from our faculty is that families care for them by adhering to social distancing behaviors when outside school hours.  Any faculty at higher risk is afforded every right under the Americans with Disabilities Act and we care for each of our faculty’s and staff’s needs responsively, privately, and individually.  As a result, you may notice variations in delivery of instruction among some classrooms.  Our goal is to care for the needs of our staff while simultaneously providing excellence in instruction to each of our children.  Please reach out directly to your teacher with any questions or concerns.

ATHLETICS AND AFTER SCHOOL QUESTIONS:

1. How will the current situation affect sports and after school programs?

Please see the Athletics and After School section of the Re-Entry Website for extensive information on these areas.  Essentially, all after school programming and sports will follow the same procedures as we follow throughout the day.  Which sports and programming will be offered will be determined by the current situation and by our sports leagues as we move through the year.  Please watch the Messenger for updates each Friday.

FINANCIAL QUESTIONS:

1. Will school fees and tuition be the same for different learning situations?

Yes, tuition will remain the same regardless of mode of delivery.  Should a sport or after school activity be canceled, families will be refunded as they were this past spring.

St. Gabriel's Catholic School

2500 Wimberly Lane | Austin, TX 78735

512.327.7755 | www.sgs-austin.org

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