Here are some questions we have received from families and staff regarding the district's COVID-19 mitigation strategies. We are still waiting for answers to some questions.
This FAQ will be updated as the situation evolves and changes.
If you were around someone who tested positive but they were wearing a mask, do you still need to quarantine?
If you are vaccinated, you can stay at school. If you are not vaccinated, you can test to stay.
If a staff member tests positive and has to isolate for five or more days depending on symptoms, do you have to use your own sick time or is there “COVID leave”?
For those who are fully vaccinated, NSC offers five working days of leave (following CDC guidelines). If you are identified through contact tracing and test positive, you are eligible for those five days as long as you are fully vaccinated and following safety protocols.
Are KN95 masks available in school buildings?
KN95 masks have been given to school principals.
Why are students on modified quarantine able to eat in the cafeteria?
Administration will work with principals to identify the best route forward for lunch locations for students on modified quarantine.
Mask requirements are not being enforced on buses. How can drivers get more support/assistance with this issue?
If a child is having trouble with masks repeatedly, we ask drivers to document that and pass it onto leadership and school principals. We need everyone’s help with mask enforcement. We don’t want buses to be places where kids aren’t wearing masks. Repeated violation could mean suspension from the bus.
If all AMI hours are exhausted at a particular building, will school be canceled?
Only schools that will have less than the DESE-required 1,044 hours at year's end will need to make up days at the end of the year. At this point (1/27) no school will need to do this, but Lucas Crossing is closest.
Are CDC guidelines still being followed as far as sanitizing and disinfecting environments?
Yes. Please report to the building head custodian or principal if there are areas you think aren’t being properly cleaned/sanitized.
Is there a district letter that is supposed to be sent home to the students that are in a classroom where a teacher/student has tested positive or is that left up to the building to create?
The school principal or nurse will send a letter that is obtained from Central Office.
Can students come back after 5 days and a negative test result?
Students and staff can return after 5 days per CDC guidelines.
The NSC Board just approved the new online curriculum in case of staff shortages. Why not just use iReady and Edmentum for this purpose since we already have licenses for them? What about 9-12 graders since Edgenuity is only K-8? Also how can you use this program for instance if 8 teachers are out of one building and we don't have 8 staff to cover?
If we don’t have staff to cover around the entire district, then we have to consider canceling school. As far as the new online curriculum, iReady can still be used but doesn’t cover all courses. For example, it does not offer science or social studies.
When there are staff shortages, what is the process to cover classrooms?
School staff should be used first. This can be floating or building substitutes. Then aides or elective teachers will be used. Deans or assistant principals are then employed to cover classrooms. Combining classrooms is then considered. Lastly, principals will contact HR that extra support is needed after all building resources have been exhausted.
Are air purifiers being installed in the HVAC systems? If not, is there a plan for that?
Each district classroom has received an air purifier. In addition, we are planning more than $10 million in HVAC improvements for the district, and many of these improvements have already occurred. The Board is considering a $5 million HVAC improvement plan at its upcoming February 8 meeting. See Dr. Pusateri or Mr. Shipley if you'd like more information on this.
Why are SSD staff not eligible for vaccine bonuses?
The incentives for disclosing fully vaccinated status were limited to NSC staff. We have multiple partner agencies who serve our district, and we would need to work out specific agreements with each agency to receive confidential medical information for each person. We reached out to multiple agencies and decided not to open up the incentives to non-NSC employees.
If teachers would have to make up days at the end of the year for AMI days, would we be compensated for teaching the same day twice? Meaning, we already taught it once virtually and then are expected to teach it again in person? Seems as though there should be monetary compensation for those that have taught BOTH days.
Teachers will not teach the same day twice. Make up days at the end of the year will only be for schools that have not reached the DESE-required 1,044 hours. Those schools will have run out of AMI days, which count toward those 1,044 hours.