Hybrid Model Coffee Chat Replay

2020_1009_Coffee Talk_Hybrid Transition Discussion_Gallery View.mp4

MPSA Families,

Above is the Zoom replay of the October 9, 2020 Coffee Talk with Ms. Genove where the entire discussion was about the Transition to Hybrid/Distance Learning Options.

Here are the applicable links to points discussed:

  • Membership is $12/individual or $20/family and can be purchased "as a guest" at this link: https://acmpta.new.memberhub.store/store

  • Membership can be donated to other individuals through a contribution made via PayPal to paypal.me/ACMPTA - in the notes, please write "membership donation - generic" if it is for anyone or "membership donation + name(s)" if it is for specific person(s)

  • Parents must indicate their decision to for their preferred instructional delivery method by October 21st at https://vue.apsva.us

  • Families who previously placed their decision and wish to keep the same selection should confirm their options for both instructional delivery method AND transportation at https://vue.apsva.us

  • To view the most up-to-date information on the hybrid return, please visit the Transition to Hybrid/In-Person Model Dashboard at https://www.apsva.us/school-year-2020-21/transition-to-hybrid-in-person-model/

    • NOTE: The anticipated return dates are Week of November 10 for PK-3rd (Primary and LEM) and Week of December 1 for 4th and 5th graders (UEM)

Below is a summary of previous questions submitted with answers from Ms. Genove submitted to info@acmpta.com as well as those that were posted on Facebook Groups. Please note that these answers are subject to change as decisions are modified based on recommendations from APS, Department of Health and Human Services, and State of Virginia Government on return to school guidelines. If you have additional questions beyond what was discussed in the video or other than what is listed below, please email info@acmpta.com.


Q: I was hoping that maybe Principal Genove could address what in-class learning would look like for lower elementary students who select hybrid. Will they be on devices or using traditional classroom materials? Are the classrooms going to be set up differently than usual? Without knowing what the in-class learning will look like, it's very hard to make a decision.

A: With the new hybrid model students will be assigned according to teachers. They will report on either Tuesday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday. While in the building they will maximize their time returning to their work with Montessori materials. This time in the school building will help teachers assign follow up work to students in an effort to further reduce technology time. Mondays will continue to be asynchronous and heavily dependent on technology.

Q: Do we know what will happen with teacher and class assignments with this transition?

A: I am unable to answer this until I receive the responses to both parent surveys and the report from HR regarding staff assignments. I envision that each team (PM, LEM & UEM) will have certain teachers assigned to T/W then others Th/F with at least one/two assigned to students selecting FT Virtual instruction.

Q: Will there be a way for classes/teachers to stay altogether or will students/teachers be split based on their selections?

A: Students selecting hybrid who are assigned to a teacher assigned to virtual will have to be moved or other way around. All MPSA students will remain with the MPSA community and assigned to a Montessori teacher.

Q: If we previously completed the selection and want to keep the selection we made, do we need to reconfirm it?

A: I would appreciate it if you could log in again even if you are making the same selection. That is the only way we will know that you have read the options and are making an updated selection. I am not comfortable with families “defaulting” to hybrid and plan to ask office staff and our BFL to reach out to any family that has not logged in.

Q: Could MPSA give parents a sense of what the in-school days might look like for the students who choose hybrid, and whether/how much of those days will be spent online?

A: We do not intend to use technology during our in school days as much as is possible other than to record work. Aside from their special classes they will remain in their classroom throughout the school day. Lunch and recess will be organized to maintain safety protocols. Students must eat in their classrooms. With weather permitting we will take advantage of our outdoor spaces.

Q: For primary students, will they possibly be taught by the satellite Montessori teachers if they ended up being divided from their current classes (their main teacher now goes hybrid)?

A: MPSA students should be able to maintain their current teacher or another PM MPSA teacher.

Q: I want to make my decision based on what my current teacher will be assigned (follow them to hybrid if they are selected for hybrid). How can I find out what their assignment is so I can make my decision?

A: You can reach out to your teacher but keep in mind they might not feel comfortable sharing and whatever their choice, it must be approved by HR and align with the school’s student needs. I would recommend if in doubt to choose hybrid since that is based on space availability. Student can easily be switched to virtual if families decide that later.

Q: The HVAC assessment noted three instances where MPSA HVAC is recommended for upgrades. It was known as well last year that they were inconsistent with heating/cooling classrooms. How will this be addressed in the return to school?

A: There is a report available on the APS website and I am waiting to receive my MPSA report. I have already been contacted by facilities that there is work that needs to be done but do not have those details yet.

Q: Will teachers be given the same opportunity to select their preferences?

A: Teachers are completing their own surveys that are due to HR on Monday the 12th.

Q: What support can we provide to our children if the selection we made affects who their current teacher is?

A: We are extremely fortunate to have an amazing staff at MPSA. If your child experiences any anxiety regarding a change we can reach out to our guidance counselor. If time permits we hope to engage in a “new” Open House for students and parents who were switched to a new teacher.

Q: How soon would we find out if my child has been assigned to a new teacher?

A: Hoping to plan this as soon as survey results from both families and staff are made available to me.

Q: How will specials be taught for both online and hybrid?

A: It is very likely that our specialists schedules will remain exactly the same.

Q: What are the protocols that would be followed when students arrive to school (temp check? Swab test?) No swab test. Temperature checks for students upon arrival to school/or bus stop. Students will be asked (at school or bus stop) How are you feeling today? Is anyone in your household sick? Have you been around anyone that’s been sick?

A: Health screenings and temperature checks for bus students will be completed at the HUB stops and parents must wait until their child is approved before leaving the Hub. Bus students will continue to be dropped off at the front entrance and walk through the gym to their classroom. Students arriving by car will be screened by MPSA staff members with parents present as they pull up on Highland Street. In order to reduce congestion and gathering, walkers will be entering through the entrance near the baseball field and will also be screened by an MPSA staff member with a parent present. Parents should expect to wait until their child is cleared before leaving the school.

Q: What are the protocols if a student begins to experience illness at school? If a student experiences and COVID19 related illness at school, the student will wait in the designated space, until able to get picked up.

A: Students who become ill at school with Covid related symptoms will be isolated into a designated room that is near the front door and away from other students. An administrator will remain in the room with the student until a parent arrives. Parents should be prepared to arrive at school within 30 minutes. If this is not possible please start planning a back- up adult that is authorized to pick up your child on your behalf. This information can be updated in Parent Vue or by calling the front office.

Q: Per the information on APSVA.US - there should be a designated room, separate from the nurses office, that a student should exit through - has this been designated and how will this impact current classroom placement? Designated classroom with windows, near the office. This will not impact classroom placement.

A: The designated space has windows and a sink and is not a designated classroom at MPSA.

Q: What role will the nurse play to differentiate possible Covid vs other illness?

A: Health room staff will determine this based on their own rubric and side with caution if in doubt.

Q: If someone tests positive for Covid, what happens at that point? Administration/Staff has been provided information, should a staff member becomes sick. We have not received information pertaining to students at this point.

A: Staff members complete a screening and temperature heck when they arrive each morning. Any staff member that does not pass or becomes ill prior to coming to school will self report through an HR link. HR will respond with next steps within 24 hours and notify administrative staff at school. The sign in management system is also used for contact tracing as well as daily logs teachers complete should they come in contact with anyone not following the restrictions.

Q: For those that attend hybrid, if they are only getting two days synchronous instruction yet distance learners are getting four days synchronous instruction, will they be learning at the same rates/be given the same lessons?

A: The new model will ensure that both options optimize instructional time and learning for our students.

Q: How will sanitation take place in public places at the school that are frequently used by the students (bathrooms, water fountains, classroom sinks, lockers)?

A. Custodians will clean continuously throughout the day.

A: Custodians have additional protocols in addition to PPE and cleaners/disinfectants provided by APS. Hand sanitizers and wipes have been added to the entrance of each classroom. Teachers are given a supply of masks, sanitizer and wipes. Custodians will disinfect all general areas throughout the day at 2 hour intervals and deep clean all areas at the end of each day. Custodians will be given the teacher schedules so they know which class was used on which days. Mondays will be reserved for additional cleaning protocols. No staff in the building.

Q: Will outdoor learning environments be implemented? What classroom furniture would be needed to make outdoor learning a possibility?

A: Using our current outdoor seating and folding tables.

Q: Where will students take lunch in hybrid?

A: Classroom or outside.

Q: Will free lunches still be in effect for those attending in person until the end of the year? What is the food handling process for this (any updates being made to this given current pandemic)?

A: Yes that process is the same. Only hot/cold lunch options will be offered. Students do not go in the cafeteria. Breakfast is Grab & Go.

Q: Will the hybrid schedule be the full day schedule of 9 AM - 3:41 PM?

A: Yes for all synchronous days both in-person and distance, and for both hybrid and for 100% distance learners. Mondays will be asynchronous with the exceptions of specials assigned for certain classes.

Q: Will parent volunteers be allowed to assist at school in the hybrid option?

A: No

Q: If hybrid option happens, can programs and events take place at the school again?

A: Not until all restrictions are lifted and schools open to full capacity.

Q: Will enrichment be offered (ex., like Baroody classes) in person?

A: No

Q: Will extended day be offered?

A: No

Q: I didn’t apply for extended day last year but want to apply now because I am selecting the hybrid option. What do I need to do?

A: Will not be offered.

Q: How will buses be sanitized between their multiple pick-ups?

A: Buses will be disinfected after morning run then again after evening run. They are using a sprayer I believe but please look on the APS website.

Q: What will recess/playground time look like? Will equipment be sanitized?

A: There are reduced numbers of children allowed on playground at a time so recess will be further staggered to reduce these numbers. Students will have access to play equipment to use independently and not shared.

Q: Previously, there was a plan to offer reusable masks to students. Will this still take place? If a student’s mask is soiled, who will be responsible for providing a new mask? APS will provide each student with 4 3-ply disposable masks.

A: Students are provided masks by APS that will be delivered to families prior to hybrid start date. Additional supplies of masks for both students and adults is available at school.

Q: For those who select hybrid, should it be offered - what steps can we take to support our child(ren) in the transition process now?

A: I recommend waiting until we are closer to the date and have more assurances that we are moving forward as a district. I hope to send out “welcome back” letters notifying students of their assigned days and teacher assignment whether new/different. Also hoping to have teachers hold an optional open house to discuss changes, introduce new students to the community and review expectations.

Q: Previously, siblings were going to be placed together for families who selected the hybrid model. Is it possible to request that they go on different tracks?

A: This will be tricky because certain teachers at each level will be assigned to different days. This is necessary because students will be split in half so they are working in two rooms instead of one in order to accommodate the distancing requirements. In addition, materials need to be wiped before the next student can use them so this will give them access to additional materials. Teacher and assistant will move between both rooms.

Q: If hybrid ends up not being a good fit for my child once it starts, what are the steps to take to return to virtual?

A: Please just contact me so we can make a change.

Q: I am not interested in sending my child back to hybrid now, but I would like to revisit the option again after flu season. Will this be possible?

A: It will depend on capacity. Please contact me to see if there is an available spot with your previous teacher or a new teacher.

Q: How will shared materials in a classroom be sanitized? By whom will they be sanitized?

A: There will be an identified location where materials are dropped off needing to be wiped before they are placed back on the shelf. In addition, students will have a name tag they place on their work space so that staff/students know who is working with that material. Think about the beginning of year school/home supply lists. There will be no community sharing of materials so students should have their supplies with them. The PM classrooms purchased individual caddies for students to use.