Frequently Asked Questions
Q&A from July 30th 12:30pm Public Webinar
Will the school day be the same length in time for virtual learners?
yes. WMSD has a plan in place to apply the same rigor as one would experience physically attending class. It will be different, but with more accountability than we were equipped to provide at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Computing devices will be provided for all Blended and Virtual learners, as well as Internet hotspots and service for those without WiFi in the home.
Has the district secured enough PPE and hand sanitizer for each classroom?
yes. Plenty masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, etc have been received to last the first 6-8 weeks with preset scheduled purchases for replenishment.
If a blended learning student is home sick, will they be able to log in to do virtual learning for that period they’re at home?
Yes, we will do our best to pivot for students if they are able to attend virtually.
will this webinar be recorded and posted on the web
Yes, that is our plan.
Will the campus be completely closed to the public/visitors during school hours
Yes, for the most part. We have educational consultants who will be coming in to the school but no visitors without necessity.
Will the state be responsible for contact tracing
Yes, but we also have a Point of Contact for the district and we will be getting that information out to parents and staff members soon.
Regarding the question of positive cases being disclosed by the school. It is understood that personal information wouldn’t be given…but if there is a handful of cases at a particular school, would parents be alerted?
Yes, as it pertains to your child.
Choosing blended learning, will parents get a walk through to see the classroom/school day set-up?
We won't be allowing walk throughs on the campus. Many schools are doing videos and parents will try to help in this as well.
Will there be consequences for Students who use Covid-19 as a excuse to get out of work or anything else? Will they need to provide proof?
We will require written documentation for positive COVID cases
if my child is out of school for just a common illness will they still have to be tested to return to school
We will not require COVID testing for all sick children.
Will parents be informed of positive cases, should they arise? If there’s a case at our child’s particular school, will that be disclosed ASAP?
We will never release personal information but will give parents answers as we are advised to do so by the ADH.
If a spike of cases happens at a school. Will you have the option to switch to virtual learning if the school doesn’t shut down?
We will give parents flexibility in the case of a spike or other events.
Thank you for holding this platform for parents and community. What would virtual learning look like for kindergarten and lower grades. Will there be daily zoom lessons with teacher?
We will be pushing out lessons and videos. They will have some zooms with the teachers as well but it won't be necessary to successful completion of assignments. We want our students to stay in touch with them and this is why we will maintain some type of virtual contact.
When will we be able to pick up the computers for the virtual learning?
We will be announcing that next week. Watch our website and FB pages. Just a reminder that all students need to arrange pickup of a computer. Wether they are virtual or onsite they still have to get a school issued device in case we have to pivot to all students to be at home.
How would we get the information on how to get started with the virtual class started
We plan to do some parent training and provide videos for parent viewing. The platforms we have chosen are very user friendly and sometimes the students may teach us as adults. LOL
If a student becomes sick or a suspect Covid-19 fever at school. How will that be handled if the parent or guardian can not be reach?
We must have someone who can be reached in the event that a child is running fever or has symptoms of COVID.
Pertaining to Food Services. Will the Schools provide meals for students who choose Virtual/Blended learning? Will meals be served at certain stops or will the parents have to make arrangements to pick them up from school?
We are working on those. We are trying to get a system where a parent preorders a week's worth of meals and then picks them up at their child's school
Will parents be required to meet with Teachers also? With Parent-Teacher Zoom meets to ensure students are meeting requirements with Virtual/Blended classes
We are still working on what PTC will look like since our first one is not til October. We welcome zoom meetings with parents at all times!
Will breakfast and lunch still be offered to my child if my child is a virtual learner?
We are still working on this but we plan to have an option for parents to choose that they would like to pick up a week's worth of meals.
how will lunch be done? will we need to send lunch for our children
We are contracting our lunches across the district this year and each student will have a choice for lunches now. There will be three options daily and the lunch calendar should be released before the start of school
What would have to happen for the schools to close? A certain number of positive cases within a certain school or within the district as a whole? Would the entire district close for a few cases at one school?
This decision relies on direction from Arkansas Department of Health, AR Dept. of Education. Authority for this decision does not solely lie with the School District. The ADH/ADE has yet define specific metrics for closure recommendation.
what happens if a virtual learner is affected by an internet outage? how will the missing lessons be handled?
They will have the ability to do these at a later time if an outage occurs.
For WMSD Virtual Learners who are in Kindergarten through Second Grades, how will those students have their beginning of the school year assessments and other assessments done that are usually done in the classroom?
These may be done through a zoom session or by another means. We are wanting to do this in the best and safest way possible.
So if we choose the option of in person and then want to change to virtual, is there a way to do that?
There is some flexibility on a case by case basis. We just don't want to get in the habit of them switching too often.
Will virtual students receive instruction from their teachers as if they are in the classroom. And how will the students be held accountable for class work?
The virtual students will be receiving essentially the same instruction as those in the classroom. There will be assessments given periodically.
how long would the virtual learning last? I heard for five weeks.
The virtual option will last for the duration of the school year if you so choose. You just have the option every 5 weeks to change to come back to on-campus learning.
What do our kids do about the time lost from this year? How will it get made up? And in the event of a positive case will we go to virtual learning?
The state has a plan that we will be utilizing for what was missed in the spring. We will have flexibility in changing from virtual to in class and vice versa on a case by case basis.
Would the children get a list of things they will need to learn at home or thing they need for virtual like a school supply list
The school supply lists have been released and we will not require students to have things that they don't have access to at home.
Our littles school day typically was learning until lunchtime, then recess and pull outs. Will the virtual learning model this and virtual instruction end. Essentially, how will recess, pullouts, etc look like going virtual on a full 8am-3pm school day?
The schedules are different at each school and for each grade level. We will be pushing out instruction for the students and that will also include the pull outs.
What is the procedure for jr. High ? I haven’t heard anything yet
The junior highs schools will be using the Lincoln Learning curriculum and that will be pushed out by their teachers.
when will all kids pick up their equipment for school
The device distribution will be announced either later this week or next week. Please watch the website and the FB pages for these dates and times.
How will sports be conducted, i.e. cheerleading?
The decision to conduct any or all activities (Sports, Band, Choir, etc) lies with the Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas Department of Health, and Arkansas Activities Association (AAA). WMSD must follow the directives of these entities once they issue a directive. WMSD is waiting to hear definitive guidance and will post to www.wmsd.net once received.
If a child has been exposed, should they stay home for 14 days? If so will they be able to immediately switch to virtual learning?
The Arkansas Department of Health should be contacted about exposures before school begins. They will be offered virtual learning if the need arises.
Thanks for taking time out to answer questions Have a Blessed day
Thank you for attending!
Will student be screened everyday. If so how will you manage this at the high school.
Students will not be screened by the school every day as far as taking temperatures. We are asking parents to screen before sending the students to school each day.
will home school following school plan still be assigned a teacher for support
Students receiving virtual instruction will be assigned a teacher to assist and support them. To clarify terminology: At Home/Virtual Learners are WMSD enrolled students. A home school student applies to students in a Home School program that is not related to WMSD.
How would the set up of the classroom would be if I decide to do face to face learning?
Social distancing guidelines, recommendations, and accomodations will be met to ensure that students' are safe and receive educational services that meet his or her individual needs.
Of the surveys received what percentage has picked to be virtual?
Roughly 65% of 4000 responses. Some responses were duplicated, so that number has not been verified. We will be extending the survey to be available until August 4, 2020.
After the survey is closed and resulted, is there a chance that all learning will be virtual?
Only if the state requires us to close. At this time no we will have at home learning and in school learning.
Will elementary age students still go to pe, music, art etc as normal?
Not as normal but they will have these classes on a regular basis as usual. The teachers for the pull-out/special classes will be going to the students in their homerooms instead of having 5-7 classes rotate through the "art" room each day.
If a student has a personal Chromebook, are they allowed to use vs. school issued Chromebook?
No. We need all students to use their school issued devices. WMSD will issue a Chromebook to all 3-12 students and an iPad to all K-2 students. Each WMSD device will be setup with specific filters and software to properly manage and provide the best support possible.
Re: Blended learning in elementary education, how will restroom breaks be handled?
No water fountains will be in use/allowed. Specific Restrooms have been designated to specific classrooms. Social distancing will be monitored and practiced as student enter and exit restrroom
How will our students receive their schedule? (HighSchool)
Mr. Jackson answered.
how will this work? is there a camera in the classroom for the students at home to follow along with those at school?
Most lessons will be given through an online platform but there will be some back and forth communication through Google classroom, Zoom, etc.
How would lunch be done for elementary and junior high kids?
Lunches will be provided with three choices daily. Some may eat in the cafeteria and some in the classroom, depending on number.
Will parents be allowed to call the school to check out a student and Pick the child up outside? That will eliminate some office traffic.
At the academies of WM
local campus decision and protocol. Please contact your school principal.
How will IEP students who are virtual students be served and have their accommodations met?
My students attend Bragg...Will there be a set schedule for Zoom calls or a set schedule for teacher contact?
Is there any plan for band and choir?
Will the students still be attending college classes
Do we have to purchase lockers.
How will services for special ed be received for virtual learners such as Pt,Pt,st
For WJHS, will in-coming 7th graders still have orientation/open house to get locker assignment and schedules?
Are there any restrictions when it comes to Face Mask or Neck Gaitors? Restriction as for logos, picture, colors and so on
Will there be more than two lunches at the high school
Will these applications we need for k-6 virtual learning be downloaded on the devices prior to recieving them?
Pertaining to Face Covering. If a Student refuses to keep mask on, how will that be handled?
It would depend on the age of the student and the reasons behind their wearing of the masks. Students will be allow to make up work. see July 17th updates bulleted items 2-5
If you’ve already submitted a survey, what do you need to do to change your choice?
If you are speaking about survey #3, you can do it again and we will see if that works.
are we going to get the quality education with the virtual education
I believe Mr. Collins answered this verbally at the beginning. It will be a new challenge, but WMSD has a plan in place to provide quality and rigorous academic instruction using Google Classroom, Zoom, Lincoln Learning, SeeSaw, iPads, Chromebooks, and Internet mobile hotspots for all those in need.
how can I check to see if I've done the 3rd survey to get the hotspot and gadgets?
Email me your child's name and school and I will check.
My email is [email protected] if I can't get back to you on here. You should have received a “receipt” email within a few minutes after submission. The subject should include “Survey #3”
Will the virtual learning be the same teacher as on campus learning and will it be as if the child were sitting in class except via a zoom call?
Each day/class will incorporate some Zoom/Google video calls, but it will not be a continuously open video stream for the duration of the class/day. However, there will be a mix of two way video, live chat, view of video, response within interactive curriculum and assessments (Lincoln Learning, SeeSaw, Edmentum, Google Classroom, etc.). Students will be assigned work to complete on their on and teacher will give feedback in the variety of mediums mentioned above.
will the kids who attended actual class in school be shown how to do virtual class at home in case school closing happens
where and when can these devices be picked up? I have a first grader and 9th grader
August 11th and 12th. Watch the website and FB pages for specific dates for specific grades.
Will there be fewer kids in the classroom ? What is the procedure for class exchange ?
Are you asking for elementary or secondary student?
Since you are limiting books and papers being out in the school. Will every student be issues a tablet or chrome book or is that just for virtual learning only?
will all students receive these devices or just virtual students?
all students will receive devices and can pick up on these days
WMSD Parents and Students:
As an Arkansas public school, West Memphis School District, must follow the decisions made by state governing bodies. During the pandemic, guidance changes daily and therefore, so does the information distributed by WMSD. Please understand WMSD is doing our best to filter and minimize conflicting information, but some changes are unavoidable. Thank you for completing Re-Entry Surveys #1 and #2. Information collected has been extremely helpful with planning for re-entry. We will have a few more surveys to come, so please continue completing them. Information collected is critical to re-entry of school and serving the needs of each individual student. WMSD appreciates your continued support and is ready to get kids back in school!
1st Day of School is Monday August 24, 2020
Governor has mandated statewide the use of facial coverings when social distancing is not possible.
Students "at school" will be required to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible.
Masks will be provided to students each day, but students are welcome to provide and wear their own, granted the mask does not contain inappropriate text or graphics.
Students with health conditions preventing the use of a face masks, must provide medical documentation stating such. Details of condition are not requested or required. We just need physician documentation this person who is on campus cannot wear a mask. These persons may be asked to wear face shields or other covering if compliant with condition. Another option is for students to receive instruction "at home." See below.
Deadline to declare "at home" or "at school" instruction is now July 31, 2020
Survey #3 "At Home or At School Declaration" is now available. Click link to complete.
Parent/Student MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for Chromebook, iPad, and Mobile Internet devices can be read by clicking the above link. Agreement by signature and date will be required to receive device(s).
Device distributions will begin the week of August 10th. Drive through pick up will be coordinated at each campus through the principal’s office. Please review this flyer and refer back to this page for further details. You may also check school social media pages or contact your principal to learn more.
Please read the MOU online to ensure the drive-through distribution process is as efficient as possible. Those who want to read paper copy of MOU before signing will be given a paper copy and signature page and directed to exit their position in line and come back through once MOU is read and signed to receive device.
All WMSD K-2 students will be issued an iPad (tablet). All students in grades 3-12 will receive a Chromebook (laptop). Special needs children will receive the device that best suits their needs.
All means All. There will be no shared devices.
AT SCHOOL students will use their exclusively assigned device for instruction both at school and at home for homework and/or for potential closure. AKA "Blended Learner."
AT HOME students will use their exclusively assigned device for instruction at home for their regular school day, and continue the same if there is a future school closure. AKA "Virtual Learner."
Households or students in need of Internet access will be issued a mobile Internet Hotspot to connect their issued iPads or Chromebooks to WiFi internet. Each hotspot can accommodate the connection of 5 devices. Issue of this device is optional. Data usage and access is restricted to instructional websites and services. If you already have WiFi in the home, you do not need to checkout this device. However, a Internet Hotspot and Internet data will be provided by WMSD to all students in need. Checkout of this device will take place during the iPad/Chromebook distribution and will be covered by the same MOU. Request of Internet Hotspot will also be on Survey #3.
WMSD will follow the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines and the Arkansas Ready for Learning report issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in planning for re-opening in the fall. We hope the following information helps answer many of the questions you may have about re-opening schools.
We want to provide the most “normal” experience for your student as possible. We know that education is much more than academics and classroom instruction. Our goal will be to provide as safe an experience as possible that includes a rich educational experience, with opportunities for social interaction and extra-curricular activities while adhering to guidelines provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.
What is the first day for students?
School will begin on August 24, 2020 per recent Governor's announcement to delay start. This date will only change if ADH sends updated guidance with this requirement, but this is not anticipated.
Who will be required to wear face coverings?
Currently, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is recommending all individuals 10 years old and over wear a face covering. We are strongly recommended that adults and students age 10 and up wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved particularly on school buses. The ADH has not issued a directive to require face covering; however, this does not downplay the importance of this additional safety measure. Students under 10 years of age and those with health issues and special needs will not be asked to wear face coverings. Students will be highly encouraged to wear face coverings in areas with a high concentration of students where social distancing cannot be maintained. In the event we have an increase in the number of positive cases, face coverings could be required. We are evaluating this point of emphasis daily and updates will be revised as we get closer to August 13th for all students and staff.
Do we need to provide masks for our student or will one be provided?
The district will provide one disposable mask for each student daily. However, students may also bring and wear their own mask.
Will bus transportation be provided?
Yes, the district will provide bus transportation for all students. Based on current ADH guidance, students aged 10 and over will be required to wear face coverings when riding the bus. We are planning no changes to bus schedules or bus stops.
How normal will the day be for a student?
Our goal is for your student(s) to have as normal of a day as possible while we also provide as much safety as possible. Students will not remain in the same classroom all day but will be able to transition from one class to another. Of course, sanitization will take place before a new group of students enter a space.
Will students at the elementary still have extra classes like PE, art, music, guidance and library?
Yes, students will continue to participate in all extracurricular activities. In some cases, the activity teacher may present their lesson in the student’s classroom. In others, such as PE, students may have an assigned area in the gym with specific materials assigned to their classroom.
Will my elementary student have recess?
Yes. Elementary students will have outdoor play time with restrictions that limit the number of students they come in contact with. Additionally, playground equipment will be sanitized between groups of students.
Will social distancing guidelines be observed?
Social distancing will be observed as much as feasibly possible but at times students will be closer than the recommended 6 ft. apart. When social distancing requirements cannot be maintained such as class exchange time, etc., students will be expected to wear face coverings. We will redesign classrooms and cafeteria spaces to increase the space between students but cannot always guarantee it will be 6 ft.
Will classrooms be arranged differently to protect students?
Yes, classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students. That might mean all desks are arranged in rows facing in a single direction. It might result in reading areas with bean bags, couches or comfy chairs being removed. It might include dividers between students who are seated at a table. We will make every effort to provide distance but not limit students’ ability to interact and communicate with others in their classroom.
Will students attend school every day or will we have some type of alternative schedule?
We plan for students to attend school daily following a very similar schedule to the traditional school day.
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, what will happen?
In the event an individual tests positive, we will follow the latest guidance from the ADH. We will be in direct contact with ADH. This could result in a brief closure of a single school within the district to provide time for additional cleaning and sanitation.
Will students and adults be screened daily?
Both students and adults will complete a daily screening tool. You will be provided a link to the tool prior to the start of school. Individuals will be asked the following questions:
1.) Have you had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the last 2 days
2.) Have you had a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell
3.) Have you been in contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days
If I don’t want my student to return to a traditional classroom, what are my options?
The District has provided a survey to all parents to collect information regarding their interest in a digital option for students. This would provide a total online educational program for students who do not feel comfortable returning to onsite instruction. Parents will be asked to sign up for the virtual education program and commit to a minimum of five weeks or progress report dates. Parents and students will be required to commit to the Virtual Education option no later than July 31st. Registration Survey #3 coming soon.
If students choose to do full-time virtual, will they be able to participate in extracurricular activities?
Yes, but they must check in with the principal and establish arrival and exiting protocol for safety.
Will we have open house?
We are currently designing a modified version of our open houses and will be sending more information soon. The dates will be determined.
Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities and sports in the fall?
Yes, athletes returned to campus June 2 to begin practice. We anticipate sports activities in the fall with possible modifications as required by the ADH. At this time, we are still awaiting guidance on both band and choir.
Will my student eat lunch in their classroom?
Based on current guidance, the ADH is recommending cafeterias limit the capacity of students in the cafeteria. We anticipate this may either mean we will be required to adjust lunch schedules or use alternative areas, such as large gathering spaces or potentially have lunch in their classroom on a very limited basis. Proper sanitation of all areas will be completed after each meal. Procedures will not allow students to pick up utensils, self-serve, or share food. Parents are encouraged to send a water bottle with their students since water fountains will not be available.
What special precautions will be implemented in regard to cleaning and sanitizing?
Sanitation and cleanliness will be a high priority for our district as we return in the fall. We will be revising our cleaning staff assignnments to clean high touch surfaces (door knobs, light switches, etc.) and restrooms on a continuous basis throughout the day. We have also purchased disinfectant sprays to quickly sanitize rooms between usage. We will also provide time for hand washing and hand sanitizer throughout our campuses. Students will be asked to sanitize their hands each time they leave and enter a new space.
If a student comes to school sick, what will happen?
If a student comes to school sick, the school nurse will screen the student and check their temperature. If temperature is over the ADH guidance, the student will be sent home and will need to be fever free for 48 hours without medication before returning to school. When the child returns to school they will check in with the school nurse.
How will you help fill any gaps my student has from the previous year?
Curriculum teams have worked to revise the curriculum so that missed essential standards will be addressed when students return. Additionally, students will be assessed to determine individual strengths and deficits. These assessments will determine if students need additional support. At the secondary level, missed skills from a previous course will be embedded in the next course in the sequence. For example, a student enrolled in geometry would have geometry skills embedded in their Algebra II course.
What happens if we have school closures again?
If schools close again, a plan for at-home digital learning has been developed. This plan includes using SeeSaw for grades K-2 and grades 3-12 using Google Classroom to submit assignments. Teachers will utilize Zoom to deliver live lessons. Students will learn how to use these Learning Management Systems by participating in lessons throughout the week while at school. Blended learning that included both on-site traditional instruction and digital instruction will become the norm. This approach will allow students who might be ill or quarantined for a limited amount of time to continue their education even if they are not physically present in the classroom.
Will our students have the same arrival and dismissal times?
Depending on guidance from ADH, arrival and dismissal times may be varied, in order to increase social distancing and to decrease the number of students in the cafeteria and gym before school starts.
What advice do you have for students with special needs (autism, asthma, panic attacks, anxiety, etc.) or students with weakened immune systems and pre-existing conditions?
The district will be prepared to accommodate students through both onsite and offsite instruction with special needs. Our Special Education instructors will be taking extra precautions when working with students. If parents have concerns about their students who may be at high-risk because of COVID-19, they may explore the virtual learning option which allows the student to continue their education from the safety of their own home.
In the event of a temporary school closure, how will the district serve students who have special needs (Special Education, 504, Dyslexia, etc).
In the event of a school closure, students will participate in live instruction with scheduled Zoom sessions
May I email a question or speak to a staff member over the phone to help me discuss the best option for my student?
Yes, you can email your questions to: [email protected]
If you would like someone to call you back, please include your name, your student's name, and your phone number in the email and a district employee will contact you as soon as possible to help answer your questions.