FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Families are encouraged to review the Frequently Asked Questions on a regular basis as they will be constantly updated and added to. New questions and answers will appear at the top of the list.

  • How did the district arrive at the gating criteria numbers for activities and athletics?

    Posted by:

    The district utilized the following numbers for the Kansas State Department of Education’s (“KSDE”) Navigating Change Criteria metrics. All data was found on the Kansas State Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) website at 5 p.m. on Sept. 3 unless otherwise noted.

    1.   Building Gating (Absenteeism) - no value at this time

    2.   Community Gating (Percent positive tests / all tests performed) = 7.1% (YELLOW)

      – Week of 8/23:  832 (positive) and 11,319 total

      – Week of 8/30: 220 (positive) and 3,418 total

      – This results in: 1,052 / 14,737 = 7.14% 

    1.   Community Gating (# new cases / 100K over prior 2 weeks) = 249 (RED) 

      – Week of 8/16 – 126/100,000

      – Week of 8/23 – 123/100,000

      – Cumulative cases over 2 weeks  = 249

    1.   Community Gating (Trend in county incidence rate) = Stable (YELLOW or ORANGE)

      – Week of 8/16 – 126/100,000

      – Week of 8/23 – 123/100,000

    1.   Community Gating (Local referring/hospital capacity) = > 30% (GREEN)


    Information is taken from regional hospital capacity through
    MARC. View an image of the gating criteria.

    Comments (-1)
  • When can I request a refund of the activities programming fee?

    Posted by:

    The Activity Programming Fee (APF) helps support all sports, activities, clubs and other supplemental contract items that require extra-duty supervision from staff throughout the school year at the district middle schools and high schools. While activities and athletics are temporarily postponed to begin the school year, the APF will help support those activities and athletics when they resume. Therefore, this fee is still required to be paid for all middle and high school students and the district will not be issuing refunds at this time for those that already paid. Consistent with our policy in prior years, the APF can be refunded, upon request toward the end of the school year, if any student does not participate in any KSHSAA or non-KSHSAA activity, school club or any other non-required activity offered at the schools where extra duty supervision by district staff is required. 

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  • I have a medical reason to be excluded from wearing a mask while at school. What should I do?

    Posted by:

    In the event a student or staff member has a medical reason to be excluded from wearing a mask while at school, a mask exemption form must be completed and returned to the school nurse for review once completed. This form is available online. A form is required for all exemptions. Please note, the form must be completed by an M.D., a D.O. or a nurse practitioner. 

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  • What should I consider when choosing a mask or face covering?

    Posted by:

    Students and staff will wear masks/face coverings indoors at all times when at school. While the district will have masks available, students may choose to wear a homemade or store-bought mask. Most masks are effective at blocking a large number of respiratory droplets that leave the nose and mouth. As families consider masks/face coverings, here are some recommendations from Johns Hopkins Medicine: 

    • Bandannas, scarves, hand towels, or any items made of cotton or linen are a good place to start. 

    • Thicker, more densely woven cotton fabrics are best, such as quilting cotton or cotton sheets. 

    • Stretchy knits are ideal. 

    • Hold the fabric up to the light. The fewer tiny holes you can see, the better it will work to filter droplets. 

    • Making a good mask involves finding a balance. You want a fabric that does not allow droplets to pass through while ensuring you can still breathe properly with your mask in place. 

    • Masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent and for this reason students and staff are discouraged from wearing these in the school environment, and instead and encouraged to choose another mask option.


    Please note: Based upon a recent study done at Duke University, cotton alternatives likely perform better than stretchy polyester options (such as traditional “neck gaiters”). For this reason, it is recommended that options other than neck gaiters should be considered. If someone likes the idea of a neck device that reaches up to the mouth and nose, consider fabrics that are not stretchy and porous.
    Additional guidance about masks/face coverings is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

    Comments (-1)
  • What is synchronous and asynchronous learning?

    Posted by:

    Synchronous learning is live instruction with teachers via video. Asynchronous learning is recorded instruction or activities.

    Comments (-1)
  • How did the district arrive at the gating criteria numbers?

    Posted by:

    The district utilized the following numbers for the Kansas State Department of Education’s (“KSDE”) Navigating Change Criteria metrics.

    1. Building Gating (Absenteeism) - no value at this time

    2. Community Gating (Percent positive tests / all tests performed) = 7.97% (YELLOW)
      • This information came from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) website. There is a graph at the bottom of the page to select county – select Johnson County. Date Range = 8/6 – 8/19 (most recent 14 days as of 12 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2020).
        Information can also be found on the
        KDHE website.

      • The difference between this number and the % positive on the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) website is the denominator used. KDHE indicates all tests performed so if an individual takes the test 20 times and tests negative each time they include all 20 tests. JCDHE only counts it as one test – no matter how many times an individual takes the test. Because the criteria states percent positive tests/all tests performed, the KDHE information was used.

    3. Community Gating (# new cases / 100K over prior 2 weeks) = 225 (RED) 
      • Date range = 8/8 – 8/21 (most recent 14 days as of noon on Aug. 21, 2020). Information can be found on the JCDHE website

    4. Community Gating (Trend in county incidence rate) = INCREASING (RED)
      • Date range = 14-day moving average. Information can be found on the  JCDHE website.

    5. Community Gating (Local referring/hospital capacity) = > 30% (GREEN)
      • Information is taken from regional hospital capacity through MARC

    Comments (-1)
  • When will the district use a Distance Learning model?

    Posted by:

    In the event that Johnson County community transmission rates are in the orange gating criteria level, the distance learning model is the suggested learning mode for grades 6-12 in-person learning students and in the red gating criteria level the distance learning model is the suggested learning mode for all in-person learning students (PK-12). This experience will be different than the spring and more comparable to the full Blue Valley experience. Students enrolled in VirtualED will continue with VirtualED. During periods of distance learning, students will be in the same courses with the same teachers as their in-person schedule. More information about Distance Learning.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • How will you handle testing with VirtualED students?

    Posted by:

    The district is currently making plans for how VirtualED students can test from home. Please note that some tests or proctoring protocols will require students to come to the school for in-person testing.

    Comments (-1)
  • What will lunches look like?

    Posted by:

    District administrators are working closely with building administrators to develop plans that include social distancing, time for sanitization between lunch groups, encourage eating in cohort groups, etc. Planned modifications include contactless point of sale, prewrapped and prepackaged options (including items that accommodate dietary needs) and more locations for students to eat lunch. In addition, the Food Services department is working on an online ordering system for students enrolled in the VirtualED program. 

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Has the district made any HVAC adjustments due to COVID-19?

    Posted by:

    Blue Valley’s HVAC systems meet all the COVID-19 guidelines. Adjustments are already underway to introduce more natural air into the system with attention on minimizing the amount of allergens and humidity in the air.

    Comments (-1)
  • At the middle school level, will cohorts travel through all classes together?

    Posted by:

    Cohorts will typically exist on a class-by-class basis. If possible, cohorts may extend to another class.

    Comments (-1)
  • How large is Blue Valley’s substitute pool for the 2020-21 school year?

    Posted by:

    At this time, Blue Valley has a robust substitute pool. The district continues to actively recruit substitutes for the 2020-21 school year. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Is there a recommended type of mask/face covering?

    Posted by:

    Masks/face coverings should be two-ply and fit securely around the nose and mouth. While not meant to be used alone, a face shield can be a great addition to a mask.

    Comments (-1)
  • How much notice would staff and families be given if In-Person Learning were to switch to Hybrid?

    Posted by:

    Blue Valley would make every effort to give staff and families a two-week notice if In-Person Learning would shift to the hybrid or distance learning model. Please note that learning mode shifts due to quarantining would be immediate and would not include prior notice.  

    Comments (-1)
  • Will VirtualED teachers teach on-site in Blue Valley?

    Posted by:

    At this point, the expectation is that VirtualED teachers will teach on-site. The district will provide additional clarity in the near future regarding staff reporting requirements for VirtualED, Distance Learning and the Hybrid (limiting capacity) model.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will the VirtualED program continue after the 2020-21 school year?

    Posted by:

    Blue Valley has had a virtual program for many years and has continually looked for opportunities to expand the program. The future of VirtualED will be dependent on the need in our community and what the district learns from students about their VirtualED experiences. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What are the differences between social distancing, quarantine and isolation?

    Posted by:
    • Social distancing
      • Who is it for? Anyone who hasn’t been exposed to the disease.

      • What is it? A day-to-day precautionary measure used by non-exposed people to help prevent the spread of a disease.

    • Quarantine
      • Who is it for? People or groups of people who don’t currently have symptoms but were exposed to the disease.

      • What is it? A prevention strategy used to monitor and separate well people who may have been exposed to a disease for a certain amount of time to see if they become ill. Helps prevent the spread of disease. Usually takes place in the home.

    • Isolation
      • Who is it for? People who are already sick with the disease.

      • What is it? A prevention strategy used to separate people who are sick with an infectious disease from healthy people. Helps limit the spread of disease. Can take place in the home or hospital. Healthcare providers often send patients to home-isolation when they no longer require medical attention.

    Comments (-1)
  • I want to learn more about the learning options for the 2020-21 school year?

    Posted by:

    While there are two options--In-Person Learning with modifications and VirtualED--there are additional models within each plan that allow the district to respond based on the activity of the COVID-19 virus. A side-by-side comparison of the options can be viewed online.

    Comments (-1)
  • What modifications can a student expect to see in a typical In-Person Learning classroom?

    Posted by:

    Students can expect to see modifications including:

    • Desks arranged in a socially distanced fashion whenever possible

    • Extra furniture and supplies removed from classrooms

    • Staff and students wearing masks/face coverings

    • Disinfectant spray available for use by teacher in classroom as needed


    In addition, students will notice extra hand sanitizing stations throughout the building, water bottle fillers and plexiglass in front offices (not in classrooms).

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Will middle school students enrolled in VirtualED be able to participate in clubs or activities?

    Posted by:

    If the home middle school is offering after-school clubs, activities, etc., virtual students will be able to participate in them at their home school only, at family discretion.

    Comments (-1)
  • If my child develops a cold or cough what precautions will we be required to take?

    Posted by:

    If there is another explanation for what may appear to be a COVID symptom, then neither children nor staff would be excluded from the school environment. In some instances, a rationale for the symptom will be documented by medical professionals and shared with the school.

    Comments (-1)
  • Can students registered for VirtualED participate in KSHSAA-sanctioned activities and athletics?

    Posted by:

    Middle and high school VirtualED students will be able to participate in KSHSAA-sanctioned activities and athletics per KSHSAA’s Remote Learning & Direct Instruction Policypending gating criteria status of athletics and activities.

    Comments (-1)
  • How will contact tracing be handled?

    Posted by:

    Contact tracing will be provided by Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) in partnership with Blue Valley Schools staff.

    Comments (-1)
  • What happens if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in a school or district building?

    Posted by:

    If an individual in a school tests positive for COVID-19, the positive case will be shared on the BV COVID Dashboard. Due to privacy laws, this notification will not include identifying information about the individual who tests positive, such as name, grade or class. Through the contact tracing process, if you or your child have been exposed, you will be contacted individually.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will class size be reduced to assist with social distancing?

    Posted by:

    At this time, due to staffing numbers and physical spaces in our buildings, we do not anticipate being able to significantly reduce class sizes.

    Comments (-1)
  • What happens if a student must quarantine for a period of time? What will happen with schoolwork?

    Posted by:

    If a student is enrolled in in-person learning, a quarantine absence would be treated like other extended absences due to illness. Students would work with their in-person teachers and building personnel to request assignments and complete school related work. They will not transition to VirtualED.

    Comments (-1)
  • How have school day schedules been adjusted to minimize transitions and exposure?

    Posted by:

    Numerous modifications will be put in place to create a safe learning and working environment for students and staff. Examples of modifications include decreasing transitions during the school day, elementary specials teachers teaching within the grade-level classroom and alternating block class schedule at the middle school and high school level to limit the daily contact with others.

    Comments (-1)
  • How is VirtualED different than Distance Learning?

    Posted by:

    VirtualED is Blue Valley’s all-virtual option for the 2020-21 school year. This option is open to all Blue Valley students and will provide an experience grounded in Blue Valley curriculum and taught by Blue Valley teachers.

    Distance Learning is a model the district would move to in the event of school or district building closure. In this model, learning will move to an online format and there will be a period of Distance Learning. Students in VirtualED courses will not be affected by school/district building closures.

    Comments (-1)
  • What could a student enrolled in VirtualED expect their daily schedule to look like?

    Posted by:

    Students enrolled in VirtualED can expect a combination of computer-based work, offline work and live/synchronous activities. Sample daily VirtualED schedules are available online including a sample elementary schedule, middle school schedule and high school schedule.

    Comments (-1)
  • How many students will be in my child’s VirtualED class?

    Posted by:

    The number of students in a class will be determined by VirtualED registration. When VirtualED registration is complete, the director of VirtualED will be able to articulate with more certainty the anticipated number of students per VirtualED class.

    Comments (-1)
  • What quarantine procedures will Blue Valley follow?

    Posted by:

    Blue Valley will follow the quarantine advice of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE). At this time, JCDHE typically recommends 14 days. The district plans to share more, including detailed recommendations from JCDHE, prior to the start of school.

    Comments (-1)
  • How can I expect to receive more details about what In-Person Learning will look like?

    Posted by:

    Additional in-person learning details will come from your child's principal. Principals are working hard to finalize many details in this ever-changing environment and will provide updates over the coming weeks.

    Comments (-1)
  • What are the similarities and differences between In-Person Learning and VirtualED?

    Posted by:

    A Back to School plan was developed so families can make informed decisions on options for the 2020-21 school year including:

    • In-Person Learning with modifications

    • All-virtual option, VirtualED, designed and taught by Blue Valley teachers

    Families can view a side-by-side comparison of the plans online.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will students and staff be required to wear masks/face coverings?

    Posted by:

    The Blue Valley School District will follow Governor Laura Kelly's Executive Order (No. 20-59) order regarding masks/face coverings. Students and staff will wear masks/face coverings indoors at all times and during all classes including PE classes, weight lifting, etc. Students may be provided outdoor fresh air breaks to accommodate for this new school practice. Staff and students may remove masks when eating or drinking, when outside for recess and during other physical activities when social distancing can be achieved. The guideline set forth for wearing masks in school includes:

    • It may be possible that some students or staff who are medically fragile individuals will not be wearing a mask within the school setting. These exclusions will occur on a case-by-case basis. 

    • The district will have masks available for employees. Employees should understand they may choose to wear masks they have chosen independently. Masks will be provided if and when an employee forgets a covering at home. 

    • The district will have masks available for students. Students may choose to wear masks they have chosen with their parents independently. Masks will be provided if and when a student forgets a covering at home or soils their mask at school making it incapable of safely being worn.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will early childhood students attend in-person learning? Is there an early childhood virtual option?

    Posted by:

    Specific communication related to the Peer Model program as well as students with IEPs was sent to early childhood families during the week of July 27, and updates will be posted on the district website. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What does the return to school look like for Blue Valley Schools?

    Posted by:

    Blue Valley is excited to welcome students and families to the 2020-21 school year. We encourage families to intentionally schedule a time to thoughtfully and thoroughly review the Back to School plan and registration details. Blue Valley’s Back to School plan was developed to give families options for 2020-21 school year including:

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  • What does registration for the 2020-21 school year look like?

    Posted by:

    Families will register online for the 2020-21 school year, including selecting the in-person learning or VirtualED option. It is critical that parents complete online registration between July 22 and Aug. 5 to provide the district time to make important staffing and operations decisions to be ready for schools to open. More information about Online Registration is available on the Back to School Registration web page.

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  • What will In-Person Learning look like?

    Posted by:

    Blue Valley Schools is looking forward to welcoming students back to our schools. Student health and safety are top priorities this fall. Details about the modifications to the in-person setting students and families should expect this fall can be found online on the In-Person Learning web page.

    Comments (-1)
  • What will VirtualED look like?

    Posted by:

    For the 2020-21 school year, Blue Valley students will have an all-virtual option. This option is open to all Blue Valley students and will provide an experience grounded in the same Blue Valley curriculum and taught by Blue Valley teachers. Details about the VirtualED option can be found on the VirtualED web page.

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