Frequently asked questions for 2020-2021 School Year

This list will be updated as we receive and answer questions.

What is the start date for Johnson City Schools?

Johnson City Schools will start the 2020-2021 school year with full remote instruction for all students on August 10. This model will continue for the first three weeks of the school year with in-person learners planning to report on August 31. The situation will be re-evaluated before August 31 to determine the best path forward.

What metric is Johnson City Schools using to gauge what the acceptable threshold criteria?

One metric that Johnson City Schools will use is the Average Rate of New COVID-19 Cases per 100,000 County Residents over the last 14 days, which can be found at the bottom of this page. After searching for Washington County on the chart, you will see the number on the bottom left-hand side of the page.

What happens if we go into the “Red Zone”?

Going into “red” or substantial (defined as an average of > 11+new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Washington County residents over the last 14 days) will not automatically mean that schools shutdown and every student will become a remote learner.

Local health departments, school officials, city and county leaders cannot focus only on the number of cases and the case rate alone, but should also consider characteristics across four factors to fully determine community risk. These factors include:

- Disease epidemiology: Level of community transmission, number and type of outbreaks, impact of the outbreaks on delivery of healthcare or other critical infrastructure or services, and epidemiology in surrounding jurisdictions

- Community characteristics: Size of community and population density, level of community engagement/support, size and characteristics of vulnerable populations, access to healthcare, transportation, planned large events, and relationship of community to other communities

- Local healthcare capacity: Healthcare workforce, number of healthcare facilities, testing capacity, hospital intensive care unit capacity, and availability of personal protective equipment

- Public health capacity: Public health workforce and availability of resources to implement strategies, and available support from other state/local government agencies and partner organizations

How will we know the “current level”?

Johnson City Schools will decide each week and notify the public of our current level. This will provide our students/staff a level of certainty for each week and prevent our teachers from making multiple changes throughout the week.

Will students and staff be required to wear facemasks to school?

Yes, students and staff will be required to wear masks in common areas and buses. While in classrooms, students will either wear masks, have a physical barrier to the side of desks, or distance approximately six feet apart (page 14 of Protocols for In-Person Learning).

What is the difference between the JCS Remote Learning Option and Homeschool?

For students who are enrolled in the JCS Remote Learning option, the district provides technical devices, technical support, and all curriculum and instruction. JCS teachers prepare lessons, create videos, provide some synchronous learning, assess student learning, adjust lessons to meet learning needs, and are fully supported by all departments of Johnson City Schools including special education and ELL services. Parents are vital partners in this work and help make sure students are on task, are completing assignments, and ask the teacher for additional help if needed.

If a parent chooses to homeschool their student, the parent is responsible for creating all lessons and all other parts of the student’s education.

What happens, truancy-wise, if a student or family member contracts COVID-19? It could be longer than 20 days for a household.

Doctor notes will be accepted as excused absences in either remote or traditional learning. COVID related absences will be excused and will not be in absence counts for truancy purposes.

Will remote students be able to participate in extracurriculars like sports and band?

Yes, all students selecting the remote learning option may participate in athletics and extracurricular activities for which they are eligible. When participating on campus, all students will be required to comply with school safety protocols. (page 12 in Parent/Student Remote Learning Handbook.)

What will learning look like if a school or the district shuts down?

Should all of Johnson City Schools transition to remote learning, the expectations are to remain the same and students will transition to remote learning with their classroom teacher.

The presentation says that online learners must be engaged for 6.5 hours, does that mean they will sit in front of a computer screen for 6.5 hours?

No, the student will not be in front of the screen for the entire 6.5 hours. That time will also include other activities that include related arts, independent reading, and other assignments.

How will grading work for Remote Learners?

Grading will work the same for remote learners as traditional students. They will receive progress reports and report cards through their school.

If my child has 504 or IEP, if remote learner, will it be followed?

Yes, students who have an active IEP, 504, or ILP will receive accommodations as stated in their most recent plan. Please refer to page 15 of the Remote Learning Parent/Student Handbook.

If a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a classroom, does my child have to quarantine?

No, your child will quarantine if they are designated as a direct contact, which is defined as within six-feet of a confirmed case for more than 10 minutes. These determinations will be made in cooperation with the Washington County Regional Health Department.

If a child contracts COVID, can the student go to remote learning?

Yes, they will go to remote learning with their classroom teacher.

What happens if there are Internet issues?

Remote learners have access to a school provided Wi-Fi hotspot if needed.  Students who experience home internet issues from time-to-time should immediately report it to their course teacher so students are not unfairly penalized for the unexpected outages. If ongoing Internet issues arise, the teacher, student, and family will consult to determine how to proceed so that Internet issues do not become a barrier to learning.

What materials/supply requirements for remote? Cost for those items?

Remote learners do not have any additional fees or supply requirements. Students might need paper and pencil if they prefer to draft their notetaking, calculations, etc. on paper as a tool to assist with completion of online work. We have an array of online tools that will assist with these tasks, too (Microsoft online tools, Google Suite, etc.).

Have graduation requirements changed?

No.  Graduation requirements for the class of 2021 and beyond remain the same for a SHHS diploma and are found here.

Will Advance Placement capstone diplomas be available to remote learners?

Yes.  SHHS recognizes AP Seminar and AP Research as necessary remote courses to stay on track for the Capstone Diploma.  These courses are not required for graduation; however, we would approve these for our advanced remote students under the “extenuating circumstances” reference above.

What is the impact for juniors and seniors if they can’t take the classes they need?

All graduation requirements can be met through the remote learning course list.  Student preference for a course cannot be met in every department; however, a course is offered to meet every requirement.  Any extenuating circumstance will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Will Middle school students have different teachers for different subjects?

Middle school remote learners will have multiple teachers (ELA, math, social studies/science, and arts).