Back to School FAQ

Please note: The following list of Frequently Asked Questions will be updated as necessary. Specific questions regarding your individual student should be directed to your child's building principal.


QUICK LINKS:

2020-2021 SCHOOL SUPPLY LISTS:

• Manning Supply List 

• Belmont Supply List

• Chaloner Supply List 

GENERAL

Has the start date for the 2020-2021 school year changed?

The North Carolina General Assembly changed requirements to the 2020-2021 school calendar. At this time, per legislation, we expect to start the school year on August 10, 2020 for Roanoke Rapids Early College High School and August 17, 2020 for all other students. 

Will school start and end times be different for 2020-2021? Yes. 

Pre-Kindergarten students will attend Clara Hearne Pre-K Center. 

Kindergarten - Grade 4 students will attend either Belmont or Manning Elementary using current district guidelines from 8:10 a.m.- 3:10 p.m. 

Grades 5 - 6 students will attend classes at Chaloner Middle School from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Grades 7 - 8 students will attend classes at Roanoke Rapids High School from 7:25 a.m. - 2:25 p.m. 

Will student safety be a priority?

Student and staff safety is a high priority in the Roanoke Rapids Graded District. Handwashing, social distancing and the expectation of students and staff wearing masks is a part of the safety plan outlined in the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit (K-12). Cleaning/disinfecting classrooms, common areas and buses will occur frequently during the school day. You can review the complete guidebook here: 

Strong Schools NC Public Toolkit - Guidance

Will parents and volunteers be allowed in school buildings?

Parents, visitors and volunteers will NOT be allowed in schools unless they have a scheduled meeting. Parents will not be allowed to walk their child to their classroom and visit during the lunch period. Unfortunately, this will prevent the tradition of parents and/or guardians bringing outside food to school during the day as well. 

How will the district communicate important information to stakeholders?

The district will provide frequent and ongoing communication with staff, students, parents and community stakeholders. Please know that as information changes, the district will communicate with our stakeholders through the district website, social media (Facebook and Twitter) parent notification systems (automated calls, texts, and mobile app notifications) and local media outlets.

Who provided the mandates/guidance schools must follow?

  • Strong Schools Public Health Toolkit (K-12)

  • Reference Guide for Suspected, Presumptive, or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 (K-12) 

  • American Academy of Pediatrics

  • CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • Halifax County Health Department 

Links to these documents are available on our RRGSD website: RRGSD COVID Related Documents - State Mandates

Back to School

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Will students wear masks or face coverings in classrooms?

Current state guidance from NCDHHS requires all students and staff to wear masks or facial coverings while on school campuses unless an exception applies. There will be an opportunity for students to go outside or socially distance to have a “mask breaks” during the day. Exceptions as outlined by NCDHHS include: Those who have a medical or behavioral condition or disability and cannot wear a face covering (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance). 

A face shield that covers the nose and mouth meets the face-covering requirements of North Carolina's Executive Order.

Additionally, some of our staff may be wearing face shields instead of masks, which increase visibility of facial expressions and lip movements, which is critical to early childhood development and learning. 

Face Coverings

What other steps are being taken to ensure a healthy environment?

Signs will be in place and RRGSD will educate students on the importance of hand washing, hygiene, and social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be made available in classrooms, workplaces and on school buses. Sick children and staff must stay home if showing signs of Covid-19. All schools have a registered nurse on staff. 

What will my student’s school do if a classmate or staff member exhibits symptoms of COVID-19?

If a student or staff member exhibits any symptoms, they should not come to school or report to work. If a student exhibits symptoms at school, they will be taken to a designated location within the school and their parent or guardian will be notified to take them home or to visit a medical professional. Here’s a complete guide from NCDHHS: NCDHHS COVID School Reference Guide

Will students be expected to socially distance?

In many school settings students will be socially distanced to the extent possible. At the elementary school level, where social distancing will be extremely difficult, students will spend most of the school day interacting only with students in their class. By limiting their exposure to a small number of students, we reduce the chance of infection. And if a student becomes ill, the immediate class is affected, not the entire school.

What steps will be taken to ensure that surfaces are clean in classrooms?

Maintenance workers and school custodians will clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and conduct overall cleanings at the conclusion of every day. Other non-custodial staff members will be expected to do their part keeping surfaces  clean. Teachers will have access to cleaning supplies for their classroom.



Face coverings

COVID Response

What if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

The Halifax County Health Department will notify the district if a student or staff member tests positive. We will notify parents, while not specifically identifying the student or staff member. We will cooperate with the Halifax Health Department as they conduct the appropriate notifications of individuals who have been in contact with the person infected.

COVID Response state mandate

Academics

ACADEMICS

Once I choose a learning option, can I change my mind later?

We are asking those who choose virtual to remain virtual learners through the end of the first semester. Families who want to opt for 100% virtual learning for their elementary or middle school students may do so by completing the RRGSD Virtual Opt-In Form and submitting to their home base school. 

If I choose the virtual learning option will I need to have my own computer or laptop?

RRGSD is providing chromebooks for all students K-12. An internet connection will be necessary. We have a limited number of hotspots available for those without access. 

ELEMENTARY 

Under the Traditional school model, will elementary students be able to have recess?

Yes. Recess will be organized to emphasize social distancing and to minimize exposure.

If we choose virtual or face-to-face, will my child still receive special services?

All students will get the appropriate support and services through the general education program, special education, Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs), 504 plans, Academically & Intellectually Gifted (AIG), English as a Second Language (ESL), and intervention programs. 

How will my elementary child eat lunch?

Pre-K through grade 8 students will eat breakfast and lunch in their classrooms every day. The School Nutrition Staff will cook hot meals and cold meals and pre-package for safe and efficient distribution to students. 

Will schools hold assemblies?

Assemblies and class field trips will not take place under current COVID-19 restrictions. 

Will the district provide after-school care?

Both Pre-K and Place to Play will have limited enrollment, but we will still offer our typical Place to Play before and after school child care service for students at Belmont and Manning.

What if my child forgets his/her mask?

RRGSD has started a mask drive. People in the community have agreed to make cloth ones that we will distribute. A student who may need a replacement mask during the day will be provided one based on teacher discretion.

Virtual Learning

HIGH SCHOOL & EARLY COLLEGE

Will AP courses be offered in the Virtual model?

Yes. Any course that is currently offered currently at RRHS will be offered virtually. 

My child completed the Driver’s Ed class. Will he/she be able to complete the road portion?

Yes, as soon as we are given permission from the state to resume. Our contractor, NC Driving School is ready to resume once the state lifts the current restrictions. 

My child is enrolled in CTE courses. How will that work?

Your child will still take CTE courses virtually. 

Will students participate in sporting activities this fall?

RRGSD values the importance of the educational opportunities that athletics provide and recognizes the threats presented by COVID-19. The district has developed a reentry plan for summer athletics that will allow students to workout and compete in the safest manner possible. At this time no decisions have been reached in regards to fall sports, as we are still waiting for guidance from the North Carolina Athletic Association. We will release this information when it becomes available.

Will students participate in activities such as band and choir this fall?

A group of Fine Arts staff is currently working on the reentry plan for these types of activities. We will share this information as soon as it is available. Under state’s current guidance some activities are prohibited. Learn more here:  Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit - State Guidance

Virtual Learning

VIRTUAL LEARNING

I've decided to go with virtual learning due to COVID fears.  Where is the RRGSD opt-in form? 

RRGSD Opt-In Form for Virtual Learning

If I choose virtual learning due to COVID fears can I switch later if it doesn't work for my child?

If you opt-in to virtual learning, RRGSD will offer a window of opportunity to change your learning location option to return to face-to-face learning at the end of the semester. 

Is virtual learning just like the online learning during the closure back in March?

No. This will be a very different experience for our students. We’ve had more time to evaluate and improve the overall experience for our students and teachers. RRGSD has invested more than $600,000 this summer to issue every K-12 student a Chromebook they can use both at school and at home to complete assignments and reduce the potential spread of sickness through paper distribution. They can also be used for remote learning should we be forced to adapt to a virtual learning model as a result of future state orders. Remote learning for students will include daily attendance, schedules, and grading like traditional face to face learning. 

Will my child have to sit at a computer all day when I’m at work?

Virtual learning will mirror traditional instruction as much as possible. Each school will have minimum daily commitments for students learning virtually. The commitments are outlined on each school’s virtual learning plan. Students will have the option to watch recorded videos produced by their teacher and complete assignments daily. There is no expectation for a student to sit at a computer for 5+ hours a day. They will also have live check-ins with their teacher on a regular basis. 

What if my child has a question about their assignment during the day?

Teachers and staff will be accessible to students in a variety of ways throughout the school day. 

What if we don’t have internet access at home?

We’re working with the 1Million Project to supply additional hotspots to those who do not have reliable, high-speed internet at home. Please contact your child’s school to inquire about the program. Additionally, our school parking lots and the breezeway community greenspace in the 1000 block of Roanoke Avenue have WiFi connectivity. Local churches have offered to allow students to connect to the internet in their parking lots and the Roanoke Rapids Library offers internet access. 

How will the district support my child’s device at home?

The district will provide a device for each student, and these will be set up with all of the district-purchased software, filtering, network access, etc., students will need. Our technology “help desk” will also be open during school hours to answer any technology related questions. 

What is Apex Learning?

We have used this program at the Roanoke Rapids Early College High School since its opening several years ago. Teachers will be using Apex along with other platforms. Apex Learning also includes support for End of Course tests and ACT and SAT. Remote learning for students will include daily attendance and schedules. Teachers will provide feedback on student work and issue grades based on mastery, not just completion. We know the importance of student and teacher interaction. 

Does my child have to log in at a specific time?

No, your student will be able to log in and complete course work at any time of day. Teachers will be online during regular school hours to answer questions.

Temperature Check

SPECIAL EDUCATION

My child has special needs. Will I hear from anyone regarding their plan for starting school?

A personal phone call from special education staff will be made prior to the first day of school to discuss their student’s IEP, and to answer questions or concerns.

How will Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings take place?

IEP meetings will be held virtually unless they are special circumstances requiring an in-person meeting. Any in person meetings will be held in a location where social distancing guidelines can be appropriately followed.

My child has a 504 plan. How will that work virtually?

Your child's counselor will work with you and the rest of the 504 team to determine appropriate accommodations to meet your child's needs in a virtual learning environment.

Clara Hearne

CLARA HEARNE PRE-K

What health guidelines will be followed for preschool children?

Early childhood will be following best practices for handwashing, cleaning and sanitizing, and use of PPE set forth by the CDC and the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit. 



Mental Health

MENTAL HEALTH

If my child is anxious or concerned about returning to school or having to go virtually, what can I do to help?

Children watch how adults respond in difficult situations. Talk to your child and find out the reason for their concern. Provide them reassurance and answer their questions, share information pertaining to their concern and seek answers if you are unaware. If you still need support, reach out to your child’s school for additional assistance. RRGSD has a partnership with Rural Health Group to provide school-based mental health support for our students virtually and at school. This can range from simple support needs to health & wellness to trauma, grief, and anxiety.  



School Nutriction

FOOD & NUTRITION

If we choose to go virtual, will my child still be permitted to receive their free or reduced meals?

Yes. A plan is being developed so students can receive their meals if they signed up for virtual learning and meet the federal guidelines to qualify for the breakfast/lunch program. More information to come before the start of school.

How will my high school student receive their free or reduced lunch if they are forced to remain at home? We are developing a plan before the start of school to make sure all students receive meals. 

Will my child eat in the cafeteria or their classroom?

Pre-K through grade 8 students will eat breakfast and lunch in their classrooms every day. The School Nutrition Staff will cook hot meals and cold meals and pre-package them for safe and efficient distribution to students.



School Transportation

TRANSPORTATION

Will students be required to wear masks or face coverings?

It is the expectation that all students choosing to participate in school transportation wear a face covering while being transported as outlined in the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) Refer to page 12 for School Transportation Guidelines

How will social distancing be enforced on school buses?

Siblings will be directed to sit together and students will utilize space available to distance when possible. Otherwise, there will be no more than one student allowed per seat.

My student has health issues that make wearing a face covering impossible. Will they have to still wear a face covering?

Accommodation will be considered relative to this expectation. Please communicate concerns with school staff for further direction.