This page addresses frequently asked questions concerning the start of the 2020-21 school year. It was last updated on August 7, 2020 and will be revised on an ongoing basis to reflect the concerns of parents and guardians. Answers are subject to change based on local and state guidance. Please check back frequently for updates since content will change. Content will change – Please check frequently for updates.
What are the district’s plans to begin the coming school year?
The district has created three plans for the 20-21 school year that may be implemented at any time. Those plans include:
- Traditional: ALL students five days a week
- Hybrid/Blended: Everyone remote learning on Monday; A-L in school on Tuesday/Thursday; M-Z in school on Wednesday/Friday
- 100% Remote Learning: Everyone learning at home
What determines the plan our district will use?
Decisions will be based on Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Madison County and St. Clair County Health Department guidelines. An escalation (or lessening) of COVID-19 in our community will trigger a change in how/where children are learning.
Why did it take so long to hear about our district’s Return to Learning plan?
We are living in unprecedented times. State and local authorities continue to develop and clarify guidelines as the public health crisis evolves. We receive updates almost daily. Developing a plan for return to learning has many moving parts and we wanted to ensure we had a comprehensive model before sharing it.
Why haven’t you provided more information about the specific plan for the start of the school year?
Because this is a very fluid situation, at this time (mid-July) we cannot project the public health situation in our community when school begins. We released information outlining our three options for the start of school so families could anticipate what school will look like this year. We have not provided more specific information because it is likely to change and we did not want parents to make preparations far in advance and have to change them. You can expect more specific information to be released at the end of July. On July 30,2020, the district announced we plan to begin the school year under the Hybrid/Blended model. (Revised 8/7/20)
Under the Hybrid/Blended model the district has chosen for the start of the school year, what is the first day of school? (New 8/7/20)
Our district will welcome students back to our buildings beginning on Tuesday, August 18. For the EXACT day your child will return to school, please refer to communications from your child’s school. Although the Hybrid/Blended model says A-L on Tuesday and M-Z on Wednesday, some buildings/grade levels/classes are planning unique schedules for that week to accommodate different needs for returning to the classroom.
How long will our district operate in the Hybrid/Blended model designated for the start of the 2020-21 school year? (New 8/7/20)
COVID-19 activity in our communities will determine the model under which the district is operating at any given time. If cases in our region escalate, the district would need to switch to a remote learning model for ALL students. At the same time, if a vaccine or treatment allows public health restrictions to relax, moving to a 5-day/week Traditional in-person model would be possible. It is impossible to say in advance how long we will be in any particular model.
How does the Hybrid/Blended model work? Who attends on what day? (New 8/7/20)
The A/B schedule has been developed to provide a reduction in the number of students in our buildings to allow physical distancing and other safety systems an opportunity to be successful while still offering in person learning to occur.
Students will follow an A/B style schedule Tuesday through Friday. Students on the A schedule will attend school in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students on the B schedule will attend in person on Wednesdays and Fridays. Students that are not in person will receive remote learning instruction. On Mondays, all students will receive remote learning instruction.
Schedule A (Tuesday & Thursday in-person): Last names beginning A-L
Schedule B (Wednesday & Friday in-person): Last names beginning M-Z
Children in my family have last names that begin with different letters. Can they be on the same schedule? (New 8/7/20)
The alphabetical grouping was chosen to simplify things for parents, so children – regardless of grade – attend on the same schedule. We realize many families have different last names, so it is simple to request students from the same family attend on the same schedule. Please contact the principals of the schools involved and they will assist you in meeting the needs of your family.
Will 5-day and hybrid/blended learners attend school at the same time? (New 8/7/20)
No. The district will be operating under one in-person learning plan at a time. In-person learning will be EITHER 5-day OR Hybrid/Blended based on COVID-19 activity in our communities.
Can a family choose 100% remote learning regardless of what plan the district is using at a given time?
Yes, this choice was made during online registration. (Revised 8/7/20; Deadline for choosing was August 2.)
Your student will be placed on their teacher of record’s roster as they would during a traditional school year. The student could also be assigned to a remote learning teacher if there is one available. Students must follow the remote learning expectations set by the District/State in order to be counted as present and earn grades. In order to access the instruction and curriculum via remote learning through the school district, the student must attend Google Meets sessions, participate in Google Classroom assignments and schedule individual meetings and conferences with their teacher(s).
Once school starts, a choice to switch in-person learning cannot occur until the end of a grading period (quarter, trimester, semester). If a family would like to transition their child(ren) back to in- person instruction they must put that request in writing to the building principal of the school their child(ren) attends prior to the end of the grading period in which they have committed to remote learning. (This does not include a change due to medical circumstances.)
I am choosing to homeschool my child(ren) this year. What do I need to do?
Parents/Guardians who chose to homeschool their child (Parent Taught Home Instruction) should notify their child’s school of their intent to homeschool. ISBE highly recommends that parents/guardians give the public school a dated letter that states that you will be withdrawing your student and intend to home school. ISBE also recommends that you include a copy of the ISBE Home School Registration Form along with your letter to show that you are aware of the obligations as a parent/guardian. In addition to the public school, parents/guardians are encouraged to send the same letter and form to the Madison County Regional Office of Education.
Should I register my child even though I’m uncertain about the learning plan?
Yes. Every family is encouraged to complete online registration as early as possible. (Revised 8/7/20: Deadline for finalizing learning plan preference was Sunday, August 2. All learning plan preferences are now final for the start of the school year.)
How soon do I need to complete registration? (New 8/7/20)
You need to complete registration for your child(ren) as soon as possible.
Registration information helps schools develop class rosters, plan student transportation and determine how many meals to prepare each day for students who attend school in an in-person learning format.
In addition, Middle and High School students cannot complete back-to-school logistics prior to the completion of registration; a student will not be able to receive class schedules, reserve parking, receive a school ID or obtain textbooks until registration is completed.
When I registered my child, I chose a preferred learning plan, but changed my mind and would like to switch to a different plan before school starts. How do I switch to another option?
The window of opportunity to make a learning plan change has passed. The deadline for changes was Sunday, August 2. (Revised 8/7/20)
Can I change my child to a different plan after the school year begins? (Example: from remote to in-person OR in-person to remote)?
There are going to be circumstances when students may need to move from one learning option to another. The district believes families should be given this flexibility as a decision that they make in the best interest of their child(ren)’s education.
PLEASE NOTE: For continuity of learning, these changes are allowed ONLY at the end of a grading period (quarter, trimester or semester.) Situations involving medical fragility or changes in family medical circumstances are NOT subject to that requirement and will be made immediately.
How will students requiring Special Education services be served?
Students who receive special education services will receive their services regardless of the plan the district is implementing. If a family chooses remote learning in lieu of in-person instruction for their child who receives special education services, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss how the child’s current IEP will be addressed while the child is on a remote learning plan. A teletherapy platform will be used to deliver related services such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy and social work.
Will students be provided devices?
Yes, ALL CUSD 10 students in grades K-12 will be provided devices in the event the district must transition to a Hybrid or Remote Plan.
A device and web access will be required for both blended and all remote learning options. The district will provide a device for every student. Parents will need to maintain this device and web access in their homes for student access to lessons, personalized learning, and assignment retrieval. All district-issued devices are filtered and monitored by technology staff whether at home or at school.
When will devices be distributed to remote learners? (New 8/7/20)
Schools will contact families with information. Watch for announcements from building principals.
Our home has problems with internet connectivity. What can I do?
Internet access will be provided for those students who do not have access at home. Please contact your child’s building principal to discuss options to assist your family. In the event of a COVID-19 related closure, paper packets may be made available as needed.
Will every school/classroom be using the same plan at the same time?
It is possible that schools throughout our district could be in varied settings throughout the school year depending on positive COVID-19 cases and contact tracing. For example, one school may be in Remote Learning due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Contact tracing may determine the spike in COVID-19 cases has not impacted other school buildings, therefore, they would be able to remain in a Hybrid/Blended Plan.
Will new content and material be taught to students during the school year?
Yes, students will experience content covered in previous school years and new content that is expected in the students particular grade level or course enrollment.
Will attendance and grades count?
Attendance will be taken daily – whether the learning model is in-person or remote. Collinsville School District will use the district’s traditional grading policy for both remote and blended learning. Students are expected to complete all assignments, assessments and projects in a timely manner.
How do I get information about latch-key services?
Our district is partnering with CMT YMCA to allow families access to Y Club (before and after school services) regardless if student attendance is daily, blended, or remote. Information is available on the www.kahoks.org website under Before & After School Program or the CMT YMCA website at: https://gwrymca.org/locations/collinsville-maryville-troy-ymca/after-school-enrichment-program-cmt-ymca
How do I get specific information about CMT YMCA childcare options?
Collinsville Maryville Troy YMCA is working diligently to finalize plans to adapt to this school year. Check their website frequently or call Program Director Rachel Schildman: 618-346-5600.
How will I know my child’s school is transitioning to a different plan?
Existing communication methods such as School Messenger (emails and phone call notification), Skylert messaging, Google Classroom and social media/website postings, will be utilized to contact families. Please check frequently for messages from the district and your child’s school.
Why were calendar changes necessary, including Columbus Day? (New 8/7/20)
Dr. Skertich sent a communication to families on July 21, 2020 detailing changes necessary for this year’s school calendar. Changes include:
- Faculty and staff will begin on August 13th to allow additional time for meetings, training and planning for changes that will be implemented this school year.
- September 18th and October 9th are designated as Remote Planning Days. Students will not attend to allow faculty and staff to attend training and prepare for the remainder of the first semester.
The Columbus Day Holiday is being waived in the first semester. The State of Illinois has designated November 3rd a state holiday for the general election. Based on our existing calendar and to maintain continuity of learning, we will waive the October Columbus Day holiday so our students do not lose an additional day of instruction. Parent/Teacher Conferences are being moved to October 30th and November 2nd to align with the November 3rd holiday and provides consistency for students and parents
SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT/SCHOOL DAY
What will bus transportation be like?
Student transportation procedures have been developed to assure compliance with all applicable expectations under state and federal guidelines. All individuals on a bus must wear a face covering, no more than 50 individuals should be on a bus at one time, and social distancing must be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Buses will be disinfected after each route and at the end of day.
Will social distancing be expected during the school day?
ALL students and staff are expected to observe social distancing guidelines throughout the school day and while riding a bus. This includes the use of masks, spacing, frequent use of hand sanitizer and handwashing. Special stickers and signage will remind everyone to adhere to guidelines. Some hallways and common areas will be restricted to minimize the number of individuals in a space.
Will additional cleaning be conducted during the school day?
The district and each building have established additional cleaning protocols for the upcoming school year that include daily cleaning, additional cleaning of high touch areas, breakfast and lunch locations, playground equipment etc.
Are facial coverings required?
Yes. Current state guidelines require ALL students and staff to wear masks during the school day. If your child has a documented medical condition and/or sensory issue, please contact your child’s Building Principal to request a Waiver. Your Building Principal will contact you with a determination of your request. Additional documentation may be required to support the waiver such as a statement from your child’s physician.
Are facial coverings required during outdoor activities?
Not unless individuals are unable to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.
How can students eat at school if they are required to wear masks?
ISBE says students can remove their masks to eat lunch but must be seated 6 feet apart or to the greatest extent possible whether inside or outside.
Are visitors allowed in school buildings?
No. Only individuals who have essential business will be allowed. They will be screened for COVID-19 related health issues and MUST wear a face covering at all times.
What about Physical Education?
Physical activity can support students’ overall health and help reduce stress and anxiety. Whenever feasible and weather permitting, schools should select outdoor PE activities that allow physical distancing. If physical education must be taught inside, markings on the gymnasium floor/wall/field will help maintain distance between participants.
Use of shared equipment is discouraged. When that is not possible, equipment will be sanitized between users.
Schools must consider eliminating the need for use of locker rooms, as well as allowing students to
participate in activities without changing clothing.
Why is the length of the school day different for the 2020-21 school year? (New 8/7/20)
To meet instructional needs this year, we must alter the school day schedule. Two major factors played a part in the district’s decision to adjust the beginning and end of the school day. First, meeting the needs of our face to face learners and remote learners in the same calendar day. Second, complying with ISBE and IDPH health and safety guidance (50 person max) in a gym, cafeteria, classroom, etc.
These two factors seem simple on the surface, but in order to comply with safety measures alone, entry and exit into our facilities, breakfast and lunch and social distancing throughout the day, new school times have been established for the 20-21 school year regardless if the district is conducting classes in a Traditional setting (all kids 5 days a week) or a Hybrid/Blended setting (Monday-Remote; T/R or W/F).
Teachers and school staff will work their traditional hours with the non-student-attendance time used for Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings, planning for class and/or connecting with remote learning students.
Will IEP Meetings be virtual or in person? (New 8/7/20)
As always we will work with families to ensure IEP the meetings take place during an agreed upon date and time that meets the family’s needs. However, at this time, Google Meets will be the preferred method to hold IEP meetings in order to ensure adequate social distancing. If this method limits meaningful participation by a parent, then the IEP team will work together to determine an alternative meeting format with appropriate safety measures in place to protect all stakeholders.
Will my child be required to clean surfaces (i.e. desks, tables) with cleaning supplies? (New 8/7/20)
Students may be utilized to wipe down their desks or area at various times during the school day to provide a clean environment.
What arrangements have been made for lunch? (New 8/7/20)
Breakfast and lunch will be offered to students each school day. Arrangements will vary by school. Building principals will provide more information to families prior to school starting.
Will there be health screenings at school as staff/students enter the building each day? How does that work?
ISBE says schools may rely on “self-certification” by individuals entering school buildings and school buses, rather than conducting a check on each person upon arrival.
Every day of in-person school attendance, individuals must self-certify that they do not have a temperature greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, muscle and body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
The self-certification form for students can be found on the CUSD 10 website at COVID-19 Student Certification Check. If parents/guardians answer YES to any of the questions of the daily COVID-19 Student Certification check, parents/guardians will:
- Keep the child at home;
- Contact the child’s school to report his/her absence;
- Contact the child’s physician to report the information.
If the parent/guardian answers YES to any of the questions of the COVID-19 Student Certification check, the parent/guardian understands that the child will not be able to return to school until the parent/guardian provides a statement from the child’s physician that the child is cleared to return to school.
Schools will conduct symptom and temperature checks for individuals who report or exhibit symptoms suggesting they might be sick.
What if a student or staff member gets sick at school?
Parents/Guardians should advise their child to report any symptoms identified on the daily Student Certification Checklist to his/her teacher immediately if the child starts feeling sick while at school
Any student presenting to the health office with the above symptoms will be placed in supervised isolation within the building and parents will be called to pick up the child. Students with fever and respiratory symptoms will be required to wear a face covering/mask in this location until picked up from school. Be vigilant about keeping your EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS up to date.
Can someone be excluded from school if they exhibit symptoms?
Yes. Signage in main entryways will state that persons with currently known COVID-19 symptoms may not enter the building, along with notices that face coverings must be worn and that engaging in any physical contact is prohibited in all school buildings.
What if my child exhibits symptoms of COVID-19?
You must keep your child at home.
If your answer is YES to any of the questions of the daily COVID-19 Student Certification check, you must:
- Keep the child at home;
- Contact the child’s school to report his/her absence; and
- Contact the child’s physician to report the information.
If the parent/guardian answers YES to any of the questions of the COVID-19 Student Certification check, the parent/guardian understands that the child will not be able to return to school until the parent/guardian provides the District a statement from the child’s physician that the child is cleared to return to school.
Parents/Guardians must advise their child to report any symptoms identified on the daily Student Certification Checklist to his/her teacher immediately if the child starts feeling sick while at school.
What if my child is exposed to someone who has COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for the illness?
Parents/guardians should report to the school any COVID-19 symptoms, exposure to a person with a positive COVID-19 test, or direct exposure to a person exhibiting symptoms (within 6 ft for 15 min). Keep your child at home. We may need to ask questions for tracing to determine who might be at risk of exposure.
We are working with the Madison County Health Department (MCHD) as our direct source for reporting. MCHD will also ask questions and conduct tracing on their end. Also, we will report to MCHD if 10% of students in the district or in a bldg are absent with the same symptoms and await further instructions.
There is a health department hotline parents can call to report and/or ask questions: 1-800-889-3931.
Where will I find guidelines for quarantining and/or returning to school after illness?
This information will be posted on the district website at the start of the school year. Please check our dedicated COVID-19 Health Issues webpage for information and updates. (Revised 8/7/20)
Who do I contact if I have a question or concern?
Please contact your child’s teacher or building principal. Each school is individually adapting to meet the needs of their students based on grade-level and the building design. They will be able to assist you with information specific to your child’s school.
What should I do about school supplies?
Students who will be doing in-person learning will need school supplies. School supply lists are found at https://www.kahoks.org/parents/school-supplies/. At this time, there are no changes to the 2020-21 school supply lists. If you prefer, you can wait to talk to your child’s teacher about school supplies when teacher assignments are posted in August. Questions regarding remote learners should be addressed to your child’s teacher. Due to this year’s heightened health concerns, supplies will not be shared among students
We understand you might not be able to find every item on a list due to availability. However, please be sure your child has a personal water bottle. School water fountains will not be available, instead each school will have a bottle filling station.
What is the status of Fall Athletics at CMS? (New 8/7/20)
CMS is developing new schedules for Cross Country, Baseball, and Softball based on SIJHSAA (Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association) guidance. Conference athletic directors are confirming schedule dates with state guidelines. An announcement of Fall schedules will follow.
Can my student participate in extracurricular activities if I choose to have my child educated via remote learning? (New 8/7/20)
When will K-6 teachers/classes/buses be announced? (New 8/7/20)
This information will be available for students in Grades K-6 on August 14 after 3:30pm.
Collinsville High School (New 8/7/20)
Will CHS students get a revised schedule based on Hybrid/Remote Learning? (New 8/7/20)
Students will follow the class schedule they received at Back-to-School pick up.
What is the revised bell schedule for CHS this year? (New 8/7/20)
7:30 – Teacher and Staff Day Begins
Certified Teachers are in their classroom
Education Assistants assist with supervision on campus
Students may pick up breakfast and report to 1st period class upon their arrival
Buses will not unload until 7:30 a.m. and give some space/time between each drop off
Students who drive to school can enter as they arrive after 7:30 a.m.
7:55 – 8:35 – Period 1 (announcements)
8:40 – 9:18 – Period 2
9:23 – 10:01 – Period 3
10:06 – 10:44 – Period 4 (CAVC 4a/4b sections change at 10:25)
10:49 – 11:27 – Period 5
11:32 – 12:10 – Period 6
12:15 – 12:55 – Period 7 (Students depart on a staggered release)
Seniors released @ 12:52
Juniors released @12:53
Sophomores released at 12:54
Freshmen released at 12:55
*All students have the opportunity to pick up lunch (food for the next day also)
12:55 – 1:05 – All Faculty and Staff supervise departure of students from campus
1:05 – 1:35 – Faculty and Staff Lunch
1:35 – 2:50 – Remote Learner Contact/Planning/Professional Development
Will CHS students use hallway or PE lockers this school year? (New 8/7/20)
No. Lockers will not be used during the school day.
What is the status of Fall athletics at CHS? (New 8/7/20)
The Fall Athletic Season will begin on August 10th. The Fall Sports that will begin will be Girls Tennis, Boys and Girls Cross Country, and Boys and Girls Golf. All other traditional Fall Sports ( Boys Soccer, Girls Volleyball, and Football) will be played in the spring. More info on those sports will be announced at a later date.
All athletes need a current sports physical on file. Contact the CHS Coach for practice details.
How will breakfast/lunch be handled at CHS? (New 8/7/20)
Collinsville High School: Students will be able to pick up their breakfast on their way to their 1st period class and eat in that classroom. Students will be able to pick up a “Grab and Go” lunch as they leave school at the end of the school day. Students can bring a personal snack to be eaten during their study hall.
Will CHS students dress for PE?
No. Students will not change into PE clothes. Students are advised to dress in comfortable clothing and wear athletic shoes.
Seniors did not get to take the SAT last March, is CHS planning on giving it during the Fall Semester? Will remote learners be allowed to attend? (New 8/7/20)
The State of Illinois has set a test date to administer the SAT to seniors on (say) October 14. CHS will allow remote learning students to attend and take the test. Families of seniors will receive information from CHS when the state has finalized details.
My CHS student is enrolled in AP courses. Am I expected to assist them during non-attendance days? (New 8/7/20)
Your child’s teachers are responsible for learning in their various courses. As high school students and independent workers, AP students are responsible for following the course guidelines established by their teachers. Teachers will set expectations for each class and will be available to assist students outside of in-person learning.
What are the attendance days at CHS under the Hybrid/Blended model? (New 8/7/20)
Students with last names beginning A-L attend on Tuesday and Thursday.
Students with last names beginning M-Z attend on Wednesday and Friday.
Students will be remote learning on the days they are not in school.
Monday is remote learning for everyone.
(Note: Certain designated students may be attending 4 days/week – parents will be notified if that option is available.)
What is the face covering policy at CHS? (New 8/7/20)
Face coverings/masks must be school appropriate and worn over the nose and mouth. Face coverings are required throughout the school day inside the building.