Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District has compiled a list of responses to several commonly asked questions. Families may submit questions to reopeningschools@midlakes.org.

    HEALTH & SAFETY 

    Will students be practicing social distancing guidelines?
    Yes. Students and staff will be practicing social distancing guidelines by staying at least six feet apart as much as possible. Classrooms will be spaced with desks six feet apart. Physical education, music classes, and other activities require 12 feet of distance, per guidelines issued by state agencies.

    How will daily screenings be conducted to ensure student safety? 
    The District encourages all parents/guardians to screen their children before sending them to school. This screening will include a check for any COVID-19 symptoms and a temperature check. Students or staff exhibiting any symptoms, including a fever, should not report to school and should contact their school for further guidance. Also, the District will perform random temperature checks at school.

    What if my student is not feeling well?
    Anyone feeling sick should not come to school and may need additional treatment. Consult your health care provider or a physician. Be sure to call your student’s school if a student cannot attend school. Those already on campus experiencing an illness will be assessed by a school nurse and if a nurse is not available, ill students and staff will be sent home for follow-up with a healthcare provider. Students or staff with a temperature, experiencing signs of illness, and/or a positive response to a screening questionnaire will be sent to an isolation area before being sent home. 

    What happens if a student staff member or student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19? 
    The District will follow protocols established by the Department of Health, which includes being sent to an isolation room, notifying the Department of Health and following its guidance regarding contract tracing, notifications, and more. More detailed information can be found in the Health and Safety section of the District’s website. 

    What if a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19?
    If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the District will follow the guidance of Ontario County Public Health regarding any necessary quarantines, shutdowns, and communications. 

    What if schools are closed again?
    The District will return to a 100 percent remote-learning model.

    COMMUNICATION

    Where can families learn more?
    Families interested in learning more about the District’s reopening plan may visit Midlakes.org/reopening2020 and email questions to reopeningschools@midlakes.org. Future updates will be shared using email, voice calls, social media posts, and more.

    FACE COVERINGS & MASKS

    Why is the district requiring students and staff to wear masks? 
    This is mandated guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department. Students and staff will be required to wear masks whenever within six feet of someone else, in hallways, restrooms, and other settings, including school buses. No one should wear a mask or face covering that would impair their health.

    Can students share face coverings?
    These are for individual use and should not be shared.  

    Can my student take a break from wearing a mask on campus?
    Yes. But only under certain conditions. For example, students will be allowed to remove their covering when eating lunch but they must be at least six feet apart from other students. Other types of mask breaks while socially distanced will be permitted. 

    What if my child forgets their mask?
    Masks may be forgotten or left home. Midlakes schools will have additional masks on hand for those needing them.

    FACILITIES

    Will schools only be cleaned on Wednesdays? 
    Cleaning will happen every day, especially in highly used areas and surfaces. Wednesdays will allow Midlakes facilities staff to do more extensive cleanings mid-week. Buses and other areas will also be cleared and disinfected regularly. 

    When will outdoor areas at school open to the public?
    The track and tennis courts are currently available for individual use. Other areas, including large group gatherings outdoors, will open when it is deemed safe to do so.

    How do I prepare my child for the changes they will see at school?
    It is important to respond to children’s questions as they arise. Families may want to be a matter of fact and simple while providing a reassuring tone. As the school year approaches, the District will continue to provide videos, reading materials, and other resources to help guide conversations. Families may want to discuss and practice effective community behaviors, such as wearing a mask in public spaces and socially distancing. 

    Any advice on helping my student wear a mask?
    Practice. Have your student wear a mask now, maybe as they watch a TV show or play video games at home. These simple steps can help students get comfortable wearing a mask.

    Will students be able to use the drinking fountains?
    The District will replace drinking fountains with bottle fillers. Families will be encouraged to supply their children with a water bottle. Disposable cups will be available for student use.

    Will all schools continue to conduct safety drills?
    Yes. Schools must perform several evacuation and lockdown drills during the school year. These drills may be staggered to allow for social distancing in hallways. Fire exits will be used to encourage muscle memory in a real event. The movement to a safe zone within the room in a lockdown drill may be verbalized to ensure distancing. In a real emergency, social distancing may not be possible.

    SCHEDULES

    Why can’t all students attend every day? 
    It was determined after accounting for state-mandated social distance guidelines and measuring room sizes that the District would be unable to accommodate all students. Lowering the density inside school allows the District to meet social distancing guidelines.

    Can families opt out of in-person learning?
    Yes. Once the decision is made on attending either model, students will be expected to remain in that assignment from the start of school on Monday, Sept. 14 through the first quarter of the year for students at the secondary school and first trimester for students at the elementary school.

    Will my family attend on the same hybrid attendance days? 
    The District will work to ensure that family members will be on the same hybrid rotation and ride the bus at the same time.

    When will we have sports and extracurricular activities? 
    We will run sports as soon as we have permission from New York State. The District is also exploring how to offer extra-curricular activities that can adhere to state safety guidelines.

    When will other grades be able to attend school on campus? 
    The health and safety of all students is a priority of the school district. A decision will be made on when to bring all students back to campus will be made as soon as it is safe to do so.

    What will our school schedules look like?
    Schedules will vary based on grade with students grouped in different cohorts with a goal of placing all students in a hybrid learning model of two days in-person instruction and three days of remote instruction.

    Students in Universal Pre-kindergarten through third grade will begin in the hybrid model first. Elementary school students will follow a schedule that will generally begin approximately 9 a.m. (earlier for arrival times) and end approximately 3 p.m. (and slightly later for dismissal).

    Secondary school students will follow a four-block schedule that will ultimately reduce foot traffic and potential contact during the day. The blocks are as follows:

    • Block 1: 7:30 a.m. – 8:58 a.m.
    • Block 2: 9:04 a.m. – 10:32 a.m.
    • Lunch: (Occurs within Block 3: A=10:38 a.m. - 11:08 a.m.; B=11:24 a.m. - 11:54 a.m.; C=12:20 p.m. - 12:40 p.m.
    • Block 3: 10:38 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
    • Block 4: 12:46 p.m. – 2:14 p.m.

    More information on school schedules can be found on the District website. 

    MEALS

    How will the District offer meals to students?
    The District will offer a brown bag service of breakfast ($1.50) and lunch ($2.70) to students. Some students may qualify for free or reduced meals. Families may download, fill out, and submit their application to Jil Swarthout, Café Building No. 3, 1550 State Route 488, Clifton Springs NY 14432. 

    Will students eat in the cafeterias?
    Meals will be delivered to classrooms for students attending school in-person. Vending machines will not be used. Ala carte sales will not be allowed. Students may bring their meals.

    Will meals be available for students learning remotely?
    Yes. No student will be denied a meal because of an inability to pay. The District will provide a pick-up location on campus twice a week for meals. 

    How do I pay for meals?
    The District will implement a secure pre-pay option for food purchases. The District will not accept cash payments. 

    TECHNOLOGY

    How can I get help to ensure my student can connect to the Internet?
    Any student without reliable WiFi may receive a Kajeet, a mobile hotspot with a school filter that works on cellular service, to the extent practicable.

    Who can help me solve issues with my school-issued device? 
    Students and families may email Midlakes Technology Department at techhelp@midlakes.org for assistance.

    TRANSPORTATION

    How will busing work?
    Passenger load will be reduced significantly to meet socially distancing requirements. This will result in approximately 22 students allowed on a 65-passenger bus and 27 students on an 81-passenger bus. Students from the same household will be allowed to sit together. Windows on the bus will be open to optimize airflow.

    When will the buses be cleaned?
    High contact areas will be cleaned between runs and again cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day.