Thank You, Troy Board of Education!
Each January, the Troy School District honors and celebrates the trustees of our Board of Education.
School Board Appreciation Month is a time to recognize the critical role that members of the Board play in reinforcing the mission of the Troy School District, ensuring learning for all. Through policies, fiscal stewardship and support of world-class teaching and learning, trustees make a vital contribution in the education of our students.
What you see during Board meetings is just a small part of the service that our trustees provide to our students, staff and community. There are many hours of preparation, learning and advocacy devoted to this volunteer position. Though our trustees come from diverse backgrounds and roles outside our schools, they put on a collective hat to govern the Troy School District. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal – helping students achieve.
Thank you for all you do!
- Extended COVID-19 Learning Reconfirmation 2021
- Learning Preference Committment
- Technology Assistance
- Important Hybrid Transition Information
- TSD 20-21 Learning Plans & Updates
- Elementary & Secondary 20-21 Virtual/Hybrid Schedules
- Creating a Vitual Classroom Communities (Video)
- Hybrid Teaching Model w/ Lower Elementary Students (Video)
- Vitual Learning in the TSD (Video)
- TSD TRANSITION FAMILY GUIDEBOOK
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Transition Plan August Parent Survey Results
- TSD COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan & Reconfirmation
- Making your selection in PowerSchool
- Required responsibilities for in-person learning
- Mandatory Health Screenings
TRANSITION PLAN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We recognize that the decision to return to in-seat instruction is a deeply personal one for all families. We understand that some families may not be comfortable returning, and we are pleased to offer a virtual option for every student who chooses it. We believe that our Hybrid/Transition Plan offers far more flexibility than other models and are committed to giving families as much information as possible to help you in making your decision. This FAQ will be revised and added to on a regular basis. And you will, as stated, have the opportunity to change your selection after the four-week safety period at each grade level.
Q: Do families need to make a selection for every student--even the ones who plan to remain at home, learning in a virtual setting?
A: Yes, every family needs to make a selection for each of their students. We appreciate your cooperation on this. It helps us tremendously to plan for both our in-seat and our students and ensures that we have adequate support and materials for your student. If families fail to make a selection, we will assume they want to remain virtual but if you do not respond, we will have no way of knowing whether you actually saw the survey or made a choice and you will be sent reminders every day until you make a selection.
Q: How will teachers be able to teach both in-seat students and students who are learning virtually?
A: Though we think our model has some unique characteristics, we are far from the only district or school where teachers are teaching students in-seat and students who are learning virtually. It has been done successfully in numerous places, and we are ready to provide whatever support our teachers need to be just as successful. We have been working on this model for several months, testing, tweaking and fine tuning. We have produced two videos to show teachers and parents what this might look like: Classroom Communities In Seat and At Home AND Early Elementary Lesson in Hybrid and have another (at secondary) is in the works. All teachers have been provided with two devices, in addition to smart boards and other technology in the room. We are providing professional development and tech support to all teachers, and are confident that they will do a good job of engaging and managing students in both settings. The vast majority of our teachers have never taught in a virtual setting before and had some concerns about teaching in that model, but they have done a fabulous job. We believe they will take on this challenge in the same way. All this said, parents and students must exercise patience and have reasonable expectations as well--as much as we look forward to a full face-to-face experience that we are used to in the near future, we must understand that the hybrid and the virtual model are not a one to one trade for this experience.
Q: How will food allergies be accommodated in this hybrid model?
A: Allergies will be accommodated in the same way they are now, except that given the space accommodations, it's possible there will be stricter restrictions on bringing allergens into the building. High School students will not be eating during the shortened school day and will take a "grab and go" lunch on their way out of the building. Elementary and Middle School students will be eating in the cafeteria and other large spaces and tables will be washed down in between lunch periods. There will be a seating chart in every lunch period and free lunch will be available to every student through at least December 31st, thanks to a grant from the USDA. Please reach out to your building principal to find out the plan at your individual school.
Q: What will riding the bus be like during this transition period?
A: Parents and/or students will need to complete their health screening prior to getting on the bus every morning. Hand sanitizer will be available at the bus entrance for students to use as their board the bus. Bus drivers will wear masks when loading or unloading students (as a safety accommodation, those drivers with glasses may lower their mask slightly while driving to avoid fogging their glasses.) Weather permitting, windows will remain open at all times on all buses, so students should dress accordingly. Students will be spaced as far apart as possible, but parents should understand that social distancing will not likely be possible on any of our buses. Students will be expected to sit, facing forward at all times in order to avoid close contact with others. If you elect to return in-seat and you are eligible for busing, you will be asked whether you are planning to utilize bus transportation. We ask this so we can efficiently plan, but understand that busing will be provided to all who are eligible, whether they use it at the beginning of the year or not. Bus routes will be sent out shortly and buses will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
Q: If we elect to wait until after the four week safety period to start back in-person, is there a chance that all spaces will be filled and my student will be told that there is no more room for in-person students?
A. No. Your student is already assigned to a teacher or teachers. He/she is an integral part of that class and there will be a spot waiting for your student when he/she is ready to return.
Q: Does the four-week safety period before we can change our mind start on October 5?
A. NOTE: This has been updated--the four week period to change your selection will take place in early November (Nov 2-13.) Students will not begin in-seat until Nov 30.
Previous answer, now condensed as noted above: The four-week period is different for every grade level and begins on the first day that grade level can return in-seat. For example, the four-week period for Kindergarten and First Grade starts on October 5. The four-week period for 6th grade begins on October 12 and the four week period for 9th grade begins on October 19. Subsequent grades will see their four week period begin on the first day of in-seat instruction. Families should recognize that the four week period is likely different for each of their students, unless they have students in the same grade.
Q: Were teachers surveyed on whether they wanted to return to in-person instruction?
A: We are aware that teachers were surveyed by their association and we appreciate the collaboration of the TEA as we worked through our return. In order to bring students back, we needed our teachers to return, so instead of asking them if they wanted to return, we surveyed our teachers in early August on what they would need to feel comfortable returning. As a result of that survey, we added plexiglass tri-folds and standing/rolling plexiglass dividers available to all teachers, mandated health screenings with consequences in place for those who do not comply, required masks at the elementary level when not required, provided plastic shields to buildings for an extra layer of protection and a number of other safety protocols and procedures. We also approved leaves for teachers who requested them due to health concerns and made accommodations where possible.
Q: My student has allergies or frequent colds in the winter. Will he/she be sent home as a possible COVID case?
A: We need to make one thing clear--if students or staff are sick or experiencing symptoms of any illness, it's very important that they stay home. The beauty of our hybrid system is that they can stay home and still attend class virtually if they are feeling up to it and our expectation is that they will join in virtually if they are under the weather.
Our school staff are not medical experts and we will err on the side of caution in order to protect the health and safety of others. Any student or staff member with COVID symptoms will be sent home, and can return after seeing your primary care physician with a note outlining a separate diagnosis and clearance to return, 24 hours symptom and fever free without medication and/or a negative COVID test. A negative test will not be required if the first two conditions are met. If you do not wish to have your student tested and cannot produce the first two conditions, then your student will be required to self-quarantine and participate virtually for a period of ten days after symptoms start, provided symptoms have ended by the time the student returns.
In the case of allergies or other chronic condition, a physician's note with a separate diagnosis and clearance to return would not require self-quarantine. In terms of frequent illness, we understand that it can be inconvenient, but we must ALL partner together to keep our community safe and we expect parents to keep all sick students home. Those who repeatedly violate this expectation will exercise their option to have their student learn in a virtual setting. Remember, parents/guardians must complete a daily health screening, so there is no reason for a sick student to come to school. We have eliminated all attendance bonuses and penalties for attendance.
Q: Can I switch back and forth between virtual and in-seat when we go out of town or when it is convenient for my family?
A: We ask that you do not utilize the flexibility of the hybrid model for vacations and in situations when it is inconvenient to get students to school. We expect that students who selected in-person to be in person each day and the students who selected virtual to join from home each day. The ability to switch between in-seat and virtual is intended to be there when students get sick, have to self-quarantine because they or a family member were exposed to COVID or for other emergent reasons. If families have been attending in-seat for period of time and become concerned about their students, they can speak to their principal about switching to virtual but then they would have to remain in virtual until another opportunity to change opens up. We will limit the number of times a parent can make a change if there is no illness or quarantine.
Our intention is not to be punitive, but we have an extensive amount of planning to do to prepare for each in-seat student, including basing the physical layout of the room on the number of students, preparing an appropriate workspace for each, working with custodial schedules to allow for enough time for our enhanced cleaning regiment, etc. Our teachers will also be organizing their instruction to account for a certain number of students in-seat and a certain number of students learning virtually and it's not fair to them to be uncertain as to who will show up that day. We will publish any rules before we start so everyone knows what the parameters are.
Q: What will the learning day look like for an in-seat student? What about a student who chooses to remain in a virtual setting?
A: No matter where you choose to have your students spend their day, it will be filled with wonderful learning opportunities, interaction with peers and their teacher, instruction in core areas and specials as well as the support and nurturing to help our youngest learners thrive. Virtual learners will have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with others in breakout rooms and in the full class experience. Our teachers will receive the technical support and professional development they need to engage both our in-seat students and those joining from home, and we are confident that the classroom communities we have built will continue as we move into this model. We have tested and tweaked it over the past few months (see videos of hybrid streaming model in action: Classroom Communities In Seat and At Home AND Early Elementary Lesson in Hybrid) and plan to put out a more descriptive schedule in the next few days.
Q: Why are we not doing a 2- or 3-day model at Elementary? I had not heard anything about a 5-day plan. Is this still a hybrid?
A: Yes, this is our elementary hybrid model. There are many different types of hybrids being used across the state and the country, as schools transition back to in-seat instruction. Both hybrid models in the TSD, elementary and secondary, have evolved as we have received additional guidance from the Oakland County Health Department, talked with teachers and union leadership and added additional safety measures not required by the state. All Elementary students who wish to attend in-person will attend five shortened days, learning alongside their classmates who will remain in a virtual setting at home.
Both our elementary team and parents recognized that consistency was critical at the elementary level. This model is the least disruptive to student learning, whether your student returns in-seat or remains virtual, because students have the stability of a routines and one method of learning that they can rely on and develop competency in. In addition, we can better educate and practice safety protocols in our schools with steady group of students in each class. Parents acknowledged the importance of regular and consistent “school day” in the results of our June survey, where parents noted that consistency of schedule and maximizing face-to-face instruction were the most important things as we planned to return.
Q: Did the Board of Education approve this?
A: As required by the State of Michigan, the Board of Education approved our Return to Learn Plan at the August 12 meeting. This plan, which can be viewed in its entirety at the link above, covers the entire spectrum of learning options, from a 100% virtual setting for all students to a 100% in-seat model. You will note that the plan allows for all learning options (100% virtual, hybrid and 100% in-person learning) beginning in Phase 4, the phase that Oakland County is currently in.
Administration is charged with determining the best model for students at any given time, recognizing that this could be different for different groups of students. The state requires that administration work with our local health department to develop and implement health and safety measures to mitigate risk and we have done so with great care and planning.
Q: How is the District able to do this safely?
We are able to do this at our elementary level because we can keep each class together (cohort) all day long. At the secondary level, students attend thee block classes, and are exposed to three separate groups of other students and teachers. In Elementary, we will have seating charts in both the classroom and lunch, and we are working on plans to ensure that students remain with their class during recess. We have added additional safety measures not required by the state, in order to further protect the health of all students and staff. These include the mandatory use of masks, hygiene/handwashing requirements, plexiglass dividers available between a teacher and students when teachers work in close proximity to students (conferring in small group, etc.) mandatory daily health screenings by parents and strict protocols for illnesses.
Q: How many students will be in my child’s class?
A: We won’t know exactly how many students will be in each class, but our preliminary survey indicated that 43% of families intend to keep their students at home, learning virtually. We understand that that number may grow or shrink, now that parents have had the opportunity to view the plan in its entirety and have their questions answered. We do not anticipate full classrooms to begin the hybrid model, but at some point, we could have all students back in-seat so parents must feel comfortable with the knowledge that the numbers will grow. We are starting with limited grade levels to determine if further adjustments need to be made to our mitigation efforts.
Q: How can you have social distancing if there are more than half the students in a class?
A: We have been very clear that we cannot guarantee six feet between students in any class at any level (elementary, middle or high school.) Schools were not built with the expectation of six feet between learners. We are absolutely committed to physically distancing students as far apart as possible with a goal of six feet but parents should understand that at the secondary level with 50% in-seat, that is not guaranteed. We should note that the Family Guide has photos of classroom set ups with three feet between students and also includes photos of elementary tables and shared workstations, so that families can see how their student’s physical space might lay out.
Q: How will you be able to keep classes of elementary students together and apart from other students at lunch and recess?
A: As noted above, we will have seating charts at lunch and will utilize additional space outside the cafeteria if needed to space different classes apart from one another, but parents should know there will be more than one class in each room/space. Our intention is to space the classes far apart as possible. We are working on a plan to ensure that students also remain only with their classmates at recess. Families should be aware, however, that adults will be entering our classrooms to support students (English Language Development, Special Education, etc.) and that some students may leave the classroom to meet in small groups with students from other classrooms for similar support services. In these cases, we will attempt to utilize other larger spaces to spread students out and minimize close contact (defined as 6 feet or less) with one another. We will also have strict procedures for handwashing and hygiene protocols before those students or adults enter a new space.
Parents should also understand that some students will ride the bus to school, where they will encounter other students from beyond their class. Windows on the bus will be open and masks will be worn. We also cannot account for carpools or any neighborhood socializing, team sports or activities that students may participate in outside the school day. We believe that we have set up enhanced protections within our buildings, but fully understand that every family has to weigh the decision to return for themselves.
Q: If I select to send my child back in-seat, can I call to find out how many students will be in class and change my selection based on the answer?
A: No, parents who choose to have their students return in-seat should feel comfortable with the safety measures we have put in place. As stated, we do not anticipate full classrooms to begin the hybrid model, but at some point, we could have all students back in-seat. We must prepare a workspace, safety procedures and physical distancing based on each individual student and we take those preparations very seriously. For our planning purposes and out of respect for our teachers who will be organizing their instruction to accommodate a certain number of students in-seat and at home, we need a commitment of parents, especially for that first four weeks. We also cannot accommodate requests to attend half days or a smaller number of days each week. We are building classroom communities geared around a shared experience and we very excited to welcome students back, but can’t at this time, allow families to design their own plans.
Q: The start and end times are longer than the virtual day is now. What will students do in the afternoon and will virtual students be expected to be on zoom for the entire day?
A: The elementary hybrid model will have core instruction and specials throughout the day, just as they do now. The later afternoon will be spent on activities students will work on independently (regardless of whether they are in-seat or learning virtually) as well as small group supports. If your child receives ELD or other services, he/she may be invited to attend a small group in the afternoon (virtually or in-person) but the majority of students will be offline working on provided enrichment and activities after 1:40pm. Virtual students will receive the same instructional opportunities as in-seat students and will be integrated into the classroom community through the use of live/synchronous zooms as all students are now.
Q: Will middle and high school students have all their classes in a day or will they have A & B days like they do now?
A: Secondary students will have a similar schedule to what they have now, with three longer classes each day. There will be an A day and a B day, but the breaks and start and end times will be adjusted according to the Overview and Timeline that was sent out. More descriptive schedules should be available later in the week.
Q: I have concerns about my middle school student eating lunch at school. Can I pick my student up before lunch?
A: Unfortunately, no. Student who attend in-seat are expected to attend for the full day. We have several safeguards in place for lunch periods at middle school. This can include the use of several large areas to spread students out as much as possible and seating charts with spaces in between so that students do not sit directly next to anyone else. With the lower numbers in each grade in the hybrid plan and the ability to utilize other spaces, our principals believe they have developed lunch plans with health and safety in mind.
Q: My high school student wants to attend on the same days as his/her best friend. Can we choose which days to attend?
A: No. In order to manage the logistics of the hybrid model, students will be assigned which days to attend based on their last name. Students with last names starting with A-K will attend in-person on Monday and Tuesday (and attend virtually on W-F.) Students with last names starting with L-Z will attend in-person on Thursday and Friday (and attend virtually M-W.) On Wednesdays, all students will learn virtually and the schools will be thoroughly cleaned. Because of the intricate nature of this model, we cannot accommodate request to attend with friends, neighbors, etc. The only exceptions made will be made for family members living in the same household who happen to have different last names (step-siblings, for instance.)
Q: Am I reading this right that middle and high school students won't be able to use lockers? Will they have to carry their belongings?
A: Yes, unfortunately, we have no way to effectively wipe down every locker multiple times a day as they are used between classes. Our custodial staff will be walking the buildings constantly, cleaning heavily used areas like light switches, door handles, faucets, etc. We could not hire enough staff to wipe locker down as well. The other issue is that the act of going to lockers results in students congregating in hallways and in order to prevent community spread, we have to make sure that students are limited from being in close contact with other students for extended periods as much as possible. Students will carry their belongs (and coats) to class with them, but they will only attend three classes per day, so that will cut down on the amount of time they are transporting their things. Many high school students do not use their lockers anyway, so we are confident that students will be able to adjust. The only exception to this is the instrument lockers in the band hallway, Students will be allowed to place their instruments in their lockers and retrieve them only just before band or when arriving or leaving for the day. No lingering will be allowed and no students who are not transporting their own instruments will be allowed in the area.
Q: Will there be some kind of orientation when the new 6th grade and 9th grade students start?
A: Yes, the middle and high schools will build in orientations during that first week when only those grades will be in their respective schools. We recognize that those students are new to their buildings and our teams will do an excellent job of making them feel at home. Starting in this hybrid model (with only 6th grade students in middle school and 9th grade students in the high school) will give these students a chance to get to know the buildings and routines before the other grades return.
Log into the Parent Portal in PowerSchool using a web browser (the selection form, like all forms, is not available on the mobile app.)
Click on the "Forms" icon on the left side, then select "Learning Preference Commitment - September, 2020."
Make your selection after clicking on that form. You must make a selection for each of your students (additional students can be found by clicking on the blue bar at the top of your Parent Portal window.) If you select to return in-seat during the hybrid model, you will be required to acknowledge that you have read the Family Guide and agree to perform daily health screenings, use of mask and other safety rules set forth by the District.
Remember: forms are not available in the mobile app. Please use a Web browser to access the form.
We recognize that these are very personal decisions and unique to each family. Our commitment is to give you as much information as we have available to help you make that decision.
IF YOU CHOSE TO HAVE YOUR CHILD RETURN TO FACE-TO-FACE LEARNING IN OUR HYBRID MODEL, YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO GUIDE YOUR DECISION:
PARENT/GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITIES FOR RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
Recognizing that face-to-face instruction during a pandemic comes with the shared responsibility to protect the health and safety of all students and staff, strict adherence to certain guidelines are necessary. If parents choose to have their students return to in-person learning, parents must agree in writing to:
· Conduct daily health screening of their children and report results to school
· Notify school principal immediately if anyone in the household exhibits symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19
· Adhere to guidance from the Oakland County Health Division regarding self-quarantine for exposure to COVID-19, whether that exposure is in school or outside
· Abide by all protocols and procedures outlined by the Troy School District, including requiring students to wear masks at all times*, student assistance in cleaning of individual student workstations, food and beverage restrictions/guidelines and behavioral expectations.
These procedures are subject to change as best practices evolve. Parents and students will be notified of any changes. Families and students who choose not to follow these requirements will exercise the option to learn in a 100% virtual environment.
*see section on Personal Protective Equipment - Masks for information on “mask breaks” and rare exceptions to our mask policy.
STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
Students who return to in-person learning must follow the protocols and procedures outlined by the Troy School District, including wearing a mask at all times*, assistance in cleaning of individual student workstation, food and beverage restrictions/guidelines and behavioral expectations. These procedures are subject to change as best practices evolve. Families and students will be notified of any changes. Families and students who choose not to follow these requirements will exercise the option to learn in a 100% virtual environment.
In order to have your students return to in-person learning in our Transition/Hybrid Model, parents must agree to perform daily health screenings before a student boards a TSD bus and/or enters a school building. This health screening includes recording daily temperatures and recording symptoms and will be reported through your PowerSchool Parent Portal. Instructions and further information will be sent out shortly.
- TSD COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan
- Return to School Updates
- Accessibility at Home Assistance
Accessibility at Home...What you need to know
A temporary hub of information and tools to help Parents during the Covid-19 crisis.
Click Link Below
- Elementary Grade Weekly Schedules
- 2020 Virtual Code of Conduct
- 20-21 ELEMENTARY EARLY/LATE START SCHOOLS HYBRID/TRANSITION SCHEDULES