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For more detailed reopening information please see the attached PDFs.
Opening Update - September 24, 2020
It has been three weeks since we reopened for in-person instruction and to date, we have exactly zero COVID-19 cases at school. The ability and willingness of our students to follow guidelines, especially wearing masks all day, has been awesome. Parents have been dilligent about screening their child every day before school and we have not had to send a single student home with symptoms. Teachers have all done their part to model these new expected behaviors and provide encouragement and support. The combined efforts of students, families, and staff members are undeniably responsible for our success to date.
Foundation School Reopening - Frequently Asked Questions
As we prepare to reopen school full-time for students, we would like to share some of the changes we have implemented to keep our students and staff safe from COVID-19. Working as a team to give your child the best educational experience possible remains our goal, but we cannot achieve it unless we do everything we can to keep our students, staff, and all members of The Foundation School Community safe. This FAQ is intended as a quick guide for parents and students. For details, please refer to our complete Reopen Plan available soon on our website at http://www.foundationschool.org
When will The Foundation School Reopen?
We are scheduled to open Tuesday, September 8. Please note the new date. This date allows needed time for staff to receive training in distancing, cleaning, and other safety requirements and allows sufficient time for necessary upgrades and modifications to our buildings’ ventilation and other systems. What is The School doing to ensure the safety of students when they return? Students and staff will be required to wear masks in the school building. Classrooms, cafeterias, and other areas have been reconfigured to ensure six feet of social distance between students. The buildings have been cleaned and sanitized and protocols are in place for work surfaces fixtures and shared equipment to be cleaned and sanitized throughout the school day. We have purchased significant amounts of instructional materials and devices to minimize sharing among students. The School s ventilation system has been re-calibrated to improve air circulation and temporary shelters are in place to allow outside classes when weather permits. Will my child have to wear a mask in school? Yes. We will use all our behavioral, motivational, and instructional resources to help students increase their tolerance. We re building in frequent mask breaks and opportunities for outdoor activities where masks aren’t required. And for those students unable to wear masks for medical or other reasons, we will employ face shields, physical barriers and other strategies to try to keep themselves, and all the members of our school community safe.
Does The Foundation School have sufficient quantities of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), hand washing facilities, and cleaning supplies to open school?
We have spent the summer building our inventories of all these materials and equipment. We are prepared to furnish students with facemasks in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate individual preferences. Handwashing, with soap and water and waterless cleaners will be required throughout the day. More extensive PPE is available for students and staff who may be required to interact closely.Do I have to send my child when school reopens? The School is prepared to offer remote learning opportunities to all students whose families request to keep them home. Please refer to our policy entitled, Temporarily Opting into Voluntary Remote Learning Due to COVID-19 at the end of this document. What will happen if a member of the school community tests positive for COVID-19? The School will immediately notify all families, our Medical Advisor, and our local health department. Depending on the extent of the contact, we will take action that might involve a two-day closure for deep cleaning, a temporary closure for quarantine for up to 10 days, or even a school closure. Every care will be taken to keep families up-to-date on developments.
What will happen if The School is forced to close for in-person instruction?
The School staff is prepared to pivot immediately to remote instruction if we have to close for any reason. Parents will be notified right away if this happens. In the event The School is able to stay open, but only accommodate a portion of the students, each student will be assigned to a Monday and Wednesday, or a Tuesday and Thursday schedule for in-person attendance. All students will be provided with remote instruction on the days they aren t scheduled in person.
What will happen if my district closes, but The Foundation School remains open?
If your local district goes to virtual learning for all because of local COVID-19 conditions, your child will be required to stay home and will be immediately provided with a full program of virtual learning opportunities. You will not be allowed to transport your child to school in this case.
Can I come to school to observe firsthand the precautions in place for the start of school?
In order ot avoid compromising the deep cleaning efforts our maintenance staff have made this summer, we are discouraging in-person visits at this time. When school restarts and students enter the building, we will ban all visitors.
Who can I contact with my questions or concerns?
Aksana Varapai - (203) 795-6075 EXT 217 avarapai [at] foundationschool.org
Angela Piccerillo - (202) 877-1426 EXT 120 apic [at] foundationschool.org
Nicholas Huskes - (203) 877-1426 EXT 119 nhuskes [at] foundationschool.org
Michael Nicholson - (203) 877-1426 EXT 112 mnicholson [at] foundationschool.org
Temporarily Opting into Voluntary Remote Learning Due to COVID-19
Parents may volunteer to temporarily opt their child into remote learning when school reopens on September 8, 2020. If you are considering exercising this option, you need to be aware of the implications including family responsibilities and the limited scope and extent of programming. We will be contacting every family in August to discuss your plan for the start of the school year. After you have elected for your child to participate in-person or remotely, we request a five day notice if you desire to change that status. In the event of a COVID-19 contact, a positive test for the students or family, or a district closure for health reasons, we are prepared to immediately resume providing distance learning opportunities.
Families opting into Voluntary Remote Learning due to COVID-19 must be prepared to provide the necessary levels of supervision and support while their child is engaged. Services offered to families who opt into remote learning will not necessarily be the same as those offered to all students when classes are cancelled for the entire school population.
Face-to-face interactions with school staff school-sponsored social events on or off campus are not available to students opting into Voluntary Remote Learning. To the extent possible, The School will provide distance learning opportunities to these students and efforts will be made to align specialized instruction and related therapy services with each students, but there should be no expectation that every IEP goals and objective will be addressed exactly as stipulated in the IEP and that instruction and therapy times will not be the same as if the student were attending in person.
The Foundation School is able to offer the option of opting into remote programming only as long as the Connecticut State Department of Education believes there is a need. It may not be available for the whole school year.
Opting into remote instruction should not be confused with students unable to attend school because of a verified medical condition. These students are afforded certain rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and a PPT can recommend instruction in the home and develop an appropriate Individual Education Program.