What mitigation strategies are in place to ensure a safe return to Face to Face Instruction?
- Consistent and Correct Use of Masks will be stressed to students, staff and parents
- Social Distancing to the largest extent possible
- Hand Hygiene and respiratory etiquette will consistently be stressed to students and staff
- Cleaning and Disinfecting will take place daily, with Asynchronous Wednesday as a deep cleaning day
- Contact Tracing in collaboration with local health department
- APS has developed a comprehensive COVID19 testing strategy for students, teachers and staff
- For more information please visit APSProtects.
Are students required to wear masks at SPARK?
- Students and staff must wear masks at all times on school campus. Mask breaks will be provided during lunch and snack times. We encourage parents to start practicing with your children now on how to appropriately wear masks. For tips/suggestions for helping your child wear a mask.
Will there be screening measures as students arrive on campus?
- Students and Staff will be screened upon entry at all buildings by trained staff. APS will strictly adhere to illness guidelines including temperature assessment.
- SPARK encourages all parents to conduct Health Screenings before students leave for school in the morning. If the answer is “YES” to any of the questions below, DO NOT send your child to school.
- Does your child have any sign of illness?
- Fever above 100.4
- Sore Throat
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Diarrhea, Nausea/Vomiting, Abdominal Pain
- Loss of Taste or Smell
- Were you in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer over a 24 hour period) with anyone confirmed with COVID19?
- Does your child have any sign of illness?
Will there be appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided?
- APS will follow PPE guidelines recommended by DPH and CDC to assist schools and other locations. The following items will be made available in classrooms:
- Sanitizer stations
- Disinfectant Spray
- Paper Towels
- In addition to what APS has provided, SPARK will have the following available as well:
- Desk Shields for all students returning Face to Face
- Care Room – An isolated room where students will be directed in the event that they are showing signs of illness.
- Floor Decals to remind students of social distancing
Has SPARK looked at classroom square footage to determine appropriate social distancing in all spaces?
- SPARK has used the district provided “Capacity Dashboard” to determine how many students/teachers can be placed in a classroom based on square footage. Appropriate social distancing is of the utmost important.
- SPARK has an average square footage per class of 750sqft. We are attempting to place no more than 14 students in a F2F classroom. We are able to place more students in a classroom if additional furniture is removed such as bookshelves or extra teacher work spaces. With additional furniture removed we can place 17 students in a 750sqft classroom.
- Attempting to keep 14 students or less in a classroom with a teacher will result in teacher changes for some students.
When will children whose families opted for Face to Face begin F2F instruction?
- January 25th – Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and SPED Low Incidence Program will begin F2F instruction.
- February 1st – 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades will begin F2F instruction.
Will I be able to change my declaration of intent for my child?
- The deadline for declaring your child’s intent has passed.
- For parents who chose for their child to remain virtual for the 3rd Quarter, will remain virtual. Under no circumstances will we be able to change your child from virtual to F2F. This is due to appropriate social distancing requirements and planning for the safety of all students and staff at SPARK.
- For parents who chose F2F for their child but have recently changed their mind based on increased numbers of positive Covid19 cases, SPARK will be able to assign your child to a virtual classroom for the 3rd Quarter.
Will the district provide another opportunity to Declare our Intent for the 4th Quarter?
- It is our understanding that another opportunity for parents to declare their intent will be provided in March for the 4th Quarter.
Which days will students attend for Face to Face instruction?
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
- Wednesday will be asynchronous (no live Zoom or F2F instruction) to allow for deep cleaning and teacher planning.
How will SPARK teachers provide instruction?
- At SPARK, our goal is for F2F teachers to teach F2F students only and for Virtual teachers to teach Virtual students only. We feel that this is the best way to provide quality instruction for all.
- In some cases, on some grade levels, numbers may not allow this to occur. This means that some teachers may have to teach “Simultaneously” where they teach F2F students and Virtual students at the same time. If this occurs, SPARK will supply simultaneous teachers with voice amplifiers, additional video equipment and additional support.
- Support services such as Gifted, ESOL and SPED may have to teach simultaneously to provide the required services for students in these programs.
Will the hours of instruction be the same for F2F students and Virtual students?
- School will begin at 8am and end at 2:30pm for all students in all grade levels.
- The 1:30 – 2:30 block will be referred to as the “What you need now block?” or the “Power Hour”. This hour will be used for additional instruction as needed, small group or individual support.
- F2F students will remain with their homeroom teacher for the entire school day.
- SPARK will maintain the same schedule we have used all school year.
- Lunch will continue to be from 11:15 – 12:00.
Will the district continue with Asynchronous Wednesdays?
- Asynchronous Wednesday will continue to allow for deep cleaning as well as planning for teachers.
- Keep in mind that teachers who are working with Face to Face students will not have breaks in their day to plan because they will be with their students the entire day. Wednesdays will be used for planning.
How will students participate in SPECIALS?
- Art, Music, PE, Media Center, SEL, Spanish and Environmental Education will still be offered to all students on a 7 day rotation.
- To limit the amount of physical exposure our specials teachers will have to students, specials will be conducted virtually inside the homeroom classroom.
- Specials teachers will Zoom into the homeroom and provide instruction as they have been doing all year.
- The homeroom teacher will remain with the students while specials is happening virtually.
- Students will not travel to their specials teachers classrooms.
- For PE - Low impact physical activity will be the norm while students are in the classrooms
- PE teachers may use outdoor space to work with students weather and space permitting
- Band/Orchestra/Chorus for upper grade students will remain General Music
- The gym may be used as an additional classroom space as needed.
- Students will not be allowed to visit the Media Center, but there will be opportunities for students to check out books where the books will be delivered to their HR class.
Will parents be allowed into the SPARK main campus buildings or Kindergarten Center?
- Per APS Guidelines, all visitors who are not students or staff will not be allowed into the building.
Will I be allowed to walk my child directly to their classroom?
- For the safety of students, staff and families, SPARK will not allow parents/guardians to enter the building to walk their child to class. We will have staff members available to ensure that students get to their classrooms safely.
Will siblings be able to escort younger siblings to their class?
- All grade levels will be assigned a specific entrance to the building. Older siblings will not be allowed to walk younger siblings to class so we can reduce the amount of contact tracing and multi grade intermingling within the building.
Will my child only be exposed to the students in his/her homeroom class during the day?
- That is the goal. A homeroom class will be known as a “bubble”. The bubble will stay together for the entire school day. They will have lunch together, recess together and specials together. They will have little to no interaction with other students in other homerooms during the instructional day.
What about transportation to and from school?
- Parents will still have the option to place their children on the bus, walk/bike their children to school or drop off children in carpool.
- In order to reduce the amount of potential exposure to other students on the bus, SPARK is recommending that parents drop students off in carpool or walk/bike students to school.
- Please keep in mind that with the anticipated increase in morning carpool, carpool lines on Briarcliff will be long and potentially frustrating. SPARK is able to receive students starting as early as 7:30am. In order to avoid long lines, please consider dropping children off between 7:30am – 7:40am. Traditionally, carpool lines are the longest between 7:45am – 8:00am.
- Please keep in mind that SPARK can not guarantee appropriate social distancing on the school bus. We are also not able to maintain SPARK “bubbles” on the bus due to multiple grade levels riding the bus at once.
- Masks will be required on the bus.
- Bus routes, including morning pick up and afternoon drop off times will be provided by APS Transportation. APS Transportation Bus Information
What materials/supplies will F2F students need for school?
- Students will need to wear a mask daily throughout the day. Students should bring extra masks with them daily. SPARK will have masks available to students as well.
- Students will need to bring their devices(charged) daily.
- Water bottle/thermos with student name brought to school daily.
- Paper, Pencils, Pens, Crayons, books, etc. will be needed daily.
- All materials and supplies will be brought to school daily and will be taken home each day.
- Students will not be able to share materials.
- All bookbags, jackets, etc. will be kept at the student’s desk
- Please ask your child's homeroom teacher for other items that he/she may require students to bring daily
What will classroom set up be like?
- Students will be required to wear masks in the classroom.
- Students will be socially distanced within the classroom as much as possible.
- Students will sit approximately 6ft away from their peers.
- Classroom tables will be switched to student desks where feasible.
- Transparent Desk shields will be placed on all student desks.
- Carpets and non-traditional seating will be removed from all classrooms.
- Teacher materials such as classroom libraries will not be accessible for student use.
What about common areas in the building such as hallways?
- Students will be required to wear masks in the hallways.
- Water fountains have been turned off.
- Water Bottle filling stations have been installed thanks to our PTO. Families are encouraged to send students to schools with water bottles/thermos.
- In the halls, students will be expected to maintain social distancing.
- Clear signage for social distancing will be on floors and directional arrows will hang above to help remind students of where they can walk at all times.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be throughout the building.
- Hall monitors will be in place to ensure proper supervision in the hallways at all times.
Will the cafeteria be used for lunch?
- The cafeteria will not be used for lunch. Students will eat in their homeroom classrooms or outside.
- The cafeteria may be used as a classroom.
How will we maintain social distancing in bathrooms?
- Students will be required to wear masks in the bathrooms.
- Bathrooms will be assigned to homerooms based on proximity to class.
- Whole group bathroom breaks will be scheduled to encourage social distancing and limited exposure outside of the bubble.
- Middle stall/urinals will be marked off to allow for social distancing.
- Middle sinks will be marked off to allow for social distancing.
- Custodial schedules will be revised to include frequent cleaning and check points of all restrooms.
How will Gifted, ESOL and SPED classrooms be conducted?
- Maintaining homeroom bubbles will be difficult for students who are in the Gifted, ESOL or SPED programs.
- We will assign classrooms to these teachers that will allow for appropriate social distancing based on the square footage of the room.
- For example – We may use the cafeteria as a classroom space for gifted students who return for F2F instruction.
- For SPED students who receive pull out support and are returning for F2F instruction, the SPED teacher will pull those students from their homeroom class for support.
- For ESOL students who receive pull out support and are returning for F2F instruction, the ESOL teacher will pull those students from their homeroom class for support
- There is a possibility that these teachers will have to employ Simultaneous teaching where they are teaching F2F students and virtual students at the same time.
- The Gifted schedule will be the following:
- Monday – 5th Grade
- Tuesday – 4th Grade
- Thursday – 3rd Grade
- Friday – 1st & 2nd Grades
Will Afterschool Day care still be provided at SPARK?
- Afterschool Day Care will be provided by “The Club” from 2:30pm – 6pm daily, with the exception of Asynchronous Wednesdays.
- If you are interested in registering for Afterschool Day Care at “The Club” please check out their website. “The Club” Registration
- There will be no extracurricular options at SPARK such as ballet, chess, karate, soccer, etc.
What can I do to support SPARK?
- Give Grace to your child’s teachers – This has not been easy. Teachers are doing all they can to provide the best instruction possible for their students while simultaneously taking care of their own families.
- Give yourself Grace – This has not been easy for families. It is not the end of the world if your child misses an assignment or doesn’t complete something on time. We get it. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
- Be Kind – If your child’s teacher is in need of supplies for their classroom, please do what you can to support them. Although we are asking families to send students to school with the daily necessities, there will be times when students will run out. Our teachers will need back up supplies.
- Donate to PTO – PTO has been our financial lifeline this year. PTO has provided us with water bottle filling stations, technology and new outdoor seating areas for students to have lunch. We could not do all that we do for kids without the support of PTO. Please consider donating if you are able. Donate to PTO
If you have a question that has not been answered here, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Harness directly at Terry.Harness@atlanta.k12.ga.us.