GALA COVID-19 Return to School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Meran Rogers | COVID-19, General

Global Ambassadors Language Academy Return to School 2020-2021 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

*GALA will continue to update answers to these questions as we have more information.  Additionally, as we receive more frequent questions, we will also add those questions and answers to this FAQ.

    1. Is learning in an All Remote and Hybrid option a permanent change?  No. GALA will rely on the Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS) color-coded system in making school‐wide decisions and recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health for evaluating and determining Return to School learning options for students. GALA’s Return to School Plan has been revised as follows:
        1. OPHAS Level 1 (Yellow) – Active Exposure and spread. – Along with a recommendation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health that supports in-person school, GALA will provide two learning options: Hybrid and All Remote; while adhering to public health sanitation and social distancing measures as outlined in Ohio’s School Reopening Guidance.
        2. OPHAS Level 2 (Orange) – Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution. – Along with a recommendation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health that supports in-person school, GALA will provide two learning options: Hybrid and All Remote; while adhering to public health sanitation and social distancing measures as outlined in Ohio’s School Reopening Guidance.
        3. OPHAS Level 3 (Red) – Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible. – GALA will provide an All Remote learning option for all students, with no in‐person instruction provided during this period of time.
        4. OPHAS Level 4 (Purple) – Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. – GALA will provide an All Remote learning option for all students, with no in‐person instruction provided during this period of time.
  1. In the All Remote and Hybrid options, will the students still be successful in learning their target language?  We are committed to do the best we can to honor GALA’s immersion model and meet students’ needs. We recognize that this school year will be challenging and different for everyone. GALA plans to utilize curriculum and tools that can best serve students in both the All Remote and Hybrid options.
  2. Will my child have Art and Physical Education in the building for the Hybrid option?  Or will Art and Physical Education be delivered All Remote?  Further details on class schedules and method of delivery will be confirmed closer to the start of the school year.
  3. For the Hybrid option, how many students will be in a classroom? No more than 14 students.
  4. For the Hybrid option, what will the hours be on the days students are in the school building?  Approximately 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Final times are still being confirmed. Arrival and dismissal will be on a staggered schedule. It may be possible to extend the day from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with aftercare.  However, the ability to provide aftercare is still not yet confirmed. Even if aftercare is an option, it will only be available to a limited number of students (approximately 9 students per classroom).
  5. For the Hybrid option, will there be before and after care provided at the school?  Before care will not be available.  After care may be available, see response to Question #4.
  6. For the Hybrid option, what will the in-person classroom will look like?  Each classroom will not have more than 14 students.  Students will not transition from their classroom and will only see 1 teacher each day. Further details on the daily schedule will be confirmed closer to the start of the school year.  Further information is provided in GALA’s Safety, Sanitization, and Closure Procedures.  
  7. For the Hybrid option, how will students eat breakfast and lunch?  GALA is still finalizing details for this. It is likely that students will have all activities in one classroom. This means that breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be in the classroom. Further information is provided in GALA’s Safety, Sanitization, and Closure Procedures.
  8. Will my child be able to access school breakfast and lunch if they are in the All Remote option?  What if my child is in the Hybrid option, will breakfast and lunch be provided on days that learning is not in the building?  School provided breakfast and lunch will be distributed only on days that learning is in the building, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  However, the breakfast and lunch will be “grab and go” meals, so families that wish to pick up food for All Remote students will be able to do so at designated times.  Further details on pickup times will be confirmed closer to the start of the school year. Additionally, families registered in either the All Remote or Hybrid option will be able to “grab” more meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays for students to eat on days the school building is closed (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays).
  9. For the Hybrid option, is dress code (uniforms) still required for the two days of school in the building?  Yes, students are expected to be in dress code (uniform) when they are at school in the building.  See dress code here: https://galacleveland.org/dresscode/ 
  10. Will printed copies of schoolwork and homework be available?  In the Hybrid option, printed materials will be available.  It is our goal to also make printed materials available for the All Remote option, but this has not yet been confirmed. Further details will be confirmed closer to the start of the school year
  11. In the Hybrid option, will the students have their own supplies instead of sharing crayons, scissors, markers, etc?  Supplies will not be shared. Students will use their own individual items. Further information will be shared closer to the start of the school year.
  12. Is there any support to students that do not have access to wifi internet at home?  Yes, wifi hotspots can be made available for students in need.
  13. Must students use a chromebook for online learning? Or can it be any kind of computer?  Students can use computers that are not chromebooks.  However, the computer needs to have a camera, keyboard, and microphone (tablets are not ideal).  Additionally, virtual learning works best with google chrome (not Safari or Microsoft Edge). Chromebooks are available to borrow.
  14. For the All Remote and Hybrid option, what time in the day will there be virtual live sessions for instruction?  Class schedules will be confirmed closer to the start of the school year.
  15. For the All Remote option, will classes be live or pre-recorded?  The All Remote option will have a combination of live and pre-recorded lessons. Additionally, activities, projects, and assignments will be provided to be completed online through various sites/programs and by submitting/sharing paper hard copy materials virtually.
  16. For the All Remote option, how many classes will be required a day? And what will be the required log on time?  At least two live lessons per day will be required on virtual days. Class schedules will be confirmed closer to the start of the school year.
  17. Will attendance to live sessions be required?  Is it okay if my child does not attend a live session, but still completes the assignments?  It will be the expectation that all students participate in all classes and assignments. Further details will be provided closer to the start of the school year.
  18. When will the assignments be due (i.e, daily before the end of day, or with a due date)?  Further details will be provided closer to the start of the school year.
  19. If the circumstances of COVID-19 improve, we may want to change our student registration from All Remote to Hybrid. Will we be able to change our student registration?  For consistency in scheduling, students will be required to remain in the learning option they are registered for (All Remote or Hybrid) through the end of December 2020. There may be an opportunity to change your registration in December for the second half of the school year, which begins in January 2020.  See response for Question #1 for additional information. 

GALA COVID-19 Update #2 (July 10, 2020)

Meran Rogers | COVID-19, General

GALA COVID-19 Update #2 (July 10, 2020)

Dear GALA Families,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work out plans for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.  Last week, Governor DeWine released a planning guide for Ohio’s schools: Reset & Restart. This guide is designed to help schools understand guidelines and considerations for reopening school buildings during the continued presence of COVID-19 in a way that protects the health and safety of everyone in the school community.

The GALA Return to School Committee has been planning and talking about instruction, use of spaces, new procedures, health and safety.  In light of the Reset & Restart Guide and guidance from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, GALA will be ready for the first day of school on September 1st.

While some details are still to be determined regarding the opening of school in the fall, GALA is moving forward with plans to provide two options for our students: (1) All Remote will be delivered completely online, and (2) Hybrid will be delivered partially online and partially in the school building.  At this time, GALA will not be providing an “All in Person” option.

Please complete this student registration form (https://forms.gle/UsiHvTyFLxM4GbD49) to select the learning plan you want for your child (Form also below).  All parents must submit a separate form for each student.  Registration is required and the deadline is Monday, July 20th.  For consistency in scheduling, students will be required to remain in the learning option they are registered for (All Remote or Hybrid) through the end of December 2020. There may be an opportunity to change your registration in December for the second half of the school year, which begins in January 2020.

Learning Options:

  • All Remote  – Students will be required to participate in online instruction 4 days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Assignments will be provided and students are expected to complete assignments. There will be no live instruction on Fridays for cleaning and professional development.

  • Hybrid – Students will be required to participate in a combination of online and in-person instruction. In-person instruction will be 2 days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Online instruction will be 2 days a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. Assignments will be provided and students are expected to complete assignments. There will be no live instruction on Fridays for cleaning and professional development.

At the end of this month, you will be receiving further details of GALA’s plans for the school year, including updates on: back to school orientation, instruction, attendance, technology, and new procedures related to face covering, physical distancing, entrance screening, pick up and drop, health and safety, and sanitization.

We appreciate your support and trust in us as we navigate guidelines and do our best to be safe and welcoming for students and families.

Sincerely,

GALA Return to School Committee

GALA COVID-19 Update #1 (June 30, 2020)

Meran Rogers | COVID-19, General

GALA COVID-19 Update #1 (June 30, 2020)

Dear GALA Families and Staff,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt life for all of us.

Thank you to everyone that has recently showed support to GALA in the last two months, through supporting our unGala for GALA virtual fundraiser event that raised more than $15,000, participating in our last day of school non-field day parade, sending caring and supportive reactions to our letter to the community addressing Black Lives Matter, and celebrating Juneteenth by sending in recordings singing Lift Every Voice and Singall during a global pandemic.  I am incredibly proud of our family and student resilience, but most of all our educators’ resilience and dedication to our students and community.  Thank you for your patience, as we are aware many of you have been waiting for information on what next school year will look like.

A few weeks ago, GALA requested survey responses from families to collect information to guide us in our planning for returning to school in the fall. While much is still to be determined, we wanted to provide an update on the work that is underway and how we are preparing for the 2020-21 school year. In planning for the 2020-21 school year, health and safety guidelines will be followed to protect students, teachers, and everyone who works in the building and to minimize the spread of COVID-19.  The health, safety, and well-being of our students, families, and staff is our top priority and our most important decision-making criterion.

Due to the uncertainty that COVID-19 brings, we are preparing three scenario plans to possibly deliver: All Remote (virtual and paper), All In Person (shortened day), and Hybrid (combination of Remote and In Person). Drafting three plans will allow us to be prepared to deliver an effective and engaging educational experience to all of our students, and remain flexible and ready to adapt as changes may need to occur in response to circumstances outside of our control.We know the unfortunate reality is that none of these plans will satisfy every family’s needs.  However, it is our hope and intent to develop the best plan that GALA can offer to serve the majority of our families, and provide a high quality and meaningful experience for our students while keeping everyone safe.

It is expected that Governor DeWine will announce a strategy for reopening schools in Ohio by the end of this week, Friday, July 3, including a planning guide for Ohio’s schools: Reset & Restart.  GALA will be following these guidelines as we continue to draft our three scenario plans (All Remote, All In Person, Hybrid).  Next week, we will be able to give more details on what this means for GALA.

In the meantime, here are a few helpful articles to read from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and KQED:

  • The AAP recently put out a statement strongly advocating that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The guidance covers topics including: physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, and face covering to name a few.  Click here to read more.
  • CDC considerations and guiding principles for schools to help protect students and staff and minimize the spread of COVID-19, covers topics including: assessing risk, hygiene, cloth face coverings, cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, and food service to name a few. Click here to read more.
  • CDC Considerations for K-12 Schools Readiness and Planning Tool, click here to view. and the CDC School Decision Tree, click here to view.
  • An article from KQED: “What Parents Can Learn From Child Care Centers That Stayed Open During COVID19 Lockdowns”, click here to read.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we navigate the start to a new school year.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

GALA Return to School Committee

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