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Reopening Update 8-12-20

Approximately 2,200 families out of 4,700 responded to our Safe Return to School parent survey. School district administrators and staff are reviewing responses that will help us to determine if a hybrid reopening plan will work for NCC Vo-Tech. More than 75% of families who responded are either somewhat comfortable or very comfortable with the hybrid model of bringing in one grade per day per week, and nearly 2/3’s prefer the hybrid plan over fully remote instruction. However, more than half are hesitant to send their student if known cases of COVID-19 have been identified in their school.

We will announce a reopening decision the week of Aug. 17. Please know that safety is our primary concern, and if we reopen with a hybrid model, we will meet or exceed all requirements outlined by the Delaware Division of Public Health for reopening schools. Please refer to these guidelines at https://www.doe.k12.de.us/cms/lib/DE01922744/Centricity/Domain/599/ddoe_returningtoschool_guidance_final.pdf

What if the hybrid model is offered and I don’t want my student to attend in-person?

Several parents have asked this question – a fully remote option will be available to any parent who indicates that preference. However, because of the need to establish bus routes, students will not be able to change from remote to hybrid to remote. If the hybrid plan is offered, parents will be asked to select hybrid or fully remote. If hybrid is selected, those students are expected to attend unless they are sick or in quarantine.

School Calendar – The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8. If there is a decision to offer a hybrid plan, students would begin with remote learning on September 8 and would not begin in-person until the week of September 14 at the earliest.

Fall Sports – The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) Board of Directors has recommended to delay the start of the fall sports seasons until at least December, when a condensed version of the season may be scheduled. Student athletes are encouraged to continue their personal conditioning routines.

Chromebooks/iPads for Grades 10, 11, 12 – The district Technology Department asks if a student needs repair/maintenance on a Chromebook or iPad, to please make an appointment (accessing their school’s website) to have the device repaired as soon as possible and not to wait until the beginning of the school year. Chromebooks and iPads should remain charged throughout the summer.

Chromebooks/iPads for 9th Graders – Schools are making plans for students to pick up their devices prior to the beginning of the school year. You will hear instructions directly from your school when these plans are finalized.

Wellness Center/Meals – Contact your school’s Wellness Center for information on physicals, mental health concerns, or other medical supports you may need. Call 211 for information on Summer Meal distribution sites.

What You Can Do – Please continue to stay informed. Read the weekly messages we send by phone, email, and post on this district and your school website and on social media. It is important that everyone understands safety requirements, attendance expectations, weekly schedules, and what supports are available.

COVID Testing – New Castle County is offering free COVID testing at different locations each week. Visit https://www.nccde.org/2011/COVID-19-Resources for information.

The decision to reopen schools is complex, and we are taking all concerns into consideration as we determine the best path forward for our students and employees. The decision may not be ideal or even what the majority may prefer, but will be based on our ability to provide a safe environment that minimizes risk while providing students with academic and social/emotional supports. We appreciate your continued partnership. Stay healthy, practice social distancing, and please wear a face mask in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

-NCC Vo-Tech School District

Previous Weekly Updates

Reopening Update, 8-5-20

Governor Carney has announced that based on the minimal to moderate level of COVID-19 community spread, schools are being encouraged to reopen if able for in-person classes under Scenario 2, which is a hybrid mix of in-person and online learning. Each school district is expected to make its own plan based on the capacity of individual school buildings to meet social distancing requirements and the ability to meet other safety measures.

If NCC Vo-Tech offers a hybrid option, students would come to school one day a week by grade level. The other days would be a blend of online instruction and assignments.

Please watch this brief video - https://youtu.be/rym2-EzyErA - from NCC Vo-Tech Superintendent Joseph Jones describing our school district’s hybrid plan.

Then, please complete this Safe Return to School (English / Spanish) parent survey – submit one survey for each student in your household who attends a NCC Vo-Tech high school. We will use this information to better plan for reopening. It is important to complete and submit the survey by Friday, Aug. 7.

Questions and Answers – Please visit the Delaware Department of Education website to read specific questions and answers about responding to COVID in schools: https://www.doe.k12.de.us/Page/4241

School Calendar – The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8.

Chromebooks/iPads for Grades 10, 11, 12 – Chromebooks/iPads should be kept charged to ensure that they are always in working condition. Please have your student check by logging into it and checking Schoology. If your student is experiencing any issues, please visit your school’s website and sign up for a Chromebook/iPad issues appointment.

  • Both parent and student need to complete the online Chromebook/iPad forms for this coming school year. The forms can be found on your school’s website in the “Student Services” menu under the Chromebooks or iPad section.
  • Insurance payments for this school year should also be made online. Students or parents can pay online in two places. On your school’s website in the “Student Services” menu, select Chromebooks or iPads. At the bottom of that page is a link Pay Your Chromebook/iPad Fee Online. Or, go to the “Student Services” menu and select “Chromebook or iPad Insurance” to make a payment.

Chromebooks/iPads for 9th Graders – Schools are making plans for students to pick up their devices prior to the beginning of the school year. You will hear instructions directly from your school when these plans are finalized.

Wellness Center/Meals – Contact your school’s Wellness Center, which is now open, for information on physicals, mental health concerns, or other medical supports you may need. Call 211 for information on Summer Meal distribution sites.

What You Can Do – Please continue to stay informed. Read the weekly messages we send by phone, email, and post on this district and your school website and on social media. It is important that everyone understands safety requirements, attendance expectations, weekly schedules, and what supports are available.

COVID Testing – New Castle County is offering free COVID testing at different locations each week. Visit https://www.nccde.org/2011/COVID-19-Resources for information.

We hope to be able to welcome our students and staff back into our buildings next month, and we appreciate your partnership as we navigate this unique educational journey together. Stay healthy, practice social distancing, and please wear a face mask in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

-NCC Vo-Tech School District

Previous Weekly Updates

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Below are some helpful links to resources you may need during this Coronavirus emergency.

NCC Vo-Tech students who need meals during this school closure will be served at any location that is providing meals. For up-to-date information on locations across New Castle County and the City of Wilmington, visit: https://www.nccvtns.com/. For all sites located in the entire State of Delaware, visit: https://www.doe.k12.de.us/page/4149. Information on meal distribution locations is also available by dialing 211.

Reopening Update, 7-29-20

School Calendar – The NCC Vo-Tech Board of Education voted earlier this week to postpone the first day of school for students to Tuesday, September 8, no matter which school opening scenario is in place. This postponement will allow the school district additional time to prepare.

Student Attendance – The school district is developing student “attendance” definitions and expectations for both a fully-remote or hybrid return-to-school plan. This information will be shared with students and parents as soon as it is determined.

Fall Athletics – no decisions have been made by the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) as to the status of the fall sports program for high schools. Coaches have been in touch with their student athletes regarding the approved guidelines for practices and conditioning. Please email your school’s Athletic Director if you have specific questions.

Drivers Ed – Gov. Carney has modified the State of Emergency declaration to allow for in-vehicle drivers education to resume for Delaware high school students who would have been scheduled for driving this past spring. The modification specifies safety measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19, such as requiring occupants to wear face masks at all times, seating of the instructor and two students, and opening windows as much as possible to aid air flow. NCC Vo-Tech drivers ed instructors will contact students and parents directly to schedule driving appointments. Students will be contacted according to their birth dates.

Transportation – If students return to school in-person, COVID-19 Guidelines state that no more than 23 students may travel on a school bus that normally can seat more than 50. Students will have assigned seats and the seats will be staggered to maintain distance. Students must wear face masks and must load filling in back seats first to the front. Windows will be open, depending on the weather, to allow for increased air flow. At bus stops, students will be required to socially distance. High-touch areas of all buses will be cleaned between each bus run.

Chromebooks/iPads for Grades 10, 11, 12 – The district Technology Department asks if a student needs repair/maintenance on a Chromebook or iPad, to please make an appointment (accessing their school’s website) to have the device repaired as soon as possible and not to wait until the beginning of the school year. Chromebooks and iPads should remain charged throughout the summer.

Chromebooks/iPads for 9th Graders – Schools are making plans for students to pick up their devices prior to the beginning of the school year. You will hear instructions directly from your school when these plans are finalized.

Wellness Center/Meals – Contact your school’s Wellness Center for information on physicals, mental health concerns, or other medical supports you may need. Call 211 for information on Summer Meal distribution sites.

What You Can Do – Please continue to stay informed. Read the weekly messages we send by phone, email, and post on our district and your school website and on social media. Ensure that your child is aware of all that is changing. Next week, we will send you an online link to a Safe Return to School survey to gauge parent opinions on return options. Please complete the survey.

COVID Testing – New Castle County is offering free COVID testing at different locations each week. Visit https://www.nccde.org/2011/COVID-19-Resources for information.

We thank you for your continued support, participation and partnership as we work through this health emergency. Stay healthy, practice social distancing, and please wear a face mask in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Reopening Update, 7-22-20

Governor John Carney said he will announce in early August whether or not schools will start the school year in person. This announcement will be determined by the level of COVID-19 community spread. As of this week, Delaware is not surging but is maintaining a minimal to moderate rate of spread.

Health and Safety Directives

The Delaware Department of Education last week released a Returning to School (https://www.doe.k12.de.us/cms/lib/DE01922744/Centricity/Domain/599/ddoe_returningtoschool_guidance_final.pdf) guidelines document which outlines essential safety protocols and planning steps to reopen schools. Included in the document are precautions with the word “must.” These precautions are mandatory. Other precautions were listed as “should,” which are considered strongly recommended.

Our goal is to follow all precautions that are listed, and in turn, it is equally important that all students understand and practice precautions such as wearing face masks and maintaining distance to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for everyone. Please review the following requirements with your child.

“Must” Requirements Listed for Reopening Schools

  • All staff and students must wear cloth face coverings in the school building.
  • Students and staff must have access to handwashing facilities and supplies and hand sanitizer, and be allowed time to wash hands in between activities.
  • Students and staff must maintain a minimum of 3 feet apart with face coverings.
  • Desks must be arranged so they are facing the same direction.
  • Off-site field trips must be discontinued.
  • Attendees at large-scale gatherings must be able to maintain 6 feet of social distancing at all times from non-household members.
  • Students and staff must stay home if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been confirmed to have COVID-19 or if required by the Division of Public Health to isolate or quarantine.
  • Schools must identify an area or room separated from others where a student or staff member who becomes ill at school can wait until they can be picked up.
  • Schools must ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces (stair railings, doorknobs, bathrooms, etc.), cleaning between every 15 minutes to 2 hours using EPA-approved cleaning and disinfecting solutions.
  • Capacity must be limited by the number of students that can be seated between 3 or more feet apart on the school bus with face coverings.
  • High-touch surfaces on buses must be cleaned between every bus run with an EPA-approved solution.

The state guidelines also include specific recommendations for preparations and plans to be completed prior to and during any in-person learning scenarios. Please know that NCC Vo-Tech is working to address all required and recommended actions.

Why Are Neighboring School Plans Different?

Many NCC Vo-Tech families have children who attend schools in other school districts, or attend charter or non-public schools. Please understand that scenarios will vary among schools. What may work for a high school population may not be effective for elementary students. Remote learning and expectations will be designed for different age groups. While the delivery of instruction may be different, you can be assured that all schools are working on plans that best serve their individual school communities.

What Can You Do?

These reopening plans are complex and will change many aspects of the way our schools generally operate, from how parking, drops-offs and pickups are handled to cafeteria routines to limiting anyone other than students and staff from entering our buildings.

These changes rely on the full cooperation of students, staff, and families in order to be successful. We must work together to protect one another by effectively implementing protective measures.

Please stay informed. Read the messages we will be sending weekly by phone, email, and posting on our district and your school website and on social media. Ensure that your child is aware of all that is changing.

We are all doing things we have never done before, making plans we could not have conceived we would ever need. The decisions being made about instruction and operations are difficult but we are committed to providing our students a high-quality and equitable education in a safe learning environment.

We thank you for your continued support, participation and partnership as we work through this health emergency. Stay healthy, practice social distancing, and wear a face mask in public.

Reopening Update, 7-15-20

Please see a brief video message from NCC Vo-Tech Superintendent Joseph Jones about school reopening plans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tSPimtQO_M

NCC Vo-Tech established a School Reopening Task Force in June to develop a roadmap for reopening schools in the fall. The task force is divided into three major areas – Operations and Personnel, Teaching and Learning, and Fiscal Planning. Each area has sub work groups focused on specific topics (see below*). Work group members represent different campuses and programs and each group will develop fact sheets that will be posted.

All groups have been instructed to plan for three different scenarios for reopening:

  • All students return with social distancing and mask requirements
  • Remote Learning continues with no in-person instruction
  • Partial Remote/In-Person Hybrid (such as A/B days, rotation of students, fewer hours, etc.)

State and national guidance is being reviewed and all plans will follow restrictions, guidelines, and safety procedures set forth by the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration. Currently, Delaware remains in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. Phase 3, which was expected to begin June 29, has been delayed.

We are not yet able to answer the big question everyone is asking: When are we going back and what will it look like? However, please know that we are working throughout the summer to be ready for any of the three listed scenarios.

We will post a Reopening Update weekly until mid August, or more frequently if we have information to share.

Summer Update –

  • Offices are not yet open to the public. Please call or email your school or the school district if you have inquiries.
  • Some of our school parking lots are being used for free community COVID testing, organized by New Castle County. Our schools and the district do not have information on these activities – for information, please visit https://www.nccde.org/2011/COVID-19-Resources

*Reopening Work Groups

Academic Planning

Communications

CTE Planning

Fiscal Panning

Human Resources

Nurses/Health

Nutrition

Physical Plants

Safety

Social/Emotional Health

Special Education

Technology

Transportation

Below are some helpful links to resources you may need during this Coronavirus emergency.

NCC Vo-Tech students who need meals during this school closure will be served at any location that is providing meals. For up-to-date information on locations across New Castle County and the City of Wilmington, visit: https://www.nccvtns.com/. For all sites located in the entire State of Delaware, visit: https://www.doe.k12.de.us/page/4149. Information on meal distribution locations is also available by dialing 211.