COVID-19 Community Answers - January 2021

When will CI go fully virtual?
The CIUFSD has no plans to go fully virtual. The goal is to safely bring back as many students as possible to in person learning. The CDC guidelines for keeping students safe in school include keeping individuals at least six feet apart, avoiding large crowds and wearing masks. The CIUFSD has no plans to disregard the CDC guidelines.

What is the plan to move forward?
The CIUFSD meets regularly to examine the plan to move forward. When a decision is made it will be posted on the district website, disseminated via backpack express and a robo call will be made. 

Other districts have hired planning teachers to help add in person learning, why are we unable to do that? Why can't CI then hire more teachers like other districts? I went to a school board meeting and was told that there was a budget surplus from March to June 2020.
The district ended the 19/20 school year with a surplus. The issue is spacing in the classrooms not the lack of staff.  Once the 6ft guidelines lessen then more students can learn in the classrooms. 

Bringing kids back is for the hybrid children, not the parents who opted out. That gives the students who want to attend room to go back.
The thought is that many parents who opted out (full time virtual), would change their mind should we offer full time, in person, instruction. We are developing a survey that we will ask full time virtual parents to answer, in an effort to determine who would be interested in coming back to in person, if in person were available full time.

It’s January going into February, and we haven’t added to a day. What are your plans for adding a day vs going back like surrounding districts?
No final decisions have been made yet. We all went students to receive more in person instruction. Various plans are being discussed and the goal is to have decisions shortly.

What is the infection rate in the community and district?
The Central Islip community has a positive infection rate of 12.8%. The school district, so far, has had less than 2% of in person learners test positive. We attribute much of this success to following CDC guidelines.

Other districts are using the cafeteria, library, art rooms and music rooms. Also, they hired TA’s and split the classes in half. Why can’t CI do this? 

In primary schools cafeterias are used as space for faculty to perform professional development, for faculty to take breaks (social distancing of faculty is also necessary), for food service workers to stage and organize grab and go meals, as instructional flex space in the event a class is displaced from the classroom due to an isolation event and as student waiting space for dismissal.

On the secondary level the cafeterias are purposed for student eating the entirety of the day; with four lunch periods at Reed and six lunch periods at the HS. 

I want my kids go back to school, our school district is behind. What are other districts doing different than us?

The CIUFSD believes it is vital to keep stakeholders six feet apart and to avoid large crowds. It has worked so far in mitigating the spread of COVID in our schools. We cannot comment on what other districts are doing to ensure safety.

If going back 5 days is not an option, can we speak about enhancing the at home curriculum? Virtual lessons are not working. My children were ahead when Covid started and I fear they are going backwards due to the virtual learning, while the neighboring districts have made necessary adjustments. 

Absolutely, Ms. Holmes will speak the virtual supervisors to review lesson structure in order to make adjustments. Our students need explicit direct instruction with constant checks for understanding, formative assessments and feedback. We want all students to achieve and have academic success.

Is it possible to have the high school students come back to at least 2 days a week?
The District continues to evaluate the feasibility of returning secondary students to a more frequent in-person attendance schedule.  However, the District will not compromise the safety of students and staff.  We remain constrained to the need to sustain 6’ social distancing in classrooms.

Have you reached out to other districts to see how they’re handling full time in person instruction? Every school needs storage. There are so many options and it’s just excuse after excuse.

Yes, our storage program is aligned with that of other districts.   In primary schools ½ of the gym has been used to store excess furniture removed from classrooms to sustain socially-distanced seating.  This storage space utilization has not impacted scheduling such that instruction has been displaced.   On the secondary level, portable trailers have been used, along with auditoriums,  to store excess furniture.

Is the plan to hope that the positively numbers go down and the vaccine numbers go up?
That would be great. If the CDC changes the guidelines for keeping schools a safe place to learn, the CIUFSD would certainly look into adding students back full time. Having full time in person instruction is the ultimate goal.

Why aren’t the principals here to give us their feedback they know the situation going on in each school?

The request for Principals to attend the next scheduled “Parent Meeting” will be shared for their participation.

I love each and every teacher my children have had. Our teachers are FANTASTIC! But our remote learning isn’t giving the same education as an the in person experience.

The CIUFSD agrees. Although our educators are doing a phenomenal job considering the circumstances, in no way does this hybrid model compare favorably to what we are used to. We all look forward to the end of the pandemic and a return to normalcy.

And children still don’t have devices. why is that? 

There are several devices currently available at each school for home use and more devices delivered each month to replenish school supplies.  Contact the school Principal to get on the building list to obtain a device. There are also devices for all Special Education students with an IEP. 

Reading interventions and IEPs are not being met. Virtual schooling needs to be revamped. Children are struggling and CI knows we are academically behind as is. How can we make a difference and follow CI MISSION statement?
The instructional practices, procedures and learning structures are continually being reflected on and adjusted to meet the needs of our students.  A Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) continues to be the cornerstone for the IEP process, including special education eligibility and services.  The Central Islip UFSD is following all NYSED guidance in addressing special education and related services in the 2020-21 school year, with a focus on providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and complying with procedural requirements under federal and state law. The Central Islip UFSD always considers the unique needs of each student and their IEP, and will continue to keep the FAPE obligation at the forefront of its decision-making. During this unique time we are considering the needs of the student and provides flexibility as appropriate.  

How many in person students attend HS? How many in person students attend the MS? How many in person attend the elementary schools?
HS – 1355
Reed – 689
Alfano – 469
Cordello – 454
Morrow – 500
Mulligan – 665
Mulvey – 384
O’Neill - 403

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