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Q&A about Reopening

We are working to post answers to questions we receive as quickly as possible. Please check this website frequently to ensure you have the latest and most up-to-date information.


Volusia County and its cities have worked together with health officials to provide a list of frequently asked questions about testing for COVID-19. This is an evolving situation so information being provided now may change. Check the following websites for more information:

Learning Options

This section includes questions about the three learning options available to Volusia County students for the start of the 2020-2021 school year: Traditional classroom, Volusia Live, and Volusia Online Learning.

Q: Can children still participate in the STEM program if they are Volusia Live students?

Yes

Q: How will grading work for Volusia Live?

The logistics of graded classroom assignments, testing, etc. is currently being developed and finalized. Teachers' use of Canvas to centralize assignments will be a key piece of ensuring equal access to instruction and resources for students learning through Volusia Live.

Q: For the Volusia Live classroom, what will be shown in the live stream?

The live stream will be controlled by the teacher and should not have students on the webcam view -- only the teacher. The teacher will be in control of their camera and microphone. Under Florida law, it is against the law for students/parents to record the teacher providing instruction without their consent for use on social media or elsewhere.

Q: If students pick Volusia Live, will they be provided with an iPad or laptop?

If a student does not have a device, schools will be assisting with them with their technology needs. However, the amount of equipment available is limited. Families should contact their school to determine what will be available to them.

Q: For students who select Volusia Live, can they switch to the Traditional Classroom option at any time? What about the opposite – for students who select the Traditional Classroom, can they switch to Volusia Live at any time?

Students selecting the Traditional Classroom option or Volusia Live cannot mix-and-match their schedules and spend part of the day in the Traditional Classroom and part of the day on Volusia Live. Students may not go back and forth between the two options day-to-day. However, if a student in either the Traditional Classroom or Volusia Live would like to switch to the other option altogether (one-time switch), that will be allowed by the school, but ideally that switch would be done at the end of a grading period. NOTE: temporary moves from the Traditional Classroom to Volusia Live will be allowed if and when students are quarantined.

Q: Can students switch out of Volusia Online Learning (VOL) if they don't like it?

The Volusia Online Learning VOL commitment is at least 18 weeks (one semester), but VCS prefers a one-year commitment.

Q: Can students who pick Volusia Live continue to participate in their academies and special programs?

Yes, Volusia Live will be available for IB, Cambridge, CTE courses, academies, electives and AP classes. Any course available in the Traditional Classroom will be available on Volusia Live. All teachers will be trained to use and teach through Volusia Live.

Q: Will VCS expand course offerings for Volusia Online Learning?

Yes, course offerings for VOL are being expanded. In addition, extracurricular activities such as clubs will be available for students.

Q: How will Dual Enrollment work with the Traditional Classroom, Volusia Live, and Volusia Online Learning options?

Dual enrollment classes are available on campus in the Traditional Classroom option, and will be live-streamed to students in Volusia Live. For Volusia Online Learning, Dual Enrollment is available but not with VOL teachers. Volusia Online Learning students should work with their guidance counselor to schedule Dual Enrollment courses, which they can take as part of their full-time virtual schedule.

General Questions

Q: When will school supply lists be made available to families?

Elementary school staff are working on their supply lists now and will be distributing those soon. Secondary students will receive their supply lists on the first day of school.

Q: What options are available for the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program?

At this time, the only option for VPK is the Traditional Classroom setting. To sign up, please contact the registrar at the school of enrollment.

Q: What are VCS' procedures related to COVID-19?

Protocols have been established for students and employees. Those are available on the district's COVID Protocols page.

Q: Will there be any specific internet speed requirements for participation in Volusia Live?

The minimum speed needed is 25Mbps download speeds.

Q: What will happen if a student was not pre-registered for one of the three Learning Options by the deadline?

Students who were not pre-registered will be automatically enrolled in the Traditional Classroom option. Parents who would prefer to choose Option 2, Volusia Live (real-time live streaming), should contact their school of enrollment. Enrollment in full-time Volusia Online Learning has now closed for fall 2020; however, part-time Volusia Online Learning is still an option. Go to volusiaonlinelearning.com for more information. For students who are not currently enrolled as a Volusia County Schools student, please contact the school of enrollment to register.

Q: For Volusia Live, will books or work packets be provided and, if so, how will parents get those?

VCS will be distributing student workbooks and will utilize the Canvas platform for individual assignments not in the workbooks. Deployment of the workbooks will be scheduled and announced in August.

Q: Will VCS hold Meet your Teacher days this year?

Yes, they will be offered virtually.

Q: Will parents be provided a list of cleaning/safety supplies they will need to provide?

As part of Back to School, schools will create supply lists and, as is typical, some requests may be for items such as paper towels, hand sanitizer and tissue. Donations of cleaning materials are always welcome!

Q: How can a parent be sure their pre-registration went through?

If the parent completed the pre-registration form on the VCS website, the student is registered! In the coming weeks, families will be notified of teacher assignments, schedules, etc. as they would be in a typical year.

Q: If a parent changed their selection from one option to another using the pre-registration form, when should they expect to hear from VCS to clarify their preferred option?

Families can wait to hear from their school in the coming weeks, or parents may call their school now. IF the student enrolled in Volusia Online Learning but has decided to choose the Traditional Classroom or Volusia Live instead, please notify VOL directly.

Q: Does VOL require iReady?

Yes, VOL elementary will be using iReady.

Q: Will Volusia Live be guaranteed for the full school year or is there a possibility Option 2 will only run part of the year?

Volusia Live has only been approved by the Florida Department of Education for one semester max. That could change depending on what happens with coronavirus.

Q: Can high school seniors take just the classes they need for graduation rather than the full 7-period day?

That question is under review at this time, and no decision has been finalized.

Q: Are charter schools part of the VCS reopening plan?

No. Contact the charter school directly for information on its reopening plan.

Q: Will students have the same classes they signed up for in the spring or will they need to make new selections?

Students do not need to make new selections, unless they're a new student enrolling for fall. For returning students, they will receive the selections they made on their course request sheet in the spring. The only exception is if there's an issue with scheduling.

The Florida Department of Education Commissioner, Richard Corcoran, issued an emergency order July 6, 2020 pertaining to reopening of schools. View the Executive Order

Q: How will social distancing and class size work for classes like high school AP courses and others, where there is not a state-mandated limit on class size?

Classrooms will follow social distancing guidelines. Class size will be addressed through scheduling and program requirement.

Q: If a family plans to homeschool their child or sign up for FLVS (Florida Virtual School), do they need to complete the pre-registration?

No. The pre-registration process is only for families that would like to use the Traditional Classroom, Volusia Live or Volusia Online Learning options.

Q: If I'm choosing to homeschool, what do I need to do?

Home education is 100% parent-driven. By enrolling in home education, the parent assumes all educational responsibilities regardless of the mechanism used to educate his/her child. This includes all correspondence curriculum, books, or on-line curriculum. Upon deciding to establish and maintain a home education program for your child, you will be governed by Florida statutes regarding compulsory school-age attendance laws as they relate to home education. You can learn more at https://vcsedu.org/home-education

Q: Will students still be required to wear student IDs daily?

Yes.

Q: How will the two-minute cleaning protocol work?

Supplies including hand sanitizer will be available in each classroom, office area and special areas on campuses.

Q: Will students be required to clean with chemicals and or aerosols daily?

No, but supplies will be provided, if needed, for staff and students. The kits include gloves for anyone using chemicals.

Q: How will bathrooms be kept clean?

School staff will monitor the areas to ensure soap and other supplies are in place and restrooms are clean.

Q: Where will face coverings be required?

Face coverings are required on the school bus, in lunch lines and hallways, during transitions and at other times when social distancing is not possible. Face coverings will not be required when students are at their desks that are socially distanced. Exceptions may be made for children with special needs; parents should contact school-based administration.

Q: Will shields be allowed as an option?

Yes.

Q: How will students be organized for arrival and departure?

As in the past, there will be a bus loop for bus riders and parent loop entrance for students walking or being dropped off on campus. Each school is developing its own individual plan to maintain social distancing while waiting for the bell in the morning.

Q: How will lunch and recess be handled safely?

Students will be asked to wash hands prior to entering the lunchroom and wear face coverings while waiting to get lunch. Hand sanitizer will be available prior to entering the serving line. Pre-packaged choices and wrapped utensils will be available for students.

Q: At what point will a student who is displaying symptoms of any kind be sent to the clinic?

Upon the teacher or staff being aware of the student's symptoms. All school nurses will be trained on proper protocols prior to the start of school.

Q: Who will determine when a student needs to be sent home, or when a student with COVID-19 will be able to return?

VCS has protocols to be executed at every school site for situations relating to students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 and positive COVID-19 tests. These protocols include the process for notification, quarantine requirements and the safe return to school for those students or staff affected.

Q: What is the plan for educating students who may need to be quarantined?

If a student needs to be quarantined, they will shift over to the Volusia Live format of instruction during their time at home and will be able to continue instruction via live streaming.

Q: How will other students be protected from a student who is not complying with the protocols in place (social distancing, getting temperature taken, face coverings, etc.)?

Once schools have established their processes and procedures, students will be expected to follow those procedures similar to other school rules. If a student refuses to follow the protocols established, they will be counseled regarding the importance of following the safety procedures. If a student continues to refuse to follow the established procedures and expectations, the student and his/her parent will meet with school administration to discuss other options for instruction including Volusia Live and Volusia Online Learning.

Exceptional Student Education (ESE)

Q: How will IEPs work with each learning option?

Student's with a current IEP will be able to receive ESE services in all 3 Learning Options being offered by Volusia County Schools. An IEP team meeting may be necessary to make amendments to the student's current plan to ensure their individual needs are met. Rigorous progress monitoring will be taking place to ensure that the services provided are appropriate and IEP meeting will take place as necessary based on this information.

Option 1: Traditional Classroom Setting (as directed by FLDOE) with Health & Safety Guidelines

In option 1, the student's current IEP will be followed. Progress monitoring will continue to ensure student success. An IEP meeting may be called based on progress monitoring data to address the individual needs of the student. 

Option 2:  Volusia Live (real-time live streaming) with Student's School of Enrollment (FLDOE approved)

In option 2, the student's current IEP will be followed, however, an IEP team meeting may be scheduled if amendments are required to ensure the student can receive the services needed within the virtual platform. Related services (OT/PT, speech and language, DHH, and VAATT) will also be available but again, an IEP meeting may be necessary. Someone from the school will reach out to schedule these meetings.  Students will follow the same daily class schedule as their classmates who are in the traditional setting. Parents will receive information from their child's teacher regarding how they can best support their child's education at home. If, according to a student's IEP, items are needed at home for student and/or parent use, these items will be provided by the school. Paraprofessionals will be available to provide supports in those classes where a para is staffed.

Option 3: Enhanced Volusia Online Learning

In option 3, the student's current IEP will be followed, however, an IEP team meeting may be scheduled if amendments are required to ensure the student can receive the services needed within the virtual platform. Related services (OT/PT, speech and language, DHH, and VAATT) will also be available but again, an IEP meeting may be necessary. Someone from the school will reach out to schedule these meetings. There is not a set schedule for classes, however, teachers will have some required times to work with and speak with students and parents.

Some examples of what this may look like for Options 2 and 3: (an IEP team meeting may be necessary)

  • A student that receives push in services in the elementary school will continue to have an ESE teacher work with them according to their IEP. The ESE teacher would be in the TEAMS meeting with the student on the designated days and times to provide service.
  • A 6th grade student in co-taught math will tune in to class each period to receive instruction. The ESE teacher will be in the TEAMS meeting every day to provide services.
  • A student receives speech and language services once a week according to their IEP. The speech teacher will schedule a TEAMS meeting with this student once a week to provide service.
  • A student in a multi-VE class is on ACCESS and has math class scheduled at 1pm each day. The teacher and para will be on TEAMS to deliver all services for this student according to their IEP.
  • A student on ACCESS in a VE-modified class signs up for Volusia On-Line. This student will have a schedule and ESE teacher in VOL for ACCESS.
  • A student is in separate class EBD and receives behavior support from a behavior specialists. Behavior support will be provided to that student.
  • A student has a one-on-one paraprofessional that provides support throughout the day. The para will be available for that student on the virtual platform in OPTION 2 as needed according to the student's IEP.
Q: What will the ESE transitions program for Multi VE students going to be like this semester? The program is set up where the students spend large amounts of time each day In the community at different job sites learning practical life skills and job skills training.  Will this program now be 100% on campus or will the students be able to go into the community as they have done in the past?

Transition students will receive services the Traditional Classroom and Volusia Live options. While the vocational portion of the student's day will look a little different this year, VCS will provide these opportunities in the Traditional Classroom setting and on Volusia Live. An IEP team meeting may be necessary for students in Volusia Live to address any changes to the IEP based on individual needs.

Q: If a student has an IEP, can they enroll in VOL and still get accommodations?

Yes

Q: Can ESE students in high school enroll in Volusia Online Learning and combine that with Dual Enrollment?

Yes

Q: For students with an IEP plan, what is the difference between Volusia Online Learning and the Traditional Classroom setting?

With VOL, the student is not in front of the teacher. It is online instruction. Scheduling is flexible.

Q: Can gifted students participate in Volusia Online Learning?

Yes, instruction will be provided by a gifted certified teacher.

Q: If a child is immune-compromised, would that make him/her eligible for hospital homebound?

An IEP meeting would need to be conducted to make that determination. IEP meetings are conducted virtually.

Q: How quickly will VOL teachers respond to a student if the student doesn't understand the lesson, especially if they have an IEP plan?

This is grade-level specific. Teachers have a 24-hour window to respond.

Q: For Volusia Online Learning, does a child need to log in every day for all classes?

Yes, students must log in five out of the seven days. Attendance is monitored.

Q: Does the Volusia Online Learning option support the academic needs of Multi-VE students through the Unique Learning System curriculum utilized in the classroom?

Yes

Q: In VOL, will students have the ability to video conference with their teachers?

Yes

Q: Will students have the ability to choose their teacher to ensure they have the teacher they want (if their school-based teacher chooses VOL)? 

VCS will try to honor requests. Contact VOL directly for that.

Q: Are there teachers on the Volusia Online Learning platform who have experience working with Multi-VE students? 

Yes

Q: Will they have access to the visuals and manipulatives they require to gain benefit from instruction?

Yes

Q: If parents choose VOL for safety reasons, but find it is not working to their child, are they able to transfer back to their school for the Traditional Classroom option?

Yes, but the transition should be made at the semester break.

Q: Are families able to maintain their current behavioral specialist from the school while in VOL or Volusia Live or will a different one be provided?

A behavioral specialist will be available to provide services to students in VOL. The assigned specialist may not be the one previously assigned at the student's home school. If a student chooses Volusia Live, the behavioral specialist at the school will be the one working with the students at that school.

Q: Do families have the ability to retain their same teachers from their home school if the choose a virtual option, but then return to the Traditional Classroom at some point during the school year?

Which teacher the student is placed with will depend on the numbers of students that are in each modality of learning. Teacher assignments are still in process at this point. VCS recommends parents contact their school's principal/administration regarding a student's schedule if they change between modalities.

Q: What happens to the student's current IEP is they go to VOL but then later transition back to the Traditional Classroom? Will it be the same if/when they return?

An IEP team meeting may be necessary and, if deemed appropriate, the IEP will reflect the services as before. This will be decided individually through the IEP team meeting.

Q: Will all teachers be required to wear face shields or clear masks at schools serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing?

Yes, if a student needs to see the teacher's lips, VCS will provide clear masks and shields.

Q: What will the ESE Transitions program for Multi-VE students look like this year?

Transition students will receive services in Brick and Mortar and in Option 2. While the vocational portion of these student's day will look a little different this year, we will be able to provide these opportunities in the brick and mortar setting and on Volusia Live. An IEP team meeting may be necessary for students in Volusia Live to address any changes to the IEP based on individual needs.

Q: How will the county meet students' IEP in the various options being presented?

Students choosing the traditional classroom option will receive their services as outlined in the present IEP or EP. A student who opts for Volusia Live will receive services outlined in their IEP and EP as well; however, the IEP/EP team will reconvene to address any changes that need to be made to service delivery models as data collection progresses. Students who use Volusia OnLine Learning will receive consultation services only.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Q: Are students enrolled in Volusia Live and Volusia Online Learning allowed to participate in team sports, clubs and on-campus activities? 

Yes, but for Volusia Live, students will be able to participate only after school. Volusia Live students will not be permitted to come on campus during the school day for just one or two classes. Volusia Live students will participate in all classes virtually.

For Volusia Online Learning, there are some students who are part-time VOL and part-time in either the Traditional Classroom or Volusia Live. For those students who are enrolled part-time in the Traditional Classroom option, they are permitted on campus for those specific classes that are part of their regular schedule.

Q: Will club meetings in high school be live-streamed for Volusia Live and VOL students?

Some meetings will be held at the school, and some will be offered virtually. Some of this will depend on coronavirus and CDC guidelines for group gatherings.

Q: What is the planned schedule for fall athletics?

August 24 is the targeted start day for athletics practices. No tryouts or practices will begin until at least August 24. Current conditioning will continue based on set guidelines for Phase 1.

Registration

This section includes questions about the pre-registration form, zoning, variances, and registering students new to Volusia County.

Q: How can students enroll in the part-time Volusia Online Learning option?

Enrollment in full-time Volusia Online Learning has now closed for fall 2020; however, part-time VOL is still an option. Go to www.volusiaonlinelearning.com for more information.

Q: Are middle and high school students allowed to mix-and-match with some classes in the Traditional Classroom on campus and some classes via Volusia Live? What about student who want to attend Volusia Online Learning for just a few elective classes?

No, students selecting the Traditional Classroom option or Volusia Live cannot mix-and-match their schedules and spend part of the day in the Traditional Classroom and part of the day on Volusia Live. Students may not go back and forth between the two options day-to-day. However, Volusia Live student are permitted to participate in clubs, sports and other activities after school.

For Volusia Online Learning, there are some students who attend VOL part-time VOL and will select either the Traditional Classroom OR Volusia Live option for the remainder of their classes.

Q: Can I hold off on starting my kindergartner until next year?

A parent who chooses not to enroll his/her child in kindergarten is not in violation of compulsory school attendance laws. However, Florida law, [Section 1003.21 (1)(a), Florida Statutes], specifies that all children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term. If a child enters public school at age 6 without evidence of kindergarten completion of an official transcript, then the district will place the student in the first program of study, and that is kindergarten. The child will progress according to the district's student progression plan.

Q: What if a parent doesn't fill out the pre-registration form?

The child will automatically be enrolled in the Traditional Classroom Option.

Q: How do parents register kindergarteners for school?

Kindergarteners must be registered at their zone school, and the school registrar will provide the alpha code when it's generated. The student can be registered by making an appointment with the school registrar or online, with info here: https://www.vcsedu.org/news/virtual-kindergarten-roundup.

Q: For students not currently enrolled in a Volusia County school, how do parents register them?

For students who are not currently enrolled in a Volusia County schools, parents should contact the school of enrollment to register them. Parents can make an appointment with the school registrar.

Q: Will Volusia Live sessions be recorded and available for makeup if a student misses a lesson due to illness and/or technical difficulties?

No, Volusia Live will be provided through a live stream and the classes will not be recorded. Students must be connected and will log into each class. If a student is marked absent, they will get their makeup work from their teacher just as if they were attending a Traditional Classroom.

Q: What will Option 2 – Volusia Live – be like for students?

This is a live streaming option in real time for students to follow their full class schedule at the specific periods designated. There will be a short break between each class and a designated lunch schedule.

Q: For children attending an out-of-zone school on a variance, will that variance be honored if the child pursues Volusia Online Learning but then decides to return to the Traditional Classroom or Volusia Live?

Yes, the variance will be honored.

Electives and Special Area Classes

Q: How will art, music and PE be done for elementary students in Volusia Live?

Those classes will be live-streamed from the school campus. Students may be given home assignments. Curriculum specialists over each area are working with teachers to develop workable plans.

Q: How will marching band be handled for fall?

If the family wants the band class, they should select the Traditional Classroom setting or Volusia Live. If the family selects, VOL, the student can participate in band only after school.

Q: Will band, chorus and performing arts be offered this fall?

Yes.