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Elizabeth Forward School District

Return to School Education Plan FAQs

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Updated - August 20th, 2020

How will the hybrid/remote learning plan work with teachers having both in-person and off-site learners at the same time? How will teachers balance the needs of both groups of learners?

Students that are attending school in-person as a part of the hybrid model will be directly interacting with the teacher in the classroom. Those students that are learning remotely, either through the hybrid model or through the full-time remote instruction model, will engage in asynchronous activities including prerecorded lessons, online assignments or educational technology tasks. Students will have live access to their teachers through scheduled office hours.

How will the District determine the assignments of students for Cohort 1 (Monday/Tuesday) and Cohort 2 (Thursday/Friday) in the Hybrid model?

Students with last names beginning with letters A-L will attend school in-person and Monday and Tuesday. Students with last names beginning with letters M-Z will attend school in-person and Thursday and Friday. Students will learn remotely on all other days. Deep cleaning of the district buildings will occur on Wednesdays and after school on Friday.

What will the school day look like for full-time remote learning students? Are students expected to participate in remote learning activities synchronously or can they be done at a later time? What are the time expectations for remote learners? Does this mean students are expected to be in front of the computer for an equal amount of time as in class students?

Students who are participating 100% remotely will be expected to adhere to the timelines set forth by the teacher regarding the completion and turning in of assignments and/or assessments. Students will not be expected to participate synchronously but will have the opportunity to connect with their teacher(s) daily during their scheduled office hours. While teachers are expected to plan learning activities that are representative of a full day of school, remote learning success is less focused on "time in seat" and more on completion of the learning activities.

How will students be graded?

Students will receive letter grades.

How will attendance be determined for hybrid students during their remote learning days or full remote learners?

Students will be required to log into our learning management system, Canvas, and indicate that they are present by completing a required form. Completion of this daily task will be used to track student attendance.

When are students required to wear their face coverings?

Students are permitted to remove their masks under the following circumstances as set forth by the Governor’s mask order:

  • Eating or drinking when spaced at least 6 feet apart; or
  • When wearing a face covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task; or
  • At least 6 feet apart during “face-covering breaks” to last no longer than 10 minutes

Students will have multiple masks breaks throughout the day.

Are there any exceptions of the face covering order?

Children two years and older are required to wear a face covering unless they have a medical or mental health condition or disability, documented in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA, that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school. Accommodations for such students should be made in partnership with the student's health care provider, school nurse, and IEP/504 team. Please contact your student's building principal with any questions or conerns.

Is a clear face shield acceptable instead of a mask?

Please refer to the Governor’s mask order for information regarding plastic face shields.

“A "face covering" can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen, and, for the purposes of the order, can include a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth.”

What steps are being taken to address student safety during transportation?

Between the number of students attending the hybrid program, the number of students who will not be on the bus because they have chosen remote instruction and the number of students who will be transported by parents, we anticipate approximately 40% of typical capacity. For example, a bus that typically has 50 riders will now have approximately 20 students. Buses will be sanitized between runs. Students entering will be seated from the rear of the bus to the front of the bus. They will exit the bus starting with students in the front seats first. Bus drivers will be required to wear masks.

What will be the procedure if a teacher or student tests positive for COVID-19?

Based on information from the PA Department of Health, the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department, there are many factors that contribute to this decision. Because of the close relationship that has been formed between the district and the Allegheny Health Department, the district will share all relevant information regarding the positive test with their staff and then follow their advice.

Are parents able to switch their children from hybrid to remote or from remote to hybrid learning plans once the school year begins?

Because our students in both settings will be following the Elizabeth Forward curriculum and pacing and be taught by Elizabeth Forward teachers, transitions will be possible. There may be some time needed to address logistical issues when leaving the full-time remote model and moving to the hybrid model. If you are interested in changing your learning model during the school year, please contact your building principal.

May I switch cohorts in the hybrid model?

Any student that has a sibling with a different last name in the district that is responsible for childcare can switch cohorts in the hybrid model. Other requests will be kept on file. While we cannot make any accommodations at this time, we will reevaluate the requests after the surveys have been submitted and class sizes are analyzed to ensure the ability to follow social distancing guidelines.

Are there recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Education regarding the determination of instructional models?

Since Allegheny County currently falls into the “Moderate” category, PDE currently recommends either a Blended Learning Model (Hybrid) or Full Remote Learning Model. For more information regarding the August 10th update, please visit the PDE website at

Is there any further guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on school closures related to COVID-19 cases in schools?

PDE has released recommendations for district actions related to cases of COVID-19 in schools. When a case of COVID-19 is identified in a school setting, public health staff from DOH or the County or Municipal Health Department (CMHD) will work with school administrators to provide guidance and advice related to cleaning and disinfecting, contact tracing and quarantine recommendations, and closing certain areas of the school or the entire school building if necessary. When an entire school is recommended to close, lengths of closure time will vary by level of community transmission and number of cases. For more information regarding the August 13th update, please visit the PDE website at

Please contact with any questions.