Reopening Parent FAQ (English)

  • Updated 9/29/2020

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    Future updates will be noted as additional guidance or questions arise.
    Click here to see additional information in the District 2 Reopening Plan for details pertaining to health protocols etc.

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  • Health and Safety FAQs

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    What if someone exhibits COVID symptoms while at school?

    The health office will evaluate that person following this IDPH guide. The person will be sent home if presenting new symptoms.

    What if the symptoms might be unrelated to COVID?

    Anyone with any COVID symptoms will be evaluated.

    If the symptoms are not new (such as from a condition already known to the school), then that person will usually not be sent home for COVID. He or she might be sent home for other health reasons, and can return when they recover.

    If, however, the symptoms are new, then they will be sent home even if there might be another cause besides COVID.

    How long must someone with COVID symptoms remain out of school?

    How long someone with COVID symptoms is out of school depends on testing and other events. 

    The school will apply columns B, C or D on this IDPH guide to determine when his or her return to school is safe. 

    Without a negative COVID test or an alternate medical diagnosis, anyone with COVID symptoms will usually be out at least 10 days. 

    What happens when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID?

    Anyone who tests positive for COVID must immediately notify the school and stay out of school for at least 10 days. Others who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID have to remain out of school, too.

    The school and health department will apply column A on the IDPH guide to determine when it is safe for anyone who tests positive for COVID to return to school. It will use column E on the IDPH guide to determine when close contacts can return.

    Can students attend school if someone in their class (or on their bus) tests positive for COVID?

    Yes, unless they are told otherwise by the local health department or the school. 

    Classrooms (and buses) are arranged with at least 6 feet between students. According to the local health department, students or teachers who maintain the 6-foot distance will not be excluded from school if a positive case occurs in the classroom or bus.

    Brief interactions that are closer than 6 feet but that accumulate to less than 15 minutes will also not cause exclusion, according to the health department.

    A second case in the same classroom or bus within two weeks may be treated differently pending a local health department investigation.

    Who should stay home if someone in a classroom tests positive for COVID?

    The school or the local health department will notify the “close contacts” to stay home. These are persons who spent 15 or more minutes within 6 feet of the person who tested positive for COVID. These persons should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to the individual who tested positive. The school and health department will apply column E on the IDPH guide to determine when their return to school is safe.

    The health department will ask the District who spent 15 or more minutes within 6 feet of the person who tested positive for COVID. The District will review bus and classroom information to provide the health department with this information.

    What if a classmate has to stay home because a member of his/her household tested positive for COVID?

    Contacts of that student are not restricted, because they are not “close contacts.” So, if a healthy student or staff member stays home because of a positive case in his/her household, his/her contacts (such as in a classroom or on a bus) can still come to school.

    How will the school know who was in “close contact” with someone who tested positive for COVID?

    Close contact means closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes during the day. The school will review classroom charts, bus information, and other sources to make this determination.

    What if I was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID, but it was not “close contact?”

    No COVID limits apply to you. You might not even hear about the case from the health department or school, because you were not a close contact.

    If you think you were a close contact, call the school to explain your situation.

    Who informs those determined to have been close contacts with someone who tested positive for COVID? 

    The local health department with assistance from the school.

    What if I don’t hear from the school or health department about another person’s positive COVID test that might affect me?

    You may come to school, because you are not considered a close contact. If you think you were a close contact, call the school to explain your situation.

    When will the District tell us about positive COVID cases in the school?

    After all close contacts are informed, the District will notify the rest of the school. The notice will not, for privacy reasons, disclose the name or other characteristics of the person who tested positive.

    How will the District use the certification given by parents each day?

    No matter what certification is received that day, staff who notice symptoms will refer students to the health office for evaluation. 

    Self-certification is a privilege that can be revoked. The District will frequently remind parents about how to certify and why it is important.

    What are the cleaning and sanitation procedures for classrooms, washrooms, and other areas of the school during in-person instruction?

    All District 2 cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation practices follow procedures and expectations aligned with ISBE, IDPH and DCHD guidelines. 

    EPA-approved disinfecting products will be used to disinfect hard surfaces throughout the day and after school. Restrooms will be regularly disinfected by custodial staff, and high-touch areas will be disinfected throughout the day by custodial staff. As necessary, desks will be cleaned with soap and water after certain activities, and schools will discourage the use of items that are difficult to clean.

    Hand hygiene practices such as handwashing and/or sanitizing during key times each day will be promoted. Hand sanitizers will be made available throughout each building; students and staff with sensitive skin reactions to hand sanitizer can use soap and water.

    Students’ use of the restroom will be closely supervised to avoid gatherings, and drinking fountains will also be shut down, and touch-less filtered water bottle fillers will be available and cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.

    Have there been any changes to enhance the ventilation systems in school buildings?

    All building HVAC systems have operated under normal schedules since August 3 to ensure good airflow and proper operation of all systems. Additionally, we have changed all filters, installing more effective filters when possible, and we have cleaned the coils, drains, and interiors of all air handling units and unit ventilators.

    Before staff and students return to school, there will be a complete, 100 percent HVAC outdoor air building flush, and to maximize dilution of the return air, intake of outdoor air ventilation rates will be increased.

    How will outdoor spaces be utilized?

    PE will be outside when weather permits, and, whenever possible and instructionally appropriate, other teachers will be encouraged to use outdoor learning spaces to allow for increased movement for students.

    At the direction of each school principal, schoolwide processes and procedures for conducting outdoor learning will be in place and observed to ensure safety and adequate social distancing while outside. Principals and staff will also identify designated times within the school schedule for students to go outside (weather permitting) to have a “mask break.” 

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  • Teaching and Learning

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    Definitions 

    • Synchronous Learning -- Students gather in the same virtual space at the same time to connect with their teachers and one another.
    • Asynchronous Learning -- Students engage with assigned materials and projects independently at their preferred time of day.

    Effective remote learning blends both synchronous and asynchronous learning to maximize the time together virtually to build community and learn interactively, while also providing autonomy for learners to engage in and apply content, read, and problem solve.

    Synchronous instruction is made up of two parts: whole-group and individual/small- group. Whole-group synchronous instruction involves real-time, interactive, teacher-led lessons where content is introduced and reinforced; activities include teacher modeling of content standards, launching projects, and class discussions. In Individual and small-group synchronous instruction students, participate in real-time, interactive, teacher-led lessons customized to their learning needs.  

    Students also engage in asynchronous learning throughout each day. Asynchronous does not mean “absent.” Asynchronous time is critical as it allows students time to apply and practice what has been taught through independent assignments. Teachers analyze these assignments and other assessments to determine students’ learning needs in order to form the individual and small groups effectively.

    The remote learning environment was designed to deliver the best possible learning experience. This is why it begins with whole-group, shorter, more targeted lessons followed by independent application, followed by small-group clarification, re-teaching, and/or extension throughout the day.

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  • Models & Schedules

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    What model(s) will be used for reopening schools?

    Remote Model
    Schools will reopen 100 percent remote on August 12 through October 9 (tentatively). Students attend school remotely from home five days a week following a schedule that adheres to ISBE’s requirement of 5 clock hours. The Monday schedule is compacted to accommodate teachers’ Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings; prior to school closures, these meetings took place on Tuesday:

    • Blackhawk Middle School: Mondays – 1:25-2:55 p.m.
    • Tioga and W.A. Johnson Schools: Mondays – 2-3:30 p.m.

    Blackhawk Middle School 100 percent Remote Schedule August 12-October 9 (tentatively)

    • 7:50-8 a.m. Arrival:  Students log onto the online platform to begin the school day.
    • 2:55 p.m. Dismissal:  End of school day, although students may continue working on assignments just as when school was in session.

    Johnson & Tioga Schools (Grades Pre-K-5):  100 percent Remote August 12-October 9 (tentatively)

    • 8:50-9 a.m. Arrival: Students log on to online platform to begin their day.
    • 3:30 p.m. Dismissal:  End of school day, although students may continue working on assignments just as when school was in session.

    Hybrid Model
    Based on health data, schools will tentatively transition to the Hybrid Model starting on October 13. The Hybrid Model is defined as students attending school in-person two days per week on a rotation (i.e., Cohort A: Tuesdays/Wednesdays or Cohort B: Thursdays/Fridays). The reason for having approximately half of grade-level students reporting in person two days per week is to comply with health department social distancing requirements.

    While students attend school in-person for two days per week, all students receive five days of continuous instruction. For example,

    • Cohort A in-person students attend school for instruction on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.  Cohort A 100 percent remote students and all Cohort B students log in to participate with peers in the same lessons.
    • Cohort B in-person students attend school for instruction on Thursdays/Fridays; Cohort B 100 percent remote students and all Cohort A students log in to participate with peers in the same lessons.

    Blackhawk Middle School Hybrid Schedule Begins October 13 (tentatively)

    • Students arrive by: 7:50 a.m.
    • Classes Begin:  7:50 a.m.
    • Dismissal: 11:15 a.m., with take-home lunch*

    *Students and teachers resume synchronous and asynchronous instruction remotely from 12:15-2:55 p.m.

    Johnson and Tioga K-5 Hybrid Schedule Begins October 13 (tentatively)

    • Students arrive by: 8:50 a.m.
    • Classes Begin: 8:50 a.m.
    • Dismissal: 12 p.m., with take-home lunch*

    *Students and teachers resume synchronous and asynchronous instruction remotely from 1:10-3:30 p.m. 

    Specific student schedules are communicated to parents by teachers and posted on teachers’ Google sites; for Blackhawk, schedules are provided in students’ advisory classes.

    Except for holidays, all students receive instruction 100 percent remotely from home on Mondays; it is a compacted schedule to accommodate teachers’ Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings; prior to school closures, these meetings took place on Tuesdays.

    • Blackhawk Middle School: Mondays – 1:25-2:55 p.m.
    •  Tioga and W.A. Johnson Schools: Mondays – 2-3:30 p.m.

    Pre-K Program:

    Because Pre-Kindergarten student numbers by section are already aligned to social distancing guidelines, there are no cohorts; all Pre-K students will attend 4 days per week with a modified morning/afternoon schedule.  Transportation will not be provided:

    • Morning Sessions: 8:30-10:30 a.m. (parent drop-off at 8:25m.)
    • Afternoon Sessions: 12:30-2:30 m. (parent drop-off at 12:25 p.m.)
    • 10:45-11:55m. : Staff Lunch and Plan
    • 11:55m.-12:15 p.m. and 2:45-3 p.m.:
      • Parent Communication
      • Virtual Home Visits
      • Synchronous individual instruction determined by teacher analysis of students’ needs. Pre-k team develops this synchronous schedule for distribution to parents and principals. Typically, these small instructional groups change every 2-3 weeks; however, in collaboration with principals, they may change more or less frequently based on student formative assessment data.
    • Except for holidays, all students receive instruction 100 percent remotely from home on Mondays; it is a compacted schedule to accommodate teachers’ Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings; prior to school closures, these meetings took place on Tuesdays. The Pre-K schedules and activities are communicated to parents through SeeSaw.
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  • How is attendance recorded?

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    Attendance will function the same as in normal school procedures prior to the COVID-19 closures. If a student is sick, parents call in to the school’s office by 9 a.m., just like a regular school day. If no phone call is received, the student will be marked absent. A call is sent out to parents so they are aware that a student has not logged in to record attendance.

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  • How is instruction different compared to last spring when when schools were first closed?

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    Given the abrupt closure of school last March, ISBE set procedures that led to the implementation of a generalized curriculum. For the 2020-2021 school year, curriculum and instruction will be implemented by grade and department. Staff has been working since the initial closure through the summer to develop engaging instruction for all students. 

    Also, back in March, Governor Pritzker mandated a “No Harm Grading Policy” due to the abrupt state-wide school closings. That mandate has since been lifted. For 2020-2021, students are expected to participate in all learning environments and complete assignments; grades will be based on both. Along the way, staff will support students on the specific assignments they submit through ongoing and frequent feedback.

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  • How will my child access the Remote lessons?

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    • Pre-K: Seesaw 
      • Pre-K will predominantly utilize individual Seesaw classrooms to communicate classroom-specific information. Seesaw will also be the platform used by students to complete and turn in assignments. Teachers will be in contact with parents to get students connected to the Seesaw classroom.

    • Grades K-1: Google Site and Seesaw
      • Kindergarten and first-grade teams will have a grade-level remote learning Google Site where information for parents and students will be posted. The website will provide parents with an overview of the weekly lessons, provide additional resources for students and parents, provide information about specials and specialists, and provide District and school announcements. The grade-level teams will continue to update these sites throughout the year.
      • Each Kindergarten and first-grade homeroom teacher will have a Seesaw classroom. Seesaw will be used to communicate classroom-specific information and will be the platform used by students to complete and turn in activities and assignments.
      • Specials (PE, Art, Music) will also have a Seesaw classroom set up for each Kindergarten and first-grade class. Seesaw will be used to communicate classroom-specific information, and will be the platform used by students to complete and turn in assignments. 

    • Grades 2-3: Google Site and Google Classroom
      • Second- and third-grade teams will have grade-level remote learning Google Sites where information for parents and students will be posted. The website will provide parents with an overview of the weekly lessons, provide additional resources for students and parents, and provide District and school announcements. 
      • Each second- and third-grade classroom teacher will set up a Google Classroom that will be used to communicate classroom-specific information and will be the platform used by students to complete and turn in activities and assignments. 
      • Specials (PE, Art, Music) will also have individual Google Classrooms set up for each second- and third-grade class. It will be used to communicate classroom-specific information and will be the platform used by students to complete and turn in assignments.
      • Specialists will post work on the appropriate Google Classroom to provide their services to students. 

    • Grades 4-5: Google Classroom
      • Each fourth- and fifth-grade classroom teacher will set up a Google Classroom that will be used to communicate classroom specific information and will be the platform used by students to complete and turn in activities and assignments.
      • Specials (PE, Art, Music) will also have individual Google Classrooms set up for each fourth- and fifth-grade class. It will be used to communicate classroom-specific information and will be the platform used by students to complete and turn in assignments.
      • Specialists will post work on the appropriate Google Classroom to provide their services to students. 
         
    • Grade 6-8: Grade-level Google Classrooms and Individual Google Classrooms
      • Each grade level will have a Google Classroom where general grade-level information is communicated. The grade-level classroom will have the daily agenda, attendance, schedule, announcements, student tutorials, and grade-level SEL activities
      • Each classroom teacher will set up an individual classroom for each class they teach. This will have the specific assignments related to the class and students will access and turn in completed assignments through these Classrooms.
      • Specialists will post work on the appropriate Google Classroom to provide their services to students. 

     

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  • How can I see what work my child is completing?

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    • Grades PreK-1/Seesaw: Parents can join Seesaw as a family member and be connected to the classes your child is enrolled in. To do this, you can download the Seesaw Family app on a personal phone or access the Seesaw website as a family member. Classroom teachers will then invite you to join their classrooms as a family member. This will allow you to see posts from the teacher and your child. You will also be able to comment and message teachers.

    • Grades 2-8/Classroom: You can sit alongside your child as he/she is logged onto Google Classrooms to see the work teachers have posted and students have completed. Parents cannot access the Google Classroom on their own, students need to be logged in. Parents can choose to receive a weekly automated email about your child's Google Classroom activities through a feature called Guardian Summaries. More information can be found here.
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  • What are the expectations for my child when participating in remote learning?

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    Staff are using a number of tools to ensure engagement and interest (e.g., Google Hangouts/Meet, Zoom, and GoToMeeting). We need your help to ensure these tools are being used appropriately by students:

    • Caregivers should be mindful about what family activities would potentially be heard/seen during the students’ use of video conferencing. This is a great tool to keep students connected, but please have your students use these tools somewhere near enough you can monitor, yet private enough to concentrate on their work.
    • Please have students dress appropriately in a space that is appropriate for them to work (e.g., table, desk) when video conferencing, and make sure that there are no distracting materials or backgrounds.
    • Monitor your child’s assignments for completion. Contact the teacher if questions arise about the amount of time your child’ is spending on assignments.
    • Parents, please keep in mind that when an assessment is given online, allow your child to respond on his/her own. Staff use the assessment information in order to design the best instruction based on each child’s needs. If you help your child too much, the instruction will not be aligned to his/her needs.

     

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  • What socialization and student mental health supports will be provided to students?

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    The social-emotional well-being of our students remains a priority as we return to the 2020-2021 school year. We recognize the importance of connections and a sense of belonging as we create classroom communities.

    Daily class meetings and advisory check-ins will be utilized in all scenarios to ensure our teachers have firsthand knowledge of each student. In addition to the incorporation of social-emotional learning lessons, we will continue our mindfulness educational experiences for all grade levels.

    We are excited about the addition of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) teams  at each school this year as part of one of our USDOE grants. Under this project, social-emotional learning began in June with clinicians from all three schools working together to prepare professional development opportunities for all staff.

    Teachers throughout the District attended a three-hour course on Creating Trauma-Informed Schools through the PBIS Framework. Participants looked at techniques to help students cope with stress and trauma with the goal of making students feel safe and comfortable when they return to school. Paraprofessionals were also invited to a professional development course on Trauma Responsive Practices through the Illinois Principal Association.

    While District 2 has been a PBIS District (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) for years, we are now infusing our practice with direct SEL teaching and trauma-informed practices. Our PBIS coaches and clinicians attended an intensive 12-hour interactive training course through Midwest PBIS this summer. Our work focused on using the PBIS framework to enhance school culture, improve student engagement, and align structures and routines throughout our schools to better understand and respond to all students.

    Our first weeks of school will focus on relationship-building. Instruction will be provided that will help students with emotional regulation, communication, and positive interactions with one another.

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  • If my child has a question about an assignment, what do we do?

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    Students can pose questions about assignments by contacting their teacher during times specified on their schedules; these are the times that teachers are free from working with other students and available. Questions that are posted after hours will be addressed promptly on the next school day. If parents have questions regarding the amount of time their child is spending on assignments, please contact the teacher to collaboratively problem solve this situation.

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  • What are the parameters for make-up work?

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    If an extended time is required, the student or parent will need to contact the staff member directly to discuss the circumstances.

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  • Are there any learning activities that are required?

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    There are activities that will be identified as required to be completed, as well as others from which your child can choose in order to continue learning at home.

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  • If my child has special needs or modified curriculum, how does Remote Learning address that?

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    The specialist or case manager partners with teaching staff in developing appropriate lessons; they also provide support and feedback to their students and caregivers.

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  • How will Special Education be addressed?

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    District 2 is bound ethically and legally to meet the needs of students eligible for IEP and 504 services, and will continue to do so in remote environments.

    Students who spend more than 50 percent of their school day within District 2 special education classrooms, including Academic Life Skills, Instructional Support Programs, Language and Social Skills Opportunities Program, and the Social Support Programs, will attend four days a week during a hybrid schedule. Class sizes are smaller and within the guidelines for social distancing. Special precautions will be taken as necessary. 

     Currently, IEP meetings will be held remotely. As we continue to follow the health department guidelines, this could change.

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  • How will my child be graded?

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    Teachers will once again be issuing grades according to the District 2 calendar. Back in March, Gov. Pritzker mandated a “No Harm Grading Policy” due to the abrupt state-wide school closings. That mandate has been lifted. For 2020-2021, students are expected to participate in all learning environments and complete assignments; grades will be based on both.

    Staff will continue to use the TeacherEase portal for documenting grades and assignments so parents are aware of their child’s work completion and progress. Summary progress reports will be posted in the portal according to the District 2 calendar.

    Grade 1-8 TeacherEase:  Parents can access TeacherEase to see students’ progress on formative and summative assessments given during the year. Summary progress reports will be posted in the portal according to the District 2 calendar:

    • October 2: Trimester 1 Progress Reports posted in TeacherEase Portal.
    • November 5: End of Trimester 1
    • November 13: Trimester 1 Report Cards issued.
    • January 15: Trimester 2 Progress Reports posted in TeacherEase Portal.
    • February 18: End of Trimester 2
    • February 23: Trimester 2 Report Cards issued.
    • April 16: Trimester 3 Progress Reports posted in TeacherEase Portal.
    • May 21: End of Trimester 3. Report Cards issued. 

     For more information about TeacherEase, please visit this page.

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  • 100 Percent Remote Parent Option

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    Parents had the option to keep their child in the 100 Percent Remote Model should the District transition to the Hybrid Model. Parents who select this option commit to their child remaining in the 100 Percent Remote Model for the designated timeframe to avoid ongoing disruptions to student scheduling.

    • Round 1 – 100 Percent Parent Option
      • Option ends on November 20, 2020. This timeframe encompasses the end of Trimester 1 and the issuance of the Trimester 1 report card. Parents may continue their request by submitting a Round 2 – 100 Percent Parent Option (see next bullet).
    • Round 2 -- 100% Parent Option
      • Parent Option Survey distributed to all parents on October 30, 2020
      • Requests due back to schools by November 6, 2020
      • Round 2 – 100 Percent Remote Option ends on February 26, 2021.
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  • Technology

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    How can I learn about the technology being used for remote learning?

    The District website has links for parents and students to learn more about the technology used for remote learning; additional training for parents will occur throughout the year: 

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  • How do I know my child’s Chromebook login information?

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    During the parent pick-ups days on August 5, 6, and 7, there will be a packet of technology information going home with students’ Chromebooks. The packet contains individual student login information (Grades K-1 will have login cards, Grades 2-8 will have printed usernames and passwords), a how-to guide for connecting to Wi-Fi, a how-to guide for logging in, and technology contact information. It will include information about the parent/student technology website that has all of the technology tutorials.

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  • What steps do I need to take to get my student started on the Chromebook?

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    Visit the Parent/Student Tech How-To Resource Site to view tutorials on how to use the device and apps that the District supports. There is a “Getting Started” page that will have tutorials on how to connect the device to your home Wi-Fi and get logged in.

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  • Who do I contact for technology support?

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    • For technology support related to topics such as hardware, device, wi-fi, etc., contact your buildings’ technology support specialist:

     

    • For instructional technology support related to such topics as help with certain apps or District subscriptions, contact your buildings’ instructional technology specialist:
      • Blackhawk: Mrs. Corbett, mcorbett@bsd2.org
      • Johnson: Ms. Gutsell, mgutsell@bsd2.org
      • Tioga: Position currently open
        • If still open at the start of the year, please email both Mrs. Corbett and Ms. Gutsell for assistance
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  • What if there is a power or Internet outage?

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    In the case of a community outage, due dates for assignments will be adjusted if needed.

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  • What if our family does not have a home Internet connection?

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    Please contact your school principal to enquire about the availability of a mobile hotspot.

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