Back to School September 2020 FAQ
Please review our list of frequently asked questions and direct any unanswered questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Questions About ‘Learn From Anywhere’
What does the Learn From Anywhere schedule look like?
Students attend in person on their two Hybrid remote days and online on Wednesday, their virtual day.
Tentative Schedule - Cohort A - Tues/Fri or Cohort B Mon/Thurs
Exact timing of each activity - subject to change
- 9am - Students arrive, check in and be health screened by dsu staff, wash hands & go to their classrooms. Review classroom morning teacher check in and go over assignments for the day
- 10am - Outside games
- 10:20am - Resume academics
- 11am - Snack
- 11.15 - Review how Wednesday looks - role play Zoom/Google hangout
- 11:30 - Review remaining assignments to complete at home.
- 11.45 - Socially distanced Collaborative activity
- 12noon - Pick up
- 3.30PM - 5PM - DMS only CEO Power Hours for homework support limited to 5 each cohort - online program
Hand washing is required prior to changes in activities and snack.
Wednesday Schedule - Students will meet on video conference - Zoom or Google Hangouts. We are currently working with the schools as to how the assigned Wednesday work will be delivered. Students will complete academics and enjoy some of our Virtual Playground favorite activities on Wednesday mornings, including games like Scattergories and collaborative virtual art activities.
Why is registration limited this year?
Student registration is limited this year due to social distancing requirements from our licensing agency the Dept. of Early Education and Care (EEC). The number of students allowed is based on the square footage of the building. Confined environments will be used where all ventilation is exercised and outdoor areas will be used much as possible, with outdoor classrooms in tents with picnic tables. Families are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible and will be waitlisted until DSU builds grade specific micro communities.
What options are available for my Chandler student?
New just for this year, DSU will offer the Learn From Anywhere programming to 2nd grade with preference to siblings of Alden or DMS students.
We realize the need for academic and sitter services for Chandler students is huge and so have created the COV-ED@HOME initiative to connect tutors, sitters, and volunteers with local families.
What options are available for my Alden student?
Alden students can join micro-communities with grade peers in our Learn From Anywhere program 3 mornings per week. This program is limited by Cohort days and will fill quickly. Additional services can be found on our COV-ED@HOME initiative.
What options are available for my Middle School Student?
Middle School students can participate in one of two programs:-
- Learn From Anywhere - 9am-12noon 3 days a week - following along with their school schedule with academic support from DSU staff.
- CEO Virtual Power Hour - 3:30pm-5:00pm - this is the only after school program offered this year daily, designed to help students wrap up homework but also monitor the portal, Schoology and learn self advocacy skills. Students also benefit from time with peers that may face similar challenges.
Why was the Learn From Anywhere 9am-12noon time frame chosen?
We talked with school administrators and discovered this was the best 3-hour window to keep micro communities together while students are alert and motivated.
Alden students would check in with their teachers at home for morning meetings and then continue their academics at DSU.
DMS students would start their day at home with roll call and first block check-in. They would arrive at DSU in time for 2nd block and finish at 12noon in their lunch/study block. (This could be subject to change)
Chandler students would arrive in time to settle in and then log into for the teacher morning meeting.
We understand that drop off time can be challenging for working parents and possible academic conflicts with their classrooms, we are working towards a staggered start time to help alleviate some of these concerns. This will be determined by the population of students by grade.
DMS CEO Power Hour at 3:30pm-5:00pm allows the student to travel home from school, have a moment to get settled, and then log onto the DSU video conference at 3.30pm.
We spend time in both Middle School programs reviewing Schoology, the Portal, and the student’s agenda. We will build advocacy skills so that the student develops relationships with all their teachers and feels comfortable clarifying work and seeking extra support if needed. We coach students to be the CEO and responsible/proud of their work and relationships. There's a lot to master in middle school in terms of infrastructure and teacher expectations. This in addition to the #1 priority of academics.
Are you still doing the After School Program?
Not right now. DSU surveyed parents and over 96% said they would not send their child to DSU after school because of their child’s added exposure and parent’s work from home flexibility. When we return to full-time in-person school, DSU will reinstitute the After School program.
How do students attend their class Zoom/Google Meet calls at DSU?
All students should bring their own, fully charged, laptops and headphones to participate in class or DSU meetings.
How does it work if a student is on Zoom but then needs to pack up to go to DSU or to go home?
At the moment, we’ve timed it 9am-12noon with these video conference calls in mind. We are in regular communication with the schools and can possibly adjust if necessary. Every micro-community will work out their individual needs and will adjust accordingly.
Will my child be with friends?
Your child will be with peers of the same grade in the same cohort. Once rosters are finalized, DSU will reach out to families to welcome them. We cannot guarantee that all friend requests can be accommodated, but rest assured there will be a familiar face or two.
What are the qualifications of the staff?
Our staff is comprised of seasoned youth development professionals. They are Arts, Education, and English/Communications graduates with experience in the classroom, at DSU and as tutors in the home school environment.
About Your Financial Commitment
What is the difference between a 5-month plan and a 10-month payment plan?
We understand this year creates great uncertainty and it may be difficult to financially commit to the 10 month school year, which has been required in previous years. There is financial uncertainty for DSU’s future too. Needless to say, we are in this together! For this year only, we offer a one-semester commitment (Sept 1 - Jan 31), with an option to renew in February for the second semester. Those that sign up for the full year commitment receive a lower annual rate. We are in this for the long haul. Please know if the school model changes, we won't abandon your child's commitment to learning and feeling connected to their peers.
What is the enrollment period? Why am I waitlisted?
If you would like to sign up for DSU's 3 Day Learn From Anywhere program, registration will open on Wednesday, 8/19 at 12noon and will be closed to new registrations on Thursday, August 27th. This will allow optimal time for us to finalize our rosters. All families will be placed on a waitlist until DSU is able to create classroom rosters supporting grades 2-8. Priority will be given to families who signed up in May, 2nd-grade students of siblings, and by enrollment date.
What happens if the DSU goes fully remote due to state rollback?
We will continue programming remotely and thankfully will have had Wednesdays to get students acclimated to the remote rhythm. We can share screens, use chat and video conferencing to engage students in learning, breaks, and a bit of fun and socialization.
Will DSU go fully remote if the School does?
At the end of 5 months can we re-enroll?
Absolutely. We will share enrollment details in January for the second semester.
When will I be charged the deposit?
The deposit is charged immediately after being confirmed into the program, and represents the last month tuition payment (January 2021 for a 5 month commitment and June for a 10 month).
When will I be charged September tuition?
September tuition will be processed on Tuesday, September 1st. Tuition payments will be automatically charged on, or close to, the first of each month.
Once approved off of the waitlist, can I opt-out of programming?
No. It is tough on all families and we do not want to turn away families because someone was not serious about their commitment. It creates unnecessary administration and stress.
Are there options for extended hours?
Not initially but once we have worked out the new processes with students, we may revisit early drop off or late pick up. In the meantime, you are welcome to use our COV-ED@HOME initiative to find extended care for your children.
Are scholarships available due to the difficult situation now faced by many families?
We do have limited partial scholarships available. Multiple siblings receive a 5% discount.
COVID-19 Requirements & Protocols
What is the “DSU Covid-19 Parent/Guardian Agreement”?
As adults and good citizens, we believe our students will rise to the occasion as we educate them about the risks of COVID-19 in our setting. All students returning to campus will be required to sign the “DSU COVID-19 Agreement” - A Personal Commitment to Protect the Health and Safety of Our Community. A Parent/guardian and the student must sign the agreement by August 27.
This social contract emphasizes each student’s commitment to actively protect the health and safety of every member of our program. The Code of Student Conduct allows for adjudication of alleged violations, and students can be removed from in-person programming.
What will life be like at DSU?
Students will be in micro-communities of 10-12 peers for all programming, including check-in, snack, academics, backyard games, and extracurricular activities. Outdoor physical activities will comply with health guidelines. Safety measures include population restrictions, elimination of activities that require person-to-person contact or touching shared equipment. Masks are mandatory for staff and students in our program.
Plans include the following:
- Students will experience face-to-face contact with their group.
- Pedestrian flow will be utilized to best accommodate social distancing. Students will follow specific routes for walkways, entrances, and exits from the building to limit contact with students/staff outside their micro-community.
- Staff and students will stay with their micro-community for the entire week to limit exposure.
- Staff and students will be health screened daily, prior to entering the building
- Bathrooms will receive frequent deep cleaning and will have posted occupancy limits.
- Hand washing will occur for staff and students in between activities and during transition times.
- Touchless hand sanitizing stations will be available to students and staff
- Parent/Guardian check out at the end of the day will occur in the parking lot using technology to confirm the identity of the pickup person.
What strategies will be used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
Six core actions are being implemented:
- required education for all;
- daily verbal-screening at check-in for all;
- use of face coverings and physical distancing
- enhanced cleaning of bathrooms and contact areas like foyer, doors, railings, desks, etc;
- Increased frequency of handwashing
- Availability of hand sanitizer
- Contactless parent/guardian checkout
- Parents/Guardians/Visitors will not be allowed inside DSU
What is the Daily Screening?
Staff and students must answer 8 verbal questions pertaining to symptoms and health of participants and family members. Students will be required to answer the COVID-19 symptom checklist each day prior to entering DSU. These symptoms are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue (must be accompanied by other symptoms), muscle or body aches, headache, the new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.
What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?
The Centers for Disease Control define isolation as separating sick people with a contagious disease (such as COVID-19) from people who are not sick, and quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
How will face-to-face programming be conducted?
The occupancy of classrooms will be modified to maintain social distancing, including assigned seating where appropriate. Before the start of each class, students and faculty must wipe down their chairs, and any other commonly touched surfaces. Students are required to wear face coverings. Surfaces that are in contact with students will be sanitized and disinfected before and after students transition into their space. Hand washing will be required before entering DSU, and before transitioning into another space. Further, hand washing and disinfecting will be encouraged throughout the day as needed.
How does DSU provide support when a member of the community has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?
DSU works closely with local and state public health departments to identify community members who test positive for COVID-19. Officials proceed to:
- Obtain details about the person’s symptoms, locations on campus and close contacts
- Conduct a risk assessment to determine an action plan. This may include providing a recommendation about self-isolation and providing related assistance, as well as notifying individuals or groups who were in close contact.
- Evaluate specific locations where the person spent time on campus to initiate cleaning and disinfection in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What happens if a child arrives without a mask?
It happens. Students should arrive with a mask every day but we will provide a student with a disposable mask if they forget, prior to joining their group.
How does DSU follow up with people who were in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19?
We initiate efforts to reduce the risk of transmission, which includes identifying students, families, and staff who were in close contact with the person who tested positive. Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) without wearing personal protective equipment. If you are not notified as being in close contact, you do not need to take any action beyond those recommended for all members of our community to protect themselves against COVID-19. These measures include practicing good hygiene and social distancing, monitoring your health, and staying home if you’re sick.
If you have a DSU student and believe you, or someone you live with, may have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please stay home until you, or your child has been cleared by a healthcare professional.
Will the DSU send an employee or child home if they have symptoms of COVID-19?
Yes. Staff and students are required to attest to their health every day in order to provide a safe space for staff, students, and their families. Reasonable steps to minimize health risks, including wearing a mask, practicing good hygiene, and staying home they are sick. If an employee or student has had very close contact with a person who has COVID-19 (such as living in the same household), they should be told to watch carefully for symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath. They should stay home if COVID-19 symptoms develop and should go home immediately if COVID-19 symptoms occur at work.
Will tuition be adjusted because some instruction is delivered remotely?
We have developed a Learn From Anywhere program so tuition will not be altered based on the mode of instruction. Programming offered remotely will be of the same caliber and quality, taught by the same outstanding team as those who are taught face-to-face. The cost to provide instruction ( salaries, planning, etc.) does not change based on the mode of instruction. In some cases, the cost of providing remote instruction is actually higher than in-person instruction, as a result of the technological resources required.