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PLCS releases answers to FAQs about COVID-19 school closures

FAQ graphic

PLCS has been working to answer your questions and finalize plans for the management of COVID-19 in our district. We continue to work very closely with the local and state health departments, local community government officials and neighboring school districts. Please know this is uncharted territory for all of us and the information is changing very quickly. Below are the answers to many of the questions we have been receiving.  If you have additional questions, please email PLCSCommunications@paplv.org

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and PLCS

Questions about how to help:
Will students receive meals while school is closed?
Yes. Free breakfast and lunch will be provided for all students who need it. We will have a week’s worth of grab and go breakfast and lunches for any student age 1-18.  These meals for an entire week can be picked up each Monday starting March 23 from 7:30 am to 11:00 am.  The pick-up sites are La Vista Middle School, 7900 Edgewood Blvd La Vista, NE or Golden Hills Elementary 2912 Coffey Ave, Bellevue NE.  Families can drive up and let us know how many children are in the family and you will be given free meals for the week for each child.  

How can I help with any delivery of lunches or food for our students?
Currently PLCS hourly staff will be handling the distribution of food to our students.  Please help us communicate to those in need that meals are available. We would also encourage you to post on social media about your ability to volunteer and help in our community.  We would encourage everyone to check on their elderly neighbors and offer assistance to families, particularly our first responders that may need childcare. 

School Closings:
When will schools reopen?
Schools will be closed starting Monday, March 23. There is currently no set return date.  On March 19, 2020 a Directed Health Measure was issued by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services extending school closures until at least April 30, 2020.  It is unknown at this time what will happen after April 30th.  We will continue to keep you informed as new plans are developed. Kids Club will be closed while the closure of PLCS is in effect.

Will days be made up at the end of the year, if there is an extended closure due to COVID-19?
We do not know at this time what the plans will be for makeup.  The Nebraska Department of Education has told us that they will be waiving the requirements for students to attend school a specific number of hours. However, we are waiting for specific guidelines.   We know school will not resume prior to April 30. It is unknown at this time what will happen after April 30th.  We will continue to keep you informed as new plans develop.

What will happen if someone in PLCS gets sick with COVID-19?
If we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in PLCS and that confirmed case has been in our schools or had contact with students and/or staff, we will notify parents and staff immediately.   Our goal is to protect the health of our community to the best of our ability.  We want to be very transparent.

Logistical Questions:
How will students get the items they need that are still at school?
We are going to provide times during the week of March 23-27, that individuals can come to the school and pick up their personal items or books and equipment they need immediately. Please note that many items can remain in place in the hope that school is able to return to normal at some point.  We are currently working on a schedule to minimize the number of students in a school to no more than 10. Information will come from your school with specifics regarding their schedule.

How do I make arrangements to pick up my child’s medication that is still at school?
If your child has medication at the school that they need access to immediately, please call your child’s school March 23 -27 to make arrangements for pickup.  Due to special regulations of distributing medication, the school nurse will be involved in the return of all meds. Please note that the school may only be open March 23-27, so please call to make arrangements as soon as possible.

Concerns about events:
Will graduation still happen?
No decision has been made about graduation at this time.  We understand the importance of monumental events like graduation and we want our students to have this experience if possible.  We are currently operating two weeks at a time.  Every two weeks the situation with COVID-19 is being reevaluated and decisions moving forward are being made. Please know the high school principals are looking into backup plans for graduation. 

Will prom still happen?
Both high school proms will be postponed. We know nothing can happen in our schools during the month of April.  High schools are in the process of looking into an alternate plan for prom. We are currently operating two weeks at a time.  Knowing that every two weeks the situation with COVID-19 is being reevaluated and decisions moving forward are being made.

What about Juniors and the April ACT testing? How will that be affected?
The ACT for all juniors planned for April 7 at each high school has been suspended by the Nebraska Department of Education.  As soon as things begin to return to normal, PLCS will provide all parents with alternate dates and the plan for next step with the ACT.

What about spring sports?
As long as schools are closed there will be no practice or activities. 

What about 6th grade parent night or visitation of 6th grade students?
As long as schools are closed there will be no activities or events.  We know nothing will happen in our schools during the month of April.  The transition from 6th to 7th grade is very important. Please know we will be working on alternate plans when we are given the opportunity to open our schools.  

Questions about Teaching & Learning
How will students continue to keep their brains active and learning while school is closed?
By Monday, March 23, PLCS will be sending all families a variety of resources to use to keep students’ brains active.  The plan will include ideas to enhance learning, activities students can do at home, activities you can do as a family and lots of online resources. Printed packets will also be available for pickup at your child’s school for anyone who doesn’t have online access. This information will also be supplemented through contacts and enrichment activities by classroom teachers.  

Why did enrichment activities not begin the week of March 16?
The week of March 16 was a planned spring break when teachers are not under contract to be working. PLCS teachers are very dedicated to the success of your children but they deserve the time off. What has happened with COVID-19 is uncharted territory and certainly not something we planned for during spring break.  We are very confident in the plans we have moving forward to keep students engaged. Please be patient. 

If school is closed for an extended period, how will my senior get enough credits to graduate?
We know school will not resume prior to April 30 so we are actively engaging seniors first as our top priority.  We want to make sure that seniors have the learning they need to graduate and be prepared for the next phase after graduation.  The goal is to keep seniors on track to graduate, if we are in school or not. We are preparing to provide online instruction to seniors in need of credits to graduate. We are currently reviewing each senior’s transcript to determine what credits are still needed for graduation.  We will then determine on an individual basis, what additional learning and grading opportunities are necessary. Communication will be sent directly to seniors and their parents as the plans are finalized. Upon returning from spring break, teachers will be preparing for what the new teaching will look like and education for seniors will begin the week of March 30. 

Will this impact my senior’s Laude Recognition Model? 
Laude Recognition Model will NOT be impacted as it is based on the first 7 semesters of HS only.  Seniors that are continuing to complete graduation credits will continue to receive grades in those classes, but it will not impact the Laude Recognition.

My child is a senior and we do not have internet access or a device for my child to use at home?
We are currently working on a plan to be sure that all seniors have access to the internet and a computer device.   A survey was sent out to identify those that needed support.  If you do not have access to a device or internet, please email helpdesk@paplv.org or call 402-537-6299 and leave a message with name and call back number.  

What if my child is not a senior, what happens to their learning?
Beginning Monday, March 23, PLCS will be sending all families a variety of resources to use to keep students’ brains active.  The plan will include ideas to enhance learning, activities students can do at home, activities you can do as a family and lots of online resources. Printed packets will also be available for pickup at your child’s school for anyone who doesn’t have online access. This information will also be supplemented through contacts and enrichment activities developed by classroom teachers. 

What if my child is not a senior and needs access to the internet or a device to work on?
Currently, we are only focusing on seniors.  Starting March 23, for all other students printed activity packets will be available at the school, if you do not have computer access.  Our goal is to continually update our plans to serve our students.  Please stay posted for more details.

If my child has an IEP or IFSP, what will happen while PLCS is closed?
Our goal for all PLCS students is to keep their brains active during this closure. By Monday, March 23 PLCS will be sending all families a variety of resources to use to accomplish this goal.  The plan will include activities students can do at home, activities you can do as a family and lots of online resources. 

What if my child’s IEP, IFSP, 504 or MDT is due during the closure?
Families will be contacted by their child’s case manager to schedule a meeting via phone or electronic means.

How will my child be graded for second semester, if they are not a senior?
Our focus currently is to have all students continue keeping their brains active through enrichment activities with their teachers and online resources. There are many unknowns at this time.  We know we will not return to school prior to April 30 but we do not know what will happen after that. In perfect world we will get our students back in May and provide them with learning and grading opportunities.  For now, we are operating two weeks at a time.  Knowing that every two weeks the situation with COVID-19 is being reevaluated and decisions moving forward are being made.  This is fluid plan and we will continue to keep you informed as more information and new plans are developed.