Information About School Absences for Grades K-6

Please see the message from Dr. Demian Singleton that was sent to families with in-person students in grades K-6:

Dear GCSD Families,

I am writing to provide some information in response to a number of questions from families regarding absences from school for in-person students in grades K-6. Such absences may be due to illness, quarantine, and/or recommendations by health officials to remain isolated while awaiting the results from a diagnostic COVID-19 test.

Below are frequently asked questions regarding expectations and protocols when a student will be absent.

Q. Can my child transition to remote instruction while at home during a period of absence?

No. We are unable to transition in-person students to and from remote classes during periods of absence. This would require shifting to remote class sections, which are already established.

Similar to in-person schooling, students and teachers in these remote classes have established routines, relationships, and communities. Learning groups, instructional strategies, class expectations, etc. have been developed and may not align directly with the scope, sequence and pacing of their in-person counterparts. Additionally, remote classes are at the high end of class size guidelines and we are not able to accommodate new students, even on a temporary basis.

Q. How will my child keep up with missed assignments and classwork while absent?

Absences for in-person students will be addressed as they have in the past prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as you are aware that your child will be absent, you should reach out to your child’s teacher to request missed assignments and guidance. The teacher may be able to send files electronically or provide hardcopy materials for you to pick-up from their school. Additionally, teachers may provide guidance on the use of supplemental and/or online resources for student use (e.g., IXL, iReady, independent reading, etc.). Teachers will also continue to use online platforms (e.g., Google Classroom, Seesaw) to post assignments and share learning resources.

Q. Will my child be able to join their class via Google Meet while absent?

No. Teachers of students in grades K-6 are not expected to stream lessons to students who are at home due to absence.

Teachers of in-person students in grades K-6 focus on engaging and supporting our young learners with high-quality and meaningful lessons. New challenges related to the pandemic (mask-wearing, social distancing, social-emotional needs, etc.) require our teachers to give full attention to their students in attendance. Synchronously instructing students remotely in multiple subject areas while simultaneously attending to the needs of in-person students detract from the overall experience for all students (remote and in-person).

Q. Can my child bring a Chromebook home while absent?

Yes. Students in grades 5 and 6 are provided a Chromebook and are able to bring home each night. Students in grades K-4 do not typically bring devices to and from school each day. If a student in grades K-4 will be absent, you can contact your school’s main office to make arrangements to pick up a Chromebook for use at home. If at any time you need technology support or assistance, please visit the GCSD Technology Support web page.

As always, we appreciate your patience, support, and understanding as we adapt to the many challenges faced during this unprecedented time. We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal with any questions that you may have.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Demian Singleton
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Guilderland Central School District

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