Reopening - Frequently Asked Questions

Reopening - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs Regarding 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan

How will the Keystone Oaks School District handle exposure to COVID-19 or confirmed cases within the school setting? 
The Keystone Oaks School District has been working with the Allegheny County Health Department and other school districts to develop a plan for handling exposure to COVID-19 or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the school setting. We also received guidelines from the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education in mid-August to assist schools in processing cases. 

By implementing a hybrid schedule in which approximately 30 percent of the student population will be in the building on school days and, therefore, allows for proper distancing, it is not likely that a single case of COVID-19 will require an entire classroom or building to be quarantined. 

Classroom, building, or district closures will be determined by the number of cases within the building or district, as well as the Incident & Positivity Rates within the County at that time. The Keystone Oaks School District refer to this guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and will consult directly with the Allegheny County Health Department to determine if and when to close a classroom, building, or the district. 

If someone becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms while they are in the building, they will follow these steps:
  • Immediately be placed into a quarantine room. One is available in every building.
  • They will be sent home with a referral to see a medical provider.
  • If they test positive, they must remain isolated at home for a minimum of 10 days. They may return to school when:
    • At least 24 hours without a fever (without the aid of medication)
    • Respiratory symptoms have improved
  • The school will conduct contact tracing, in consultation with the County Health Department.
  • Anyone who meets the definition of a close contact will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days. A close contact is someone who has been within 6 feet of an individual for 15 consecutive minutes.
  • Contact tracing goes back to two days before symptom onset or, for asymptomatic individuals, the two days prior to the positive test result.
  • All areas where the student has been will be closed for 24 hours (or as long as possible) before being cleaned and disinfected.
If a student or staff member LIVES with someone who has COVID-19 or has COVID-19 symptoms:
  • The student or staff member must quarantine at home for 14 days.
  • If the person with COVID-19 is able to isolate at home, the other members of the household only need to quarantine for 14 days.
  • If the person with COVID-19 is not able to isolate, the other members of the household must remain in quarantine for 24 days.
  • For example, if an elementary student has a parent that tests positive for COVID-19 and that parent cannot remain in a separate area of the house for 10 days, then that student will be quarantined at home for the 10 days the parent is required to isolate as well as an additional 14 days.
Students who are isolated or quarantined at home will still be able to participate in their classes through Online Synchronous Learning, as long as they are well enough to do so. All of our school nurses, members of our Core Pandemic Team, and members of the Administrative Team will complete a contact tracing course.

You can help us maintain a health school environment following public health recommendations, including maintaining distancing, wearing a face covering, avoiding crowded indoor and outdoor events, and by washing your hands properly.


The symptoms of COVID-19 vary and are similar to many other viruses. How do I know when my child should stay home from school? 
A student should stay home from school any time they have a fever and are taking fever reducing medication. 

Students should also stay home if they have one or more of the following symptoms: 
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • New olfactory disorder
  • New taste disorder
Students should stay home if they have two or more of the following symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rigors
  • Myalgia
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose

What is the reason for the delay in every student receiving a brand new Chromebook device to start the 2020-2021 school year? 
The Keystone Oaks School District recently received the following notification from Lenovo, the company that the Chromebooks were ordered from - 

On July 22nd, the US Department of Commerce added the 3rd party contract manufacturer that Lenovo uses for select education-focused products to their ‘entity list’. The 3rd party contract manufacturer is called Bitland. The ‘entity list’ means that companies like Intel, Google and Microsoft can no longer sell technology to Bitland.  As soon as this information became available, Lenovo took action by stopping production and importation of products manufactured by Bitland.  As discussed, Lenovo is currently evaluating alternative manufacturing sites and production ramp. We will continue providing our partners critical updates as our teams work quickly to operational these plans. This delay is a new development and is unrelated to supply constraints previously communicated. Compliance remains our priority while we work tirelessly to mitigate impact on our customers and ensure a continuing supply of these critical education devices.


I am interested in enrolling my student in the Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy. How do I get started? 
Parents/guardians interested in enrolling a student in the Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy should reach out to Mr. Mark Elphinstone, Cyber Academy Coordinator, at [email protected]. Mr. Elphinstone will work with the parent/guardian, student, building principal, and school counselor to ensure that the student is enrolled in the Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy. 
 
Will students be able to transition between the three education options if the option we initially choose is not working for the student?  
Yes. Keystone Oaks will be as flexibile as possible in allowing students to transiton between education options. Parents/guardians who are interested in switching options should reach out to the building principal directly to make arrangements. For those looking to enroll in the Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy, or change from the Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy to In-Person Instruction or Online Synchronous Instruction, the transition should be able to happen within a few business days. The transition from In-Person Instruction to Online Synchronous Instruction or vice versa should be able to happen within one business day. 
 
If I choose an online option for my student, will my student be able to participate in orchestra and band lessons?  
Yes. Because Keystone Oaks is offering an Online Synchronous learning option, students will be able to participate in lessons via a live Google Meet link. Since Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy provides asynchronous learning, students will not have to be online at a specific time, giving them the flexibility to participate in music lessons with their Keystone Oaks teacher. 
 
If I choose Online Synchronous Instruction for my student, how will they receive the materials (art supplies, instruments, etc.) to complete lessons at home? 
Once Keystone Oaks determines enrollment in the three educational options for the 2020-2021 school year, the District will explore the possiblity of supplying online students with the supplies necessary to participate in lessons at home. Parents/guardians may have to physically pick up supplies from the school for students to use at home. 
 
If I choose one of the online learning options for my student, will they continue to receive support services?  
If you select Online Synchronous Learning for your student, your student will continue to receive support services via Google Classroom, Google Meet sessions, etc. 
 
If you enroll your student in the Keystone Oaks Cyber Academy, the Cyber Academy Coordinator and building principal will work with each family and student on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the student's needs are being met.  
 
If I choose In-Person Instruction for my student, what does it mean that they will attend school between two and five days per week?  
Once Keystone Oaks School District collects enrollment numbers for the three educational options, the District will be able to see how many students chose In-Person Instruction and will be able to determine if, based on the number of students that will be in the building, health and safety measures can be maintained. 
 
In order to limit class sizes, the total number of students in the building, and to allow for additional space on school buses, the District may consider splitting the number of students who select In-Person Instruction in half. When students are not in the building, they would be participating in Online Synchronous Instruction. 
 
If I choose Online Synchronous Instruction for my student, does that mean that they will be on a computer for the duration of a school day? 
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has not granted school districts a waiver on the required number of school days and hours of instruction that students must fulfill. This means that students must attend school for 180 days; elementary students must complete 900 hours of instruction and secondary students must complete 990 hours of instruction. 
 
Students who are participating in Online Synchronous Instruction would participate in classrooms lessons via Google Meet at assigned times. They will not be staring at a computer screen all day, however, as teachers will allow time for students to work independently, with small breakout groups, and to complete other activities. 
 
Will my student have a dedicated online teacher or will my student be participating in classes with a classroom teacher? 
At the elementary level, students who selected Option #2: Online Synchronous Learning will have a dedicated online teacher. For elementary students participating in Option #1: In-Person, Hybrid Learning, on days when students are at home, they will participate in class live with their regularly assigned classroom teacher. 

At the secondary level, dedicating a teacher solely to online learning is more challenging because of the number of courses and because certifications are more specific at the elementary level. However, the middle and high school principals are looking into having dedicated online teachers when feasible. 
 
Will my student be able to interact and connect with other students? 
Yes! A subcommittee of the District's Recovery Team is focused on supporting the social emotional needs of students and staff members. We are working to set up social opportunities for students to connect with other online learners as well as with their classmates who are participating in In-Person Instruction.  
 
Will students and staff members have to wear masks all day in the building?  
As per the July 1, 2020 order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, face coverings must be worn by students or staff in the buildings when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained. The order includes the following as it relates to students: 
  • All students must wear a face covering (cloth mask or face shield) that covers their nose and mouth inside the school and while outside when physical distancing is not feasible.
  • 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.
  • Teach students and families how to properly wear a face covering (cover nose and mouth), to maintain hand hygiene when removing the face covering for meals and physical activity, and how to replace and maintain (washing regularly) a cloth face covering.
  • Schools may allow students to remove face coverings when students are:
    • 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.
  • Transparent face coverings provide the opportunity for more visual cues and should be especially considered as an alternative for younger students, students who are deaf and hard of hearing, and their teachers.

Click here to read full order on the Department of Education's website


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