Family Information Meeting FAQ

date 9/21/2020

The BHS Leadership Team collected unanswered questions from the Q&A feature during the Family Information Meeting on September 9th, 2020. We hope the responses below provide you with more information. Thank you to everyone who sent in questions and watched the presentation. 

Standardized Tests:

Q. What are the plans for SATs? 

The October SATs have been cancelled. Guidance has arranged with Revolution Prep to offer a practice PSAT for sophomores and juniors virtually on October 17, 2020 and we are looking into an alternate CollegeBoard official PSAT test date in January 2021.  We are also going to provide opportunities for juniors to take a practice ACT and SAT later this fall.   More information to follow in the following weeks.

Q. Will there be MCAS testing this year? 

We will follow state guidance on MCAS testing for the 2020-2021 school year. We will update families when we hear any information from the Commissioner. 

Sports, Co-Curricular, Extracurricular: 

Q. What sports will be running this year? 

Please look for updates from Jim Davis regarding sports. The most recent information can be found on the Athletics page of Belmont High School’s website, or by clicking here.

Q. What will after school programming look like for students? 

We are looking to run after school clubs virtually while we are in our remote model. A virtual Activities Fair will be held the week of September 28th during X-blocks. Students will receive more specific information on this next week.

For specific information about music and theater programs, details about signing up for programs and contact information for teachers, visit the websites below:

  1. PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY - Mr. Flam (THEATER): bhs-pac.org

  2. BAND PROGRAMS - Ms. Lacasse (MARCHING BAND, JAZZ ENSEMBLE, JAZZ COLLECTIVE, PEP BAND, CHAMBER MUSIC): https://sites.google.com/belmontschools.net/lacasse/home 

  3. CHORAL PROGRAMS - Ms. Donovan (MADRIGALS, JAZZ CHOIR, A CAPPELLA): www.sites.google.com/belmontschools.net/bhschoralprogram  

Instruction: 

Q. How can students keep organized and keep track of all assignments and information?

All teachers at the high school will use Google Classroom as the platform to post, assign, and collect work from students this year. Students will receive a Weekly Overview from their teachers each week with the weekly learning goals, assignments, and class times. All course resources will be kept on Google Classroom for students to access as they need.

Q. Are students monitored during asynchronous work time? 

Students will be asked to self-monitor during asynchronous work time as it will not be teacher-directed time. Teachers will be utilizing portions of their 80 minute synchronous course meetings to have students complete asynchronous work and build-up the executive functioning skills needed to prioritize and organize their asynchronous work time well. 

Q. How will students know where to sign in for remote classes? 

Each teacher will have a Google Classroom for each course they teach. Students will use the Google Meet Code assigned in their Google Classroom for each remote course meeting.  

Q. What are the plans to monitor, gather information, and tweak the teaching process throughout the year?

We are committed to monitoring instruction and learning throughout the year. We learned many lessons in the spring and know that if we are going to make the most of this year, we must be open to feedback and have flexible thinking. 

Q. Can we address students who are worried about workload given that they didn’t fully finish the end of the year last year? How will this be accounted for in the fall?

Our teachers are aware that last year’s curriculum was not fully executed in the spring. We have asked all teachers to prioritize curriculum this year in order to support students with the transition and set students up for success this year. 

Building and Safety Protocols: 

Q. Do we still need to call in for our students when they will miss class?

Yes, attendance will be taken and monitored in every class, so if a student must miss class for any reason, parents/guardians will need to call in that absence. The number to call is (617) 993-5999. 

Q. When we are in the hybrid model, what will be done to ensure safe transitions in the hallways between classes? 

We have allocated 10 minutes of transition time so we have adequate time built into the schedule to ensure safe transitions. This will involve staggered dismissals, one-way traffic in the hallways, closing large-group gathering spaces, and developing an orderly system for entering classrooms. 

Q. What type of masks will be required? 

We will be following DESE guidelines for mask requirements. Students and staff must wear face coverings or masks, with exceptions only for those students or staff for whom it is not safe to do so due to age, medical conditions, or other considerations. Students and staff will be responsible for arriving at school wearing face coverings or masks. Gaitors and bandanas will not be allowed. 

Q. How will students be divided into cohorts? 

This will happen roughly alphabetically with an emphasis on keeping family members in the same cohort regardless of school. Adjustments will then be made in order to maintain small class numbers in all subject areas. 

Q. What did airflow tests reveal? Which classrooms are able to be safely used? 

The results of the airflow tests will be discussed at School Committee. The results of these tests are not available yet. 

Q. What is the criteria being used to move from remote to hybrid to in person? 

The School Committee presented and discussed the timeline and metrics being used to move our community from remote to hybrid to in person on August 25th.  The detailed information can be found online by clicking here.

Q. What happens if a student or teacher presents with a runny nose or cough?

Our nursing staff has developed safety protocols and guidelines  to follow when a student or teacher presents with possible Covid-19 symptoms based on information from DPH, CDC, and DESE. All information can be found on their website by clicking here. Additionally, they have created a Quick Reference Sheet for potential Covid-19 related scenarios. That sheet can be found here.

Fully Remote: 

Q. What will happen for fully remote students when we move to hybrid? 

The district is currently in talks with the educators to determine the best strategy for serving fully remote students during our hybrid phase. Once this plan has been determined, more details will follow - including transition from fully remote to hybrid and vice versa. 






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