Virtual Town Hall on the 2020-2021 Plan to Reopen Schools

Just another WordPress site

Virtual Town Hall on the 2020-2021 Plan to Reopen Schools

European PTA: Good evening and welcome to our virtual Town Hall. The European parent Teacher Association is proud to host this event in collaboration with our DoDEA Europe leadership to help share important information about plans to reopen school this fall with our families, schools and communities across Europe Stakeholders were asked to submit questions via an online submission form by noon Central European Time yesterday, and tonight we’ll be hearing answers on a variety of key topics based on your questions Joining us tonight are Dr. Dell McMullen, DoDEA Europe director for student excellence; Dr Charles Kelker, DoDEA Europe Chief of Staff; Mr. Steven Sanchez, Europe East District Superintendent; Dr. Michelle Howard-Brahaney, Europe South District Superintendent; Ms. Melissa Hayes, Bavaria Community Superintendent; Dr. Terry Marshall, DoDEA virtual high school principal and DoDEA, Principal of the Year; and Ms Scarlet Lake, DoDEA Virtual High School Assistant Principal, EU Hub Our European PTA President, Miss Rebecca Caunday-Jacobsen, will be serving as tonight’s moderator At this time, I’d like to invite Dr. McMullen to start the event off with a few words from DoDEA Europe. Dr. McMullen? Dr. Dell McMullen: Thank you, Mrs. Garst, and good evening, everyone. I thank you all for your participation in tonight’s European PTA town hall. We’re grateful to the PTA for providing the special opportunity and for their continued partnership, especially during these challenging times. And we are immensely grateful to all of you, parents, students, commanders educators, and community members who are joining us tonight from around the world. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the way everyone came together to ensure continuity of education for our students this past spring, as a pandemic spread across the globe was nothing short of inspiring It’s important that we maintain that sense of community and combined effort as we head into the upcoming school year. Five months ago when we closed our schools, it was our sincere hope that we would open school year 20/21 back in our school buildings We believe that the routines we established at our brick and mortar schools provide a stabilizing factor in our students lives. And that in person instruction from their teachers is the optimal learning environment for our students. We were steadfast, however, that we would only return to the classroom if we were confident that we could safely operate because the safety of our students, our staff and our communities is our number one priority. As we all know, the topic of school opening is currently a hot button issue that is being debated publicly back home in the US We are confident, however, that given the conditions here in Europe, we are in a good position to open our schools, in accordance with CDC guidelines outlined in our return to school plans. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been locked step with our senior and local military leaders that partnership has been and will continue to be critical to the success of our mission. Rest assured that as we open our school doors in the coming school year, the partnership with our military leaders and the healthcare community will continue to be paramount And we will have protocols and procedures in place that ensure constant coordination. Our return to school plan aligns health and safety practices to CDC guidelines, and DoD COVID-19 Health Protection conditions Our plan incorporates numerous safety measures to safeguard our students and our employees, social distancing, face coverings, limited large group gatherings, and canceling contact sports. And yes, I’m afraid that does include canceling the high school football season this fall

We know this is a time of great uncertainty for everyone. While we believe that we have put into place a comprehensive plan for reopening our schools safely, we also recognize that in person classes may not be suitable for some of the students and the families we serve Therefore, in order to ensure continuity of education for every student, we are offering families the option of a full time virtual school for all students grades K through 12. We are aware that reopening our schools in conjunction with this new virtual option has led to many questions. In fact, we received well over 1000 questions prior to this town hall That is a good thing. We love that DoDEA parents are heavily vested in their children’s education, and concerned about their health and well being, as we are. Obviously, however, we cannot answer 1000 questions this evening But we did find a number of prevailing themes that we will address tonight. So, for this evening’s townhall, we have kept categorized the 1000 plus questions into seven major themes, and we will provide as much insight as we can around those topics We know that we will not answer all of your questions this evening. neither will we alleviate every concern that you have. But I can assure you that this is just one forum for the discussion around this topic Superintendents and principals have been and will continue to provide information, answer questions and participate in military led town halls through the summer and into the school year. This is a challenge, but one that we are prepared for and ready to take on with all of you. Thank you European PTA: Thank you, Dr McMullen. Now it’s time to begin the q&a portion of our town hall. Miss Caunday-Jacobsen, I’m turning it over to you Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you, Ms. Garst. So my first question is for Dr. Marshall and Ms. Lake. First question is, can you provide some details regarding the virtual instructions and how it will compare to in classroom instruction Dr. Terri Marshall: Thank you, Miss Jacobson. I know that’s a loaded question and one that a lot of people want, would like a clear, concise answer. I’ll do my best on this one. So I just want to tell you I’m Dr Marshall again. And I’ve we’ve been doing the virtual school for over a decade now, I think as is mentioned, and there, there are some some differences between virtual learning and in class instruction You use the word compare, and I don’t want to compare because and in terms of what’s good and what’s bad, what I want to do is share you share with you this The virtual online instruction is standards based is based on DoDEA standards The students will get the same standards and curriculum content, it just looks different. It has to look different because it’s on an online environment. We will be purchasing courseware there are specific to the online environment I know you guys had the remote learning in the spring and I teachers did a fabulous job with that remote learning. But there’s there’s some key difference the remote learning tends to mimic the face to face classroom. It’s a bell schedule, it’s it’s all those things because they’re going back into the environment, the face to face we hope within a short period of time It’s not supposed to be an ongoing thing first for the students or for the teachers It’s just a short snippet of time that they can still give the education to our students And with the with the with the purpose of going back into the school without missing a beat in education online looks a little bit different And when we started an online curriculum, we what what we have and I’m going to give you some as a teacher. I’m going to tell you some new terminology. We have something called asynchronous instruction, and what that means is that the

content and curriculum is available to students And in this case, probably parents, too, for the students that access at any time of the day that they that they want to write. They’ll be there’ll be videos, there’ll be a direct instruction videos made by either the vendor or by the teacher And they’ll be activities that they engage that aren’t that are specific to the online environment they were created by for the online environment. In fact, as part of our school, we have what we call instructional designers. And our designers are there to support the teachers to help design the engagement for the students so they can be actively engaged in that online environment similar to the way you want active engagement in the face to face environment Our teachers focus on presence They focus on getting to know the student and to being available for the student But what we do is like we have, what we also try to do is let the student be a little bit independent in their learning as well. So though their due date and their assignments, we don’t actually say from nine to 10, you actually have to do this because we also know there may be times when parents have several kids at home during the things and they need to be able to access the curriculum when it comes to family needs We teachers will have office hours for the kids to make sure that they are in contact with the students, but we have to partner with the parents, because we can’t see them. We don’t always know what’s going on We can tell sometimes through when the students respond to us that there’s something maybe going on, but there’s other things the student the parent needs to help reach out to the teacher to say, hey, there’s something else going on. Hey, my student really maybe may or may not be getting this one point How can we help? We have to be a partnership. Excuse me with that parent As well, feedback becomes imperative in the online environment. Feedback is critical. And that’s where the learning takes place in the online environment as well. We have to be more specific. It has to be timely. And it has to be catered to that for that student We point out what the student does well give them the Hooray, yay. But we also hey, here’s where we need you to improve on And here’s how you can do that And so that’s where the learning occurs within the feedback And again, people ask us about attendance. Well, if the students aren’t turning their work, they’re not attending our school. We don’t have to have to check the box and say, hey, you’re not here. No, it’s Oh, this student has not done this work. We’re contacting the parent right away. Oh, so we are in constant contact, but it is a hand in hand partnership. And I and I will tell you, it’s not like the remote learning I want to emphasize that again You will not have a live teacher doing a live lesson at a particular time of day, and I think that’s one of the critical differences, one of them in the online environment. They are accessible. But sometimes students don’t actually need our assistance, believe it or not I know teachers don’t want to hear that. But every once in a while, they’re able to move forward. And then when they hit a little we call it a productive struggle. That’s where our, our teachers jump in, to get them through to push them through and again, especially in the K-6 arena, it has to be definitely a partnership with our with our parents, because the younger the younger students need their parents coaching, and they need us to help with the curriculum In the K-6 we typically have what we call Parent Guides for the parents as well, because so they’ll know how to help support that student how to help move them along, how to help get into the help, contact the teacher We also have orientations for kids that again, just like they have to learn to be in the face to face classroom, the students have to learn how to learn online And what we’re hoping is that these skills will transcend not just this pandemic, that as you know, as we get older, older college and career readiness, many of our colleges are doing online learning they had to to go through the pandemic, and we want our students to have those tools and supports and know how to have those skills It may not be what they like to do. But a lot of us don’t like to do things. What we do know is we have to have the skills to make sure that we can complete those projects, whether we like them or not, and how do we have those skills? How do we build those tools in our arsenal to make sure that we can do those things So the comparison it don’t like, again, want to say that it’s no good? No, but it’s what’s what you think is best for the child, though did these are DoDEA certified teachers, so you’re not getting some offshoot program, not at all They’re certified teachers, they’re here to make sure your

students get their education that they need in the face to face classroom, but it just looks different. It looks, there’s an online and then there’s the in person. And they will have again, the similar curriculum, they will have similar, um, they will have the same standards, but it will just the instruction will take place differently. And I would like to see if Miss Lake would have anything else to add to that Ms. Scarlet Lake: Thank you, Dr Marshall. Exactly what you said it’s the same standards at certified DoDEA teachers it looks different, that the content is always there, but as you alluded, our teachers will do some synchronous same time support for any student they may do individual it may be small group, it will not be that entire class, but that way they can tailor it. So online instruction, it’s tailored from the start. So I think everything else you’ve covered Dr. Terri Marshall: Thank you One more thing has been comes apart more personalized experiences, Ms. Lake said and I think I did I skip that becomes more of a personalized experience for the student and for the parents and it almost has to be because we aren’t doing a lot of whole group in session instruction with doing small group and individual. So thank you, Scarlet for pointing that out for us. Miss Jacobson, I hope that helps Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: No, it did. It really did. And thank you, both of you, Dr. Marshall and Ms. Lake. Another question for both of you is if a family chooses virtual instruction for the first semester and switched in person for the second semester, will the instruction be in sync so there are no transition issues Dr. Terri Marshall: So the instruction will be in sync we are working with our ISSs all throughout headquarters and the district and make sure that the content covered during the face in person is the same content that’s covered in virtual, it may not be in the same order And again, it may look a little different. But we are making sure that we’re closely aligned as closely aligned as possible to the DoDEA scope and sequence that they have. So the transition shouldn’t should be not a challenge. I will never say nothing is ever seamless But it should be very little, very little transitional issues back into that we are working again closely with the instructional system specialist in charge of curriculum to make sure that that we can do that for our students Ms. Scarlet Lake: And in the pluses that the teach if they go back, the virtual teacher and the person to person teacher are in the same system, so those teachers can communicate, if there’s any question from the face to face teacher they can they can reach out, same email system, same system and ask that virtual teacher so that they can communicate and continue to collaborate, so to minimize any transition issues Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. I think that’s great that you guys are working together And I think that might help a lot of our parents hearing that Another question for both of you, Dr. Marshall and Ms. Lake is for our special education students who enroll in the virtual school, will they be able to receive in person services such as OT and speech? Dr. Terri Marshall: So, um, so what I want to first start off with for, as we answered that question is, is that though the students are coming to the virtual school, they are still enrolled in their local school It is a partnership between the schools We are here to provide the educational instruction for the online but some of their supports and resources will still have to be done at the local school, so that’s why we have to have that partnership with us in the local school, and so I wanted to start up there that they’re not disengaging from the local school or they’re not disengaging from that principal or that counselor that or that, some of the other things that they get at the local school But again, it may look different and then with special education, we will have to look at everybody’s IEPs and 504s, and I will say to ESOL as well, because all those, they’re different. They’re different accommodations and modifications have to be made. And so we’re looking at making sure that we read them and we talked to the parents, there may be times that they have to be adjusted to the online environment And if the services that you said like OT and speech Well, they may get it from some other local school but they may look different. They may do it through a Google Meet or Zoom like this. The guidance has not come completely out because headquarters and I are working together to make sure that we

are looking at all the implications this could have for both the students and the families And so the guidance is being worked on right now. But we will the virtual school does have people with IEP s already about 10% of population in the virtual school right now on IEPs or a 504 plan, so we constantly service them as well But you’re right, one of the things we’ll have to do is evaluate each IEP or each 504 plan or ESOL plan to make sure that what the students get and needed, are they able to retain, but that can’t be a question that can be answered, it has to be questioned and answered individually And so I will tell the people I’m telling our group, our families, to make sure you reach out to the principals at this as well. And if there’s a case so they can look over the IEPs and then and then talk with us and then we can hopefully set up a plan that works the best For these students with special needs or special needs Scarlet? Ms. Scarlet Lake: Nothing to add to that. Yes Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. I was really informative But oh, another question for you. For both of you Dr Marshall and Miss lake is for families who choose virtual will there be an option to maintain level two services for gifted students? Dr. Terri Marshall: So that’s probably I probably could have included that in the last question as well So it’ll be the same, we’ll have to look at the gifted education plan and work with that gifted teacher and they may support it differently in that in in the online environment, they may still be working with that gifted teacher but in a different way with the teacher of record for us. So again, it’s guided, the guidance that will come out and we’ll have their partnership We don’t want to eliminate any service, but I do want to say that remember, we are still in the online environment, and things will look a little differently. And so I don’t want people to say, Oh, it’s going to be exactly the same thing, because there may be some nuances that change with this But that’s why we have to be in constant contact with the family and the local school, and the DoDEA virtual school – it has to be a triad for us Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Right, thank you. And this next question is actually for Dr Kelker. Can families access the school to see the setup of a classroom prior to the job July 28th deadline? Dr. Charles Kelker: Hi, this is Dr. Kelker. And that is a great question. We certainly understand that parents would like as much detailed information on possible setup and protocols that each school will be accomplishing prior to making decisions on if they wish their student to go in person or through the virtual instruction next semester, but unfortunately, that is not an option right now And the reason for that the primary reason for that is that the setup of the classrooms will be dependent on the number of students that opt for virtual instruction. And as you know, that decision, that number won’t be known to us until 28 July So once we have those numbers that will influence how the administrators configure the classrooms and what other protocols that they’ll put in place including decisions regarding social distancing and face coverings. So again, July 28 is a key date for us because that will help us determine how to align our resources for both the virtual and the in-person opening of the schools. So thank you very much for great question Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you, Dr. Kelker, for your answer. And our next question is, again to Dr. Marshall and Ms. Lake. If our families choose in person instructions to start, but we don’t feel comfortable with the safety measures after experiencing them, Can we switch to virtual? Dr. Terri Marshall: So, again, a little bit of a loaded question So, um, we are asking that parents with all the much interesting information they’re getting to make a commitment for a semester. And here’s why There’s a couple of – let’s start with the student reason It is the transition back and forth from students from an online course where to in-person does cause challenges if you keep going back and forth, it’s not good for students. The

students have to get adjusted to the in person teacher just as well as getting adjusted to the online teacher. We know there’s a period of adjustment when school starts no matter what we have, we’re figuring it out like our teachers, what the expectation, all those things, just the nuances, like who the teacher is, who the student is, we all those things, and we’re learning each other and trying to get into a group or routine So any upsetting of that routine causes some challenges and transition issues for everybody involved. So to minimize that, we’re asking that everybody commit to the semester. Also, staffing and though that’s a bigger, it’s a big issue as well. Right now our local schools and I are working together to create staffing that that’s going to be in the best interest of the students So, once we make those decisions, when people try to move back and forth that impacts the staffing, that can impact the social distancing, going vice versa or going to us, it could it could actually throw the pupil teacher ratio off and to a bigger ratio than we ever want for our students So we are going to ask they commit to the semester and in extenuating circumstances, they’ll work with their principal if it’s in person and the District Superintendent and region to make a decision that may that may be an extenuating circumstance be able to help the student but we are going to again ask that they commit for that semester and in extenuating circumstance work with the local school principal, the district superintendent and the region, and they’ll work with the DoDEA virtual school because we want what’s best for students without impacting everybody, every other student as well Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. Ms. Lake, do you have anything else to add? Ms. Scarlet Lake: No I don’t Thank you Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: All right Dr. Terri Marshall: I forgot to ask you, Scarlet Ms. Scarlet Lake: Not a problem at all Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: All right, I’m not trying to give you a loaded questions, Dr Marshall, but let’s hopefully this next one isn’t that way What regular counseling services for emotionally for emotional well being will be provided for our virtual students? Dr. Terri Marshall: So we know that that is something that parents are very concerned with And we understand that and so we’re working with the guidance services and headquarters to to figure out how to make sure that the students get those type of services It could be from the local school that is still happening, or maybe from somebody that we’ve put on staff, what I will just guarantee is that the students will have access to a counselor, they will have access to those services. We just don’t know at this point, who that person will be and where they will sit under Ms. Scarlet Lake: And also our teachers, the virtual option teachers, they will establish rapport with the students and they’ll they’ll do their very best to get to know them. So they will be available. If they see something they can also alert either administration or counselors. So they’re there too, to be someone that’s watching out for the students and their emotional well being Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you both for your answers. And next. Our next question is actually for Mr. Sanchez. Can you explain when, where and how often our kids will have to wear masks during the school day? Mr. Steven Sanchez: Certainly Good evening, everybody Certainly everything that we look at as we’re doing all of this planning comes through the lens of safety for our students and for our staffs. The objective here is to minimize the use of face coverings for students while remaining confident in our commitment to follow best practices for health and safety. First we’re working to see where unused space or inefficient space in classrooms can be adapted to expand the learning environment within each school An additional example of expanding the learning environment would be conducting physical education classes outside as often as the weather allows Then we’re also visually inspecting each classroom to identify and remove non essential furniture and materials. As a final consideration we’ll determine when students cannot remain socially distance of six feet and require the use of face coverings Students will have to wear face coverings during transition periods when they go from one classroom to another. Although it’s yet to be determined, we anticipate students will not be required to wear face coverings during some classes, outside activities, and of course while eating lunch The goal though is to create enough distance in every educational area in every instructional area so that kids can take the mask off. We’re also working to identify more areas for lunch throughout the school, not just the cafeteria

may also be our information centers Maybe additional classrooms could be outside with tables, as well as creating more lunch periods during the school day so that fewer students will be coming to the cafeteria at one time, again, creating more space. Our priority is creating more space thus allowing more student or more distance between students and opportunities to be in their classes without a facemask. When we can’t do that, then we’ll have to be wearing face masks Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you, Mr. Sanchez. Oh, and another question for you is many of our classrooms have too many students to properly social distance. Are there plans to further divide the classes to ensure social social distancing? Mr. Steven Sanchez: Yes, another good question. We’ll have a better understanding of class sizes once we have all the applications from the parents that want to have their children in the virtual school. And once those are tallied, we’ll know how many will be having in our own face to face, brick and mortar classes Based on the number of students enrolled in the virtual school, class sizes can then be leveled In the meantime, as I mentioned a little bit in the previous one, we’re working to see where unused space or inefficient use of space can be adapted to expand those learning environments within each class, excuse me, within each school We’re also visually inspecting each classroom. That’s really the focus of what we’re going to be doing the first two weeks of August to expand the learning environment in each of the classrooms What we’re looking for is, as I mentioned earlier, the non essential stuff. Our teachers frequently create warm and inviting atmospheres for their kids in their classrooms and they augment classroom furniture with personally procured furniture and I give you a for instance, you go into classrooms and you may see a couch, you may see a couple of beanbag chairs, you may see extra bookshelves, something that really makes that environment more, you know, not only aesthetically better, but more functional and more comfortable for kids While we would like to have those things in classrooms, really we’re going to be looking at, you know, while we’re in this COVID environment, taking that furniture out, and the more furniture we take out, the more space we create for students to be apart. And that’s really our goal. We’re looking at multiple configurations within classrooms, it’s possible that we may have some students distance at tables, and we can augment it with desks in classes So even if we can’t have all students, without a mask, perhaps we can rotate within a class period. And some kids can take off their mask if they’re socially distanced, while others still may have to wear those if they’re within six feet. There’s going to be many different things we’re going to try to do to blend to give kids to give kids breaks during the day to not have to wear that mask continuously. Thank you Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you, Mr. Sanchez. My next question is for Dr Howard-Brahaney. The question is, what is the plan for lunches? Dr. Michelle Howard-Brahaney: Evening everyone. That is a really great question. We know how important lunches for our students. So we’ve spent a lot of time really planning and thinking about school lunches. We have been working really closely with our facility leads and our school meal program experts. So we have some really great plans in place. As with the rest of the school day, we’re really prioritizing student health and safety During meals, obviously students won’t be able to wear masks. So our mitigation plans really center on strategies to ensure social distancing, and other proactive measures. So Mr Sanchez mentioned some of the strategies we’re putting in place in other areas and in the cafeteria, we’re thinking about schools maybe serving lunches in the classrooms. Others will add lunch sections and some are looking at alternative seating arrangements and then areas for those lunches for students. Our principals will be able to share a really specific plan as we get closer to the school year opening. There are some commonalities between all of our schools that I wanted to share with you tonight First before students enter, wherever they’re going to be having lunch, we will insist on excellent hand washing and hygiene protocol. So our students will be washing their hands frequently throughout the throughout the school day that will become a very important standard operating procedure as we return students to schools Second, we’re able to offer grab and go lunches at all of our schools across Europe. And this really increases our food safety efforts. So we’re really excited to be able to start the school year off by offering grab and go throughout the entire region And then finally, there’s a plan to clean and disinfect all of

the surfaces between groups of students. So we’ve put in that safety precaution as well Another thing I’d like to mention is that we’re working really closely with our military partners to outline Open Campus lunch opportunities for students, those might look the same as they did last year, but those might change a little bit And so we’re working with, again, each of our military installations to outline that Specific plans will be outlined again by our principals before the school year starts But really, the most important point here is that we realize how important lunch is for students, not just the eating part of that, but the social aspects of that. And so we will make sure that health and safety is our absolute priority during this time Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. Another question for you, Dr. Howard-Brahaney is what is the plan for social distancing on buses, will extra buses be added to ensure spacing? Dr. Michelle Howard-Brahaney: This is another really great question and something that we’ve spent a lot of time on. We’ve worked really closely with our transportation department at all levels at our district levels at our region levels and with our headquarter partners, we really want to put plans in place that that mitigate the issues on buses with students being close to one another So first, we are following guidelines within our host nations, our CDC and then the DoD standards regarding the use of masks on buses and other public transportation. So if you traveled at all during COVID on public transportation, you know that in most places, if not all you’re required to wear a mask So in addition to masks, we will maximize social distancing on the bus through seating arrangements whenever possible So we’ll be working with students to skip seats and things like that whenever that’s possible. But again, if it’s not possible, students will be required to wear masks And our bus drivers will have extra masks in the event that students forget theirs or something like that. And at this time, we’re not adding extra buses Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. All right. My next question is actually for Ms Hayes. Will kids still be able to have recess if not what type of physical activity opportunities will be provided? Ms. Melissa Hayes: So good evening, I am happy to represent our superintendent Mr. Kent Worford in DoDEA, Europe West for tonight’s forum. You know, when you ask students what the most important part of their day is, especially elementary students are going to say either lunch or recess. We know how extremely important recess is to our students We also know from research how important it is to their well being, to have that extra time for outside play. So as we prepare for the beginning of school, we want to be careful to coordinate all of these activities with taking into consideration the Health Protection level, our commands, our host nations, and especially the space that we have for the students to play in So recess will still be held, possibly in conjunction with the lunch schedule as it has been in the past. It might be necessary due to the space to stagger the time for recess in order to limit the number of classes outside and allow for social distancing So as we think forward to the school year, we do know that recess is important. We want to be able to enable those students to have recess in a safe environment and students will be guided to and from recess and they’ll be stopping along the way at the hand sanitation stations to disinfect or to wash their hands as they go to and from recess Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. Another question for you Ms. Hayes is Will there be physical education classes? If so, what will they look like? Ms. Melissa Hayes: So yes, there will be opportunities for students to participate in physical education. And as Mr Sanchez alluded to, when possible, those PE classes need to be held outside so that we can have social distancing In the case of inclement weather PE can be held inside and we would also take into consideration the space for the class and as long as our space does not or the students do not take up more than 30% of the occupied allowed load for that classroom were okay and or as long as there aren’t 50 students in that space So we should be good for PE classes even inside as we have to do so some from time to time for inclement weather. Our content area experts are also working with our teachers to ensure that there are several social distancing activities that can still take place in physical education for students

at all levels Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you, Miss Hayes. My next question is actually for Dr Kelker. The question is what are the protocols and procedures when a student or employee exhibits exhibits symptoms of COVID-19? Dr. Charles Kelker: Well, thank you. We do have DoDEA protocols and procedures in writing available for parents to look at. It’s available on the DoDEA website, it’s prominently displayed. You don’t have to do a lot of clicks to get to it. So if you go to the DoDEA website, you will see that plan there It’s under the DoDEA COVID-19 operational guidelines and protocol documents I won’t read it for time constraints sakes but I will just summarize that if a student is displaying signs of illness, they’ll be referred to the school nurse who will do an assessment, and if they agree that the child should go home, the parents or the sponsors would be contacted and asked to come pick up the child. And also to follow the installation’s procedure Every installation has slightly different procedures for the protocols of reporting to the medical treatment facility and for testing. And if indeed the student is found to be positive, then we would close this school and do a very thorough cleaning and disinfection Also at this time, we would have the principal, our administrators, work with the public health at that installation, the commanders and they’ll make a determination if the Health Protection level, the HP con level should be changed, because if it is changed from Alpha or Bravo to Charlie, then we would have to transition to online learning So they’ll be making that decision locally on what is happening on the ground. Is it an isolated case? Or are we seeing several students and employees displaying illness or coming down with the virus? Dr. Dell McMullen: Could I make a comment, Ms. Jacobsen, along with what Dr. Kelker has shared? Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Go ahead, ma’am Dr. Dell McMullen: I just want to mention that this is an area where our parents are absolutely critical as our partners, I can’t overstate that enough It’s going to be really, really important that our parents keep a close eye on their children And if there’s any indication whatsoever, that a child might not be feeling well or may have a temperature, we’re going to ask that you keep the child at home. We’ve implemented something that we think is going to make this easier for our children Our children love perfect attendance. And so do we. I mean, we’re so proud to give those certificates, but we’re not going to do those. We’re not going to add that pressure to families So just if you can help us out on that, that would be one of the most important things that you could do to help us maintain the safe environment and hopefully curb that potential spread of the virus. Thank you, Ms. Jacobsen Dr. Charles Kelker: And Dr McMullen, that’s a great point because we are asking parents here to check their children within two hours of sending them to school to make sure they don’t appear ill. If there’s a slightest doubt, please keep them at home. We’re doing the same for employees as well. If you know, under the old prior to the pandemic, you’re that soldier, you had a little sniffle, but you went in, because you just had to get the work done And we’re asking, don’t do that Stay home, don’t take the chance of infecting your colleagues or your students. And so a little shift in how we’ve have been raised in the past, regarding how we come into work and that dedication to come into work Stay home if you have the slightest doubt that you’re ill or if you think that your child is ill. Thank you Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you both for giving us that information and about that. And actually, another question for you, Dr. Kelker. Is, and it relates actually to what you’ve already said. Under what circumstances will schools revert to 100% Digital Learning again? Dr. Charles Kelker: Oh, great Yeah, I did touch upon it in my last response. So as long as we’re in Alpha and Bravo we, if

local conditions if the commanders concur, we’ll be doing it in brick and mortar schools. But if we see a spike or we see it going in the wrong direction, we will consult with the installation commanders. And the trigger, as you’ll see, in the guidelines that I mentioned on the website is Charlie, we have to go to remote and Virtual Education Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. Another question we have for you as well is what organized sports can athletes expect to take place for the fall? Dr. Charles Kelker: Okay, well, as you know, I’m Dr. McMullen already mentioned that we will not be doing football because we couldn’t figure out how to use social distance in football. We just could not figure that out If anyone has a plan – no, I’m just kidding No, we are going to have the following, we have cross country. We have modified cheer, the cheerleaders will not be doing stunts, but they can do cheers and they can social distance. We’ll be doing a little modified golf, and in tennis, we will not be doing doubles only singles. And that’s for the fall sports So we are researching, okay, if we can’t do football, what other competitive, appropriate online virtual activities can we sponsor in lieu of, and so we’re researching and looking at that to see if we can incorporate that in our fall schedule as well Something like fitness games, for example, where teams can compete, it’s all done online, but still have that competitive process and still have them working out and outside and, and so hopefully, we’ll be able to offer something like that, in lieu of the sports that we cannot do this fall Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you and actually I have another question that relates just to what you said. What extracurricular activities can our students expect to participate in this fall? Will there be any virtual or in person? Dr. Charles Kelker: I am happy to report that yes, we do have plans for the typical activities that we offer each fall. We are looking at keeping those but doing them virtually Of course, we will not be having large gathering, flying students internationally, or hosting them in youth hostels, for example, because it’s not possible to do the social distancing, so we are researching, looking and working with our school, teachers and sponsors of these events to see how we can transition to a virtual way of accomplishing that The good news is, because if we’re successful and we will be in this transition, we should be able to allow more students to participate. So we’re very excited about that Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. Now we’re going to switch a little bit off of sports. So the next question is, will JROTC run as normal? Will there still be drills, marksmanship and etc.? Dr. Charles Kelker: Absolutely We do have plans to continue that program. Of course it will be and the word that I use a lot is modified, it’ll look a little different. Because you won’t be doing close marching, for example, you’ll be spread out and we have found ways to sponsors marksmanship and also maintain social distancing. So, yes, JROTC will be offered at our high schools this school year Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. And one last question. Can those who choose the virtual options still participate in local school extracurricular activities? Dr. Charles Kelker: Yeah, I’m glad you asked that. Because when the our initial guidance went out, the answer was no. But that has changed. Students who are in the virtual environment may indeed participate. It’s a parent’s choice if they wish to have their children participate in the extracurricular activities. So the answer is yes Ms. Rebeca Caunday-Jacobsen: Thank you. And my last question is for Dr. McMullen. The question is Will ancillary services still be provided for our homeschool students? Just one moment, everyone

Dr. Dell McMullen: It would help if I could figure out where the mute is very quickly! All right, I do want to add just one comment for our home schoolers If you do homeschool, or if you know families or have friends that may, please let the homeschoolers know that they will continue to have access to what we call auxiliary services For example, homeschoolers can still use the school library They can use the school building itself before or after hours, they can participate in music, sports and other extracurricular activities. Of course, they’ll have to follow the local school and installation safety measures that we have in place when they’re using these services But that has not changed. So that may be something you want to help us get the word out to our home schoolers in the event they’re not on the town hall tonight So in closing, I just want to say that I hope this evening has been informative and helpful to you. As I mentioned in the beginning of our town hall, we know that we can’t possibly answer all of your questions tonight We are committed to answering your questions. And we hope that you have enough information now, so that you can make an informed decision regarding virtual versus the in person instruction for your child We know these are tough decisions. This is a challenging time we live in, but we do stand beside you to help you in every way possible make these decisions Again, this Facebook Town Hall is just one of the platforms that we’re using to disseminate information regarding our return to school plans to our parents and our communities Principals, community superintendents, district superintendents and local military leadership will still be hosting their own forums and they stand ready to help you with questions you may have particularly about the specifics of your child’s school We also have a great deal of information in FAQs on the DoDEA website Please know that we are flexible and we’re prepared for contingencies as they arise at arise. Changes in the local conditions and HP con levels will drive our decision making and we’ll continue to work very closely with our military leadership and our healthcare experts to react quickly as necessary In the event that local health conditions change, students will move to the digital learning with their classroom teacher, similar to what we provided at the end of school year 19/20 All of us yearn for the way things were before the virus struck. And before our schools were close to our students, and we will get there. But we must all work together within the constructs of our current reality, to ensure that the health and safety of not only our families and friends, but also our neighbors and communities is a priority as well Therefore, it’s critical that we all come together as partners with a strong commitment to following the CDC guidelines and the DoD regulations I mentioned earlier, parents, we need your help, we’re going to need your help every single day as we return to school. strict adherence to the guidelines around health and safety have resulted in a comparatively positive situation here in Europe. With a continued focus on hygiene and, and prevention and a commitment to teaching our children healthy hygiene to help stop the spread of the virus We have the opportunity to bring our children back to school to allow them the opportunity to regain some normalcy in their lives and to continue to support our military’s mission. The decisions we make will reflect our mission, our priorities and the core values of our DoDEA schools Our guiding vision vision remains the same. It never

changes, excellence in education for every student every day, everywhere. And we thank you all for your continued support European PTA: Thank you Dr McMullen. This brings us to the end of tonight’s virtual Town Hall, ladies and gentlemen Thank you to our honored guests and to the thousands of stakeholders from across Europe who submitted questions and who’ve joined us for tonight’s event We understand that our new post COVID-19 reality presents a lot of changes challenges and unknowns for our students, parents, teachers, schools and communities. We truly appreciate DoDEA’s willingness to collaborate with European PTA tonight to answer your questions and to help get this important information out there to our military communities across Europe For more information on DoDEA’s plans for the 2020-2021 return to school, please visit Thank you all for joining us, and have a wonderful evening! Dr. Dell McMullen: Thank you!