FAQ #1 Return to School - April 26, 2021

FAQ #1 Return to School - April 26, 2021
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Westford Academy Q&A Regarding the April 26th Return FAQ #1

Q: Is the survey response binding?

A: The survey was intended to inform us which students are participating in the full-return and which students will participate remotely. In the case that a family has a concern with the choice that was selected, please contact the school to discuss. In the event a student must switch from the selected model to the alternative, we may require a grace period, up to a few weeks, to properly plan for this change.

Q: If we didn’t complete the survey by the deadline whom can we contact to update?

A: For those families who did not complete a survey, your student remained in either the in-person model or RLA. Questions or concerns can be directed one of the administration or you can email our Administrative Assistant to the Deans, Mrs. Kathie Ablondi, kablondi@westfordk12.us

Social Distancing

Q: Why are students being spaced 3 feet apart?

A: Per the Commissioner: The CDC recommends 6’ of distancing in its guidance. DESE will continue to recommend 3’ when all other mitigation measures are in place. This is supported by the World Health Organization, local public health experts, infectious disease physicians, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Governor’s Medical Advisory Board. Please see this letter to Commissioner Riley authored by over 60 medical experts and this study of Massachusetts Schools that was published on 3/10/21.

Q: How will the cafeteria be set up for lunch?

A: Students will be placed 6’ apart during lunch. Outdoor spaces will be utilized as much as possible. Students will be asked to sanitize the location where they sat in lunch before leaving the café. A safe disinfectant wipe known as a FlexWipe, will be available on each lunch table.

Q: What is available for breakfast and lunch?

A: The al la carte area (snack booth) will be available every morning for breakfast items and it will also be open at lunch for healthy snacks and ice cream products The main food line will be divided by ropes and there will be five lines, each line will offer a different cold lunch. There are microwave ovens in the café that are on during lunch only if a student wants to heat up a meal.

Q: Will there be opportunities for social interaction during the school day?

A: There are socialization opportunities, the social distancing will naturally limit the amount that can occur Even at lunch, students will be sitting at tables seated 6 feet apart. There will be outdoor seating at lunch. We have rented a 20x40 tent for the remainder of the school year. Students cannot congregate in the halls or anywhere else in the building. It will be closely monitored. There will be outdoor mask breaks for students to get some fresh air and talk with friends during the transition times.

Sanitizing Stations:

Q: Will there be hand sanitizing stations available for students?

A: Yes, there are multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the building in a variety of locations.

COVID Testing/Contact Tracing

Q: Will students be tested for COVID?

A: We will not be offering pool testing. We can't require students to be tested.

Q: How will contact tracing be handled?

A: Students will have assigned seats in all classes. Our COVID Nurse, Kathy Bourdeau, will be handling all contact training according to the state’s guidelines.

Q: What happens if my student is not feeling well?

A: Please keep your child at home and connect with our school nurses for advice; Joan Mitchell and Kathy Bourdeau. jmitchell@westfordk12.us or kbourdeau@westfordk12.us

Q: How will bathrooms work?

A: Only two students at a time will be allowed in the student bathrooms. Any others will need to wait in the hallway, socially distanced.

In-Person Instruction vs. Remote Instruction

Q: How will instruction look since teachers will be instructing in-person and remote groups simultaneously?
A: We will follow the same procedures from earlier this year. Teachers will have their own methods for managing remote and in-person students. These methods will vary based on the number of students in that individual class who are remote versus in-person, grade level, and lesson type, among other factors. Equally engaging both groups is certainly top of teachers' minds!

Q: What is the schedule?

A: We are moving to the 5 drop 2 schedule with a 9-minute passing time and 26-minute lunch block.

Q: Will individual student schedules change?

A: No, your student will remain in the same classes with the same teacher.

Special Education:

Q: My student receives services as part of an IEP. Will the day and time services are delivered change?
A: The time, day and location that services are delivered may change due to the new schedule and the full return to school. Service providers will be working with students and liaisons to

ensure the students' are aware of when and where their services will be held. Service providers will also be working to ensure all health and safety guidelines are followed.

Q: Will my student's special education schedule change?

A: Liaisons are working hard to maintain the same liaison case load and comply with all service delivery grids. In the event that a schedule change and/or liaison change is necessary, individual families will be informed.

Guidance Counselor Services:

Q: Will my guidance counselor be available during the day?

A: Yes, counselors will continue to be available to students. Counselors will communicate with their students prior to April 26 with instructions on how to arrange meetings.


Q: Will students transition between classes?

A: Yes, there are directional arrows on the hallway floors at W.A. providing a visual for the direction around the building. Students will have a 9-minute passing time/mask break during the school day.


Q: Will students have access to lockers?

A: No. Students should bring only the materials they need for that individual day including a fully charged Chromebook.


Q: How do I register for a school bus pass?

A: Please visit the transportation section of our website or contact our Central Office. 978-692-5560.

Q: How will seating work on the bus?

A: Students will be asked to begin seating in the back of the bus. Back to front based on what time the bus route picks the student up. Students may sit two to a seat with masks on. Students are asked to keep the same seat each day for contract tracing purposes. Windows will be open two inches or more. Note: You cannot ride on a friend's bus. Students can only ride their assigned buses with a bus pass.


Q: Is my junior allowed to park at W.A.

A: Starting on April 26, Juniors may park at school for no additional fee.

After School

Q: What about after school clubs? How will they meet?

A: Advisors will be working with their clubs to find suitable virtual meeting times, and possibly some in person on campus meetings.

Q: WIll there be late buses?

A: No late bus will be provided for the remainder of the year. We are anticipating late buses for the school year 2021-22.

Q: What about athletics? How will those meet?

A: Athletics will continue to run as currently planned. Our Athletic Director, Jeff Bunyon, will be in direct contact with coaches and athletes with any updates. Spring sports are scheduled to begin April 26, 2021, pending School Committee approval.

Morning Arrival

●  School begins at 7:35 a.m. Students arriving after 7:35 a.m. will be marked tardy.

●  Please follow the rules for drop off in the morning. We would prefer students be dropped

off at the school at 7:15 a.m. or thereafter.

Afternoon Dismissal (1:55 p.m.)

●  Bus dismissal will begin at 1:55 p.m.

●  Parents picking students up from school must follow the driveway around the back of the

building. Please do not stop on the side of the building, follow the signs. Thank you!


●  A bike rack is available outside of the cafe doors by the granite blocks.

Please forward any additional questions to me at jantonelli@westfordk12.us I am sure if you have a question, others may have the same question. I will

generate a FAQ #2 if necessary. Respectfully, Jim Antonelli