Updated: 2:07PM August 7, 2020
Bangor High School
Return to School: Frequently Asked Questions
Questions are chronologically ordered (oldest to newest):
What are my return options for my BHS student?
Three return options are available to families. Note that all three options have been made available and will run simultaneously:
Full-Time: The student will attend school in-person five days a week on the normal school schedule. This is the option that is closest to a normal school return.
Hybrid Part-Time: The student will attend school 2 days per week and work remotely from home on other days. In this option, students attend on alternating days (for example, attend BHS on Monday and Wednesday, work from home on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday). Students are still required to meet the full expectations in their courses and will complete work at home on days they don’t attend in person.
Fully Remote: The student will not attend Bangor High School in person and will do all of their work from home through a combination of virtual contact with a teacher and completion of work as assigned through a learning management system, including Google Classroom.
The three options will run simultaneously, which means that students returning full-time (five days per week) will attend school with hybrid return students (one group on Monday & Wednesday and a second group on Tuesday & Thursday).
We will have three students at BHS this year. Does this mean they all need to choose the same option for return?
Please contact the school at 992-5502 if you have multiple students at BHS with different choices regarding their return to school.
Will full-return students participate in school-based courses with hybrid-return students?
Our goal is schedule sections that are only full-return or only hybrid students for many reasons. We believe this will be possible for most courses and is our top priority. However, it may be possible to safely combine full-time and hybrid students in some sections of courses depending on the content area and course coverage needs.
Can a student switch from one return type to another?
For many reasons, we are hoping that families will remain with the selected option, but we do recognize that some switching may be necessary for other very good reasons. It should be noted that there may be difficulty in replicating a student’s schedule after a switch because class sizes are being kept intentionally small, and we will therefore be running fewer sections of courses into which a student might move. We hope that families will choose the return option that best meets their needs and that students settle into a learning routine that works well for them through each semester. Generally, however, it will easier in terms of replicating courses when a student moves from a higher level of school attendance to a lower level of school attendance, for example from Full-Time to Hybrid.
What does it mean that BHS has moved to block scheduling and semester courses?
Block scheduling means that classes are scheduled for 80 minutes daily (versus the normal 40 minutes). This keeps students in cohort groups for longer periods of time and cuts in half the transitions between classes.
Semester courses means that a BHS class is started and completed in a single semester, very much like a typical college schedule. Students will take and complete 1-4 courses in the first semester and 1-4 courses in the second semester. This arrangement reduces the number of courses that a student is balancing at one time and is a scheduling model that can work for all three return scenarios (full-time, hybrid, or remote).
What will fully remote learning look like?
Students will not attend school in person. Students will be assigned to a remote section of a course that will be scheduled during one of the four daily block periods. A BHS teacher will be assigned to teach the remote section. At this time, our plan for the teacher to synchronously teach and interact with students (via Zoom or Google Meets) “live” every other day (morning blocks on one day, afternoon blocks the next day). Students are expected to log into the live remote teaching on the days and times for each course they are taking and to complete assigned work independently. Learning will be managed by Google Classroom. Attendance will be taken and letter grades will be earned and issued on the semester level.
My junior or senior is scheduled to attend UTC. How does this impact my decision about a return option for my student?
Our blocks are set up to allow students to attend UTC in the morning or afternoon session at that school, which is independently operated and administered as a stand-alone school.
UTC is opening under a hybrid model, so BHS students will attend UTC two days per week regardless of how many days he or she attends Bangor High School. UTC has not established which two days will be devoted to Bangor students participating in that program on site. Student self-transportation will be allowed with parent permission, and bus transportation will be provided when self-transport is not possible.
BHS students who return full time will travel from BHS to UTC on the days that are assigned to our school. Those days are referred to as their “lab days” at UTC. The days when students are not attending UTC are referred to as remote “academic days” when students are responsible for logging into their class websites and completing assigned work.
BHS is offering a supervised / guided study at the school to support students on those three academic days. Students are not required to participate in those guided studies and may stay at home (PM UTC students) or self-transport home (AM UTC students) for those half-days that UTC is not hosting Bangor students. Note: At this time, UTC is not allowing students other than siblings to travel together by private vehicle to UTC.
For BHS students who return hybrid to BHS, it is possible that their days of attendance at BHS (Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday) will not line up with the days that our students are scheduled to attend UTC (which are not yet determined). In that scenario, students may self-transport to UTC, or they may come to BHS by bus and participate in supervised / guided study for the half of the day when they do not have BHS courses.
In addition to block scheduling, what safety and prevention steps are being taken at BHS?
Key elements of our safe return plan for when students attend school in-person, which reflect the core prevention and safety measures established by the CDC:
- Separate entries designated by class to allow for distancing.
- Hand-washing upon arrival and frequently throughout the school day.
- Requirement of masks for all students and staff upon arrival and throughout the school day.
- CDC distancing guidelines observed in all classroom spaces.
- A combination of single direction foot traffic, staggered releases, and between-class sanitation of spaces to reduce contact and contamination.
- Elimination of locker and cafeteria use, including lunches brought to classrooms.
What will arriving and leaving school look like?
Students will arrive at school either by family-provided transportation (recommended by the CDC) or by bus (recommended to be limited by the CDC). Each grade level will have a designated entry: Seniors Lower A, Juniors Peakes Doors, Sophomores Back Gym Door 1, Freshman Back Gym Door 2.
Masks must be worn upon arrival. Temperature and symptom checks are no longer recommended in schools as a screening measure. Students will proceed to hand washing stations and then on to their first class, with staff posted to ensure distancing / non-grouping. Students who eat breakfast at school will be provided a place to safely eat with distancing. Classrooms will be set up with proper distancing. Students will not access lockers but may have backpacks for the school materials.
Dismissal will be through the exit door closest to the student’s classroom at the time of dismissal. All foot travel throughout the day and including dismissal will be directed based on the area of the building and to maintain distancing. For example, a student who ends the day in classroom at the end of upper A Wing will follow one-direction stairs at the end of the wing and travel down and out exit door.
Will the return choice affect my children’s eligibility to participate in sports, if they’re available. Do you know what sport seasons are looking like at this time?
We have not finalized plans regarding athletics, but do plan to offer them provided that the governing body of athletic and co-curricular competition sponsors those activities this fall. At this point, there is speculation that major shifts in seasons etc. are likely. A student’s eligibility to participate in sports depends on
One of my kiddos has a 504 in place, will this still apply regardless of selection? How will this fit in?
504 plans are in place for all learning scenarios (in-person or remote). Counselors will review 504 plans and hold virtual meetings to ensure that accommodations are in place and adjusted as necessary to the learning environment chosen by families.
I am available to transport my children to BHS in the mornings but am unable to provide it at the close of the school day. Is this a time where busses would be provided?
We are committed to providing bussing as necessary, and we will be censusing each bus in the first days of school to ensure that stay under the maximum number of riders. Please call the main office at 992-5502 to indicate which bus letter your student(s) will ride– and indicate that the bus will be taken in the afternoon but not in the morning.
Are you allowing kids to wear full face shields instead of a mask? Or what types of masks are considered ok?
The following requirements for face coverings was updated by the Maine Department of Education on July 31 (https://www.maine.gov/doe/framework/part-I/#risk)
Masks/Face Coverings – Adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear a mask/face covering. Students age five and above are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth. (Updated 7/31/20) Masks are recommended for children ages two to four, when developmentally appropriate. (Updated 7/31/20). Masks/face coverings must be worn by all students on the bus. Face shields may be an alternative for those students with medical, behavioral, or other challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings. The same applies to staff with medical or other health reasons for being unable to wear face coverings. Face shields worn in place of a face covering must extend below the chin and back to the ears.
How is the school prepared to address students who refuse to wear a mask?
MDOE guidance is very clear that masks must be worn by staff and students. They have also clarified that non-compliance is a valid reason to excuse a person from in-person participation in school. We are taking this requirement very seriously, monitoring compliance very closely, and addressing non-compliance very responsively.
When will students receive a course schedule? And, is it correct that each student will have 4 courses 1st semester (half year) and 4 different courses 2nd semester for a total of 8 courses for the year?
We hope to have schedules finalized by August 18th. A student will have up to four courses in the first semester and up to four courses in the second semester. It is very, very rare for a student to have eight classes in one year (the minimum is six courses). We are in the process of balancing courses by semester in an effort to avoid students being overloaded in either semester, but we are not yet able to say with any finality when courses will be offered, which ones must be limited or eliminated for this year (but resumed next year), or how many students do end up with an overloaded / imbalanced semester. Once student schedules are finalized, they will be made available to families and students online (through Infinite Campus) and will be mailed to families in hard copy.
How will AP courses work within the semester schedule, and what are the implications for AP exams?
AP courses will be scheduled in both the first and the second semesters. Parents have expressed concern that students taking courses that end in January will wait until May to sit for the exam– and those who take a second semester AP will not be done with the course prior to the May exam. Teachers of AP courses are well aware of these challenges and will adjust instruction to ensure that students are prepared to perform well on exams. Additionally, the College Board (the AP Exam developer) provides great online resources that students can access to prepare for / stay fresh on concepts and skills that appear on AP Exams. Also, the College Board was very responsive last spring and adjusted exams in a way that fairly accounted for interruptions that students experienced due to the pandemic. While it is too early to know if / how those adjustments to exams will be made, but we are confident based on a long history with the College Board that students will be provided every opportunity to succeed on AP exams despite the changes to instruction that the nation’s schools are undergoing.
Recording of Friday’s YouTube Live Q&A on Reopening Plans and Return Options for BHS Students
Questions that were addressed (in whole or in part) during the Q&A session:
The outlook posted on the Bangor School District site has an update date of yesterday — can you tell us what changed between the 31st and the 6th in the doc?
Can you please talk about the ventilation system, if it’s been upgraded, how; and will there be HEPA filters in the classrooms?
For those kiddos who will be doing hybrid days, will they be able to attend sports when they are offered and attend the Art Academy?
My son is signed up for UTC automotive engineering. He is strongly considering hybrid or remote learning. How will this work?
Will remote students be able to continue in the Arts Academy?
Are we locked in when we make a choice or can we change our minds if it doesn’t work out for us
Are there going to be sports this year?
What is the policy for student mask-wearing and how will it be enforced?
If we choose remote, for instance, for the fall semester, can we change our choice for the spring semester?
Do you know what has changed since July 31 to August 6?
What will happen with Band? And other music classes/groups ?
For hybrid/remote students, will you be livestreaming actual classes? What is the meaning of “teacher contact” in remote programming? Will remote/hybrid classes be different sections?
What is going to be the masks policy
Masks – are there specific requirements (double or triple layers)?
Will families be able to know ahead of time about the Art Academy. As we have chosen Hybrid, however if this will not be offer then we may keep our children home for remote.
Will remote/hybrid classes be different sections from in-person classes?
What are mask breaks?
Will students be able to bring their own lunches to eat in the class instead of school lunches?
Is there going to be any remote learning or is it in school?
What does gym class look like for a remote student?
When will we meet to discuss 504 for children who have and or need them
How many students per class, especially level 2 classes?
Will remote students be allowed to participate in sports this fall if there are sports seasons?
My son does not have his schedule yet. Will he receive this on the first day?
Why are daily temperature/symptom checks not recommended any more?
Have any teachers clarified how they will handle fully remote classes- synchronous or asynchronous?
Are we going to be having lunch in the cafeteria?
Will the new 9th graders still have a step-up day and how will that work?
How are lunches being handled/how is the school going to have students 6’ apart for lunch?
Will students still be able to bring their own IPads or laptops instead of using school materials?
Will JROTC be happening?
Will the school be practicing the 6 feet apart and not the 3 ft part that has been talked about in other schools
How will AP classes be run next year with regards to the block schedule and the May exam dates?
Will masks be provided to students?
Are students in one classroom all day
How are home rooms assigned?
Will there be snow days? Or will those be remote learning days now?
What is the plan for avoiding too many people in the hallways between classes?
If a student chooses the hybrid version– is the class section the same?
Are students allowed to bring backpacks?
What is the plan if an in-person student tests positive for Covid?
What is the response if someone in the school tests positive? Also, if someone is symptomatic, are they required to stay home for 14 days? What if they have to wait for a test result ?
Can students bring backpacks?
Can they bring their own lunches?
What will students physically entering and exiting the school look like?
What about homework etc. for those who take longer to complete assignments?
It would be helpful to have the hybrid/remote schedules sketched out in a visual (Lewiston has a good visual). For those of us who benefit from pictures.
Will students be allowed to bring laptops from home and will chromebooks be traveling back and forth from students’ houses and the school?
Can you please speak to the plan if there is a confirmed case?
School bus masks?
I would also like to know what the plan is if there is a conformed covid case and if there is a suspected case.
Will masks be provided to students?
Will concerts still be held for performance classes?
Would students and teachers who were in a class with a Covid positive student then have to quarantine for 2 weeks?
When we go back to school is it going to be half days?
Will this format eliminate snow days?
Will students be able to bring their own masks. or will they need to use the ones provided at the school?
Can students wear a mask and shield with mask removal if shield is on for mask break?
What will the procedure be for students entering the building first thing in the morning?
To clarify something said earlier: If a student opts for remote learning, they will have half-day classes that each meet once per week? They will not follow the 80-minute block scheduling?
What is the extra burden on teachers for running three return types at once?
Will live classes be recorded so if a child misses it or gets distracted, can go back and review it?
For parents bringing kids to school and picking them up. is there a way to help the school with where we enter and exit and pick up?
Will there be temperature and symptom checks?
Will band and orchestra be offered in different semesters?
Are SATS happening in August and/or October?
In hybrid sections – will kids learn remotely with their teachers on at home days? Will teachers be repeating in person lessons with each section or moving forward with at home kids watching by video?
How is the students overall progress towards graduation be monitored? What will happen if one cannot get classes need to meet graduation requirements ?
If a class / pod of full time students gets sent home for up to 2 weeks for a positive case -will they immediately transition to fully remote?
Are after school activities still available and if so will they be through zoom or google chat?
Are we going to be 6 feet apart on bus and bathrooms?
Will there be temperature screening or symptom checking?
The SAT will be given to any interested senior on September 23 or October 14. These are school days because there is no school entry on Saturdays.
Will there be PSATs this fall?
Will students be able to take ASVAB testing?
Have there been additional school nurses brought in for this year. Will a nurse be there 5 days a week?
Will band and orchestra be offered in different semesters?
Will students have the option to participate in clubs still?
Will remote classes be recorded in case the child misses the class or if they got distracted they can then review it after?
Are teachers/staff who are at risk able to work/teach from home?
For those choosing remote learning, will there be an organized laptop/book pick up?
Will this eliminate snow days?
Thank you for offering this. We have been able to get a lot of our questions answered. If we have more questions should we email the guidance counselors or call?
Is there a concern of not finding a sub?
How will classes with a lab component like chemistry be handled for students who are learning remotely?
If things improve and the CDC says i’s safe is there a possibility that the second semester’s guidelines will be less stringent?
So students desks will be 3 feet or 6 feet apart ?
What is the busing plan?
So that means 80% of students will be on campus on any given day. Does this allow for spacing requirements? That seems tight.
Are there going to be restrictions for students parking in the student parking lot?
If someone tests positive will they need a negative test to return?
Still a question about what the protocol would be for students who came in contact with a student or teacher who tests positive for covid? Do they have to go remote for two weeks to quarantine?
If someone tests positive, are you sending home everyone in their classes (teachers and students)? What will they do for the next two weeks?
What is the total number of students that will be in each class
Can you explain how hybrid attendees are taught on remote days?
12-14 students seems to be the same amount as before?
How will 5 day students mix in with hybrid students? Will they be in a separate part of the building taking their classes?
Is there a way to put in two possibilities i.e. hybrid versus full-time?
Where there currently appears to be limited interest in remote learning, will honors classes still be offered to those that opt for remote learning?
What is happening with fall sports?
When are we going to be going back to school?
How will classes run if a teacher opts to teach from home?