FAQ

InspireNOLA Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 9/16/20, 9:40 a.m.

START OF SCHOOL

When does school start?

All InspireNOLA schools are currently in session! Classes are currently being held virtually via Google Classroom. Attendance is mandatory, so be sure to log in every day!

In-person instruction will begin with staggered starts by grade as of September 17. Please see the “In-Person Instruction” section below for full details.

Note: Parents will still have the choice to have their child continue with 100 percent distance learning throughout the first semester. 

Will there be any extra-curricular activities or field trips?

At this time, no extra-curricular activities (including school clubs, organization and group activities) or field trips will take place.

Will athletic games and practices still occur?

InspireNOLA athletic teams are following the guidance of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LSHAA). If LSHAA determines it safe for games to take place, spectators will not be permitted.

Is it too late to enroll my child in an InspireNOLA school?

Limited seats are available at some InspireNOLA schools. PreK-12 families who are new to the city, new to public schools, or wish to transfer to a new school for the 2020-21 school year can apply via Late Enrollment through EnrollNOLA. Please note that InspireNOLA cannot enroll or accept any students on our own; all enrollments and placements must go through EnrollNOLA. 

DISTANCE LEARNING

What does 100% distance learning mean?

All InspireNOLA Charter Schools, along with all New Orleans schools, have started the 2020-21 school year with distance learning, as directed by New Orleans Public Schools. This means all students will remain at home and receive instruction from their teacher(s) via Google Classroom.

What if my child does not have access to a computer?

Please contact your school’s IT Manager:

What if my child does not have access to internet service?

You can visit the connectivity section on our resources page for free or reduced-price home internet service options or reach out to your school’s social worker if you need additional support for internet service.

How are classes being taught?

InspireNOLA teachers are live-streaming classes via Google Classroom. If you need assistance, visit our Google Classroom Resources page (También en español). 

Will students receive grades?

Yes, students will receive grades, just as they would receive during in-person instruction. Your child’s teacher can provide specific information on class grades and assignments, and you can review InspireNOLA’s Pupil Progression Plan.

Are teachers taking attendance?

Yes. Just as they did during in-person instruction, teachers are taking attendance for each class. As seat time has NOT been waived for the 2020-21 school year at this time, it is important that students be present for each lesson.

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding Special Education?

If you have a question regarding special education, please call Dianne Lewis at Dianne.lewis@inspirenolaschools.org or 504-330-0062.

What if my child has an IEP and receives specialized instruction?

Our academics team, along with our teachers and administrators, is considering every student individually to ensure they are receiving the personalized support they need. Students will continue to receive accommodations and specialized instruction, as per their IEP.

Will there be LEAP testing this year?

At this time, LEAP assessments for the 2020-2021 are still scheduled to take place.

Who do I contact if I have technical or technology issues?

Please contact your school’s IT Manager:

IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

When will students be returning to in-person instruction?

Under the guidance of NOLA Public Schools, InspireNOLA, and all public schools will begin offering in-person instruction in mid-September. Below is the schedule for in-person and hybrid/blended learning at InspireNOLA:

PreK-4th grade 

  • Thursday, September 17: All 1st through 4th graders return for normal, full-day, in-person instruction. They will continue to attend school in-person daily as of this day.
  • Friday, September 18: All preK and kindergarteners return for normal, full-day, in-person instruction. 

5th-8th grade

  • Monday, October 12: Fall Break
  • Tuesday, October 13-Friday, October 16: All 5th and 6th graders return for normal, full-day, in-person instruction all week. 7th and 8th graders will continue virtual learning this week.
  • Monday, October 19-Friday. October 23: All 7th-8th graders return for normal, full-day, in-person instruction all week. 5th and 6th graders will have virtual learning this week.
  • This schedule will continue to rotate weekly throughout the rest of the semester. 

9th-12th grade

  • Monday, October 12: Fall Break
  • Tuesday, October 13 and Thursday, October 15: 10th and 11th return for normal, full-day, in-person instruction. 9th and 12th graders will continue virtual learning these days.
  • Wednesday, October 14 and Friday, October 16: 9th and 12th return for normal, full-day, in-person instruction. 10th and 11th graders will have virtual learning these days.
  • 9th and 12th graders will be in-person each Monday and Wednesday, while 10th and 11th graders will be in-person each Tuesday and Thursdays. Fridays will rotate. 

If you have not yet completed the Learning Option Form or would like to change your Learning Option for students in grades 5-12, please complete THIS FORM. Parents of students in preK-4th grade should contact their schools directly.

How was the decision made to return to in-person instruction?

NOLA-PS came to the decision to have students return to in-person instruction because of dramatically improve health statistics that have met and/or exceeded all targets. Over the past two months, NOLA-PS has worked closely with the City Health Department to continuously monitor the statistics around COVID-19.   

  • A threshold of 50 or fewer daily positive test cases was set months ago as one of the indicators that the virus is well-suppressed in New Orleans, allowing for a return to in-person learning. For two weeks, and counting, the city has remained below that threshold.
  • Additionally, while testing rates have continued to be high, the percentage of positive tests has remained below the 5% threshold. 
  • As community spread continues to decrease, New Orleans is seeing steady improvements in hospitalization rates. 
  • Finally, testing capacity continues to increase across the city. 

When in-person learning begins, I may not feel comfortable sending my child to school. What are my options?

Parents will still have the option to have their child continue with 100% distance learning once in-person instruction begins. Please note: your choice is binding throughout the entirety of the first semester through December 15. Both in-person and virtual learning will be full days of school for all grade levels, according to the regular school hours. If you have not yet completed the Learning Option Form or would like to change your Learning Option for students in grades 5-12, please complete THIS FORM. Parents of students in preK-4th grade should contact their schools directly.

How do I communicate if my child will return to in-person instruction or continue with virtual learning?

For parents of students in grades 5-12: If you have not yet completed the Learning Option Form or would like to change your Learning Option, please complete THIS FORM. For parents of students in preK-4th grade: please contact your school directly. Please note that your choice reflects your preference for entirety of the first semester. For example, if you choose distance learning, your child will continue to take virtual classes through December 2020. Both in-person and virtual learning will be full days of school for all grade levels, according to the regular school hours.

If I have multiple children in InspireNOLA schools, can I choose different learning options for each one?

Yes. We encourage you to choose the right option for each of your children. For example, if you have two students and one would like to do the traditional in-classroom hybrid learning and the other would like to continue with distance learning only, that will be an option for families. Both in-person and virtual learning will be full days of school for all grade levels, according to the regular school hours.

Will the learning hubs remain open once in-person instruction begins?

No. All elementary/middle school learning hubs are closed as of Thursday, September 10. All high school learning hubs will close as of Thursday, October 8.

Will there be a difference in curriculum between in-person instruction and distance learning?

No. With distance learning, students will receive the same real-time instruction with their teacher via Google Meet as their in-person peers. Any assignments and independent work will be done either in the classroom or as homework for in-person students or via Google Classroom for distance learners. Both in-person and virtual learning will be full days of school for all grade levels, according to the regular school hours.

SAFETY

Are facial coverings required?

All adults and students must wear face coverings. Face covering should be worn in all areas of the school, including in classrooms. Most importantly, face coverings should be worn during arrival, dismissal, and any other transition within the school building.

Are face shields allowed instead of masks?

No. The CDC does not recommend a face shield, so a face shield may not be a substitute for a face covering or mask. Wearing a face shield in addition to a face covering for additional protection is allowed.

Parents/Guardians will be expected to complete a screening at home each morning, prior to sending students to school. If the answer is “yes” to any of the following, students should be kept home:

  1. Does your student have any of these symptoms that are not attributable to another condition?
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell
  2. Does your child have a temperature at or above 100.4 F?
  3. Has your student been in close, direct contact with; or a caretaker for an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past week?

Will temperature checks take place?

Each child’s temperature will be taken and screening protocols will be followed upon arrival at the school and before entering the building.

What happens if a student comes to school and has a temperature of 100.4+ degrees or is exhibiting symptoms?

The student will be taken to an isolation area, which is a room designated for any child who feels unwell with potential symptoms so that they could be kept separate from others until their parent/guardian can pick them up.

Will students rotate classrooms?

Students will not rotate classrooms or transition throughout the day and will only interact with the students in their static classroom. Additionally, they will not utilize the cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium, or other community spaces.

How often will schools be disinfected?

Disinfecting, sanitation, and cleanliness continue to be a high priority in all our schools. All classrooms (including chairs, desks, and other surfaces) will be disinfected daily. Common touchpoints such as door handle and knobs, railings, restroom door latches, etc., will be disinfected at least every 2 hours. Additionally, each school will have hallway hand sanitizer stations that are spread throughout the building, and every classroom will have a bottle of hand sanitizer that students and staff members use throughout the day.

Will breakfasts and lunches be provided for students?

Yes, breakfasts and lunches will be provided to students during all phases and types of learning. When in-person, students will eat meals in their classrooms in their static groups. Students participating in distance learning or in a hybrid model will have the option of grab-and-go meals for distance learning days via pick up on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon at Harte, Wilson, and McDonogh 35 or opt in to our meal delivery service. (Please see question below on meal distribution for more details.)

How will bathroom breaks be handled?

Classes will take scheduled bathroom breaks in order to minimize close contact with students from other static groups. We will limit the number of persons in a multiuser restroom to four at one time. All restrooms will be cleaned nightly and high-risk touch points (faucet knobs, flush handles, partition locks, ADA railings) will be disinfected three times during the day.

What will happen at recess?

Students will stay in their static classroom groups for recess and will be allowed to go outdoors and use playground equipment with proper social distancing practices to the greatest extent possible.

What specific safety measures will be implemented to make buses safe for students?

Bus capacity will be limited based on the phase the state is in at the time and passengers will be spaced to the maximum extent possible. Drivers/aides and students must wear masks or face coverings, and windows will be open to allow ventilation. School buses will be thoroughly cleaned each time after bus service occurs.

Will parents, volunteers and visitors be allowed on school campuses?

No, parents and guardians may walk their student to the school, but they may not enter the building. Parents, volunteers and non-essential visitors are not allowed in school buildings unless they receive approval from School Administration. Visitors and parents/caregivers are asked to contact the school with questions and concerns and to inquire about access to campus to check out their child, drop off medication, etc. Essential visitors are individuals who must enter schools to conduct visits in accordance with Louisiana law or policy.

How will students and staff be able to social distance?

Protocols and signage are in place to ensure proper distancing in hallways, entrances, and other locations around campus. Classrooms and other facilities will be arranged to allow for appropriate social distancing. Physical barriers will be implemented where necessary, students will be trained on how to socially distance and signage and floor markers will be posted to guide students.

How will schools handle COVID-19 positive cases? Will parents of the students and families affected be notified?

In the event that a student or employee at a school is or is presumed to be positive for COVID-19, they will be required to stay home and self-quarantine as per CDC guidance and regulations. All classrooms and spaces in which the student or employee was present will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. InspireNOLA will contact NOLA PS and health officials to determine if any additional steps related to communication, quarantining practices, enhanced cleaning/disinfection processes, or school facility closure. Parents may be notified if their child may have been exposed to the case of COVID-19, along with any next steps.

What will be the protocol for allowing children back to school if they or a family member test positive?

If a school becomes aware of a presumptive positive or positive case of COVID-19, the child should not attend school until determined to be non-infectious by their doctor and are able to provide the appropriate documentation.

Will you enforce rules for wearing face coverings, social distancing, temperature checks, and other safety measures?

Yes. The safety protocols are set by policies and will be enforced like any other rules. Expectations will be clearly communicated, and teachers and staff will make every effort to enforce the policies and rules without disciplinary measures needing to be taken.

Will water fountains be available?

Students are encouraged to bring personal water bottles with them to school, as water fountains will not be available for health and safety reasons. Hydration stations will be available on each floor for students to fill their water bottles if needed.

GENERAL

What tools will be available to help guide parents through emotional health in helping children adjust to the “new normal”?

InspireNOLA, in collaboration with our city and community partners, is committed to addressing the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students, using social-emotional curriculum, restorative practice, and positive behavioral interventions and supports. During the reopening planning, there has been a consistent focus on emotional health and consideration of resources to support parents to help address questions or concerns they may have about their child’s adjustment to school in either model. We hope parents and guardians will reach out to their child’s school counselor, school nurse, school psychologist, school social worker, or classroom teacher with any concerns they may have about their child. These educational and health professionals can provide targeted suggestions based upon the context and specific circumstances.

How are you preparing to help children who have concerns about returning to school?

We are preparing social-emotional supports to ensure students feel safe and comfortable returning to school. In addition to school counselors, school psychologist, social workers, and mental health counselors being available to support the social-emotional needs of students, school and class-wide discussions regarding safety, resiliency, problem-solving, and stress management are planned.

How can parents/guardians help children prepare for returning to school?

Help your children get comfortable wearing a mask and with maintaining appropriate social distancing by modeling these behaviors and practicing at home, where they feel safe. Be on the lookout for signs of discomfort (physical or social/emotional). And remind students that they can speak with their teachers and other school staff if they are feeling anxious, nervous or uncomfortable.

Where can my child go to receive food during distance learning?

In-person pickup: Students enrolled at any InspireNOLA school can pick up grab-and-go meals containing breakfast, lunch, and a snack on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Andrew Wilson, Alice Harte, or McDonogh 35. Every Monday, meals will be provided for two days. Every Wednesday, meals will be provided for three days. Please note, these meals are for InspireNOLA students only (as per federal regulations) but an InspireNOLA student can obtain meals from any of the three sites.

What if I and/or my family need additional assistance during this time?

Please visit our resources page. You may also reach out to your school’s social worker.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have a general information question, please call 504-227-3057 or email info@inspirenolaschools.org. Please contact your school leader if you have specific questions:

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