FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We know these are difficult times. We appreciate your patience and questions as we work to provide guidance and answers. Please know these decisions have been made with the best knowledge we have at the present time. As more guidance is given and information is gained, we will update as necessary.
(NOTE: New updates are printed in red.)
Q: When is the last day of school this year?
A: The last day of school for students will be June 2. (Teachers/Staff will end their year on June 4, as scheduled.) Since work is assigned weekly, the last official weekly cycle will be May 25-29. The last two student days (June 1-2) will be used to finish up instruction/lessons, bring closure to the school year and share suggestions for continued learning at home during the summer. EXCEPTION: Students who are taking concurrent classes for college credit will follow the guidance/dates outlined by their instructors/colleges, which are posted on the district website.
The last day of school for preschoolers will be June 1, as originally scheduled.
Q: When can students retrieve items left at school?
A: As soon as we determine it is safe to do so, we will allow students to retrieve items still in the buildings. We hope to proceed as soon as possible after June 1. If we cannot safely allow students to retrieve their own items from their lockers, we will announce a curbside pick-up protocol. Again, the date and procedures will be announced as soon as possible.
Q: When will students turn in their Chromebooks?
A: Confirmed graduates will turn in their Chromebooks on May 19 during Senior Checkout, following the previously announced schedule. Seniors still working to complete graduation credits should keep their Chromebooks and return them immediately upon completion or in the fall if re-enrolling.
‒Students in grades 6-8 and 9-11 will KEEP their Chromebooks during the summer UNLESS they won’t be returning in the fall. If not returning, plan to turn in your Chromebooks after June 1, exact date to be announced.
‒Elementary students will turn in their Chromebooks as soon as we can safely do so. We are hoping to proceed as soon after June 1 as possible. The date and procedures will be announced shortly.
NOTE: ALL Chromebooks MUST be returned to the district to avoid being charged the cost of replacement.
Q: When will families turn in hotspots and Mediacom modems loaned for use during the shutdown?
A: ‒Confirmed graduates will turn in hotspots and modems with their Chromebooks on May 19, following the previously announced schedule. Seniors who are still progressing to complete graduation requirements will need to return them upon completion or in the fall if re-enrolling.‒Students in grades 6-8 and 9-11 will keep these until school resumes in August UNLESS they won’t be returning in the fall. If not returning, plan to turn in after June 1, exact
date to be announced.
‒Elementary students will turn in hotspots and modems as soon as we can safely do so. We are hoping to proceed as soon after June 1 as possible. Date and procedures will be announced shortly.
NOTE: ALL hotspots and modems MUST be returned to the district to avoid being charged the cost of replacement.
Q: How do families register for fall classes?
A: Waterloo Schools will again use online registration which will be open from July 6 – August 14. At that time, families will log-in to complete the enrollment process and provide annual updates for any current Waterloo Schools students through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal. If you do not remember your password, you can call 319-433-1858. The district will send out emails and Connect Ed calls as reminders.
NOTE: Students new to Waterloo Schools will need to register by contacting the District Registrar’s office: [email protected] or by calling 319.443.1872.
Q: When is the first day of the 2020-21 school year?
A: Students will start school as scheduled on Monday, August 24; however, we will be holding a Jump Start program for elementary and middle school students beginning August 3. Priority students for this Jump Start summer school program will be those not engaged this spring, those minimally engaged this spring, and students not yet proficient in math or reading, as determined by ISASP and other district measures. [In addition, parents of students in grades K-8 can request their child participate in Jump Start in August. We will serve as many as possible.] A registration form will be forthcoming. We will monitor the health situation and adjust our plans as needed.
Q: Will we return to school buildings in the fall?
A: At the present time, we are planning to return in person in August. The Iowa Department of Education is requiring districts to file a plan for Returning to Learning, and those plans may utilize online learning for students as necessary. We will monitor the situation, work with officials, and make decisions as summer progresses concerning the exact plans for the fall. Watch for more information throughout the summer.
Q: What is the current plan for graduation?
A: We are VERY proud of our graduates, and we are so sorry their year finished in this manner. We want to honor this amazing milestone in a way that is safe and meaningful. Following guidance from Black Hawk County Health Department and Center for Disease Control guidelines, we will host a virtual celebration that will be shared by June 1 via email, posted on our district YouTube channel, our district Facebook page and aired multiple times on our Mediacom cable channel. Seniors and their families will be able to share the link with friends and family online, so loved ones can view the ceremony from the safety of their homes. We are planning an in-person graduation celebration later in the summer, if it can take place safely. This will be done in addition to the virtual ceremony. Congratulations Class of 2020! Way to go!
Q: What is the plan for recognizing honors and awarding scholarships for graduates?A: Each high school is planning a virtual presentation to recognize the amazing accomplishments of our seniors. Each high school will recognize honors and awards, and they will announce scholarship winners. Some organizations have delayed their announcements for scholarship winners due to COVID-19. We anticipate the presentation will be available for viewing on or after Monday, June 1.
Q: How will 5th and 8th graders be recognized/celebrated as they transition to their new buildings?
A: We are VERY proud of our students who are ready to transition onto their next school building, and we are sorry their year finished in this manner. We want to honor this moment in their lives. All elementary schools are holding virtual “promotion” celebrations. Families will receive information directly from your school concerning dates, times and procedures. All middle schools are holding virtual “8th grade promotion” ceremonies to celebrate this important milestone. Information will be provided directly from your 8th grader’s school. Congratulations to our 5th and 8th grade students!
Q: Will incoming 6th graders and incoming 9th graders get an orientation this year?
A: We are excited for our students to move into their new buildings, and we want to ensure they have opportunities to learn about their new school. On June 1, students in grades 6 and 9 will be sent a video from their incoming school, welcoming them, explaining a few procedures and orienting them to their new building. As summer progresses, we will announce plans for in-person orientation sessions for 6th and 9th grade students, following safety guidance at that time.
Q: How will grades from this spring be shown on transcripts?
A: Grades will be recorded as usual on transcripts. Remember: For concurrent/college courses, students have options concerning their grades. As per college guidelines, once the college course is completed, students can a) accept the grade, b) opt for a pass/fail grade, c) take an incomplete to allow them time to finish by September 14, or d) withdraw. If a student withdraws from a concurrent (college) course, the student will be issued a “W.” Note: Due to the COVID-19 situation, college admissions offices have indicated Ws on transcripts from spring 2020 will not negatively impact students as in past years, which we know can be a concern for admission and financial aid determinations.
Q: How can seniors request their transcripts?
A: Seniors can click on this Transcript Form link to request their transcripts.
Q: How is the district tracking grades and school work during Quarter 4?
A: Assignments post-Spring Break (since March 24) are not graded, however, students are receiving feedback on their completed work, either verbally (email/phone) or online. As per state guidance, we cannot award grades for coursework done during the Voluntary Continuous Learning plan, but there is an expectation that students will complete and turn in their work to stay engaged in learning.
Q: When is the last day a high school student is able to withdraw from (drop) a class?
A: We urge students to work with their teachers to avoid dropping a class. Teachers can provide additional opportunities to redo work and/or show mastery in other ways. Students have until May 22nd to withdraw from a class but we urge you to explore all options before doing so,
Q: Can classwork prior to Spring Break be made up?
A: Yes. Any missing classwork assigned PRIOR to Spring Break may be made up and graded. Make-up work can be turned in through August 28.
Q: Can assignments prior to Spring Break be redone for a better grade?
A: Teachers will follow their classroom grading policies. If a student would like to redo an assignment or test, please contact the teacher.
Q: Will the district hold extended year summer school for students with special needs?
A: Yes. Extended Year will be held for students whose IEP teams have determined eligibility prior to COVID-19. The Iowa Department of Education has asked districts to plan for both virtual and face-to-face options this summer; we are working with the state and Central Rivers AEA on what that will look like. More information will be sent directly to students qualifying for Extended Year.
Q: Will high school students be able to make up (recover) credits this summer?
A: Yes. Virtual learning has always been a component to our high school summer school program; therefore, high school summer school will proceed as normal with students completing courses at home and scheduling a time with summer school coordinators to take assessments.
Q: Where can we get more information about the district’s plan for athletics?
A: The district has compiled information specific to athletics in a separate FAQ document which is posted on our district’s website and will be sent out as a link.