Frequently Asked Questions for Staff

Where is the district getting it’s guidance?ISBE issued a recommendation documenton March 27. This was created during spring break by a group of more than 60 educators across the state.
How can I check my voicemail from home?
  • Dial (815) 784-6222
  • During the greeting, dial 1900
  • When prompted, dial your phone extension
  • During the greeting to your voicemail, press *
  • When prompted, dial your voicemail passcode
  • Follow the prompts to listen to your voicemail like normal
Am I supposed to hold a Google Meet the full time for each period?
  • No, the schedule is to coordinate the times during which you hold a Google Meet or assign work with your students.
  • Streaming sessions (Google Hangouts) should be limited to the time designated in the district Remote Learning Plan.
  • Students are able to work independently of the schedule
How do students get their Chromebooks if they left them at school or didn’t pick them up yet?Students should contact their building administrator by email and make arrangements to meet them at the school to pick up their Chromebook or any other item.
How do students get a Chromebook fixed?If students need to check out a Chromebook or need a Chromebook repaired please email Scott Herrig at sherrig@gkschools.org, or Dan Spear at dspear@gkschools.org or Chris Guzy at cguzy@gkschools.org
Do students need to turn in physical assignments?
  • All teachers should create a method to determine if students have engaged in the work.
  • All teachers should determine effective ways to provide feedback to students.
  • There will likely be limited need for K-2 students to turn in work, given the state’s recommendation that K-2 work focus on play-based experiences and social interaction.
What do students without internet access do?
  • Contact Scott Herrig at sherrig@gkschools.org for at home internet options.
  • Please consider families that have unreliable internet when designing learning activities. Live-stream support sessions should be optional.
Is it okay to expect some students to make progress on new standards while others are working on previous learning objectives?
  • This is an excellent opportunity to provide personalized support for our students.
  • It is appropriate to support some of your students to focus on reinforcing and improving on previously covered material
  • For some students it may be appropriate for them to make progress with new standards.
  • All learners are expected to engage in learning each week and make progress
What should I do with students that have not engaged at all since the state mandated closures began?
  • The initial closure days (March 17-March 30) were considered Act of God days. Those days were clearly communicated as supplemental by the state.
  • Teachers should try to connect with students and families in various ways if students are not engaging.
  • Moving forward, teachers should document students who are not engaging on a weekly basis.
What will happen with students who aren’t engaging with their learning?If students are not engaging, school administrators, counselors, social workers, , and other support staff will work to make contact with families and identify ways the school can support re-engagement.
Are teachers supposed to post lessons for students to complete on Friday? No. Friday is meant to be a “catch up” and enrichment day for students.
If a HS student received a PE waiver for second semester, but now is not participating in a spring sport, does the PE waiver still apply?Yes. If a PE waiver was already approved assuming spring sports participation, the student still does not need to take PE second semester.
Has the last day for students changed? No. The last day for students is still the same: May 28, 2020
How should community and parent volunteers be utilized?
  • Volunteers should not be utilized during Remote Learning. Normal volunteers are able to work in the schools in a controlled environment, which is not the case for remote learning.
  • Parents, on their own, may always engage family members or friends to assist their children. Staff should not coordinate or support volunteers.
Can staff organize car “parades” to help our students feel connected?
  • This is well intentioned and is getting positive media across the country. Despite that, staff should not organize car “parades,” regardless of attempts to social distance during such a parade.
  • Other similar methods to interact with students “at a distance” should not be organized by staff as a district function.
  • When the Governor loosens travel restrictions, this may be reconsidered.
Will the ROE begin to have any office hours so we can get background checks completed?We are waiting for guidance from the ROE regarding office hours and background check requirements.
What should we tell employees that can’t work effectively from home but we need them to work?
  • Providing education is considered an essential service per the Governor’s Official Declarations. This may mean that some employees are required to come in to work to provide services that allow us to continue functioning as an institution.
  • Employees should maintain the social distancing protocol recommended by the CDC if they have been asked to come to school.
  • If an employee is asked to come onsite to work and chooses not to report to work due to personal concerns, the employee should use personal, sick, or vacation leave—or take unpaid leave if no paid leave is available.
Can secretaries that have been asked to work have their office phones forwarded to their home phone so they don’t need to come into work?No. If asked to come in, they need to come in. But they CAN check their voicemail from home at anytime. See the process above.
What should spring sports teams do?The district will follow direction from IHSA.
If a teacher cannot access reliable internet at home, what should they do? Teachers can contact Scott Herrig to determine a location to access regular internet to complete work expectations.
When will students be able to pick up personal items from their school?
  • When the Governor opens schools to the public, we will allow families to enter schools to pick up personal items.
  • If schools do not reopen before the end of the year, the district will coordinate summer pickup opportunities for families.
  • Yearbooks will be available for pickup in the same way.
What if employees are worried about their health and safety when asked to come into work?
  • Educational institutions are considered essential and employees of public and private pre-K-12 schools may continue to travel to work for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
  • All of our requests for employees to come to work are based on the need to facilitate distance learning for students. Those needs may fluctuate based on community response.
  • If an employee is asked to come onsite to work and chooses not to report to work due to personal concerns, the employee should use personal, sick, or vacation leave—or take unpaid leave if no paid leave is available.
What should I do if I or someone living in my home is diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • If an employee has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or someone in the home is diagnosed with COVID-19, the employee should not come to work and does not have to use sick days so long as there is written confirmation from the physician. Written confirmation should be submitted to Dr. Shortridge or Christi Volkening in the HR department. 
  • The employee may use written confirmation from the household member’s physician.
If the district knows an employee or student has COVID-19, what may be disclosed to other employees, parents/guardians, or the public?The district may confirm generally that a positive case of COVID-19 has been reported in the school community but cannot identify the specific student or employee, or that the positive case is for a student or an adult. The Illinois or DeKalb County Health Departments may choose to identify the age of the confirmed case.
What are my time expectations to be available for parents and students?Daily from 9:00-11:00 and 1:00-3:00 for all certified staff
Last year when we used e-learning days, why could we count work that we did during non-work time? Last year the BOE voted to allow 5.5 hours of log time to ‘make up’ days we were not in school. Remote Learning Days are considered school days. While you are only being asked to log 5.5 hours, it is implied that you are working the equivalency of your regular workday of 7 hours (our normal days at 7.5, which includes a 30-minute duty free lunch). Remember we are not making these up.
Can I log time that is not between 9:00-11:00 and 1:00-3:00?Yes, you will have to as that is only 4 hours daily; however, the expectation is that those additional hours would be logged on that same day.

If you ‘log’ 9.5 hours on one day, that doesn’t mean that you only need to log 1 hour the next day...consider it like being at school, if you stayed late to prep you wouldn’t walk out at noon the next day.

Just like school in the schoolhouse, if you have a conflict during your workday, you can use a sick or personal day
Do I have to take Attendance?We are not doing attendance per say - but we are checking on our kids. Look for something you can monitor, maybe they are required to do something on seesaw daily, eSpark, Prodigy, etc. On top of that, we are asking that you make actual contact at least (at least) once weekly. This means you are doing a google meets, calling and talking to the child, or some other district approved means of on-line tool to contact and communicate with your students.

I would keep a list - use your grade book. The highlight means contact was made. The other X's mean that they logged into something. Aim for an X for every day. (P is planning day) (*- is holiday, No School)

Click here to see an example.

This is accountability not just for us, but also for our students.