Here is the live link to the Rochester Public Access channel and the meeting agenda.
We’ve gathered some commonly asked questions to provide you with the latest information regarding our programs. We hope you find these answers helpful as you prepare for the upcoming school year.
Q: Can VLACS be our school’s remote option?
A: We can serve as a supplement to your school’s remote option, hybrid option, or standard educational model. The limiting factor for VLACS is funding. The legislature and NHDOE have always supported VLACS; however, two years ago, when the state’s biennial budget was approved, no one could have predicted that we would need funding to meet the needs of students during a pandemic. Please know that we have not exhausted our budget and we will continue to expand to meet the needs of students. This topic is being raised now so that we can be of assistance throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Q: Can schools be given access to student progress data?
A: Yes, we can train school administrators on how to use our Student Information System and provide them with accounts. Our next partnership training session is scheduled for August 20 when we will provide training and access to our SIS. We are also developing one-hour SIS training sessions for school officials. Registration information will be available soon.
Q: Can classroom teachers get access to student progress data?
A: Yes, school administrators who have a VLACS SIS account can download their school’s data into a spreadsheet and then extract the names of students assigned to a particular teacher. Our SIS displays data regarding every student from your school, who is also enrolled in a VLACS course. Making all of this data available to classroom teachers could violate FERPA rules if a teacher does not have an educational need to know about every student in performance of their duties.
Q: Does VLACS withdraw students from courses?
A: Yes, we withdraw students who do not remain in communication with their instructor or fail to complete work on a regular basis. Withdrawal does not occur until multiple attempts to communicate with the students and parents have failed.
Q: I’ve heard you are no longer accepting students?
A: We are accepting student enrollments. Some courses have waitlists, and we are hiring and training new instructors to increase our capacity. We are experiencing an unprecedented rate of growth and may reach a limit due to budget constraints, but we are not at that point now.
Q: If there is a wait list for a particular course, can I still enroll?
A: Yes. As seats become available, students will be assigned based on the order in which the enrollment was received.
Q: How long will it take before a waitlisted course is opened?
A: It’s hard to know given the historic number of enrollment requests we are processing. Please know that we are working hard to meet the needs of students.
Q: What if a course enrollment is not available on the opening day at my local school?
A: Please contact your local school for an answer to this question. One option is that students can work at an accelerated rate in courses in which they are enrolled while waiting for seats to open in another course.
Q: Are you hiring new instructors to expand your capacity?
A: Yes, we have hired 60 new instructors since July 1, and we are now advertising for another group of elementary, middle, and high school instructors.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of courses that a student who is full-time at another school or homeschooled can complete at VLACS?
A: Yes, part-time VLACS students (i.e., students not enrolled as VLACS full-time students) may earn up to six credits between July 1 and June 30.
Q: Does VLACS follow a traditional academic year calendar?
A: No, students may enroll in a course at any time, can work throughout the year, and progress at a pace that meets their academic needs.
Q: Can students withdraw from a VLACS course?
A: Yes, at any time
ROCHESTER — Superintendent Kyle Repucci wishes to share the Rochester Public Schools’ plan for reopening facilities for the 2020-21 school year.
Students and staff will be returning in the fall for full time, in-person learning, with measures put in place to protect everyone’s health. The plan combines the recommendations and guidelines from the Rochester Restart Task Force and the guidelines set by the New Hampshire Department of Education. The plan was presented and approved by the School Board at their Thursday, July 30 meeting.
The first day of school will be Tuesday, Aug. 11 for the Maple Street Magnet School and Thursday, Sept. 3 for the rest of the district’s students.
“This decision was one we made after careful and deliberate consideration, as we recognize all options have significant impacts on our community,” Superintendent Repucci said. “The health and safety of our students, staff and their families has been and will continue to be our top priority. As such, it’s important to keep in mind that this is the plan for now, but that it could change based on the guidance from local, state and federal officials as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. We will continue to keep you updated should any changes occur.”
Some key health and safety measures in the plan are that:
- Masks will be mandatory for all staff and students. Individuals can either bring in their own masks from home or the school will be able to provide them one. Mask breaks will be incorporated throughout the day, including during meals.
- Staff will be going through a two-day training before the start of school to go over safety and cleanliness protocols.
- Students will be screened at home by parents, and cannot attend school if they have a fever or symptoms related to COVID-19. Staff will also be required to self-screen, and cannot come to work if they have a fever or other symptoms. If someone is symptomatic and tests positive for COVID-19, they must remain out of school for at least 10 days after the symptoms first present themselves, at least 24 hours since their last fever and until symptoms improve. If someone is asymptomatic but tests positive, they will be allowed to return after 10 days, as long as they remain symptom-free.
- No outside visitors will be allowed into the school buildings. Should a parent need to pick up or drop off their children, they will need to wear a mask if they get out of their car.
- Classrooms will be arranged to maximize the distance between students and assigned seating will be required. Teachers will also move from classroom to classroom for lessons as necessary to limit the amount of students walking in the halls.
- Hallways will be marked with social distancing and directional markers.
- High touch surfaces, such as handrails and door handles, will be cleaned throughout the day, and each building will be deep cleaned at night.
- Buses will have assigned seating and be loaded from back to front and unloaded from front to back. Those on the bus will be required to wear masks as well.
Information about extracurricular activities will be announced sometime in the near future.
The plan will be flexible in order to adapt to any changes that may need to be made as the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. The plan will be reevaluated every 30 days to ensure that the safety and health needs of students, staff and their families are being met.
Opportunities are available for those who would like to continue remote learning for their students as well. Courses are available on the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) for all students. More information about the program and how to sign up can be found online here.
To view the full slideshow presentation of the fall reopening plan, click here.
Superintendent Kyle Repucci would like to encourage community members to participate in Rochester Public Schools’ first Communication Month this July by updating their student’s contact information.
Rochester Public Schools will be partaking in their first-ever Communication Month this July to promote and urge parents and guardians to update their student’s contact information prior to the start of the upcoming school year.
“During the transition into a new school year, we often discover that parents and guardians have not updated their student’s contact information,” Superintendent Repucci said. “To mitigate the spread of misinformation and to ensure everyone in our district receives updates, we have established July as a Communication Month within our district to encourage people to sign up for our array of communication methods. Each method will provide families with up-to-date information as it becomes available throughout the 2020-21 school year.”
Throughout the month of July, the district asks that Rochester Public School community members update their contact information by completing a brief electronic form on the district’s school websites.
Individuals may update their contact information by visiting the “Parent/Guardian Contact Information” page on their student’s respective school website. This link can be found at the bottom right-hand corner of their school’s website and will remain active until Sept. 4.
All electronic forms should be completed prior to students’ arrival on the first day of school. This electronic form will replace the demographic information sheet that has traditionally been printed and sent home on the first day of school for families to review and return to schools.
“In the past, with our printed forms we have seen a low return rate or forms being returned much later into the school year,” Superintendent Repucci said. “We hope that our change from printed forms to electronic forms will help everyone involved have the most up-to-date and accurate information needed. We also hope that our virtual communication methods will increase the way in which we convey our information across the district.”
The district also urges parents and guardians to update or create accounts for Honeywell Instant Alerts and Infinite Campus, as these services are the district’s primary communication tool used to keep parents and guardians informed.
Honeywell Instant Alerts provides parents and guardians with alerts during emergency situations and updates surrounding daily communication needs. It is an automated notification system that helps to provide vital information using email, phone calls and/or text messages.
- To learn more about how to sign up for Rochester Honeywell, click here
- To learn more about Rochester Honeywell Instant Alert set-up, click here
- To learn more about how to manage your Rochester Honeywell account, click here
Infinite Campus is Rochester Public Schools’ student information system (SIS) that allows educators, parents and students to have access to information such as their grades, attendance and more from anywhere, at any time. Infinite Campus also allows teachers to have tools for managing the classroom and communicating results in real time to students and parents.
To learn more about creating an Infinite Campus account, click here.
The district would like to stress the importance of all parents and guardians updating their student’s contact information for the upcoming school year. The contact information provided on the electronic form, Infinite Campus and Honeywell Instant Alerts is used by the school to generate emails to district members to keep them updated and informed.
Anyone in need of technical support when creating their accounts or filling out electronic forms should call 603-332-3678 or email [email protected]
School specific Twitters may be found below:
- Spaulding High School: @SpauldingHS
- Richard W. Creteau Regional Technology Center: @RWCreteauTech
- Rochester Middle School: @RMS_NH
- Chamberlain Street School: @ChmStSchool
- Maple Street Magnet School: @maplemagnet
- East Rochester School: @ERSchoolnh
- Gonic School: @GonicSchool
- McClelland School: @mclmightymac
- Nancy Loud School: @NLS_Rochester
- William Allen School: @WAllenSchool
- School Street School: @SchoolStreetRSD