Frequently Asked Questions


Is the hybrid instructional model still an option at the elementary level?

No. We will continue to utilize the in-person and fully online option, if needed, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

What about contract tracing?

Contact tracing remains the same as it has been, at 6 feet and a mask. You can find information regarding this on the New York State Contact Tracing site

What will happen to Advisory groups that were occurring on Wednesdays?

The middle school and high school are looking at different options to keep the connection between cohorts A, B, C and D.

Will extra curricular activities be available for cohort D students?

We will continue to offer cohort D the opportunity to participate in extra curricular activities either on-campus or remote, depending on each individuals unique situation.

How is the cohort D schedule changing?

All students, including cohort D will have a full day of instruction on Wednesdays.

Starting the week of April 26th, students in grades PK-5 will follow the daily schedule as assigned by their classroom teacher.

Starting the week of May 3rd, students in grades 6-12 will follow their bell schedule on Wednesday.

What if I have concerns about the amount of screen time my child will have under the various learning models the district is using at this time.

Please contact your child's teacher or principal to discuss your concerns.

What about prom and graduation?

Our plans are currently tentative. The staff at the HS are working with the School Government to create more concrete plans based on the updated guidance.

Questions about transportation

If you have questions about transportation contact Fisher Bus at

Questions about food service

If you have questions about food service contact Anne Rich at


My child is in cohort D, what impact does this guidance have on them?

Students in cohort D will remain in cohort D for the remainder of the school year.

Beginning April 26th, PK-5 students will attend remote classes Monday-Friday.

Beginning May 3rd, 6-12 students will attend remote classes Monday-Friday

How has the physical distancing guidance changed from the beginning of the year?

For elementary schools (grades PK-5) the physical distancing requirement was reduced to a minimum of 3 feet between students in classroom settings.

For secondary schools (grades 6-12) the physical distancing requirement has not changed as reflected on the Community Transmission Indicators, which can be viewed here. When schools cannot maintain cohorting, Middle and High Schools must maintain physical distancing of 6 feet between students in classroom settings.

What about barriers?

According to the CDC's March guidance, physical barriers are not longer recommended for mitigation where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Masks are still required.

Does my child still have to wear a mask?

Yes. Facemasks are required at all times except for at meals. During meal times, 6 feet of physical distance will be maintained.

Will there still be mask breaks?

Yes. Mask breaks will be staggered to allow for 6 feet of physical distancing at the same intervals as our current plan.

What if my child is vaccinated?

Asymptomatic individuals who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous 3 months, who have screened positive for COVID-19 exposure may remain at school. Anyone with symptoms must be immediately sent home with instructions to contact your health care provider. District protocol for this procedure can be found here.

Where will my child be eating meals and snacks?

Buildings will be utilizing classrooms, gymnasiums, and cafeterias with single desk chairs to allow for appropriate physical distancing while eating without a mask.

Snacks will be part of our regular in class elementary routine. Students snack time will be staggered to allow for appropriate physical distancing while eating without a mask.

What is the transportation survey I received?

Families with children in grades PK-5 received a survey through Operoo, to complete by the end of the day Thursday, April 15th. The purpose of this survey is to help the district plan for the greatest amount of physical distancing on our buses. Responses to this survey will be used for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

My child is in grade PK-5 and will be riding the bus every day - how will they be seated?

We will continue to be thoughtful about seating on our buses by prioritizing in the following ways:

  • same household

  • same classroom/cohort

  • same bus stop

My child needs an alternate site for transportation. What do I need to do?

You will need to complete an Alternate Site Transportation Form. Please know that this change can take up to 10 days to process so getting your form completed early is essential.

Elementary Alternate Site Transportation Form (click to access)

Secondary Alternate Site Transportation Form (click to access)

When will the Community Forum be happening?

The community forum will be held virtually on Thursday, April 15th from 6pm -7pm. Questions can be submitted ahead of time to before 3pm on Wednesday, April 14th.

Please use this link to join the meeting. Registration to join the meeting will be required.

My child attends the MS or HS, how do we know which Wednesdays they attend in-person?

An updated cohort calendar for the MS and HS can be found here, indicating the resumption of in-person learning on Wednesdays, with cohorts alternating every other Wednesday.

My child is in grade 6-12. When will they be required to follow their bell schedule on their off-campus days?

All grade 6-12 students in cohorts A and B will be responsible for following their in-person bell schedules on their off-campus days starting Monday, May 3.

Do we still have to complete the daily health screening form in Operoo?

Yes. Families will need to continue completing the Health Screening form in Operoo for the days their child is attending school on-campus.


We signed up for a district issued iPad but we have our own device at home. Do we need the district issued iPad?

No. If you or your child has a device at home they will still be able to access the same sites and apps as those students with a district issued iPad. The apps are pre-loaded onto district issued devices because the App store is disabled.

Using Seesaw on your personal computer or mobile device...

Seesaw works great on any computer or device! CLICK HERE for Step-by-Step Directions for downloading the Seesaw app on your personal device.

A short video will be posted to the Parent Tech Support page to help with logging your child into Seesaw in the coming days.

But what about all of the other apps my child will need to access?

We use a service called Clever to make logging in to most of the apps students use for school easier. Here's how to sign-in to Clever. Students at PK-2 using iPads can use the Clever app.

Who do we contact if we no longer need a district issued iPad?

If you no longer need the district issued iPad that you signed up for through Family ID, email


Contact your child's building administrator with building specific questions

  • AES - (716) 646-3350

  • BVS - (716) 646-3240

  • CAS - (716) 646-3370

  • UPES - (716) 646-3280

  • MS - (716) 646-3250

  • HS - (716) 646-3300

Access to the Slides from the Parent Forums

Are the school start and end times changing?

No, school start and end times are not changing. Each building is working on arrival and dismissal plans that will space out students entering and leaving the building. These plans will not impact the start and end times.

What does student drop off/pick up look like, especially since more families will be choosing this option?

Each building is working on plans specific to their building. This information will be shared with families prior to the start of school.

Kindergarten, 6th Grade, and Freshman Orientation?

Families will be notified directly by their child’s school with plans for orientation.

Will students 100% online be able to participate in things like Academy of Finance, music lessons and clubs?

The district will make every effort to schedule students 100% Online in the same classes they would have had in-person. Students that are 100% online will still be able to sign up for after-school clubs, as they will be taking place virtually.

100% Online students are important members of the school community. How will the district build a shared school community with remote and hybrid students?

Building a shared school community with remote and hybrid students is critical. Remote students will still be able to sign up for after-school clubs that take place virtually, with their hybrid counterparts. Throughout the year as building specific events are scheduled, remote students, when appropriate will be invited. In addition, students in the 100% online model, will have opportunities to come together virtually with other students in the online model, to create a shared community of learners online.

How do I find my child’s Student ID Number so I can register for the Parent Portal?

Your child’s ID number can be found on their registration information. If you cannot locate the number, call your child’s school and they will be able to assist you.

Please note that the Student ID Number can only be given in person or by mail; it cannot be given over the phone.

Further guidance on Parent Portal can be found on the District website under Parent Portal Information

Who do I contact if my transportation needs change?

Please contact Fisher Bus at or (716) 588-7766 regarding specific transportation questions.

When will the school supplied masks be given to staff and students? Are the masks adjustable?

Masks for staff will be distributed on the first day of teacher attendance, and masks for students will be distributed on the first day of student attendance for each Cohort. One staff mask is adjustable, one is not. Both student masks are adjustable.

How will Health Checks be completed? Do they need to be submitted on days that students and/or staff are not on-campus?

Health checks will be completed at home by both students and staff. Parents and staff only need to complete a health check on the days they learn or work on campus. Additional information on how to submit the health check at home by students will be shared prior to the start of the school year.

Will there be any teacher support available should questions come up on Wednesdays?

Yes. Students will have a scheduled synchronous learning opportunity with their class and the teacher will also have scheduled office hours to support individual and small groups of students.

Will 100% online learners receive the same curriculum as students that are hybrid?

Online learners and those participating in the hybrid model will receive similar instruction. Teachers teaching online will work closely with those teaching in-person to ensure that the scope and sequence is similar, based on student needs, and covering the same content. The District recognizes the dynamic nature of the learning models and wants to ensure all students are receiving a high quality education regardless of modality.

How does my child stay current with instruction if they are required to stay home and quarantine due to COVID like symptoms?

Students will be able to stay current with instruction through Google Classroom (grades 3-12) or Seesaw (grades PK-2) through our traditional Homebound Instruction model. This has always worked extremely well. Families can reach out to their child’s teacher if there are any questions about work their child may be missing.

Kindergarten Screening? What will that look like this year?

Kindergarten screening will occur during the regular school day by the child’s teacher. For kindergarten students that are 100% online, the screening will occur remotely. For all kindergarten students, screening will be completed by October 30th.

What if our child is struggling with the work they are given on off-campus days?

Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns you may have.

When does each cohort start the school year?

All students' first day of attendance will be September 10th. Cohorts B and C will begin in-person on September 10th; Cohort A will begin in-person on September 14th.

To whom can parents direct issues if they are concerned about course content, the amount of teacher contact or the substance of online learning?

It is always best to contact your child’s teacher directly (regardless of the learning model your child is enrolled in) to discuss questions or concerns you may have. If you still have concerns after speaking with the teacher, students enrolled in the Hybrid model can contact the building principal for further conversation.

For families whose students are enrolled in the 100% online model, contact Kaitlin Sylvester at or (716) 646-3200 ext. 7208 if you still have concerns after speaking with the teacher.

If my child is sent home for symptoms, will a negative COVID test result be enough to go back, or will they still need a doctors note?

A child may return to school if they have received a Negative COVID-19 test result, or if it has been 10 days from onset of symptoms. In any event, a note from a healthcare provider stating they are cleared to return is required.

Are masks required outside?

Masks are required to be worn by students while on the playground or if within 6 feet of others. If students are socially distanced at 6 feet or greater, for example, during outdoor instruction, masks may be removed.

Are mask breaks all at the same time or individual?

We have great teachers in Hamburg, and we are confident that they will use excellent judgment to determine how mask breaks will occur in their classroom.

How will students in the MS and HS pass in the hallways and maintain the 6 foot distance?

Students will be instructed by staff to walk to the right and remain 6 feet apart and must wear a mask. Staff will be visible during the passing of class to help students remain physically distanced. Signage will be posted on walls and floors reminding students to remain 6 feet apart.

If my child is enrolled in the hybrid model and we become uncomfortable sending them to school, can we switch to 100% online learning?

Please contact your child’s school to discuss concerns you may have.

Will before/after school programs be offered?

Yes. Southtowns YMCA will continue to offer before/after school programs at all 4 of our elementary schools. Please contact the YMCA for enrollment information.

Can children bring their own face shields?

Yes, however, a mask must still be worn with the shield.

Where can parents find a resource to help them and their kids navigate online learning while at home?

Families can email with technology questions/access issues. The district has also created and continues to update Parent Tech Support and Student Tech Support pages.

Will the Wednesday schedule for students be the same each week?

Students will have scheduled times to meet synchronously with their class and teacher on Wednesdays, but it is difficult to say that the schedule will be exactly the same for each Wednesday. There will also be opportunities for students to meet 1 on 1 or in small groups during teachers office hours. Teachers will provide a week at a glance each Wednesday so families can plan for the week ahead.

How will students with IEPs and those with special services receive them? Will they be covered during the 2 days on campus or will it be mixed based on need?

Case managers and services providers will work to develop a schedule to meet the needs of each student. This may include a combination of in-person and telepractice sessions, depending on each child’s unique needs. If you have specific questions about your child’s services, reach out to their case manager.


In a hybrid model, is the cohort at home logging into and following along with the class that is in-person.

No. The cohort at home will have a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities.

If the district has to shift to an Off-Campus learning model, what will be the structure?

Details to the structure of this model are still being worked out. Once a model is solidified, information will be shared with families.

The form to opt-into 100% Online Learning will be extended to Sunday, August 16th at 9 p.m.

The form can be accessed HERE

In a hybrid model, how many students will be in a classroom?

On average 50% of the students in class will be in person on a given day. For example, a 5th grade class with 28 students will have 14 students in-person on cohort A days and 14 students in-person on cohort B days.

What are the cleaning routines and procedures throughout the district?

The district has developed a Cleaning Standards Handbook for COVID-19 that can be found within the plan but also accessed HERE.

Is there a requirement for students to be available during normal school hours for online learning when they are not in school?

Yes. We are required to take attendance daily for students both in-person and off-campus. We will work with families to accommodate their unique circumstances.

If my family has opted for 100% Online Learning, will my child's teacher be the same if/when we return to on-campus learning?

No. All students will have a certified teacher providing the online instruction.

Will remote learning look the same as it did from March-June?

No. There will be expectations for students and teachers for remote learning. There will synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities scheduled, attendance will be taken daily, and grading will occur.

If my family opts into a 100% Online Learning model, will my child(ren) have access to the same classes they would have in-person?

The district will make every effort to schedule students 100% Online in the same classes they would have had in-person.


Are students eating lunch in their classrooms?

Elementary and Middle School students will eat lunch in classrooms. High School students will eat in the cafeteria and other designated large spaces to allow for proper social distancing.

Will lunches be served?

Lunches will be delivered to Elementary School classrooms. Secondary students will be "grab and go" or pre-boxed lunches. For additional information, see Reopening Matrix: Child Nutrition in the Reopening Guide.

With an increase in the number of families driving kids to school, will the district be planning for improvement of traffic flow for drop off and pick up at all of the schools?

The District is aware of the concern of increased vehicular traffic and is reviewing the impact on a building basis.

Are students allowed to bring their own hand sanitizer?

State guidelines prohibit hand sanitizer from being transported on school buses. Students are allowed to use their own hand sanitizer while in the school building.

Are we required to wear the masks that the district is providing or can staff and students wear their own masks?

The school district will provide students and staff with 2 washable masks. Students/staff may wear the masks provided or bring one from home. For additional information, see Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Cloth Face Coverings in the Reopening Guide.

How will social distancing work in restrooms?

Only sinks in restrooms that permit for social distancing will be functional. Toilets will remain divided by partitions already in place. To the extent possible, teachers will schedule restroom breaks. Signage will be placed reminding students to remain physically distanced. Staff will reinforce this new expectation. For additional information, see Social Distancing in the Reopening Guide.

Are students required to wear a mask in class?

All students will be required to wear a mask while in school. Mask breaks will be scheduled during instructional time.

Are desks going to have shields all the way around them?

Desks will not have shields or dividers around them. Students and staff will remain physically distanced and wear a mask while on campus. Mask breaks will be scheduled.

Can teachers wear shields while instructing instead of face masks if they are 6 feet away from their students?

Teachers may wear shields while instructing but must wear them in conjunction with a mask.

When will cohorts be determined? Will students stay with a specific group all day? If so, how many children can be in a class?

Cohorts A and B will be designed so families with children in multiple schools are in school on the same days.

  • Families with multiple last names will default to the oldest student in the household’s last name.

  • Adjustments to student assigned groups may be made as necessary for classroom size, bus capacity, or other reasons to achieve the desired goal of fewer students in school buildings.

The number of students per room is dependent on the square footage of each space, however spaces can only accommodate a maximum number of students while remaining distanced of at least 6 feet.

Cohort information will be shared during the week of August 17th

Due to a medical condition, my child may require more mask breaks than other students, what should we do?

Please contact Colleen Kaney in Pupil Services at for assistance with this type of request.

How are children arriving to and dismissing from school and social distancing?

Each building is in the process of developing plans to address procedures for arrival & dismissal to include social distancing requirements.

Will students be socially distanced during lunch time?

Yes, students must remain physically distanced during lunch. For additional information, see Social Distancing in the Reopening Guide.

How is the district planning to improve ventilation and air flow in the buildings?

Ventilation systems will be set to have the maximum amount of fresh air forced into the building as possible. Filters will be changed at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer. Staff will be encouraged to open windows, weather and safety permitting.

How will social distancing work on buses?

The bus will be loaded from back to front, households will sit together, students will be assigned seats. For more information, see Reopening Matrix: Transportation in Reopening Guide.

I can transport my child one way but not both ways. Who should I contact?

Please contact Fisher Bus at regarding specific transportation questions. For additional information, see Reopening Matrix: Transportation in the Reopening Guide.


Will all students receive a Chromebook?

All students in grades 3-12 will have a Chromebook for them to use in school and at home.

Students in grades PreK-2 will have the opportunity to request an iPad to use in a hybrid or off-campus learning model. The process for requesting an iPad will be shared closer to the start of the school year.

For additional information, see Technology and Connectivity in the Reopening Guide.

Is the District providing an online option for families that do not want to send their child(ren) back to school in the fall?

Yes. Families have until August 12th to opt into 100% online learning using this form. Please note that this process will be reviewed mid-year. Additional guidance regarding 100% online learning will be shared with families closer to the start of the school year. For additional information, see Instructional Scenarios in the Reopening Guide

Can the District provide any information for parents that decide to homeschool?

When a parent chooses to homeschool their child they are responsible for the teaching and learning of their child based on the NYS Homeschooling Regulations. When families choose to homeschool their child, a packet is sent to complete which provides useful information in the homeschooling process.

Can students with Special Education needs go to school 4 days a week?

In a hybrid mode, students with special needs placed in a 12:1:1 or 8:1:1 and English Language Learners will attend school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. All students with an IEP will receive programs and services through a combination of in-person learning, teletherapy, and synchronous and asynchronous learning in the hybrid learning model. For additional information, see Special Education in the Reopening Guide

If I sign up for 100% Online Learning, what will this look like for my child?

The District will provide a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning for students in this model. A certified teacher will be assigned to provide this instruction. Additional information will be shared with families opting into 100% Online Learning, closer to the start of the school year.

How are special education students going to receive services under the Hybrid and Off-Campus model?

In the hybrid model, services will provided in person and via teletherapy to the extent practicable. Parents will meet with their child's case manager and service providers in September to discuss services and IEP implementation - each student's plan will be individualized. For additional information, see Reopening Matrix: Special Education in the Reopening Guide.

How are special education students’ goals going to be progress monitored in an Off-Campus model?

Case Managers will be checking in regularly with students with special needs. Case Managers will gather the necessary data throughout the semester to be able to accurately assess and support the students’ IEP Goals. For additional information, see Reopening Matrix: Special Education in the Reopening Guide.

How will Physical Education classes be conducted?

Each building is working to determine the best plan of action to accommodate physical education, while maintaining proper social distancing of 12 feet. More information regarding what this will look like will be available prior to the start of the school year.

How will the Pre-K program run in a Hybrid Learning model?

Our Pre-K program will run on the same hybrid learning model as K-12 in both the AM and PM. Rooms will be sanitized in between groups in the morning and afternoon, as well as on Wednesdays and Fridays, in between cohorts.

Will students have access to remote learning if they are required to miss multiple days of school due to COVID-19 symptoms, testing, and/or quarantine?

All teachers will be required to create and maintain a Seesaw (PK-2) or Google Classroom (3rd-12th) for each of their classes. Students will still be able to access and participate in the learning while at home, through their classrooms learning platform (Seesaw or Google Classroom). Students in this circumstance will follow the traditional homebound instruction model.

In a Hybrid Learning model, will students off-campus be learning online?

Yes. In a hybrid model, students will continue their in-person learning on the days that they are off-campus. These experiences might include, but are not limited to: completing online modules or tasks; viewing instructional videos; responding to posts or instructor questions; engaging with other class participants in an online or phone discussion; conducting research; doing projects; or meeting with a teacher face-to-face, via the online platform or by phone. For additional information, see Reopening Matrix: Teaching and Learning in the Reopening Guide.

What if my child attends a BOCES Program, like Potter Rd? Will they still be able to attend?

The district will work with area BOCES to ensure that students continue to have access to Career and Technical Education programs, whether through in-person, off-campus, or hybrid models. Erie 1 and Erie 2 BOCES Reopening Plans can be found using the following links:

For additional information, see Career and Technical Education in the Reopening Guide.

Will service professionals that are not employed by the District be allowed in the buildings (ie. Physical Therapist)?

Yes. Agencies that we contract with to provide services to our students are considered essential and will be allowed in the buildings. These individuals will be required to complete a wellness questionnaire which includes monitoring of their temperature. For additional information, see Reopening Matrix: Facilities in the Reopening Guide.

Will teachers be able to hold class outside, weather permitting?

Yes. All teachers are encouraged to consider how they might extend the learning space to outside, when appropriate. For additional information, see Social Distancing in the Reopening Guide.

Will presentations for students and parents be permitted to be scheduled during evening hours?

No. Until further notice, buildings will be closed in the evening to allow for proper cleaning and sanitizing of our buildings and facilities. For additional information, see Social Distancing in the Reopening Guide.

Will there be any chorus, band, or orchestra ensembles this year?

Each building is working to determine the best plan of action to accommodate band, chorus, and orchestra, while maintaining proper social distancing of 12 feet. More information regarding what this will look like will be available prior to the start of the school year.

How are the needs of special education students being addressed in the Reopening Guide to ensure FAPE?

We will provide special education programs and services in a manner which ensures the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for all students with a disability regardless of the mode of instructional delivery (i.e. in-person, hybrid, or remote). IEP implementation during in-person, remote or hybrid instruction will be delivered in a manner consistent with current NYSED Office of Special Education (OSE) guidance. Programs and related services will be delivered to the greatest extent possible in a manner that ensures the health and safety of students with disabilities and staff delivering services.

How will Physical Education classes be conducted?

Each building is working to determine the best plan of action to accommodate physical education, while maintaining proper social distancing of 12 feet. More information regarding what this will look like will be available prior to the start of the school year.

Will elementary students be traveling to special area classes like art, music, and PE?

Special area teachers in the elementary schools will be traveling to students classrooms. Teachers are encouraged to expand the learning space by taking students outside, when appropriate.


How is Hamburg being proactive to address the Social Emotional and Mental Health struggles students, staff, and families may have when returning to school in the fall?

Social Emotional Learning has long been an area of focus for the Hamburg Schools, and we will continue to emphasize this for students and staff during this difficult time. We understand that time will need to be spent connecting with students and adjusting to being back at school. We made a change to the District calendar to include 4 days for professional learning days for staff at the beginning of school. This will allow time to remind staff of what to look for and how to respond. We will build off of the training all staff has had in Youth Mental Health First Aid. For additional information, see Social Emotional Learning the Reopening Guide.


Will Reopening Guide information and updates be posted on the District website?

Yes. The Reopening Guide, Superintendent's communications, and Emotional Support Resources can be found on the district website by going to: > About Us > HCSD Reopening Guide

What consequences will there be for those not following COVID-19 protocols while in school?

The District Code of Conduct Committee will be convening to review and revise the current code of conduct and add any additional guidance specific to COVID-19 protocols.

When will the District hold an open/live-streamed meeting for students and parents to ask questions and hear directly from administrators?

Three virtual parent forums are in the process of being scheduled. Additional information regarding accessing these forums will be forthcoming.

  • August 19th @ 9am

  • August 19th @ 6pm

  • August 20th @ 12pm

How can families best engage with the reopening process to ensure that their questions and concerns are adequately addressed? Are older students given the opportunity participate in these meetings?

The stakeholder committee and all three working groups had parent representatives included to share concerns they are hearing from families in the community. As this process continues, reach out the appropriate representative for your concern and/or contact your child’s building. In addition, we encourage families to participate in any of the parent forums scheduled the week of August 17th. For additional information, see Community and Family Engagement in the Reopening Guide.