At Home or Hybrid Learning and Academics

Covid FAQs

At Home or Hybrid Learning and Academics: 

  1.  What is a 'Cohort'?

     A ‘Cohort’ forms groups of students that stay together throughout the school day to minimize exposure to other students across the school environment. This decreases the opportunity for exposure or transmission of COVID-19, facilitates more efficient contact tracing in the event of a positive case, and allows for more targeted testing, quarantining, and isolation of a group of students in the event of a positive case.


  2. How do I know what cohort my child is in?

    You should have received cohort information from your child's school. If you have any questions, please contact your child's school directly.


  3. Can I request a different teacher or a different cohort?

    All cohort change requests should be made to the school the child is enrolled in. They will log the request.  Please keep in mind that it is very difficult to honor these requests due to the need to maintain safe and equitable class sizes. To assist with scheduling, planning and assignment of teachers, we have asked families to commit to their originally chosen or assigned cohort until January 2021.  If you request that your child stop the full distance learning program and return to their original/neighborhood school, there may be a significant waiting period due to the logistics of keeping everyone safe and learning. Most students are starting the school year at a distance, even those who will be in-person part time through the hybrid model.  Therefore, this is a good time for everyone to give this year’s distance learning program a chance.

  4. Does my child have to wear a mask to school?

    Face coverings are required for all students in all grades and staff. Students in Pre-K and Kindergarten will be required to wear masks as of Monday, October 19th and will be required to wear a mask if they ride the school bus. Masks should not be removed for sneezing or coughing. Mask breaks will be provided throughout the day when possible and safe.


  5. If my student has symptoms can they go to school?

    Parents or caregivers should monitor their children for signs of infectious illness and students who are sick should not attend school.  It is important to stay home when you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (temperature of 100.4 or higher without the use of fever reducing medicine like Tylenol). Please complete this short checklist each morning and report your child’s information to New Bedford Public Schools in the morning before your child leaves for school.

    Click Here for Daily Home Screening Checklist

    Anyone who is in close contact (household contact or within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) of a known COVID-19 case should consult their doctor and stay home for 14 days.


  6. What are the expectations for students and their learning?

    All students are expected to participate in school every day, even if learning at a distance. All schools have provided information on schedules, materials and technology to families.  All students should expect to be doing schoolwork, interacting with school staff (at a distance) during regularly scheduled school hours (Click here for school calendars). Distance Learning school work may include working with technology and work that is not technology-based. 


  7. Where can I access resources for learning at home?

    Teachers will be providing all instruction and work for students. Schools and school staff will be providing schedules and expectations to students and families. The District is not publishing work for students (as was done in the spring of 2020). Please contact schools and teachers directly for information on instruction and assignments.


  8. Where can I get my student’s Remote Learning Packet?

    There are no district-wide remote learning packets this year, but teachers may give paper or project based assignments to their students. All learning is being directed by teachers. Student and parents should maintain regular communication with teachers about learning, work, and assignments.


  9. How will assignments be collected or submitted?

    Work will be submitted directly to teachers in a variety of ways. Various online programs will be used for this; technology is being provided to students in order to facilitate instruction, learning, assessment, and grading. 


  10. Will assignments be graded or count?

    Yes. Students will be graded according to the school district’s guidelines. Students must do the work teachers assign, and students should expect regular feedback and grades from teachers. 


  11. Will students receive progress reports and report cards?

    Students will receive progress reports and report cards as scheduled throughout the school year. Elementary school progress reports and report cards will be distributed trimesterly. Middle and high school progress reports and report cards will be distributed quarterly. 


  12. What will Benchmark Assessments look like this year?

    All Benchmark Assessments will be administered online.


  13. Can all families borrow laptops?                                                     

    Distribution of Laptops or Chromebooks is being organized at the school level. Please reach out to your child’s school directly.


  14. I don’t feel prepared to educate my kids at home. What do I do?

    a. Teachers are still directing students' learning. Please be sure to help your student stay in contact with their teachers and school and please reach out directly to the school with questions about learning.

    b. Set up a routine for your child/children can follow each day that includes the time they are required to be doing school work as well as some down time and activity outside of the school day. This will help to reduce anxiety and will help them focus on their task at hand and to have some relaxing, fun activity/play or down-time outside of school hours.

    c. Don’t be afraid to be adaptable, flexible, and willing to make mistakes. Focus on self-care. It’s like the oxygen mask in the plane analogy – make sure yours is functioning before helping others.


  15. How do I help my child with their work if I don’t understand the instructions?                                       

    It’s ok to admit you don’t know. Reach out to the teacher to ask for assistance. The most important thing is communicating about such things right away. If your child is able to reach out to the teacher, have them do so. If your child needs support, please reach out on their behalf. 


  16. How will the school community provide information about our readiness to reopen schools?                                            

    The district will continue to be in close contact with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and we will act in concert with the Governor’s guidance. We are also in regular contact with neighboring school districts to ensure regional response with regard to readiness. NBPS will continue to use current communication channels including the website, automated phone calls, social media, and more to share updates often.

    To update your contact information to ensure you are staying up to date, please visit the NBPS website.