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Frequently Asked Questions

August 19, 2020

Please refer to our Reopening Plan for the most detailed and up-to-date information about any matters pertaining to special conditions this year.


When does school start?

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 8th.


Will all students attend school every day for normal school hours?

Yes. All Fire Island students are currently scheduled to attend school every day from 8:00 to 2:35.


What precautions is the district taking to protect students and staff from exposure to COVID-19?

The district has modified the school program to incorporate common practices which have proven effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19. These include: daily temperature-taking, wearing masks, maintaining 6+ feet of social distance whenever possible, constructing transparent barriers, increasing the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning procedures, promoting handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer, ventilating indoor spaces, and making contact tracing possible.


Do students need to take a COVID-19 test to return to school?



Is the school able to test students and staff for COVID-19?



Is the school required to provide a distance learning program for my child if I don’t feel comfortable sending him/her to school?

No. Students who are enrolled but not in school will receive homework from teachers as they would under normal conditions in any other year. This includes self-quarantine. Please contact the school if there are documented medical reasons you do not feel comfortable sending your child to school at this time.


Are there any changes to transportation?

Yes. Buses will run with only one student per seat to provide as much social distance as possible, and students will ride with the same cohort to and from school. There will still be bus service to/from Islip, West Islip, Captree, and Bay Shore Schools, but more buses will run.


Will all students need to wear masks?

Yes. Masks are required for anyone to board a school bus or enter the school building; however there will be times when students can remove masks, including lunch and designated mask breaks.

In general masks can be removed if satisfying the following three conditions:

  • There is a need (i.e. to eat, drink, play a wind instrument, catch your breath, relieve discomfort or anxiety)
  • There is a fixed social distance or barrier in place
  • It is for a defined period of time


Will students be required to have any special supplies this year?

Other than masks, there are no special supplies required schoolwide for this year. Classroom teachers may still request students have certain items for their individual class.


What are the best masks to get?

Any mask which covers the nose and mouth and is fits snugly around the chin and bridge of the nose is acceptable for school. Bandanas and buffs cannot be used.


Will students have to sit at their desk and stay in one classroom all day?

No. Each class will have guaranteed use of the gymnasium during daily physical education and recess periods, which will not be mixed with other classes. Classes may also use outdoor spaces as weather permits. Teachers will manage classrooms to include mask breaks as well as breaks from sitting.


Will students still have music, art, library, and physical education classes?

Yes. These classes will remain a required part of the school program whether in-person or remotely. For in-person schooling, students will remain in their home classroom for lessons in art, library, and classroom music. The gymnasium will remain available for physical education and recess, as well as outdoor spaces when weather permits.


Will students still have music lessons in band instruments?

Yes. The band will not rehearse as an ensemble, as it is not anticipated that there will be an opportunity for a traditional performance involving a live audience and groups of students performing, but students will still have the opportunity to continue learning band instruments through small group lessons.


Will the library be closed?

The library will be closed to the community and students will not visit the library, but students may still borrow books with the assistance of the school librarian.


What should I do if I find out my child was exposed to someone known to have COVID-19, or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after contact?

Please notify the school immediately, and if the child is not in school at the time, please do not send him/her to school.


What if my child receives a positive COVID-19 test?

Please notify the school immediately, and if the child is not in school at the time, please do not send him/her to school.


What should I do if my child is not feeling well before leaving for school?

Take your child’s temperature, and if it is 100 or higher please do not send him/her to school. We will be taking the temperature of all students and staff every day, and anyone with a consistent temperature reading of 100 or higher will be sent home. If your child genuinely does not feel well but has no fever, please consider keeping your child home anyway in case his/her condition worsens as the day progresses.


What if my child starts not feeling well while at school?

If a student wishes to see the nurse, or a teacher believes s/he should, the teacher will call the nurse to come to the classroom. The child will wait for the nurse in a seating area that will be just outside each classroom. The nurse will examine the child and make a determination about his/her health and ability to return to class and notify parent(s) or guardian(s) accordingly.


Will there be after school clubs?

No. All extra-curricular activities are suspended for the 2020-21 school year.


Will there be field trips?

No. All field trips are suspended for the 2020-21 school year.


Will students eat lunch in the lunch room?

No. Students will eat lunch in their own classroom with their own class only.


Under what conditions would the school need implement a hybrid learning model?

If enrollment exceeds a number of students that the school can safely transport and/or house in the building at one time, students would be divided into “A” and “B” groups, with only one group coming to school on a given day, alternating back and forth (A-B-A-B-A-B…) All staff will still report to school every day and the group at home will learn “asynchronously” (without live, real time communication with teachers) using distance learning tools.


What will happen if the Governor declares that schools must close again?

The school will revert to its distance learning plan and continue to provide instruction to all students in all subjects.