FAQ on how to proceed with online learning

Western New York Maritime Charter School is committed to following the NY State Dept. of Education and Erie County health safety protocols for your child which resulted in a closing of all Erie County Schools until April 20, 2020. As a result, you are probably curious as to what our school has in place to continue educating your child and supporting them even at a “distance.” Below, you will find some Frequently Asked Questions that we can offer advice on now that we have clarity from our government
officials which resulted in rigorous staff planning and work on Monday, March 16th and
17th 2020. As always, if you have any further questions, please contact your child’s teachers or our schools directly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is Remote Instruction/On-Line Learning/Distance Learning?
This is a relevant curricular digital platform utilized for emergencies or course supplementation. The WNY Maritime Charter School (at both the Middle School and High School) will have all course information and teacher assignments posted to their respective teacher web pages. You can access the Faculty Directory very easily by clicking here: https://www.wnymcs.com/apps/staffStudent Portal can be accessed here and Parent Portal can be accessed here.

Why would our school make a decision to offer remote instruction?
Due to the fluid situation with COVID-19, preventative measures such as remote instruction, may be instituted to ensure the safety and health of our students, staff and families. The length of the school closure was decided by government officials in cooperation with the Center for Disease Control on incubation periods for the COVID-19 virus to be contained as much as possible and to not spread at high rates throughout the community.

My family doesn’t have internet access at home. What should my child do?
Our school will work with families that do not have access to the internet or a cell phone that can access teachers’ web pages. Please contact your child’s teachers to make arrangements for alternate assignment pick up at the school. Please note: Spectrum will offer free broadband internet and wi-fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students which do not already have a broadband service. You may contact Spectrum at: 1-855-707-7328.

What happens if my child needs help with an assignment or has questions?
Teachers will be available to answer questions via email or another agreed upon digital platform from 9:00am - 11:00 am and from 12:00pm - 2:00pm each day, starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. T eacher email addresses are available on each staff members’ website page.

How long will my child have to complete assignments?
It is up to the teacher to set reasonable deadlines. We are being extremely creative on what work is being posted and how grades and assessments will be determined. We assure you that we are flexible and caring during this time of crisis.

How will student work be submitted?
Students will be able to submit work by sending it directly to their teacher by email, Google Classroom, Schoology, or other platforms that our teachers already use and some of which our students are already mostly used to. If the assignment was not done in a digital format, a picture or scan of the work can be provided.

What if my child is sick and does not do the assignment?
A child who is excused due to illness will have the same amount of time to make up the work as with any typical absence from school. Again, our staff is here to readily support you and help you to succeed while they are not physically present at our schoolbuildings.

My child has special needs? How will he/she work on assignments?
Our special education teachers, related services providers, and specialists will work with classroom teachers to modify assignments as appropriate and to identify how best to provide remote instruction for individual students. Our special education teachers will also keep logs with parents, students, and teachers about the collaboration necessary for your child to be supported through their IEP, 504, or ELL needs and not be overwhelmed.
 
What if my special needs student has an IEP meeting and school is closed?
Schools are looking at options such as holding meetings at a later date or holding conference calls. Our special education teachers will reach out to families individually if this becomes necessary.
What if a student is being evaluated for special education services? Schools will be working to complete current evaluations in a timely manner and we will notify you when our work is complete.
 
How will students that rely on breakfast and lunch be able to eat while
not in school?
Please refer to our Commandant’s letter on our website for opportunities for our students to receive free breakfast and lunch. Our Buffalo and local area school districts have sites for meals to be picked up, as well, and we urge you to look into what your local neighborhood has already set up for you..
 
We ask that you have your child check our school website each day starting on
Wednesday, March 18th and check in with their teachers each day according to the
instructions that they give.
 
How do I talk to my child about COVID-19?
Please use the following resources to support conversations with your child about COVID-19 and help reduce any fears he or she may have.

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
Center for Disease Control and Prevention:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-cov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html 

Child Mind Institute - Includes a short 4 minute YouTube video -
https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/ 
 
Other Resources Recommended by our Guidance Department:
● Spectrum C.A.R.E.S. (Crisis and Re-Stabilization Emergency Services)
(716) 882-4357
https://shswny.org/services/crisis-response/ 
● National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 
● Compass House (716) 886-0935 www.compasshouse.org 
● The Family Justice Center of Erie County (716) 558-SAFE
● 24 hour hotline (716)862-HELP (716) 884-6000 for shelter https://www.fjcsafe.org/  
● Office of Child and Family Services (Child Protective Services CPS) 1-800-342-3720 https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/prevent_child_abuse.asp 
● McKinney-Vento (Students Experiencing Uncertain Housing or Homelessness)
https://nysteachs.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/PB_BrochureEnglish_2018.pdf 
(English)
https://nysteachs.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/PB_BrochureSpanish_2018.pdf 
(Spanish)
Please Contact Mrs. Dollard at f_dollard@wnymcs.com 
 
● Connect 2-1-1 (Personal access for information on local health human
services Dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-696-9211 www.211wny.org 
● Center for Disease Control Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information…What You Need To Know
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ 
● Coping With Stress During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4885.pdf 
 
As always, we are here to help you and miss seeing your child during this challenging
time.
 
Please stay healthy and be well