20-21 | FAQ
last updated Nov. 13th
- DISTANCE LEARNING
- ON CAMPUS LEARNING
- Health & Safety
- STUDENT SUPPORT PROGRAMS
- Coming to Campus
- General Questions
- What is the difference between the Distance Learning Programs and the traditional curriculum?
- Will families still be able to choose the distance learning program even if in-person classes resume?
- What role should parents and caregivers expect to provide in the distance learning classes? Must a caregiver be present during online classes?
- What kind of support will be available to help students be successful in their distance learning classes?
- How can families create a good work space for students at home?
- What will be a typical daily schedule for distance learning?
- How will attendance be monitored for online classes?
- What kind of feedback can families expect to receive from teachers about their child’s progress?
- How will Library resources be available?
- Will 11th and 12th grade students who will be taking their Baccalaureat exams in the Spring be fully prepared for their exams? What about 9th graders who will take their Brevet exams?
- Will extra-curricular after school activities be offered?
The current world health pandemic compels us to reconsider the delivery of the Rochambeau curriculum, but not the foundation of our curricular programs. Our teachers possess a great deal of training and experience in their subject areas and our entire school team is dedicated to working in partnership with families to ensure all students receive the high quality education you expect from Rochambeau. We expect all students to make educational progress and achieve grade-level appropriate academic milestones. It is notable that the French curriculum, the foundation of our Rochambeau programs, is structured around teaching in cycles. With 2 - 3 yr cycles, our curriculum is well-suited to making incremental adjustments within school years and still having students achieve cycle milestones.
In short, the curriculum remains the same in Distance Learning as In-Person (traditional) but the specificities of class instruction and school activities are being adapted.
Yes - Families in the 2020-2021 school year will have the option for their child(ren) to participate in distance learning classes. This may take several formats and may depend on the specific class and/or circumstances involved. Our classrooms are now all equipped to support live-streaming of classes OR there may be a teacher dedicated to the distance learning curriculum. The organization of this will depend mainly on the number of students in a particular class group choosing online classes.
Our teachers will be working to assist students in becoming increasingly autonomous and productive in their distance learning work, just as we would in a traditional classroom setting. This includes hands-on practice in learning to use the technology tools for distance learning as well as lessons in class routines and good work and study habits. Still, we understand that for some students, learning these skills may take time. And of course, for our youngest students, truly autonomous work for a full school day is unrealistic.
And just as we would expect in-person classes of students to become more adept at school routines and class participation over the course of the year, so too do we expect students to demonstrate growth in the online class environment. While some families may find it important to sit with their student through the first few classes, a periodic check-in during the school day should become more of the norm. Early on, parents or caregivers may find it best to sit in the same room with the student during online learning. Over time, that may instead move to observation at a distance or a periodic check-in with the student in between lessons. For more autonomous students, parents and caregivers may find it beneficial to ask students to share only their daily or weekly assignments.
The specificities for each student and each family will likely vary quite a bit.
Our teachers aim to provide students with a good introduction to the online tools for class interaction. And with that foundation, teachers will deliver academic content that reinforces what they know, introduces new concepts, and prepares students to complete growth exercises independently. If you find that your child is not able to maintain focus and participation in class, or struggles to complete independent work, we urge you to first reach out to the class teacher for individual guidance and support. And beyond just the classroom teachers, our school team includes several learning specialists and counselors who all share the common vision of having all of our students achieve success and growth. We are therefore able to offer or recommend supports to improve study habits and/or to address specific areas of academic weakness.
We urge families to help students to identify a work space that allows students to work with limited distractions and with school supplies nearby. We hope these tips are helpful:
- Select a table, desk or other workspace that can accommodate the student’s iPad, laptop or other device as well as a textbook or workbook at the same time. Paired with a good chair and lighting, and a student is off to a good start.
- Try to identify a location that is quiet and free from distractions. Nearby toys or games may need to be closed up or put away while students work. Headphones can certainly help with blocking out nearby noises.
- Collect and maintain school supplies in one area. Whether you keep items on a bookshelf, in a backpack, or in organizer boxes, having supplies close at hand will save time and keep students focused.
- Personalizing the workspace may be a good way for students to feel comfortable and work more productively. Perhaps some posters or photos of favorite places, classroom-style reminders (like math charts, science facts, etc.), or other decorations in the students’ favorite colors and designs.
- To help students stay on time for classes and with assignments, posting a calendar or using a schedule book can be useful. This is also helpful for parents or different caregivers to quickly see that the student is on task.
- A posted class schedule and a clearly visible clock will help students be on time for class sessions and teacher meetings.
- For student workspaces that may be shared among several students at once (or with parents also working from home!), creating a visual separation can be helpful. A poster board or display board can be helpful to create partitions during school sessions and is easy to remove when the school day is over.
- Being ready for class also includes being neatly dressed, having eaten meals and snacks during break times, and personal electronic devices set aside.
While specific schedules will vary by student and by grade level, typical class activities will take place between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, or until 5:30 pm for some secondary students. Each day will include some time for synchronous class sessions (direct meetings with the students and teachers), and asynchronous independent work. All academic subjects as well as “specials” like art and music will be included in the weekly schedule.
At all grade levels, daily attendance will be monitored and absences noted. For secondary students, attendance will be tracked for every class meeting. If parents anticipate an absence, please contact the class teacher, campus secretary or vie scolaire with that information. Email is preferred.
As is our usual practice, parent-teacher conferences will take place in the Fall and again in the Spring. Progress reports will also be shared with parents at the end of each trimester. Should a concern arise, we encourage families to contact the class or subject teacher to schedule a discussion. Similarly, teachers will reach out to families as appropriate. Whether instruction is in-person or at a distance, our commitment to open communication remains steadfast!
Our librarians/documentalists are working now on a variety of resources, in different forms. Students have access to a special catalog of digital books and materials. Within the first semester of the school year we also anticipate the launch of a pick-up / drop-off exchange of materials. More information will follow. This timing is in line with the traditional operations of the school libraries where check-out privileges do not typically begin until several weeks into the school year.
We are very proud of the tradition of success for all of our students, and in particular for our Baccalaureat and Brevet exam students. While our courses may be delivered online for a period of time, we will be maintaining our curricular topics and rigorous programs. We recognize that for a few key skill areas, notably 11th and 12th graders who would have conducted experimentation in our science labs, distance learning may not deliver the essential lessons required for successful completion of the examinations. We will work with our teachers and staff to identify what procedures may be undertaken on campus and will also continue to work with the French Ministry of Education to help guide the framework for our exam preparations.
- What are the criteria for the start of in-person instruction for students this year?
- What is the timeline for the start of in-person instruction?
- If on-campus instruction is available with a rotation of students, will students from the same family attend school on the same schedule?
- Will extra-curricular activities be permitted on campus (athletics, after-school programs, etc.)?
The determination of when to reopen our campuses for in-person instruction rests with the Board of Trustees, though the work of gathering information and preparing our plans has been a collaborative effort of our Covid Preparedness Team of School Directors and Administrators as well as the “COVID-19 Data Evaluation Working Group” of school medical staff and volunteer parent health advisors tapped by the Board to assist in this work.
The Board’s decisions are being informed by several key criteria:
Health Data: The local, state, national and international health metrics and reports from COVID Data group.
The Maryland State Department of Education guidelines confirming a hybrid reopening for schools would be permissible under the current health conditions.
School Resources and Needs: A sufficient alignment of our school’s resources (classroom spaces, new health procedures, availability of teachers, technology innovations) and needs expressed by families, especially at the Primary grades.
Montgomery County Recommendations: The guidance advising private schools to remain closed was initially issued in August but expired on October 1.
We recognize that the return to in-person instruction is not without some measure of risk for students, families, teachers and our wider community. We understand that each family will make their own decision about whether and when to participate in on-campus instruction. We will do our part to minimize health risks by following the health guidelines from Montgomery County, State of Maryland and CDC.
We will use a phased approach to welcome students on campus in small class groups (approx. 10 - 20)
Phase 1 - Monday, October 5th
PS (3 y.o.) Preschool classes - at Bradley Campus (morning only, ½ day on campus)
MS (4 y.o.) Preschool classes - at Bradley Campus (morning ½ day on campus, afternoon distance learning)
CP / 1st grade - at Rollingwood Campus
Immersion for CP, CE1 and CE2 - at Rollingwood Campus
CE1 / 2nd grade - at Forest Road Campus
Phase 2 - Monday, October 26th
GS / Kindergarten - GSA and GSC classes meet at Bradley Campus
GS / Kindergarten - GSB class meets at Rollingwood Campus (morning ½ day on campus, afternoon distance learning)
CE2 / 3rd grade - at Forest Road campus (4 in-person days and 1 distance learning day by week)
6e / 6th grade - at Forest Road campus
Tle / 12th grade with Science specialties for lab work - at Forest Road campus
Phase 3 - Monday, November 9th
Rotating groups in a 3-week cycle, each student spending 2 weeks on campus and 1 week at home.
CM1 / 4th grade - at Forest Road campus
CM2 / 5th grade - at Forest Road Campus
- Phase 3 bis - Monday, November 16th
- 1re / 11th grade with Science specialties for lab work - at Forest Road campus
- For now, the rest of the secondary school classes will remain on full distance learning mode. On-campus visits may be organized for specific activities or programs. We expect that later in the school year we will welcome the other secondary students with a hybrid reopening (alternating one week in-person and one week online). Students participating in distance learning will participate in their assigned classes through live-streaming from their teachers.
We hope to provide some small group activities in-person, but at this time (Sept 1) we acknowledge that the Montgomery County Department of Health has stated it is not safe for schools to do so. We continue to work with county, state and national health agencies to receive their guidance and make adaptations so we can accommodate at least some activities on campus.
- What health & safety protocols will be required of students, faculty, and staff on campus?
- Are there consequences if a student does not follow health & safety protocols?
- Will Rochambeau administer COVID-19 testing?
- What are the school's cleaning practices?
- What health & safety enhancements have you made to the campuses?
- How will classrooms be arranged to maintain physical distancing protocols?
- What plans are in place if a student, faculty or staff member shows symptoms of COVID 19?
- Are there quarantine requirements for students who have been traveling outside the DC area?
Students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete a Daily Health Questionnaire before entering any school campus. Once on campus, the following procedures will be required:
- Wear masks at all times indoors, in all classrooms, commons rooms, and other shared indoor areas, excluding times when eating or practicing personal hygiene. Masks will be required outdoors when significant physical distancing is not possible.
- Maintain physical distance of six feet from others.
- Regularly wash hands throughout the day, following CDC best practices, or use hand sanitizer if hand-washing is not an option in a given moment.
- Observe instructions for circulation within buildings and in outdoor spaces, such as one-way corridors or stairways.
Other protocols may be added to this list as further guidance is received from county, state and national health agencies. Click to see additional Health and Safety protocols, Campus Facilities updates, and details of our Reopening Plan
Students, faculty or staff who are unable to follow on-campus protocols will not be permitted to participate in on-campus activities, except in cases where a medical or other condition prevents the possibility of compliance. (For example - limited mobility requires adapted movement to classrooms, doctor’s instructions regarding mask use, etc.)
We are aware of a number of testing locations in the regions surrounding our school campuses. We encourage all community members to consult a healthcare professional for guidance in whether and how to obtain COVID-19 testing, including local clinics and at home tests. At this time we are not offering on-campus COVID-19 testing. These links may be useful in seeking testing locations:
We will practice and maintain the highest standards for daily cleaning and sanizing on campus. In addition to the personal hygiene measures outlined in other areas (handwashing, etc.), we are taking several specific steps for on-campus cleaning in line with guidance received by County and State agencies as well as the CDC:
- Professional Equipment: We have invested in new, efficient professional sanitation equipment (electrostatic sprayer machines) to treat all buildings and buses.
- Increased Cleaning Frequency: Staff members will provide cleaning of classrooms and common areas throughout the school day, with special attention to high-touch areas.
- Student Desks: Desk surfaces for students and teachers will be wiped in between any transition of individuals using the space as well as before and after any meals consumed in that space.
- Daily Deep Cleaning and Sanitizing: After school hours, all buildings and buses will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized each day.
- Recreation and Sports Equipment: Playground equipment and structures will be cleaned in between use by different student groups.
- General Guidelines: All cleaning practices, supplies and solutions will be used in accordance with CDC guidelines.
The physical changes we have completed, and will continue to implement, are aimed at reducing the risks of COVID-19 virus transmission by limiting high-touch areas, limiting capacity of indoor spaces, improving conditions for air flow, and enhancing protocols in our health centers. Enhancements in progress include:
- Investments in cleaning and sanitizing equipment (electrostatic sprayer machines)
- Touchless faucets in bathrooms and hand-washing stations
Replacement of drinking fountains with water bottle filling stations is being secured
Designated Health Isolations rooms on all campuses
Plexiglass dividers in reception areas, student labs, and other areas where practical and beneficial
New signs to mark ingress and egress doors as well as new traffic flow (hallways, stairways, etc.) and also to mark distance requirements
Classroom furniture has been removed and/or repositioned to align with 6-ft apart distances and with all student desks facing one direction
Preparations for classroom doors and windows to be propped open to facilitate airflow and circulation
HVAC systems have been inspected and serviced. Systems will be run at maximum capacity for air circulation. Air filters are Merv 13 rated and are being replaced every month (exceeding the manufacturer’s replacement schedule at every 3 months).
In the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we will cooperate with county health officials who will undertake contact tracing steps. Depending on the contacts within the school, some number of individuals may need to isolate from on-campus instruction for a period of time. This could be limited to a specific class group, to a specific grade, whole building, or whole school community, depending on the contacts in the unique situation. In this, as in all determinations, we will be following the advice of our local health authorities with whom we are already working closely. Students who are not able to attend on campus instruction due to required home isolation will have access to distance learning materials and support. Any school closure or isolation of student(s) or staff member(s) will not be undertaken lightly.
- Before Arriving on Campus:
Individuals who report physical health conditions (temperature, sore through, cough, vomiting, etc.) or physical contacts (travel history, close contacts with COVID-19 positive persons) in their Daily Health Questionnaire will not be permitted to enter the campus.
- While on Campus:
Health Isolation Rooms have been established on each campus for students and staff who demonstrate COVID-19 symptoms. Students or staff members who present symptoms of any illness will be referred to the Health Center on their campus and parents will have to come and pick up children as soon as possible, within 60 min.
- Returning to Campus after COVID-19 Illness:
Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 are expected to follow instructions from their healthcare provider and CDC guidelines that specify (as of October 1) that a student may end home isolation after meeting all 3 of these criteria: “at least 10 days since symptoms appeared, at least 24 hours with no fever-reducing medication, and symptoms have improved.” In addition, we will require documentation of a negative COVID-19 test result and/or a note from a treating healthcare provider. Click here for CDC guidelines. Additional information about the protocols for COVID-19 and COVID-like illness are available on our Health and Safety page.
We will continue to follow guidance from the county, state and national health agencies regarding quarantine times and necessity. As of August 28, we share the strong recommendation from the Maryland Department of Health that all students and families refrain from nonessential travel outside the DC area due to the risk of COVID-19 infections in other states. Specifically, any individuals returning from out-of-state travel are urged to get tested for COVID-19 promptly upon arrival in Maryland (and DC area). Further, anyone traveling to a state with a COVID-19 test positivity rate above 10% are asked to get tested and self-quarantine at home until the test result is received. This applies to all students, regardless of citizenship.
A list of state COVID-19 test positivity rates can be found using the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker.
Click here for the MDH Travel Advisory.
Additionally, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Persons returning from international travel should follow CDC guidelines for:
- How will students with specialized learning needs be supported (academic support, social-emotional support, etc.)?
- Will students who are non-native French speaking, or living in households where French is not spoken at home, be offered some academic support?
- What social and emotional supports are available for students?
Particular attention will be given to the students needing learning support. The strategies considered include small group and individual support, collaboration and co-planning between teachers and specialists, learning gap assessment, digital opportunity for review and recovery, and available office hours to touch base with students. We will also provide emotional support to the SLS students and ensure personal check-ins with families and potential adaptation for the “PAP” plans.
We recognize that learning a new language requires both commitment to the subject and also consistent reinforcement of the language skills. For some students, these language needs will best be met by the Immersion Class teachers on a daily basis, for others by French Language support specialists in small groups. We are also working with our librarians and other staff members to make French language practice and resources more accessible and available for non-native or non-French speaking families.
Learning at Rochambeau, whether at a distance or in person, includes support for the social and emotional growth of students.
We have 5 goals for Social Emotional support of students in Fall 2020:
Help students feel connected
Build connections with new students
Link social and emotional learning with academic topics
Help students develop positive self-talk and self-perception
Help both teachers and students practice self-care
To accomplish these goals we have a dedicated teaching staff including, 1 school counselor for primary grades, 1 school counselor for secondary grades, and a “vie scolaire” team for secondary grades.
Specific measures in place for the 2020 Fall Semester:
Training for all teachers during professional development before the start of school
Work with students to understand and address impacts of COVID-19 on student (personal) emotional wellbeing
Interventions, at least once per week, in class to present different activities on connectedness, mood check, etc.
Work with students individually or in small groups, according to their needs
In secondary, “vie scolaire” staff will check in with students on a regular basis
- Will my child need a special device to participate in distance learning?
- What are the different technical platforms that will be used in 2020-2021?
- Will daily classes be recorded for students unable to attend a specific class session or requiring review?
- How will student privacy be protected and online activities monitored during Distance Learning instruction?
Our technology plan for student devices in 2020-21 is as follows:
- 3rd - 9th grades (CE2 - 3ème) will receive school-issued iPads at the start of the school year
- 6th - 9th grades (6ème - 3ème) will receive new Chromebook devices later in the fall (October/November due to sourcing delays outside our control); those students will return their iPad devices at that time
- 10th - 12th grades (2nde - Terminale) will continue to utilize personal technologies according to our BYOD “bring your own device” practices
- Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades (GS - CE1) will receive school-issued iPads in mid-late Fall 2020 (October/November due to sourcing delays outside our control)
- Preschool (PS and MS grades) will participate in limited screen-based activities and should use family devices. No specific technical requirements are in place for these devices.
- E-textbooks will be used for some subjects and by some classes where pedagogically appropriate. In those cases, the necessary licenses will be added to school-issued devices.
Our students and teachers will use a variety of digital tools each year to facilitate instruction and engagement. While some of our tools will be new for 2020-21, others are already familiar to our students and faculty. Whether instruction takes place on campus or at a distance, these tools will remain in use for our community:
Learning management system: Brightspace (new for 2020)
Meeting and Communication platform: Zoom (new for 2020)
Virtual Classroom tools: Google classroom
Secondary school grading records, attendance records, and notes: Pronote
Activity platforms (varying by grade): Seesaw, Padlet, Kahoot, and others.
E-textbooks will be used for some subjects and by some classes, where pedagogically appropriate. In those cases, the necessary licenses will be added to school-issued devices
Class instruction will be recorded by teachers and made available to students who are absent for the class. Depending on the specific class and format, it may be that the recording will include the instructional components, but perhaps not all interactions with students participating in the live class.
Video recordings are a support for students but should not replace live participation in lessons. Attendance will be taken for daily classes. If a student is unable to participate in classes on a regular basis due to illness or other personal concern, we urge families to contact the class teacher directly to discuss the situation and determine what supports are needed.
Just as we are attentive to the health and safety of our students while on campus, so too are we mindful of their digital health and safety during online interactions. We have several procedures in place:
- Students will receive instruction in how to use all digital tools in safe and responsible ways. Teachers and staff will assist students in navigating the digital tools being used by our school community
- Students must log-on to class meetings using their school-issued Rochambeau email accounts. This helps to ensure only registered students and teachers participate in digital interactions.
- Classes are hosted via Zoom meeting links shared only with students and teachers, not posted in publicly accessible web locations. This is to prevent non-authorized attendees in student meetings.
- Online classes, including both full-class sessions and small-group meetings, are monitored by Rochambeau teachers and/or staff. Official class meetings will be hosted by a teacher or staff member who will provide the necessary meeting log-in information.
- Online behavior that is not in keeping with the standards of our school’s values and code of conduct will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action.
- As is our school’s policy each school year, Rochambeau will not share family contact information outside of our school community.
- All members of our community are encouraged to consider their physical environment when participating in online activities. During times when a student’s video is enabled during a school activity, we urge families to consider the background area that is acceptable. For example, if you prefer not to share background images of the family home, placement of the student’s device may need to be adjusted or you may use a screen or other material to block the areas visible by the camera.
- I plan to drive my child to school. What are the procedures I should follow?
- Will school bus and shuttle bus (navette) service be available?
- Which visitors will be permitted to enter the school buildings?
While there are different procedures for each campus, there are some points in common for all families:
- Check your child's temperature and complete the Daily Health Questionnaire through the SNAP portal www.studentehr.co) every morning before your child leaves home.
- Be sure your child has 2 clean masks every day.
- Display a sign in the front passenger window of your vehicle with the student's name and class.
- Use the kiss and ride area on your particular campus and follow staff direction for drop-off. Note that parents do not exit the vehicles except at our Bradley Campus (for PS, MS and GSA students).
School Buses will begin operation on October 12th with the following procedures in place:
Significantly reduced rider capacity on each bus with one passenger seated every other seat (except family members may share one seat)
COVID-19 Health Questionnaire must be completed by a parent/guardian BEFORE each student boards the bus each day
Masks are required for all bus riders while on board as well as while waiting for the school bus if there are other passengers waiting at the stop
Windows will remain open, even during cool weather conditions
Cleaning and disinfection of buses after morning and afternoon routes
Hand sanitizer use by all passengers as they enter and exit the bus
Bus routes typically offered in previous school years are likely to be different, so you should not expect to use your “usual” bus stop
To sign up for transportation services:
Use this link to access your child’s account through the enrollment system. The form “Transportation Registration 2020-2021” is found under “Continue Enrollment > Checklist”. Transportation Registration 2020-2021. This same form may be used to modify any transportation request you submitted last school year.
Transportation services are available for shuttle / navette ONLY for students age 3 years and 9 months and up, and for Home / School transport for students age 4 and up.
Access to campuses will be controlled to limit the overall capacity at any one time. Students, faculty and staff members will be welcome according to their scheduled class and/or work hours. We encourage specific appointments and meetings to take place via online meeting or phone call. On campus visitors will be limited to only essential functions and should be scheduled in advance. We urge all students and families to be especially attentive to bringing all school supplies and personal belongings with them each school day to avoid book or lunch drop-offs.
All individuals entering campus must have a completed health questionnaire before entering any school building. This includes daily student health questionnaire (to be completed by a parent/guardian), teachers and staff members, and visitors.
At arrival and dismissal times, students arriving by car should be met at designated “Kiss and Ride” areas on each campus. Parents will not enter the school campus or campus buildings except by appointment. (Parents picking up an ill child will follow guidance from our school nurses on a case-by-case basis.)
This school year we will maintain 170 total days of instruction as is our practice and is required of all public and private schools in our county. This is the case even though the start of the school year was delayed by 1 week to facilitate additional (valuable!) teacher training. Therefore, a professional development day for teachers that had been scheduled for later in the Fall will be canceled and we will cancel some of the inclement weather days we had reserved in the calendar in case of snow or other emergency. By doing this, the other vacation times for Fall (October) Break, Winter (December) Break, February Break, and Spring Break (April) can be maintained. Please click here to see the school calendar for 2020-2021.
For most questions, your child’s individual class teacher is likely a good first point of contact. If the question you have is related to specific operational areas of the school, we suggest:
- Health Questions and Reporting of Illness - School Nurses for Secondary School: Leslie Timperman firstname.lastname@example.org; for Primary School Capucine Bouye email@example.com
- Preschool / Maternelle daily questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elementary daily questions: email@example.com
- Secondary School daily questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Learning Supports - Academic, Social-Emotional questions - Philippe Vanhille email@example.com
- School Counselors - Emotional supports - Florent Grain: firstname.lastname@example.org Alexis Thompson: email@example.com
- Student Billing and Financial Aid - Aissata Bangoura Paye: firstname.lastname@example.org
- General Questions - email@example.com - we will direct your questions to the proper office or staff member.