FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

TOPIC: Early drop off


At this time, we do not have a guaranteed answer for early parent-drop off. More detail to come.




TOPIC: After School Care


As a Board Member stated, there will be no After School Care for the upcoming school year.




TOPIC: Events & Building Access


The School building and Offices are closed. The Main Office and Finance Office managers will meet with parents/visitors by appointment only




TOPIC: What will Cohorts look like for your child?


The logic behind the in person instruction split is to limit exposure with other students and is better for teaching and learning. What is the scheduling process for siblings? Scheduling will take into account siblings to follow the same schedule. We intend on keeping siblings on the same schedule cycle.Unfortunately, we would be unable to coordinate to accommodate all parent requests for cohorts. If there are specific circumstances you need to discuss, you may contact the Administration. Please refer to the email with the reopening powerpoint sent out on July 29th by the Principal. Please register for the upcoming Board Town Hall meeting that will be held at the end of August if you have concerns that are not addressed in the powerpoint.




TOPIC: Schedule/Academic Calendar


When can we expect to receive the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar? There was a late change to the school calendar. This was a result of very recent changes made by the Governor as to the number of school days required. When are kids expected to receive their school schedules? We cannot commit to providing schedules prior to the start of the school year. If completed sooner, they will be made available and families will be notified. At Universal, we always provide students with their schedules during the first week of school. This will still be true. Is Universal School offering a remote only learning choice for parents that do not want to send their child back to school right now because of safety concerns? Yes, families will be able to choose a fully remote option for their students as the school opens for in-person hybrid learning. Families should expect a schedule that provides access to core graduation requirement courses. Elective offerings and more specialized classes may not be available in this format. Are parents expected to have their kids logged onto the computer for classes at certain times if they choose the remote only learning choice? If a student opts for the 100% remote option, they will need to attend online classes at scheduled times. Students attending in a hybrid format will have independent work to complete on their own schedule during “at home days.” Elementary students: In the hybrid model, the “at home” consists of guided practice and application of skills based on instruction provided on the “In person” days and using materials provided by the teacher. This work can be completed at the time that is most convenient for the family schedule. Work will be turned in on the next “In person” day for attendance credit for the “at home” day. In addition, there may be scheduled Zoom sessions for Elementary students for the “at home” day. If students are unable to attend, parents should communicate that to the teacher. Instructional videos will be available on the Google Classroom platform. If your child is sick but well enough to do schoolwork (such as a regular cold) can the child switch to the remote learning model until they have recovered? Teachers will provide work to absent students as they would under these conditions any other year with the added ability to use Google Classroom as a further communication tool. When will we find out who our child(ren)’s teachers are? List of staff and subjects taught will be published on the school website and families will be notified once available. Some teachers will make contact with families and provide student email accounts once classes are assigned to the students.




TOPIC: Health


What happens if a teacher gets sick? Does the whole class quarantine? Will a different teacher be brought in the classroom? If we have a positive case, we will work with the State Health Department- they will direct us on isolating, quarantining and when it is safe to return. These decisions will need to be made on a case-by-case basis with direction from public health. Will parents be notified if our child has been in class with another child that tests positive or is otherwise asked to quarantine? How we communicate information about positive cases is heavily controlled by the CDC and Department of Health. They determine what we are allowed to share and with whom. Universal will share as much information as we are permitted to. If a child who isn’t feeling well (not COVID related) what will the protocol be for being allowed back to in school learning? The child will be screened and monitored in the main office. Staff will be provided the state required PPE (shield, plastic apron, gloves, and mask). If the child presents with a fever then the child will remain in the Main Office and picked up by a Parent/Guardian. Medical clearance will need to be provided by a Medical Practitioner. Can you further explain the process of allowing students to remove face coverings while in the classroom (with the exception of eating)? We are following guidelines from the CDC and public health with respect to masks. When students are socially distanced by 6 or more feet, we will allow for masks breaks. Protocols will be developed and incorporated into Parent Handbooks. We understand that kindergarten and early elementary students may have developmental struggles with wearing a mask. Universal is working on safety options that include staff with greater PPE needs. More to come on this. What type of masks will be allowed. Are there any mask specifications? Bandanas and Gaiters okay? Per CDC guidance, cloth face coverings are sufficient. We encourage parents to try different options to see what kids are comfortable with. If my child prefers a face shield can he wear a face shield? A face shield is not a replacement for a mask. If families hear about a positive case in their child’s classroom, what options do families have to pull out their children back into remote learning immediately? Will that be allowed? As we have shared, we will allow movement between hybrid and full remote learning on a month-to-month basis. If we have a positive case and parents wanted to remove their students, we would find a way to accommodate that on a special basis. Safety remains families and staf ’s number one priority.




TOPIC: Social and Emotional Learning


What additional measures will Universal put into place to help students manage and cope with their anxiety beyond the curriculum that is currently in place for SEL? As needed, schools will utilize counselors and other available staff to ensure that students are able to gracefully transition back to the school environment by providing frequent “check-ins”. Striving to maintain a sense of normalcy, despite the current landscape not being so normal, will be a priority to help reduce student anxiety. Will there be an opportunity for new students to the school to get acquainted with the building and/ or meet their new teachers before school begins? Yes, please stay tuned for dates and times for a virtual guided tour to the school building. Parents will meet some of their children’s teachers during the Parent Orientation. Zoom/Video Open Houses will be provided for students and families. Social and emotional curriculum aside, how will Universal approach ensuring the environment still allows for fun and breaks with a restrictive environment? We need to keep everyone safe, but we still want kids to be comfortable and to have fun. Like many things, a balance is needed.




TOPIC: SPED (Special Education Department)


Will special education services be provided while the students are in the building, in a remote model or both? Special education services will be determined by the IEP Team but in general, due to COVID Buffalo services will only be conducting teletherapy virtually with students and will not be entering the school buildings to meet with the students. If a parent has any specific questions about special education services, please contact the building Special Education Facilitator.




TOPIC: Teaching


More detailed information to come.




TOPIC: Transportation


More detailed information to come.




TOPIC: Elementary


What will recess and PE look like? Classroom teachers will be taking their classes outside for recess daily as weather permits. We are working on developing activities and gym lessons that can be done in a socially distanced model.




TOPIC: What if I have technology related questions?


For Technology related questions, please contact the School Tehnician Asad Kabli-techsupport@myuniversalschool.org.Chromebook devices will be provided to each active student in Grades 6-11. We will do our best to meet family needs, however at this time we cannot provide devices for every student in Elementary. How and when will we find out how to obtain a computer from the school for our child to use? This question will be addressed during the Mandatory Parent Orientation during the week of August 24th.




TOPIC: Logistics


Will lockers or cubbies in the classroom be used or will all belongings be expected to remain with them in their backpacks? At Universal- Cubbies will not be used to start the year. M/S & H/S students with the Hybrid schedule students will “only” need material for 2 days M/T or TH/F. When will we get notice of the finalized changes for pick up and drop off? Detailed information about arrival and dismissal will be provided as we get closer to September. Please keep in mind that these procedures are subject to change to maintain the safety of everyone. Will all desks have plexi guards? Although all schools will have plexi dividers, not all deks will have them. Much depends on the size of the classroom, the ability to accommodate social/physical distancing, and type of class being taught.




TOPIC: What will remote learning look like for a student and parent?


Teachers will continue using Google Classroom, Zoom, Gradelink, and Class Dojo as an easy-to-use tool that helps teachers manage coursework. As the Principal stated, we will need to begin the school year with the hybrid option. As circumstances change, we will reevaluate how Universal will accommodate remote only options. Live streaming in the classrooms will be attempted to address audio and other unforeseen issues. If we choose remote learning only vs. the Hybrid option can we come back to school if we change our mind? As of right now, yes. You will have to contact the school and inform the Administration your intent. Please keep in mind that this is subject to change and will be handled on a month-by-month decision.




TOPIC: About Universal


How do I know if this private school is the right fit for my child? You need to look for a good balance and Universal provides an experience based on strong Islamic values and morals with the highest academic standard. Offers strong Islamic, Quranic, and Arabic curriculum along with a Hifz morning program. Certified and highly qualified teachers in Academic and Islamic studies. Kindergarten - High school courses and exams leading to NYS diploma. How do I register my child? To contact us, fill out the form on our website homepage and visit our "How to Apply" page under the Admission tab to learn how to register. Grades K-4 are closed for enrollment, wait-lists are created. Once the Prospective family completes the “Prospective Student Form” under the Admissions tab on our website www.myuniversalschool.org we can notify the family if anything changes.