You asked, we got the answers

A COVID-19 FAQ page with questions from students, and answers from principal Mr. Mike Wells and athletic director, Mr. Ira Zimmer

Exam Questions

What is the plan for exams?

We are in the process of discussing this with the department chairs. They in turn will discuss this topic with other teachers in their departments. 

What is the plan for immuno-compromised students?

Teachers are working on alternative exams such as authentic assessments as they did in lieu of final exams in the spring. Options such as at-home students coming into the school in the evening are also being explored.  

How will cheating be prevented in eLearning without an open-note policy? 

There are programs like turnitin to prevent cheating with writing submissions. All teachers have the option to utilize this program. Open-note policies will be discussed with the department chairs in the very near future. 

Safety Questions

What is the procedure for closing schools and infected students?

The School Town of Munster is working in collaboration with the Lake County Health Department. Both entities will make a decision if school closure is needed, and if the school is notified that a student/staff tests positive, the school will contact the Lake County Health Department. The LCHD will ask who are considered close contacts for the infected individual.  

Who does the student contact to switch to online if they feel endangered?

As of right now, all changes in placement need to be formally requested to the principal.  

What is the purpose of plastic shields?

They are considered to be an extra barrier for germs in case someone sneezes or coughs. 

Why do we have one-way hallways?

It goes along with the same logic of students facing one direction in a classroom. If students are facing the same direction, germs are less likely to be transferred.  

Will kids have to wait in an actual fire?

If there was a real emergency students would not have to wait.

Why aren’t we doing remote learning after the confirmed case at FHH?  

The district will likely not shut down for a single case of COVID-19. It will communicate with the LCHD to determine what is in the best interest for the students of STM.

Blackboard Questions

How will the school accommodate for students with slow Wi-Fi and computers, or if their Wi-Fi goes out? 

They should contact [email protected] to troubleshoot computer issues.  

Are there any tutorials on how to use Blackboard? 

How will the school accommodate for students with slow Wi-Fi and computers, or if their Wi-Fi goes out? 

They should contact [email protected] to troubleshoot computer issues.  

Are there any tutorials on how to use Blackboard? 

Yes, Mr. Wells sent out tutorials through school messages before school started. If there are specific things a student needs, they should contact administration. There are links on page 13 of the Munster FAQ page that has nine different videos to watch. 

Athletic Questions

Why aren’t the athletics programs suspended? How is Munster planning on continuing the athletic program safely?

Athletics and athletes are still underway at Munster because of the guidelines we are following from the State, the County, and the process our head trainer Steve Young has put in place. Because of these rules and safeguards that are in place, and the coaches and athletes following protocol, we are still moving forward with our sports programs. We will continue to follow the guidelines, be vigilant, and take one day at a time.

Could our fall sports be pushed back to spring if they can’t happen in the fall?

No, I believe our governing body, the IHSAA will not move fall sports to the spring at this point.

Which sports are most likely to be canceled?

Teams that have the most contact, might be the ones that would have highest chance of an incident.  (Football, Soccer, and Volleyball).

How are games going to work?

Our football stadium, soccer stadium, as well as the field house have a maximum capacity set forth by the Lake County Board of Health. We are following their guidelines and practicing social distancing. 

Who is allowed to spectate?  

We have offered the parents of student/athletes the opportunity to purchase tickets for that sport. If there are tickets remaining for events we are selling tickets in the athletic office, anyone may attend the game if they have a ticket.  (All tickets are pre-sold) there will be no ticket sales at our events.

What is happening with athletic passes?

The only season tickets being made available are to parents of our athletes.  As of right now the season passes will only be seasonal: Fall, Winter, Spring. If there are tickets remaining for events, we are selling in the athletic office. Anyone may attend the game if they have a ticket. All tickets are pre-sold, and there will be no ticket sales at our events. 

Activity Questions

Does COVID-19 not affect football players the same way it “harms” choir members? 

STM decided that if band and choir were able to go outside and socially distance, singing would be able to take place.  

How will extracurriculars work?  

A number of activities and clubs are being done remotely or using social distancing recommendations. Seating charts are being used for in-person meetings. Furthermore, there is a new 60 foot bulletin board between the main office and guidance. This board will post happenings, events, etc. for each club.  

What’s happening with dances, spirit week, and assemblies?

There will be no assemblies or dances at this time. Student Government is actively examining alternatives for our homecoming festivities.  

What will you do if you are actually sick with COVID-19? 

Students are considered to be medically excused and they will be given a commensurate amount of time to make up the work.