Start » Common Questions

Common Questions

Full Eagle Start Guide.
Shown below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about returning to school for the 2020-2021 school year. The list of questions and answers is in progress and will continue to be updated.

ISDH has updated the *COVID-19 Screening for Parents (8/27/20)
Please review this information as
some of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 have changed Please be advised that ANY one of the symptoms may be related to COVID-19.   

What do I do if my child has symptoms (as of 8.27.20)

  1. Please keep your child home if they are having ANY of the symptoms, even just one:

    Fever (100.4 F) or higher or chills
    Sore Throat
    Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting, or abdominal pain
    Cough or Shortness of Breath, especially new onset or uncontrolled cough
    New onset of severe headache, especially with fever
    New loss of taste or smell

NEW GUIDANCE: If you are keeping one child home due to symptoms, all children in the home are to be kept home per the ISDH guidelines.  Per the guidelines, all siblings and household members should remain home in quarantine.

  1. Contact a healthcare provider to help determine if these symptoms are related to COVID or there is another reason for the symptoms.  
  2. Follow the healthcare providers recommendations- this may include testing and/or isolating at home.  
  3. Return to school will vary based upon testing results, close contact status, and physician statements regarding alternative diagnosis.  

    Please SEE THIS LINK for information shared with us by the Indiana State Department of Health.

All siblings and household members should remain home until test results have been reported AND the provider has determined if symptoms for the child require isolation and quarantine of close contacts. 


New-- If your child has been sent home with symptoms from school, the siblings will need to be picked up and stay home (see quarantine information below).


If you choose to not contact a provider your child can return to school in 10 days if fever free for at least 24 hours AND symptoms are improving.  Siblings and household members will  have to stay home for 14 days and quarantine.  However, if a sibling in quarantine becomes sick they will have to then stay home for 10 days starting from the day after symptoms started. 


When should I isolate?


The following persons should isolate:

  • A positive COVID-19 test OR
  • A provider diagnosis for COVID-19 that advises the person to isolate (regardless of test results COVID cannot be ruled out).  

Isolation means keeping sick people away from healthy ones. For COVID-19, this means that the sick person stays in a separate bedroom or separate area of the home and stays away from others. This includes staying home from school and any activities. Currently, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that COVID-19 positive people with symptoms isolate for 10 days from the start of their symptoms, be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and show improvement of symptoms. Individuals who test positive without symptoms should isolate for 10 days from the date their sample was collected. For additional information see

When should I quarantine?


The following persons should quarantine:

A sibling, family member or household member who lives in the same household as a person who is

  • Sick with a COVID related symptom(s)
  • Undergoing evaluation by a provider for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Waiting for test results 
  • A person identified in direct contact (close contact) with a person who is in isolation either by a positive test result or a provider diagnosis (COVID-19 cannot be ruled out by test results) 

Quarantine means separating people who were exposed to someone who was sick. Since people who were around other sick people are more likely to get sick themselves, quarantine prevents them from unintentionally spreading the virus to other people even before they realize they are sick. This includes staying home from school and other activities. Currently, the CDC advises that close contacts of COVID-19 positive people quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure with the COVID-19 positive person, even if they have a negative test. For additional information see


Who is considered a close contact?


An individual is considered a close contact if any of following when

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more. This could be a single encounter of more than 15 minutes or multiple encounters within a single day that add up to more than 15 minutes.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Keep in mind that anyone who lives with or stayed overnight for at least one night in a household with the infected person while he or she was infectious is at highest risk.

In addition, ZCS works with the Boone County Health Department (BCHD) confirm close contact status identified by our trained (Johns Hopkins University) contact tracers including what activities may put a person at greater risk of exposure.  We are conservative in our approach in order to prevent or slow the potential for spread of the virus.  This is to allow ZCS to continue to offering in-person educational opportunities and activities.  


Is there anything new families should be aware of as they begin in Zionsville Community Schools?


Welcome!  Please read the EAGLE START guide and listen to the YouTube Livestreams.  This will give you all of the information our families have received this summer.


What learning opportunities will be available this year?


ZCS is offering both in-person and remote learning options for students. Detailed information about remote learning is available in the Eagle Start guide.


What will remote learning look like?


Remote learning for elementary students will be accomplished through establishment of cohorts to be serviced by online teachers from ZCS. Secondary students will join their classmates through real-time remote access aided by teacher audio and Canvas (online learning management system, LMS) that will include screen sharing as deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher.  For all students in ZCS, Canvas is the classroom calendar, activity menu, and content/resource repository.


What if I make a learning selection (in-person or remote) and change my mind?


The selections for fall 2020 are for a full semester at the secondary level and for the first nine weeks for elementary.


If my child is in the in-person learning option and tests positive for CoVID-19, will remote learning become an option while on home quarantine? 


If a student who is participating in the in-person learning option becomes sick or must be quarantined for any reason, the remote learning option will be available throughout the duration of the quarantine. The student may return to class after meeting the requirements for re-entry.


Will remote learning be available all school year?


CoVID-19 is evolving, and we will continue to monitor the situation. We will reassess our school services delivery on an ongoing basis.


Are students in the remote learning option eligible to participate in activities/sports?




Can any student, regardless of circumstance, participate in remote learning?




Will all students and teachers be required to wear a mask?


Students and teachers will be required to wear face masks. There will be brief face mask breaks when students are in a socially distanced setting and during activities where children are not in a crowded physical space and interaction among students is limited.   We know that it will be very difficult to socially distance within our classrooms, so students will be wearing masks the majority of the time. 


Teachers will be required to wear masks in the classroom.  


What types of masks are permissible?

Masks that are two-ply or greater are best for our setting. Bandanas and other single-ply face coverings are insufficient.


Can a face shield replace a mask?

A face shield does not replace a mask. A face shield may be worn in addition to a mask for an added layer of protection, but because it does not offer the same level of protection as a face mask, it is not acceptable to wear in lieu of a mask.


Are there any circumstances that qualify children to be exempt from masks?


No.  Practice will help our youngest learners with mask tolerance. Parents can help with this. Special education students in self-contained/one-on-one situations that involve elements of clinical practice will be served with special care as regards masks. 


If a student loses their mask at school, will teachers have temporary masks available?


A limited number of disposable masks will be available at school. Parents should make certain that each child has at least one back-up mask before departing for school each day.


Will there be mask breaks during the day?


Mask wearing is expected throughout the day. Lunch is an example of a mask break. While playing an instrument in very prescribed, teacher directed situations and locations is another. Classroom teachers may direct mask breaks in limited situations, but not during class discussion of any kind.


If ZCS must move to all online schooling again, how will the district ensure IEPs are being met with fidelity?


Special education services are individualized by nature. Navigating the workarounds to service access is a job we take seriously. Accommodations for the online context, where possible, will be made in consultation with students’ families. Where not possible for some reason, compensatory services may be provided after schools can reopen for in-person services.


What will walk-in services (like speech) look like at the elementary level?


Pre-screening is expected. Arrangements for arrival and services will be coordinated by the special teacher of record.


What will lunch look like and how will the cafeteria be arranged?


The cafeteria will be arranged to allow for the maximum space available between students. In accordance with health officials recommendations, we will operate school cafeterias at 50-60% capacity with overflow locations and/or extended lunch periods established to ensure service for all.


What about the remaining students who are not eating in the cafeteria?


In limited situations, lunch will be accommodated in alternate locations like classrooms under appropriate supervision attention to cases of food allergies.


Will Zionsville Community School students be transitioning throughout the school day and if so, what cleaning methods are being established to ensure spaces are adequately disinfected in between groups?


Transitions will be limited more than ever before in our schools. When they occur, cleaning supplies will be used to prep student areas for the next group, and adults will supervise the preparation activity.

What will the school day look like for my K-4 aged student?


It will be great to have students back in the company of their teachers for every possible day during the 2020-2021 school year. Elementary classroom groups will stick together very closely to reduce the likelihood of virus spread. Special area teachers will plug into classrooms or other spaces where the cohort can meet rather than fostering a lot of unnecessary movement around the school. Teachers will utilize outdoor spaces when the weather is conducive, and school will be different because of masks, but exactly what our kids need to quell the isolation of recent months.


Will students have their temperatures taken?


Each student must be pre-screened each day at home with the tool ZCS provides. Student temperatures will be taken at school only when there is a suspicion of symptoms, as has always been the case with such screenings at school.


What if a child is sent to school with a fever? 


When this is suspected, screening by a health professional at school will result in the student’s exclusion from campus.


Will families who have recently traveled to/from hot spots be required to notify the school?


No. This is not part of the county health department’s current order for disease spread mitigation.


Will there be busing and what about distancing while riding the bus?


Yes. We will endeavor to restrict seating to two students per seat with all masked for the entire journey. Windows on the bus will be open on days when weather makes it possible.


How will bus routes differ and will buses be cleaned after each route?


We will have fewer seats, and parents have helped mightily through our July survey by indicating solid, consistent need for busing or otherwise. Buses will be cleaned between morning and afternoon routes and after the afternoon routes each day.


What curriculum, lessons, and guidance are being provided and implemented for teach our students about CoVID-19, the importance of safety measures, respect for others including those wearing masks and different types of masks, and to address the social and emotional aspects of living during a pandemic? 


Students and staff will be provided training on the symptoms of COVID-19, what to do if they have symptoms, and the steps ZCS students and staff will be taking this school year to help reduce the risk of exposure while in the school setting and school related activities.


Will you allow parent volunteers this year at school?


In order to follow our CoVID-19 safety protocols, we are limiting to one volunteer per week for a teacher/class (with criminal background check). Volunteers will not visit or work in classrooms. They may assist a teacher with copying, cutting, laminating, etc. in a centralized work room designated by each school building.


Will there be school-specific question and answer sessions with building principals?


Our principals are always available to answer questions specific to their school. Please reach out to these professionals.   


How will my child’s social and emotional needs be met during this anxiety-provoking time?


ZCS uses researched and evidenced-based social-emotional curriculum, has developed a K-12 comprehensive counseling program, and employs social workers. Our DSST (Dynamic Student Support Team) provides supports for students in and out of the classroom, too.