2020 FAQ

We all have lots of questions.  We have attempted to consolidate the many questions we have received into common categories.  If you don’t see your question specifically answered, please submit again.  Please be aware that everything is subject to change and we may not know the answers to every question at this time.  We all need to just take this one step at a time.  First priority is Summer band (Aug 3-18) followed by early school year (Aug 19 – Sept 7). 

This page is updated frequently. Information is as current as we can make it and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting, but everything is subject to change. Please check back often as new information is added or answers revised.
(last updated 9/29/2020)

ASK A Question: https://form.jotform.com/202115603675146

Transportation

Is the “Opt Out” option for school bus transportation just for football games? What about marching contests? Is it for the entire season or an event by event decision?

If a family chooses to “Opt Out” of school bus transportation, it is for the entire marching season. This includes all football games and marching contests. Parents must be willing and able to get their child to the event location at the designated time.   

Does this include games and marching contests not held at a KISD stadium?

Yes, the family must get the student to all football games and marching contests that the band participates in. This includes the 2 away games at Channelview (10/2) and Brazoswood (11/27) if the band attends, and the UIL Area contest at the Cy-Fair Berry Center on December 5.    

What are the dates, times and locations for the events?

The Charms calendar is up to date with all football games and marching contests. You may access this from the band website. Specific itineraries will be sent out every Friday for the following week with exact report times. Marching contests are scheduled: KMF – Tuesday 10/27, UIL Region – Tuesday 11/17, UIL Area – 12/5.    

If we cannot get our student to an event, will they be penalized?

Parents need to understand that by signing the transportation Opt Out form, they know the schedule and can provide transportation to all games and events. For those events they miss, the student will be penalized. As with all things, communication is critical. Contact the directors as soon as possible if an unforeseen situation arises.    

If we Opt Out of district transportation, will we be refunded any transportation fees or pre-game meal fees?

No. The district is providing the same number of buses as if everyone is riding on them. Students that Opt Out will still be expected to be present for the pre-game run through rehearsal, inspection, and meal before being dismissed for personal transportation to the event.    

KVA

If my child does KVA, will the CRHS band directors be their teacher for online band class? Will it be synchronous or asynchronous?

Yes, Cinco Band Directors & Encore directors will be their online teacher as well.   

If my child does KVA and decides not to attend after school marching band practice, will my child still receive the PE credit associated with the marching band class?

Short answer: NO. Updated KISD policy effective 8/19. District expectations are that all enrolled band students, whether KVA or in-person, are required to participate in marching band activities, both in class and extracurricular. This includes after school practices, football games, marching competitions, and any other required events.  If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP.

If we opt for virtual learning and not participate in marching band in the fall will the student still be able to participate in the spring trip?

Yes.  KVA students are still part of the CRHS Cougar Band.  However, per updated KISD policy effective 8/19. District expectations are that all enrolled band students, whether KVA or in-person, are required to participate in marching band activities, both in class and extracurricular. This includes after school practices, football games, marching competitions, and any other required events. If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP.

Is it possible to attend only activities outside of school in person?

Per UIL and district rules, a student enrolled in KVA may participate in UIL extracurricular activities, including marching band.  You will be enrolled in virtual learning during the school day, including band class, and attend marching rehearsal, football games, etc. outside of school hours.

Will the KVA band class period be in-person somehow before or after regular instructional hours?

No. Students participating in KVA will have their virtual band class during the school day.  The extracurricular part of band, marching band, will take place after school hours.

If my student switches from KVA to in-person at the end of the 1st six weeks grading period, how will that impact their band participation

This should not impact band at all.  We plan on teaching the same curriculum to KVA and in-person students.

Can you explain more about KVA band class, in-person band class, and participation in outside of school band activities (marching rehearsals and performances)?

Updated KISD policy effective 8/19. The curriculum for the first part of the fall semester will be devoted to marching band for all band students, whether you choose in-person school or KVA.  Since we are the teachers for both in-person school and KVA, we will only teach one curriculum for the time we are split into KVA and in-person.

We will be putting assignments in Canvas for all students.  If it is an assignment to be turned in, like a playing test or marching video, all students will be required to submit online.  We will also be using SmartMusic.

District expectations are that all enrolled band students, whether KVA or in-person, are required to participate in marching band activities, both in class and extracurricular. This includes after school practices, football games, marching competitions, and any other required events. To be clear, if you are enrolled in band (KVA or in-person), you will be graded on marching band attendance in class and extracurricular, even during the first three weeks of school during virtual learning. If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP.

Can a student do KVA band class and NOT do marching band?

Updated KISD policy effective 8/19.  No.  District expectations are that all enrolled band students, whether KVA or in-person, are required to participate in marching band activities, both in class and extracurricular. This includes after school practices, football games, marching competitions, and any other required events. To be clear, if you are enrolled in band (KVA or in-person), you will be graded on marching band attendance in class and extracurricular, even during the first three weeks of school during virtual learning. If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP.

Can a student do in person school and opt out of marching band?

Updated KISD policy effective 8/19.  No.  District expectations are that all enrolled band students, whether KVA or in-person, are required to participate in marching band activities, both in class and extracurricular. This includes after school practices, football games, marching competitions, and any other required events. To be clear, if you are enrolled in band (KVA or in-person), you will be graded on marching band attendance in class and extracurricular, even during the first three weeks of school during virtual learning. If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP.

What about Encore?

Encore is an audition ONLY class period. Students who accepted membership with Encore agreed to abide by Encore rules, which includes participation in the extracurricular activities (rehearsals, competitions, football games) and performing at any given performance.  Encore has a demerit system which will continue to be in place this fall.  For students choosing KVA, during the Encore class period they will have dance specific assignments that will coincide with what we are doing in-person.  Regardless if an Encore member has chosen KVA or in-person school, missing rehearsals or performances will result in demerits, which could result in dismissal from Encore (unless there are extenuating circumstances).  Participation in all rehearsals and events also are a major component of their grade.

How do we indicate intent to participate in the extracurricular portion of marching band or not?

Updated KISD policy effective 8/19. Expectation is that all band students will participate in marching band. If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP.

If we are not participating in the extracurricular portion of marching band, do we still need to submit the virtual money day form?

YES! Absolutely. There are certain required items, even if your student is not participating in extracurricular marching band for any reason (varsity football, varsity cheer, medical, etc.). Contact the Band Booster presidents for specifics.

Student Health

We have scheduled a physical, but it is not yet complete.  Will my child be allowed to attend summer band rehearsals? 

Unfortunately, no. We must have a physical on file before they may attend marching rehearsals. In addition to your personal physician, the PreParticipation physical can be obtained at CVS MinuteClinics and other urgent care providers for a reasonable fee. Once the form is completed, you may send as a pdf to RayAJones@katyisd.org As soon as the physical is submitted, the student may immediately begin attending summer band rehearsals. No need to wait for a reply.

Will the students be using bell covers?

In progress.  The physical distancing and other procedures in place are deemed sufficient. However, as an additional layer of protection, we plan on implementing bell covers when practicable.

Will students be given breaks? And can they bring food?

Yes students will be given short breaks as part of the daily schedule.  They can bring a quick snack for themselves to maintain their energy.  There will be NO sharing of food.

Has the HVAC filtering system at school been upgraded? (ie: HEPA filters and/or UV light in plenum)

This question is best directed to the Katy ISD district return to school email address: ReturntoSchool@katyisd.org 

How will pre-game meals be handled?

To be determined.  Student health and safety will be paramount and all district and state guidelines will be followed. 

How will bus transportation to events be handled safely?

To be determined.  Bus transportation protocols are determined by Katy ISD.

What disinfection procedures are in place for the Band Hall and Dance Gyms?

At CRHS, all indoor facilities will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly each evening, paying close attention to high traffic and high touch areas.  Band, Dance & Custodial Staff will insure cleanliness of Band Hall and Dance Gym shared resources daily. The use of all locker rooms on campus are prohibited. In the dance gym, the barres are blocked off and will not be used.

What are the requirements for facial coverings?

We follow Katy ISD and UIL guidelines for facial coverings.  Staff & Students are expected to have and wear face coverings.  Musicians shall wear facial coverings at all times except during music practice. Dancers shall wear facial coverings at all times except when physically active. Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose completely.

Given the recent headlines about neck gaiters, why is the band providing gaiters to students?

In early August, a number of media outlets reported claims that “neck gaiters” can be worse for Covid transmission than foregoing a mask altogether.  These headlines stemmed from a single Duke proof-of-concept study to determine methods for testing how to evaluate face coverings — not determine which one is the most effective in protecting against transmission. The study findings concluded that the laser-beam method for viewing, recording, and counting respiratory droplets is a quick and easy way to test face covering effectiveness. But how well each mask worked was not determined – that would require further, more specific, evaluation, stricter testing mechanisms, and greater control over variables. (https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/neck-gaiters-covid-19/
The band will follow Katy ISD and CDC guidelines on face coverings.  During class and rehearsals, students and staff may use any face covering that meets district policy (covering nose and mouth).  Neck gaiters were purchased by the band because they can be raised and lowered without risk of being lost or confused with another student’s.  They also can provide some sun protection for the neck and ears compared to other types of masks. 
Update: also see 9/1 article in Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-those-bogus-reports-on-ineffective-neck-gaiters-got-started/

What provisions will be in place for in-person band class when we return to campus on Sept 8?

Band class looks quite different than previous years. No chairs and No shared stands (students must bring their own personal wire stand). Gone is the traditional “arc” or semi-circle seating arrangement. Students all face forward with 12 ft spacing in front of them. Diagonal and side spacing is at least 9 ft. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are mandatory upon entry and exit of any classroom, including band. Playing time limits, “spit” management, and wiping down of percussion equipment are some additional examples of procedures that are in place.

Marching Spots

If my child does not attend the optional summer band, but does attend after school rehearsals once school starts, will they still be eligible to receive a marching spot?

Yes

If my child does not participate in summer band and does not participate in after school marching band rehearsals during the initial interim online classes, will that impact their ability to get a Marching position once in person classes resume (Sept 8 or later)? 

Updated KISD policy effective 8/19.  Answer: Yes, your status would be impacted. District expectations are that all enrolled band students, whether KVA or in-person, are required to participate in marching band activities, both in class and extracurricular. This includes after school practices, football games, marching competitions, and any other required events. To be clear, if you are enrolled in band (KVA or in-person), you will be graded on marching band attendance in class and extracurricular, even during the first three weeks of school during virtual learning.  If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP.

Schedule

Does the practices that start on August 3rd include freshman and if so, what parts would they get for music?

Yes, all band students are encouraged to attend the summer band rehearsals that start the week of August 3.  Parts were assigned after the spring virtual auditions.  If your student does not know which part, have them ask their section DI student leader. 

Is 9/12 an ok date for taking the ACT?

Yes, with football games and marching contests delayed by several weeks, this is now a good date to take the ACT test.  Other good dates are:
SAT:  Aug 29, Sept 26, Oct 3 (reg deadlines 8/18 w/late fee; 8/26, and 9/4 respectively)
ACT:  Sep 12, Sept 19 (registration deadline August 14)
We will update guidance on ACT/SAT test dates on the Charms calendar once the new UIL schedule is announced.

Has TMEA adjusted the region band audition schedule to accommodate the delayed UIL schedule? Or will region band auditions remain as scheduled?

To be determined.  Next TMEA region 23 general meeting is Aug 8.

With the delayed start of UIL football games, what will happen to Homecoming week? Any idea if HoCo and parade will be rescheduled?:

Updated football schedule was released 8/15.  Homecoming football game is now scheduled for Thursday, November 12.  Details about the other events of Homecoming week are still unknown at this time.

What will be the practice schedule during the intermittent virtual learning period (Aug 19 – Sept 4)?  What will be the start time?

Practice schedule for the first 3 weeks (through Sept 4) has been updated on the Charms calendar, which can be accessed from the home page of the band website.

What will be the practice schedule after September 7?  What will be the start time?

The practice schedule after the return to in-person class will be posted very soon, but it will be much more like a “normal” marching schedule in previous years. i.e. 3 days per week following the UIL 8-hr rule. This will be shared with the students in class and updated on the Charms calendar when finalized, which can be accessed from the home page of the band website.

What is the attendance and grading policy for football games?

All band performances, including football games, are major grades. Unexcused absences will result in a 0. In addition, Encore members are subject to the demerit system. Early communication is essential. Contact your director via email and submit a request for excused absence form. The link to this form, along with the grading policy, Band Handbook and more are available in the Downloads section of the website. https://cincoranchcougarband.com/crhs-downloads-forms/

Financial

When will money day be held online?

Email with required items and prices went out August 4. Online money day form will go out August 16.  Deadline to submit is August 25. If you have financial concerns, please contact the Booster presidents at CRHSBandPresidents@gmail.com

What does the mandatory fee encompass?

The mandatory fee is required for ALL students and covers the cost of music clinicians, dance clinicians, marching techs and marching show clinicians, equipment transportation, COVID mitigation, buses for contests, meals for students, student social activities, cleaning and maintaining uniforms, show music, marching show drill design, dance choreography, Encore show and spring costumes, props, other show expenses, and more.

Why are we being charged a full mandatory fee when there are so many uncertainties about the upcoming season and which events may or may not happen due to COVID?

Guidance from the district to all high school bands was to charge the full mandatory fee or fair-share fee, collect on a flexible payment schedule, and be prepared to (partially) return funds if events were cancelled. If you have financial concerns, please contact the Booster presidents at CRHSBandPresidents@gmail.com

How will funds be refunded if necessary?

This year all payments will be made online via credit card, debit card, or PayPal account.  Should we need to refund any money, it will be issued back to the same card used for payment.  You would also have the option of donating the money to the band or using the refund amount toward your spring trip balance, if applicable.

For Encore members, is the money due for Virtual Money Day this fall in addition to the money due to Encore from last spring?:

Yes.  The money from the Encore Order Form last May was for purchasing the Encore specific required practice clothing and other items.  The August Virtual Money Day is for the entire band, dancers and musicians. 

Can a portion of the money that each student raises for fundraisers (Poinsettia sales, etc.) be used toward their Spring trip balance, like some other organizations do.

No. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In 2011, an IRS directive was issued that changed fund raising for booster clubs. A 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the private benefit of individuals.  According to the IRS directive, booster clubs that offset an individual’s account with fundraising money are providing a private benefit to that individual.  Consequently, we would be putting our non-profit status at risk.  In addition, amounts credited to an individual’s account due to fundraising would constitute income from services, and could result in employment taxes for both the organization and individual.

If a student opts to not participate in the extracurricular marching band portion of band, do they have to pay the full mandatory fee?

Updated KISD policy effective 8/19. District expectations are that all enrolled band students, whether KVA or in-person, are required to participate in marching band activities, both in class and extracurricular. This includes after school practices, football games, marching competitions, and any other required events.  Because of this, all students are expected to pay the standard mandatory fee. If you need to discuss specific concerns about marching, please call Mr. Jones 281-237-5046 ASAP. If you have financial concerns, please contact the Booster presidents at CRHSBandPresidents@gmail.com

I am concerned about paying $1,500 for a spring trip that may end up being cancelled.  Is insurance offered for the spring trip to Orlando?

Yes. “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance is already included in the price for the 2021 Cougar Band spring trip to Orlando.  Please see the website (https://cincoranchcougarband.com/spring-trip-payment/) for details on the trip, including cancellation policy.

I can’t remember what payment schedule I chose for the Orlando Trip. When do I actually need to pay what?

The various payment schedules are posted in the trip information section of the website. These schedules are suggestions to help spread out the payments since the trip is a significant cost. You can pay whenever suits your family’s needs with the following guidelines: At a minimum we need $100 by Sept 24 and $1300 total by December 11. The final payment will be due in January once we confirm the final trip cost.

How do I purchase additional items after I’ve submitted the Virtual Money Day form.?

You use the same Virtual Money Day form using the link on the band website: https://cincoranchcougarband.com/2020-virtual-money-day/ If you’ve already submitted the Required Items and Fees previously, you should select the option under “Student Type” called “Repeat Form”. This will let you purchase additional required items as needed, as well as optional items, but won’t charge you the required fees again.

I’ve made a partial payment for band fees. What website do I go to to make the additional payments?

Go to the main band website (https://cincoranchcougarband.com/ ) and click Pay the Band! in the menu selections.

Supplies

What supplies will be mandatory vs optional?

A list of required items to be purchased on money day will be emailed and posted on the website. (email sent 8/4)

Can students bring a flip folder to hold the printed music?

Students may bring a flip folder to prevent the wind blowing music away.  However, every student must also bring a music stand of their own to every rehearsal.

What music is supposed to be printed out? Is it the flip-folder ones?

Yes, students should print out the flip-folder music from the band website and bring with them to August band rehearsals, along with the other necessary supplies listed in the slide show.

Is the new $35 water jug required?

A Cinco Ranch Cougar Band water jug is required.  Returning members may use their black Igloo jug from last year or purchase the new RTIC jug.

Why is the black band water jug required? Can they just bring any water jug from home?

For practice, students may use any water jug.  We are only concerned that they bring enough water for the entire rehearsal, as they are not currently allowed to refill them at school.  For performances and games, it is important for the band to present a uniform appearance, and thus all students must use a black band water jug, either the new model or last year’s model.

We ordered but never received a water jug last year.

Due to supply issues, Igloo was unable to fulfill our entire order last year. If you paid for, but did not receive a water jug last year, order one of the new RTIC jugs this year. Note in the comments area of the order form (on payment page), and we will credit your account $12 once verified.

My student is a freshman, but we have many of the required items from an older sibling no longer in band.  Are we required to buy these items new or can we use the ones we already own.

By all means, use the ones you already own.  Each student is required to have the required items and purchase is only required as needed to replace.  As a side note, the band sells required items at cost. The band makes no profit on these items, so it is in everyone’s best interest to not sell them to you, except as required.

How do I purchase additional items after I’ve submitted the Virtual Money Day form.?

You use the same Virtual Money Day form using the link on the band website: https://cincoranchcougarband.com/2020-virtual-money-day/ If you’ve already submitted the Required Items and Fees previously, you should select the option under “Student Type” called “Repeat Form”. This will let you purchase additional required items as needed, as well as optional items, but won’t charge you the required fees again.

Uniforms

How will uniform sizing be handled for in person or KVA band members?

To be determined

Will uniforms be dry cleaned after every use?

To be determined

Game Day

Will food be distributed to band students or will they need to bring their own food?

To be determined after the band’s involvement in games is known.

Marching Show

Will there be a marching show premiere like in previous years?

Nothing is like previous years. The show content and how it will be premiered to parents is to be determined.