March 10, 2020
Dear Franklin Families and Faculty/Staff,
I am writing with a follow-up communication to our March 8, 2020 and February 28, 2020 letters to the community. As a district, we continue to remain informed of the health advisories being issued by our local, state, and federal officials and agencies. We also continue to communicate internally among administrators, teachers, our local Health Department, School Nurse Leader, and consulting School Physician. Nursing staff are monitoring illness within the student body and are prepared to react appropriate to agency guidance.
Several questions emerged from the school community, which I address below.
Staff and families have inquired about more details related to our cleaning procedures. We are remaining vigilant about our routine cleaning practices which include: trash removal; cleaning, disinfecting, and stocking of our bathrooms; dry mopping floors or vacuuming carpets in classrooms and offices; dusting, cleaning surfaces, and wiping glass windows on a scheduled basis; and washing floors regularly and as needed.
In addition to this routine cleaning, our custodians have augmented with a disinfecting/sanitizing procedure. The custodians utilize Victory brand electrostatic sprayers, applying a Purell professional surface disinfectant to hard surfaces, commonly touched items such as doorknobs, handles, and counters, and high traffic spaces such as the main and nurses’ offices. They began using these sprayers last year when we had a spike in the seasonal flu. They have been using these several times a week including before and after weekend events in our schools.
Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout all of our schools; custodial staff are monitoring them to be sure they are full and operational. Additionally, our faculty and staff are emphasizing good handwashing practices, especially with our elementary students.
We have also asked our transportation company to increase its cleaning procedures. They have added the application of BruTab 6S to their cleaning routine. They are applying the product twice weekly in addition to daily cleaning. Our school-owned vans are also cleaned daily and a disinfecting electrostatic sprayer is used regularly.
In addition to regular use, the disinfecting procedures will be used in response to specific situations, if needed.
Evening Events and Gatherings
We remain informed and are following guidance about group events. We are also consulting with our local health department officials.
The music concerts scheduled for this evening and Thursday night will continue as planned. We feel it is important to provide our students with continuity of their curriculum in this content area and public performances are an important extension of the school learning environment. We understand that this may be of concern to some families.
Governor Baker’s press conference from earlier today identified that individuals may wish to exercise personal judgement in not attending large gatherings. This message has been emphasized for those who are at-risk including older individuals, those who are immune-compromised, or those who have
immune-compromised individuals in their household. We also ask that if you are exhibiting upper respiratory symptoms or flu-like conditions, that you also refrain from attending.
We respect that individuals may make personal decisions to not attend the performances. If families choose to keep a child or children home from participating in this event, there will not be negative consequences for them.
For your reference, I would like to share the Town of Franklin’s Coronavirus portal, where the public can access the latest information:
At this time, we have not cancelled travel plans but are reviewing field trips in light of Governor Baker’s press conference today. We will issue an update later this week about those.
Again, please keep children home from school when they are ill. If your child has any of the following symptoms please keep them home from school: temperature greater than 100, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from eye, and any contagious illness such as chicken pox, strep throat or flu. We also ask that staff stay home when they are ill in order to prevent the spread of infections.
The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to be an evolving situation that we are following closely. We will keep you informed with updates and information that become available to us.
Sara E. Ahern, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Prior letters for reference
1 - https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/02/franklin-public-schools-information.html
2 - https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/03/franklin-public-schools-update-on.html
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