Friday, July 24, 2020

Reopening Update to the Community from Dr. Sara Ahern - July 23, 2020

July 23, 2020

Dear Franklin Families:

We hope that you are having a good summer. We also recognize that it looks and feels quite different amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thinking of you at this time and hope that you find some relaxing moments amidst the worries and uncertainty you are facing. This update is quite long and contains the following information:

  1. Update on the reopening of schools in the fall
  2. A Save the Date note regarding upcoming Family Virtual “Chats” to learn more about reopening of school plans and opportunity to provide important input
  3. Reminders about online registration, bus transportation for the fall, and summer food services
  4. A budget update

Update on the Reopening of Schools in the Fall
We acknowledge that this is a time of anxiety and fear for all - students, faculty/staff, and families. We are in a fluid situation with new health information and guidance from multiple agencies (DESE, CDC, MA DPH) emerging regularly. We aim to provide certainty with what we know at this time but recognize that it is subject to change, and we don’t yet have all the answers.

New guidance from DESE and other agencies is emerging regularly, beginning with the initial guidance issued on June 25, 2020. At this time, the FPS Reopening Taskforce of nearly 60 individuals is working on a Reopening Plan. A preliminary plan will be submitted to DESE on July 31st, and then a Comprehensive Opening Plan will be submitted in early to mid-August. Our taskforce is a large group of administrators, teachers/counselors, FEA representatives, community reps (Facilities, SRO, school physician, and Health department), parents/guardians, and two School Committee representatives.

The plan will address health and safety requirements as well as three different student learning models:

1. In-person instruction
This model involves students attending in-person instruction following health and safety protocols defined by the CDC and DESE. Student desks would be arranged in rows, all facing the same way. Where possible, individuals would maintain 6 feet of physical distance and 3 feet of distance would be the minimum. Among other safety procedures, mask wearing would be in effect and handwashing/hand sanitizing protocols would be implemented. Staff and students would experience training on new practices.

2. Hybrid instruction
This model involves separating students into cohorts so that approximately 50% of students would attend school on certain days and approximately 50% of students would attend school on the alternative days. Cleaning and disinfecting would occur in between attendance of the different cohorts. When students are not present in school, they would be engaged in remote learning. Remote learning for the 2020-2021 school year is expected to be more robust than what students experienced in the spring.

Continue reading the update in the full PDF version linked/displayed here:

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