Thursday, August 27, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent's Message - Aug 25, 2020

 August 25, 2020

Dear Franklin Community,

Reopening Plan Approved
The School Committee approved the Franklin Public Schools Reopening Plan at its August 11, 2020 meeting. Franklin Public Schools will be starting predominantly remotely and phasing into a hybrid model based on preparedness and health data. The Reopening Website has been updated to reflect the plan and the Comprehensive Plan has also been posted.

We will continue to provide updates and communications on what to expect to our students and families both at the district and school levels.

We anticipate that there will continue to be changes to the plan as we work on implementation details. The plan will be adjusted in the coming days and specific details impacting families will be communicated from the district and/or school buildings.

First Day of School
The first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year will be Wednesday, September 16, 2020 and the school year will be 170 days. The School Committee adopted this new start date on August 11; the Committee will be reviewing a calendar with proposed revisions of parent/teacher conference dates and professional development for adoption at its next meeting on August 25, 2020.

Remote Only Commitment K-5
Thank you to the many families who recently completed a survey for students entering grades K-5. Understanding your intention and a commitment to proceed with Remote Only  education,  once we transition to a hybrid model, is  very important for our ongoing planning. 

At this time, there is enough interest in Remote Only that we are working towards a model where remote only students in  grades K-5 will be grouped together by grade level with students across all elementary schools and taught by designated remote-only FPS  teachers. 

Curriculum, instruction, and pacing will be aligned with grade level hybrid classrooms in the district.

Should families wish to change from Remote Only to Hybrid, we will provide opportunities at the end of each trimester, and ask for four weeks of notice to be provided. Students will then be assigned to a Hybrid classroom in their assigned school with assigned days for a cohort.

For those of you who selected Remote Only for your child/children, please be on the lookout for a confirmation welcome letter.
Remote Only Commitment Grades 6-8
Thank you to the many families who recently completed a survey for students entering grades 6-8. Like with grades 6-8, understanding your intention and a commitment to proceed with Remote Only education, once we transition to a hybrid model, is very important for our ongoing planning. At this time and based on interest, we are planning to have the Remote Only students continue to proceed in class with the students assigned to hybrid cohorts.

Borrowing a Chromebook and Optional Insurance
Families who wish to be issued a Chromebook as we begin the school year may do so by requesting one through the Technology Department. The current Chromebooks are part of an older fleet of devices that we have been using in the District for the past several years.

Form to Request a Device/Remote Support
We have ordered new Chromebooks,  however, we anticipate a shipping delay. When these Chromebooks come in, families will have the opportunity to swap an older Chromebook for a new one. Families will be responsible for the care of these Chromebooks, consistent with expectations for care of other school materials. Families will be responsible  for replacement  in the event of breakage.  In order to assist families, Franklin Public Schools will be offering families the optional opportunity to purchase $40/year insurance to cover Chromebook failures and accidents. (Intentional damage is not covered). This is something that has been offered to our high school families as long as the 1:1 Chromebook model has been in place (since 2014).

Details about this insurance option will be clarified in future communications, after the new Chromebooks have arrived and are ready for distribution.

Bus Transportation
Even though the deadline has passed, parents/guardians can still register their student(s) for bus transportation via this google form, and we will do our best to accommodate families' needs.

Please wait to make payment until further implementation plans and timelines are announced. We expect that our busing contract will be amended this year with a varied schedule and reduced seating capacity. At this time, we are unsure of what and when refunds will be issued, so we encourage you to wait to make payment until we can assure that your student will have a seat. We will communicate future payment deadlines as they are determined.

The FPS transportation website has been updated with further information. Please contact with questions or to remove an already registered student.

Influenza Vaccine Requirement
Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, influenza vaccine will be required for all students. Documentation of immunization status should be submitted to schools. This immunization is required in all models of learning, including Remote. Vaccinating against influenza is important for several reasons. Influenza vaccine is always important to receive to reduce the risk of getting sick with influenza, reduce the severity of disease if one does get sick (including the risk of hospitalization) due to influenza, as well as preventing the spread of influenzato others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect vulnerable populations from severe illness, and decrease the overall burden on the healthcare system.

Exceptions may be granted for those for whom the vaccine is medically contraindicated or for families who attest in writing that the vaccine violates sincerely held religious beliefs. Families must submit a letter to the school nurse requesting an exemption and indicating the reason.

Please continue to send questions to and we will incorporate your questions into our FAQ page.

Franklin Public Schools

Please contact the Superintendent's Office at 508-553-4819 with questions. Alternatively, you can e-mail as noted above.

Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent's Message - Aug 25, 2020
Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent's Message - Aug 25, 2020

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