Saturday, October 10, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Re-opening Update for Families - Oct 9, 2020

October 9, 2020

Dear Franklin Families,

Transition to Hybrid

The average daily cases of COVID-19 in Franklin have remained below 4 per 100,000 for the past three weeks and the percent positivity rate has been below 1%. Current numbers are 3.2 cases per 100,000 and a percent positivity rate of 0.96%. When taken into consideration with Norfolk County and Massachusetts data over the past several weeks, these current health metrics support us continuing forward with a transition to hybrid as follows:

10/19/2020 -- Grades 2, 3, 6
10/26/2020 -- Grades 4, 5, 7, 8 and High Needs at FHS  
11/2/2020 -- FHS

More details about the cohort assignments, schedule, and what to expect upon arrival will be shared from the schools.

Our teachers have been actively preparing to welcome students into our buildings. It will be important at this time to establish new routines, which is always important at the start of the school year, but it is even more important with the latest health and safety practices. As a result, remote instruction for those students whose cohort is not in the building will necessarily begin looking differently as we move into a hybrid environment.

At the elementary level: all students will participate in a synchronous live morning meeting and closing circle. Throughout the day, educators will engage with remote students multiple times throughout the day, and remote students will be provided with assignments and asynchronous learning opportunities as well. Compared to instruction experienced thus far, there will necessarily be less synchronous learning time as our teachers attend to in-person instruction as well as in-person health and safety practices.

We have received a few inquiries about transitioning from having chosen hybrid to Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) or from VLA to hybrid. A separate document explaining the process will be included in versions of this mailing to elementary families. Please know that there is little flexibility and shifts between the two require significant planning about staff and physical space.

At the middle and high school levels:
all students will participate in a lesson launch with their teacher. Educators will employ different strategies to engage students, both in person and remote learners, which may be synchronous or asynchronous. In the early weeks, our teachers will be working hard to establish new building routines, especially the new health and safety practices and there may be additional asynchronous instruction happening for those who are remote.

At all levels and both in person and remote, we ask for your understanding and patience as we begin a very novel way of teaching and learning. Everyone is working very hard and learning new strategies. We also wish to emphasize the need for adaptability. We know that we are in a changing environment and health data could result in partial or full closures, as we have seen in other districts. Flexibility will be important and we ask families to be sure to have a back up plan.

We also know that there may be nervousness about transitioning to the hybrid model. We will emphasize our health and safety practices with students (physical distancing, hand washing, and mask-wearing).

Travel to a Non-Lower Risk State
Students who are returning to Massachusetts from a non-lower risk state will have to quarantine for 14 days or receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to school. Students will continue to receive instruction at home.

DESE Letter to Families of Students with Disabilities
The Department of Elementary and Secondary education recently released this letter for families of students with disabilities, which we are sharing with you: 

Food Services Update 
The food pick up at the Parmenter Elementary School is being closed due to a lower level of participation. Pick up of breakfast and lunch will now all be done at the rear of Franklin High School, by the cafeteria’s entrance from 3:00 -- 4:00 PM. All meals are free until December 31, 2020

No School Reminder - No School on Monday, October 12, 2020

Have a wonderful weekend, Franklin Public Schools

Please e-mail with questions.


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