Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: Reopening Status - October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

Dear Franklin Community,

It has been delightful to welcome students in grades 2, 3, and 6 as part of cohort A yesterday and today. We also look forward to welcoming these grades for cohort B on Thursday, and eagerly anticipate hybrid students in grades 4-5 and 7-8 next week. We also look forward to welcoming students back to Franklin High School!

Designation of Yellow Status and Implications for a Red Designation

Many families are keeping informed of health data related to COVID-19. We are writing to share additional information related to how we follow health data for decision-making.

Last week, Franklin was designated as a “yellow” community in the weekly Department of Public Health health report; we are continuing with our plans to transition into a hybrid learning model while continuing to monitor health metrics on a weekly basis. DESE guides us that hybrid learning would be the expected model with a yellow designation, or remote if there were to be extenuating circumstances. Franklin’s yellow status results from the number of average daily positive cases per 100,000, which is currently 5.5 At this level, DESE guidance points us towards continuing with our transition to hybrid.

We monitor the weekly health report (published at 6 PM on Wednesdays) and take the information into consideration when making decisions among our instructional models. DESE advises us to use three weeks worth of data in our review so that we can analyze trends. Franklin recently went to a yellow designation, after having been green for the past several weeks. We are also guided to consider the demographic circumstances around which positive cases are being reported. A cluster of cases is sometimes the cause for a change in shading.

Some families have asked about our plans should Franklin move to a red status.

A red status would involve having more than 8 average daily cases per 100,000. We would continue to look at trends in data over successive weeks. We would also consider the demographic circumstances. Depending on the individuals involved and whether or not there is a cluster of cases, one option would be to continue to support hybrid instruction if, for example, the spread was contained within a certain population and does not involve schools. This is being seen in neighboring communities where they are remaining hybrid although they have been designated at the red level. If Franklin ended up with a red designation, depending on the specific details, another alternative might be to return to remote for most students, but keep in-person learning continuing for specialized programs. Alternatively, we might pivot to remote learning for all.

Decisions are made thoughtfully, based on multiple data points, in collaboration with the Health Department in Franklin.

Health and Safety Practices

This is a good time to remind everyone of our universal health and safety practices including wearing a mask, washing hands or using hand sanitizer, and maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet. We are vigilant about following these in our schools and encourage good health and safety practices across the community.
Families are reminded that they should contact their child’s school nurse in the event that their child tests positive for COVID-19. By doing so, we will be able to appropriately support the child and family, conduct contact tracing within the school setting, and add extra cleaning/disinfecting to the necessary school spaces.

We hope this information provides reinforcement and additional detail surrounding our decision-making among instructional models.


Franklin Public Schools

Please e-mail reopening@franklinps.net with questions. https://sites.google.com/franklinps.net/returntoschoolplan/home


Franklin Public Schools: Reopening Status - October 20, 2020
Franklin Public Schools: Reopening Status - October 20, 2020


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