Thursday, January 6, 2022

Franklin Public Schools: Update from Superintendent Ahern on COVID-19 and school closures

Dear Franklin Community,

You have likely seen the news reports that some schools in our local area had to close today due to high COVID-19 cases among faculty/staff or cases that affect their families. We are also hearing about daycare closures due to COVID.

Like other districts, Franklin Public Schools is seeing a large volume of students and staff testing positive. I don’t mean to alarm you, however we publish weekly case counts and I think it is important to give you both a preview and an honest snapshot of what we are experiencing. Yesterday’s COVID informational letter identified 20 individuals within the school setting who tested positive. (Today’s letter indicated 30). The total number of individuals testing positive yesterday alone was 68 when individuals who were isolating at home are included.  These numbers are straining our ability to adequately staff our schools.

We are not experiencing evidence of school-based spread. I wish to reassure you that our schools have significantly more mitigation measures in place than public and private settings, generally.

We are doing our best to collaborate across the district and deploy substitutes in order to provide adequate coverage to keep students safe in the learning environment. Our efforts also include coverage by building and central office administrators.

I share this information with you to: 
  • emphasize the hard work the team is doing in an aim to keep schools open and to keep everyone safe  
  • and ask you to prepare for the possibility that on any given day, we may need to close a school if we feel that we can not safely operate the school based on the number of adults we have to supervise.

As with our snow notifications, a decision to close will be made as early as possible for your planning purposes. It may be the night prior to school but it may also be in the morning. We will aim to make the decision and initiate notifications by cell, text, and email by 5:30 AM and no later than 6:00 AM.

Days missed will need to be made up at the end of the year as all students are required to have 180 days of instruction. Moving to remote instruction is not an option.

Thank you for your understanding, flexibility, patience, and cooperation,

Sara Ahern
Superintendent of Schools

Shared via SchCom Chair Denise Spencer's Facebook post:

Update from Superintendent Ahern on COVID-19 and school closures
Update from Superintendent Ahern on COVID-19 and school closures

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