Health and Safety

Student and Staff Health

orange button with the words Health and Safety

With guidance from our local public health authorities, the following health protocols will provide a more comprehensive approach to managing illnesses and illness symptoms for the purpose of mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Daily Wellness Check

Before leaving for work or sending a student to school, please conduct a wellness check to ensure good health. If you or anyone in your home is ill, please stay home.  This tool is not meant to take the place of consultation with your healthcare provider or to diagnose or treat conditions. If you are in an emergency medical situation, call 911. These questions are designed to assess whether you should come to school or not.

Click here for details on how to conduct a daily wellness check for you or your student.

On-Site Nurse Assessment

  • If a student develops symptoms of illness during the school day, they will go to the nurse for assessment. If a student has symptoms of COVID-19, they will be escorted to a designated room where they will be supervised until they can be picked up. The nurse will wear proper gloves, gown, face shield and a mask.
  • The school nurse will immediately notify parent/guardian for pick-up. The student will remain supervised in a designated room, separate from others to maximum extent possible, until their parent/guardian arrives. Parents must pick up their student, or arrange for the prompt pick-up of their student.
  • Return to school will be based on the FSSD Illness Guidelines (see next section).

School Return Protocol and Illness Guidelines

We are doing everything in our power to ensure the safest environment possible while continually providing education to our students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our top priorities is protecting students, families, and staff, so our school district is following strict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health for the management of individuals diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19.

When we are notified of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 present in a school, we consult with our local health department, and immediately began an investigation to determine who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 15 minutes) with that individual.  All who have been identified as close contacts will be notified and instructed to quarantine at home for 10 days from their last contact with that individual. Quarantined individuals are not allowed to return to school until the quarantine period has elapsed.

Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 must self-isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms. The individual must be fever-free for 24 hours and have improving symptoms before leaving isolation and returning to school.

While COVID-19 does not cause illness in every person who becomes infected, it is highly contagious. If we work together with students, parents, staff, volunteers, and the Tennessee Department of Health, we can avoid closing our schools.

The following are FSSD Illness Guidelines and action steps for parents if your child is sick:

Social and Emotional Health

Support staff (counselors, social workers) will provide the following support for students and staff:

  • Develop and implement professional development for building staff regarding the management of stress, anxiety, and trauma.
  • Collaborate with classroom teachers on activities for mental health support for students.
  • Provide social emotional support for students anxious about school reopening and new routines.
  • Collaborate with community agencies to provide best practice mental health support for students and staff.
  • Provide classroom lessons on school expectations specific to health, safety, and physical distancing practices to help students adjust to a different school setting.

We encourage anyone with specific needs to reach out to a school counselor or district social worker:

Franklin Elementary
Andrea Gillette
(615) 791- 1187

Freedom Intermediate
Kecia Pizzillo
(615) 790- 4718

Freedom Middle
Megan Ash
(615) 790- 0987

Johnson Elementary
Donzaleigh Phillips
(615) 794- 4837

Liberty Elementary
Heather Eskridge
(615) 790- 0892

Moore Elementary
Bruce Coberly
(615) 790- 4700

Poplar Grove Elementary
Whitney Chambers-Woods
(615) 790- 4720

Poplar Grove Middle
Keith Welch
(615) 790- 4721

Amanda Fisher, LMSW, LSSW
District Social Worker (K-8)
(615) 349- 6103

Marlene Vergara, LBSW, LSSW
District Social Worker (Pre-K)
(615) 472- 3126

What We All Can Do

The following recommendations come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Recommended Universal Precautions.

Hand Washing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Physical Distancing

Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 adult arms’ length) from other people. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Face Coverings

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others especially when unable to maintain physical distancing. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. According to the CDC, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.  The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a complete substitute for social distancing.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and Disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants work well.

Monitor Your Health

Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet. Take your temperature if symptoms develop. Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

What We Are Doing At School

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The Franklin Special School District has implemented a robust cleaning and disinfecting protocol for frequently touched surfaces within the school and on school buses daily, and frequently throughout the day as recommended by the CDC. The use of shared objects (physical education equipment, art supplies, toys, games, writing utensils, etc) is limited when possible, or cleaned between use. The District has implemented a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection before the school day, during the day, and after the school day ends.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE and Face Coverings)

  • Increased number of hand sanitizer stations are provided throughout each building.
  • PPE equipment, including gloves, face shields, and face coverings, are provided for clinic staff.
  • Non-contact thermometers are available for school use.
  • All staff will be provided a face covering.
  • Students will be required to have their own appropriately sized face covering. Backup masks will be provided on a limited basis.
  • Students and staff are expected to wear protective face coverings when on school campuses. Students are required to wear a face covering on the bus and in school, unless directed by an FSSD staff member otherwise. Refer to CDC guidance for use of cloth face coverings.
  • We understand some medical exemptions will be necessary. Students who are medically exempt from wearing a mask must present the school administrator with a doctor’s note. Students who are exempt due to a health condition will need to be appropriately distanced from the larger group.

Water Systems

Access to drinking fountains are limited to bottle refill stations until further notice. Drinking fountains are cleaned and sanitized, but staff and students are strongly encouraged to bring their own water bottles to minimize the use and touching of refill stations.

Modified Layouts

The District will space seating/desks/tables to maximize distancing procedures wherever possible. It is not always be feasible to get all classroom furniture six feet apart. Furniture will be arranged to provide as much distance between students as possible and in some settings, additional strategies such as plexiglass barriers may be used. Office space, conference rooms and communal areas provide physical distancing to the extent possible by removing and/or spacing furniture to increase distance between users.

Physical Barriers and Guides

The District has installed physical barriers, sneeze guards and partitions, particularly in high traffic areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain physically distant (e.g., reception desks). Physical guides and signage such as tape on floors and signs on walls are used so that staff and children remember to remain physically distant within the building.

Communal Spaces

A plan of use for communal, shared spaces such as cafeterias and playgrounds is in place at each school.

Plan Monitoring and Accountability

The Return to Learn 2020 Plan will be reviewed and revised as conditions require. The District has a COVID-19 Response Team and each school site has a trained COVID-19 Response Coordinator.