The Transportation Department has implemented the following protocols in addition to their normal routines to mitigate the spread of the virus:
- Buses are disinfected after all morning and afternoon routes, and high touch surfaces more frequently.
- Bus drivers wear face coverings for the duration of the route.
- Students are seated in assigned seating charts with siblings, or families living in the same household, sitting together first. Students unload from the front to the rear of the bus for the purpose of reducing the amount of cross-exposure between students.
- Hand sanitizing is available for students to use as they enter and leave the bus.
- Students are asked to not share common objects with other students such as cell phones, toys, electronic devices, books, etc. Students must keep personal belongings to themselves and keep hands off of other people or other objects.
- Students need to wear an appropriately-fitted face covering for the duration of the route.
- Students will only be allowed to ride their own bus to which they have been assigned for home-to-school/school-to-home transport. Students will not be permitted to ride with another student on a different bus.
- All riders are expected to follow guidance and direction from their bus driver, especially as it relates to assigned seating and physical distancing requirements.
- Willful failure to abide by any of these guidelines may result in the suspension of bus privileges.
Arrival and Dismissal
Arrival and dismissal can be challenging for schools with large numbers of students congregating and socializing before the day begins and just prior to leaving school. This time of socialization is an important part of the student experience and can provide the avenue for strong friendships and the development of valuable social skills. However, during this time when prevention and mitigation strategies are essential to reduce the risk of virus spread, the Franklin Special School District will incorporate the following arrival and dismissal strategies:
- Schools may use multiple entrances and exits to allow for smaller groups of students to enter and exit where this option is feasible and safe. Supervision will be provided at each area used. Where multiple entrances and exits are not a good option, staff will manage the flow of traffic in and out of the buildings to reduce the number of students moving at a given time.
- Schools may stagger the release of students so that smaller groups will be utilizing the dismissal areas at a given time.
- Students will be reminded to physically distance when feasible.
- If possible, families should drive their student(s) to and from school to reduce the total number of students riding the bus.
- Students will be temperature screened prior to entering the main portion of the school building. Their first responsibility will be to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer located near the entrance of the building or found in the classroom.
- For those students eating breakfast, morning breakfast meals will be served in the cafeteria or possibly the classroom with a seating arrangement established for physical distancing.
General Daily Routines
- Health and hygiene practices have been specifically taught during the first week of school, and are continuously reinforced throughout the year.
- Intensified cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting processes is maintained.
- Absenteeism and communicable disease spread is closely monitored.
- Schools will postpone or alter non-critical large group gatherings and events, including making adjustments to arrival and dismissal routines, general building procedures, space use and traffic flow.
- Protocols are in place requiring that sick students and staff stay home. In addition, standardized procedures for dealing with someone becoming sick at school will be strictly enforced (see Illness Guidelines in the Health and Safety Section).
- Classrooms and school routines incorporate strategies including, but not limited to, the following:
- Schools should limit the mixing of cohorts of students to the extent possible
- Students should be spaced as far apart as possible. Face coverings must be worn especially when optimal physical distancing is not possible.
- Minimizing co-mingling of students and attempting to keep consistent groups of students together as much as possible
A disposable/cloth face covering must be worn by all staff, students and visitors while on school property except as follows:
- when an individual cannot safely wear a disposable/cloth face covering.
- while eating and drinking.
- while indoors and maintaining social distancing, at the direction of FSSD staff.
- while outdoors and maintaining social distancing, at the direction of FSSD staff using CDC guidelines.
Group rosters will stay as consistent as possible and mixing of groups will be avoided when feasible. Refer to CDC guidance for use of cloth face cover.
Food Services/Student Meals/Outside Food
- Cafeteria seating will provide as much spacing as possible. Cafeteria plated meals will provide a limited menu to maintain serving methods that limit the amount of times products are handled, while ensuring the safety of children with food allergies.
- Following normal protocol, Food and Culinary Services staff wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
- The District will move to normal food service operations when local health department authorities recommend to do so.
- Students will wash or sanitize their hands before entering the food serving area.
- Menus will be limited in choices for the immediate future to accommodate the availability of individually wrapped items.
- Touchless check-out through the point of sale has been put in place. Parents can add money to their children’s accounts online, limiting the need for money to be sent to school.
- Student seating in the cafeteria area will be spread out to achieve distance between students as close to 6 ft as possible.
- Cafeteria tables will be disinfected between each lunch shift with food-safe disinfectant.
- In addition to normal sanitizing procedures, the kitchen and serving area will be disinfected at the beginning and end of each food preparation and meal service.
- The District will continue to provide meal substitutions and seating accommodations for students with food allergies/intolerances based on medical forms on file.
- Students will be charged for their meal based on their free, reduced or full pay status as in previous school years. Free and reduced applications can be found in school offices or through Skyward Family Access and must be completed each year anytime after July 1 for eligibility.
- Distribution of any outside food or beverages to our students is not allowed.
Recess and Physical Education
Each school has completed an inventory of outdoor spaces and identified areas to provide separation between students. Recess will be staggered by groups, and staff will disinfect shared equipment between uses.
FSSD will incorporate the following protocols for recess and physical education classes:
- Use of cones, flags, tape, or other signs to create boundaries between groups.
- Have students wash hands immediately after outdoor play.
- Stagger the use of playground equipment.
- Complete an inventory of outdoor spaces (athletic fields, track, green spaces, open space, and local parks) and designate zones, use stations, mark off areas, floor markers, floor tape, poly spots, etc., to ensure physical distancing separation among students.
- Limit direct contact with equipment and sharing of equipment. If equipment must be shared, clean and disinfect between each use.
- Designate specific areas for each class during recess to avoid cohort mixing.
The Franklin Special School District places a high value on attendance because of its direct correlation to the success students will experience on their educational journey. Attendance for remote and virtual learners will be tracked. We want to ensure that parents understand the new attendance tracking process for remote and virtual learners. Attendance will be documented and the FSSD Truancy Tier Intervention Protocol will still be followed should a remote or virtual learner not comply with state-mandated academic requirements.
How will attendance be tracked for virtual / remote learners?
- Each teacher will create an attendance activity for his/her students to complete during the day.
- The student will complete the attendance activity for each core content area period of the day. (i.e., one for math, one for English language arts, one for social studies, one for science).
- On Monday morning by 9:00 AM, the teacher will review the previous week’s daily attendance activities for his or her content area.
- Based on this information, the teacher will then mark the student absent for the period(s) that do(es) not have a completed attendance activity.
- Each student should have an absent/present mark for each period of the day.
- Students must complete the activities for the previous week by 9:00P.M. on Sunday night.
- Teachers will take and enter attendance for each of the four core content classes: English language arts, math, science, and social studies.
- If a student completes three or more attendance activities for the day, the student is present for the entire day.
What if my child is ill or cannot complete assignments and he / she needs to be “excused absent”?
- Email the attendance secretary at your child’s school.
- Mail the parent’s note or doctor’s note to the school via the US Postal Service.
- Scan and email the doctor’s note to the attendance secretary at your child’s school.
- Bring the parent’s note or the doctor’s note to the school in person and deliver to the attendance secretary.
What if my child is absent and he/she is marked “unexcused”?
- If a student does not complete three or more of the four attendance activities in one day, that day will be counted as “unexcused absent” until the district receives documentation stating otherwise.
- You must provide a parent’s note or doctor’s note in order for the absence to be excused within seven days of the absence.
- You are permitted ten parent’s notes per school year.
- If unexcused absences continue to accrue, the district’s Truancy Tier Intervention Protocol will be implemented.
- If absences continue despite Truancy Tier Interventions, a truancy petition will be filed with the Williamson County Juvenile Court.
For more information regarding attendance, please visit our attendance webpage. If you have a question or concern, contact your child’s school or FSSD Safety and Attendance Supervisor Celby Glass at 615-472-3117.