School Safety Operations Questions

  • SCHOOL SAFETY OPERATIONS

    QUESTION

    RESPONSE

    What happens if my child does not wear a mask because they are not comfortable?

    Children ages PreK-12 will be required to wear masks during the school day except during mask breaks and recess when 6ft physical distancing can be maintained. Some children may find masks uncomfortable, but if they're heading back to school, it is important to help them get used to wearing them. It is also important to help them understand why all of us are wearing masks and to help them feel as comfortable as possible. Here are some tips for helping your child learn to be comfortable wearing a mask:

    • Explain why it is important to wear a mask.
    • Lead by example by modeling the wearing of a mask.
    • Teach them how to take the mask on and off.
    • Offer choices. If your child is having difficulty, find a safe place for them to take mask breaks.
    • Decorate the mask to make it more fun.
    • Practice wearing the mask at home.

    Helping Your Child Wear a Mask

    Information taken directly from the FPS Back to School Plan as of August 12, 2020: Students and staff will receive direct instruction on the correct way to properly use masks/face coverings. The school community will be reminded frequently of these routines and expectations; signage in multiple languages will be used to support and reinforce practices that help reduce the spread of COVID and other infectious diseases.

    Time will be provided throughout the day for “mask breaks” when students do not have to wear them.. 

    Schools are developing age appropriate responses to address situations in which students do not wear face coverings appropriately.

    What will "attendance" requirements look like for the 100% virtual option you are going to offer parents?

    Regardless of the learning model, students are expected to attend classes every day. Teachers will take and report attendance in the Aspen student information system daily.

    Hospitals are still reporting that they have shortages of PPE. How is the school (and student community) going to be able to secure effective PPE while competing with the healthcare system which we can argue should have priority? What action has the district taken given possible anticipated shortages in securing PPE for staff and for school participants in the event they can’t secure their own PPE?

    The District has been able to obtain PPE through various vendors since the beginning of the virus; monitoring of the supply is and will continue to be ongoing.

    Is the District considering outdoor education options?

    Yes, it has been discussed but the District has to take into consideration the potential for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV).

    How many students will be in the classroom?

    Information taken directly from the FPS Back to School Plan as of August 12, 2020: In order to address the physical  distancing and other safety measures necessary due to COVID-19, the school day will be adjusted for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students will be placed into cohorts.

     At each level the number will be different.  Please review the FPS Back to School Plan for specifics on the school day.

    Will students, teachers and staff be tested prior to reopening schools and how frequently?

    Currently there are no plans to test students and staff prior to the reopening of schools. Also, at this point in time, in-school testing is not recommended by DESE. Families and staff should discuss testing with their health care provider. As the accuracy and availability of quick point-of care COVID testing increases, the district in collaboration with the Framingham Department of Public Health, may investigate the possibility of testing within the school community.  

    Information taken directly from the FPS Back to School Plan as of August 12, 2020: The Framingham Public Schools has developed a Staff Plan for COVID-19 for Fall 2020 that outlines the rights and responsibilities of staff as it relates to maintaining the health and safety of our students and employees during this pandemic. All staff members are required to participate in a mandatory virtual training and sign off on a checklist to ensure all staff members understand the steps they must take to do their part in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.  Managers and supervisors must follow these same requirements and have additional responsibilities to monitor compliance with physical  distancing, cleaning, and hygiene protocols as well as communication in the event of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in their school.

    The District’s Staff Plan for COVID-19 for Fall 2020 also addresses special considerations including individuals with a disability, vulnerable individuals, pregnant employees, lactating employees, mental illness and employee fears.  

    What is the plan to help students with food insecurities, technology support, class supplies and social emotional support during the remote learning period?

    Information taken directly from the FPS Back to School Plan as of August 12, 2020: The District is committed to ensuring teachers and administrators regularly communicate with students’ parents and guardians, including providing interpretation and translation services to limited English proficient parents and guardians. 

    Principals, Teachers, and Support Staff will have access to a variety of tools including Blackboard (mass notifications), Smore (newsletters), Remind (two-way communication app for parents and/or students) - all of which allow for ongoing communication to families and staff via push notifications, email, call, and/or text. Accessibility and message translation is a priority for all family communication. In addition to completing the outreach to families, teachers must log communication with families, for example, within the District’s Student Information System, to ease coordination, particularly in a virtual environment, with admin and support staff.

    Is there a list of what is needed that has been identified by students and families?

    The district has maintained a list of items that would be considered necessary for a robust remote learning experience and is in the process of creating a plan to disseminate these learning bags (in addition to necessary technology) to students.  The district is working through community partners to collect and distribute back to school materials. Food and toiletries continue to be distributed through community partners. Any resident or business looking to contribute to these efforts can contact Joseph Corazzini at jcorazzini@framingham.k12.ma.us or at 508-328-6798. 

    How will classes without sinks assure hand washing is done several times a day?  Especially if/when lunch is eaten in classrooms?  

    Information taken directly from the FPS Back to School Plan as of August 12, 2020: A plan will be developed in each school to promote good hygiene practices across the building. All students and staff are expected to practice frequent handwashing. Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is a simple but effective precaution that can prevent virus transmission. Hand sanitizer units will be provided by the district in classrooms, building entrances, and other common areas. Hand sanitizer should be used when handwashing with soap and water is not possible. Regular opportunities for students to wash hands or hand sanitizer will be incorporated into the school day.

    The plan indicates that students with symptoms of COVID will go to the COVID room. However, minor symptoms mirror other common illnesses. How will you determine who is a COVID person and who should go to the nurses office? Will you separate everyone in case of a misclassification?

    Every school has a full time professional school nurse on staff. School nurses will assess students and staff using a COVID algorithm for reviewing symptoms. The nurse will determine if and when a student/staff will be directed to the medical waiting room. 

    Information taken directly from the FPS Back to School Plan as of August 12, 2020: FPS will establish and reinforce a culture of health, safety, and shared responsibility as we navigate the return to school, be it in-person, hybrid, or remote learning. At the heart of all planning are five important elements for which each of us owns responsibility:

    • Wearing a face covering/mask
    • Regular handwashing
    • Practicing physical distancing
    • Vigilance about monitoring COVID symptoms in students and staff
    • Staying home when sick

    A district level COVID Team co-chaired by the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and the Director of Health and Wellness (with representatives from each school) will be tasked with planning for, implementing and disseminating COVID-19 policies and protocols, overseeing training of protocols for students and staff, providing consultation to building and district leaders regarding specific COVID situations with students/staff, providing limited contact tracing to notify various individual//cohorts if they may have been exposed, and ensuring staff are aware of privacy policies regarding disclosure of COVID-19 status. The COVID-19 Response Team will be in regular communication with the Framingham Department of Public Health and will implement all DESE/DPH directives and ensure building-based compliance with COVID-related policies and protocols.

    Prioritize staying home when sick

    • Students and school staff are to stay home when not feeling well 
    • Staff will provide a daily self-certification that they are free of symptoms per the Staff Plan for COVID-19 for Fall 2020
    • A medical waiting room will be identified in each building where individuals who become ill during the day can isolate. 

    In the event a student or staff member becomes ill or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, the school and District will take swift action following the protocols outlined in the Protocols for responding to COVID-19 scenarios in school, on the bus, or in community settings July 17, 2020

    Will parents be able to see that the appropriate safety measures are being implemented prior to any staff or children coming back into the building?

    All of this information is outlined in the FPS Back to School Plan - FPS Back to School Plan

    Will out of district students be transported to school in school vans alone due to size and social distance issues.

    Van Pool has created a reduced capacity limit on their vans per the state transportation guidance.