The Franklin Special School District is committed to providing the best educational learning experiences possible for every student as we look ahead to the 2020-2021 school year. We continue to work with local, state and national health and safety agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This page will serve as a clearing house for information from the FSSD, including updates and closure plans for food and learning. The district will communicate directly with parents through Blackboard Connect via email and phone messaging. If you are not receiving this information, please send an email to your school office staff with updated contact information. You may also check this page and our our social media sites for updates.

The plans and options presented in our Return to Learn 2020 reflect a balance between maintaining the safety of students, staff members, and families in the face of this continued public health uncertainty, while also delivering high quality teaching and learning experiences that focus on excellent and equitable outcomes for all students. As new information is available, or if public health recommendations for schools change, we will keep our community informed. 

Remote Learners Return to School August 24

August 14, 2020

Hello FSSD Families,

Your resilience, patience, flexibility and support over the past two weeks has been incredible. Teachers and support staff have labored intensely for months to be able to begin the year with learners in three different scenarios – in person, remote and virtual – and, after a couple of first-day bumps, have seen their efforts take flight in your amazing children! While the Remote and Virtual Learning Programs have thus far been exceptional in content delivery and student participation, the goal has always been to return to In-Person Learning for all.

For the past two weeks, we have analyzed and evaluated the data provided by the state and local health department, as well as used our own illness tracking measures on a daily basis. Based on the steady reduction of active cases in our area and our community’s ability to flatten the curve, we are happy to say that we will welcome back ALL Remote Learners on Monday, August 24. Virtual Learners will continue to remain in their online classes throughout the rest of the semester, working with their assigned teacher(s) from home.

The transition to In-Person Learning would not be possible without the extreme care our faculty, staff and students in the buildings over the past two weeks have taken. Daily temperature checks, social distancing, face coverings, and the attention to hand-washing and following of our Return to Learn 2020 health and safety protocols have gone extremely well. With more people in the buildings, these protocols will be even more important, so we will spend some time going over expectations when the Remote Learners return. Your schools will reach out over the next week to provide more details for our 3rd through 8th grade students about the return to campus.

Beginning August 24, MAC will resume its normal operational schedule before and after school at the regular school sites.  The morning programs at Franklin, Johnson, Liberty, Moore and Freedom Intermediate will open at 6:00 AM until school begins and all sites will be open in the afternoon from the end of school until 6:00 PM. The MAC Remote Learning program was a great success and will continue to be an option in the event a school or the district needs to temporarily close over the course of the year.

We cannot sufficiently express how appreciative we are for each and every person at home who has worked alongside us to help your children understand this new learning landscape so that everyone is ready each morning to tackle the day with a smile and a can-do attitude. We say it to ourselves all the time, but you should hear that we know we are part of the best school district in the state, and it has everything to do with you!

Sincerely,

Dr. David Snowden
Director of Schools
Franklin Special School District

Back to School Information Guide

thumbnail of guideJuly 23, 2020

The Franklin Special School District is excited to share our Return to Learn 2020 Back to School Information Guide. While we tried to hit all of the highlights, please know that more specific information will be communicated from your child’s school and teacher over the next few days and weeks leading up to the (new) Monday, August 10, start date. The Back to School information, Return to Learn 2020 Plan, FAQs, and other COVID-related resources are also posted on this Return to Learn 2020 website.

Back to School Information Guide

English  •  Spanish

Message to Parents: Virtual or In-Person Learning Choices

Hello FSSD families,

We have spent the past few months developing the Return to Learn 2020 plan that was carefully reviewed and approved by our School Board last night. We are proud to share it, as well as some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding this year’s plan, to help you fully understand the guiding principles that we will use to open and operate schools this year.

The FSSD will offer two options for K-8 families this year, in-person and virtual learning. At some times during the year, there may be students who will need to learn remotely until they can return to in-person learning. The following explanations may be helpful before you begin to read the Return to Learn 2020 plan:

  • In-Person learning occurs when students choose to attend their zoned school each weekday and are assigned classroom and subject area teachers with face to face instruction. This decision must be made for the entirety of each semester.
  • Virtual learning is the selection of a semester of learning at home primarily using online resources and taught by a certified FSSD teacher assigned to a group of virtual learners. The FSSD Virtual Learning Program is a fully accredited alternative to in-person attendance for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Courses will mirror the content/courses being taught at the school sites.
  • Remote learning happens when a student, class or school must transition to an off-campus environment, such as their home, while learning continues using primarily online resources until school reopens or the student has been cleared to return.

For those families who choose Virtual Learning for this semester, you are invited to complete the brief online enrollment form immediately by going to Skyward Family Access and submitting your intent by midnight July 24. This is a quick turnaround because the Virtual Learning classes need to be formed and teachers assigned as soon as possible before the August 7 start date for both In-Person and Virtual Learning.

To enroll your child in the Virtual Learning option:

  1. Log in to Skyward Family Access and select the online form and parent agreement for your student.
  2. Upon logging in, you will see a red icon in the top right of the page that states “An online form is now available to fill out.”
  3. Click the “Fill Out Online Form” for your child.
  4. If you are unable to access your Skyward Family Access account, select the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page or contact your child’s school office.

If you are choosing the In-Person Learning option and you have already registered for 2020-2021, you do not need to do anything at this time.  If you have not yet registered for school, please go to Skyward Family Access and complete the enrollment process.

I would like to take a moment to thank you for your patience, flexibility, understanding and support as we begin the 2020-2021 school year. We have planned and are operating with one overarching emphasis: the Return to Learn 2020 plan includes learning options that we believe are best for children and families in varying circumstances during this pandemic. We always appreciate your feedback and input in this new learning journey. Our pledge to you is to listen with open minds and a firm commitment to doing all we can to make this year – with all of the additional guidelines and precautions – one that you and your child will remember as engaging, exciting, and academically impactful.

Sincerely,

David Snowden, Ph.D.
Director of Schools

Return to Learn 2020
Frequently Asked Questions

English PDF  •  Spanish PDF

Definitions:

  • In-Person learning occurs when students choose to attend their zoned school each weekday and are assigned classroom and subject area teachers with face to face instruction. This decision must be made for the entirety of each semester.
  • Virtual learning is the selection of a semester of learning at home primarily using online resources and taught by a certified FSSD teacher assigned to a group of virtual learners. The FSSD Virtual Learning Program is a fully accredited alternative to in-person attendance for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Courses will mirror the content/courses being taught at the school sites.
  • Remote learning happens when a student, class or school must transition to an off-campus environment, such as their home, while learning continues using primarily online resources until school reopens or the student has been cleared to return.
How will FSSD determine which scenario or schedule to use?

Our goal is always to have students in school who are attending according to a traditional schedule when possible. Keeping our school learning environments healthy and safe is our top priority. We recognize that any alternate schedule or school closures have a significant impact on our students, staff and families.

However, the decision to shift to an alternate schedule or close FSSD schools may need to be made to prevent further spread of COVID-19 or in response to high absenteeism among students and/or staff. The director of schools will make closure decisions in consultation with the FSSD Leadership Team, the Williamson County Health Department (WCHD) and local public health organizations, CDC recommendations, as well as other school district leaders in our region.

Possible School Closure Trigger Points:

    • Student and/or staff absenteeism
    • Spread of COVID-19 in the community
    • Confirmed case(s) of COVID-19 in one or more schools

 

How much notice will be given if FSSD moves to a different schedule (ie Level 2 or all virtual?)
These decisions will be made based upon guidance from the Williamson County Health Department and take into consideration a number of factors, such as community spread, absenteeism of staff and students and clustering data. We will provide as much notice as possible while ensuring that safety is the first priority; however, this may require an emergency shift in schedules.  When the district must move to a shift in learning scenarios, all stakeholders will be notified as soon as possible. Our goal is to provide a week’s notice of any transition.

What will be the biggest changes to in-person school?


In order to reopen our schools, we will be implementing some new procedures for safety and health. These procedures will impact how we live, learn and work together in the school building.

Based on guidance from health officials and feedback from parents and staff, these new procedures have been built around the following priorities:

    • K-8 students and FSSD staff wearing cloth face coverings at school and on the bus
    • Increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces throughout the day
    • Monitoring symptoms and temperatures at home before attending school
    • Going through screening and temperature checks upon arrival to school
    • Maintaining social distancing whenever possible; keeping students in small groups and limiting the mixing of groups; coordinated movement throughout the building
    • Hand hygiene practices and education, including scheduled time for frequent hand washing and access to hand sanitizer throughout the building and on the bus
    • Increased circulation of outdoor air when possible
    • Rearranging furniture to allow for social distancing whenever possible  
    • Cleaning buses between routes, opening bus windows to increase air circulation, encouraging parents to drive children to/from school if possible
    • Adjusting large events, activities and gatherings for social distancing
    • Limiting the presence of visitors in FSSD buildings

The two most important strategies to reduce risk and exposure are:

    • Maintaining social distancing between yourself and others
    • Wearing a face covering

Building these important habits into our routines will be our greatest opportunity to build and maintain a healthy community for our students and staff.

What will social distancing look like at school?
In the classroom, seating will allow for social distancing. Non-essential furniture will be removed to allow for extra space and seating will be rearranged. Classrooms with group tables will be modified to allow appropriate distancing of students.  Your school will communicate additional details.

Extra care will be taken to keep students’ belongings separated. Frequently touched items will be cleaned regularly. Additionally, the sharing of materials such as school supplies, electronic devices, books, toys and equipment will be avoided.

Will FSSD provide adequate supplies to support health and safety precautions?

Yes. FSSD has ordered and will regularly replenish sanitation equipment for protection against COVID-19. These supplies include (but are not limited to) cloth face coverings for staff, disposable face masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) for nurses, face shields, disposable gowns, disinfectant and cleaning supplies for classrooms, hand sanitizer, infrared thermometers, disposable gloves, and signage to communicate safety procedures and precautions.

What happens if a student or staff member who has attended school is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Parents and staff will be notified immediately if they have had close contact with anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19. HIPAA guidelines will be followed to maintain confidentiality as well as the guidance of public health authorities in making decisions to close classrooms or schools, or to quarantine specific groups of students or staff.

All reports of a positive COVID-19 case, whether self-reported or reported to the district by the local Health Department, will be directed to the designated school/building COVID-19 Response Coordinator. The School/Building COVID-19 Response Coordinator will promptly notify the District COVID-19 Response Coordinators (District Safety Supervisor and District Nurse) of a positive case in schools. The FSSD Response Coordinators will notify the Williamson County Health Department (WCHD), school principal, and the Director of Schools. 

All areas of the building that were impacted by the positive case will be closed and remain closed until sanitization, per CDC guidelines, is completed. The need to close a school or building for contact tracing, sanitization purposes, or due to multiple reported cases within a school will be determined by the Director of Schools in collaboration with local public health officials. Students or staff who are quarantined due to a positive test or due to a known exposure will be provided with information of available resources they may need during quarantine. FSSD Coordinator of School Health and the district social workers will be available to direct families to resources during the quarantine period.

Will students or staff who have been in contact with a person who has tested positive need to quarantine? Will the school/classroom close?
We will be in close consultation with the Williamson County Health Department to make decisions about the need for individuals or groups of people to be quarantined or tested for COVID-19, depending on the exposure. The FSSD Health Services team will take responsibility for surveillance and follow-up with parents and staff.

Our response and subsequent immediate action steps will be dependent on the situation. For example, the Health Department might recommend a school closure for 2-5 days for cleaning, or they might recommend quarantine for 14 days for a small group of people who had close contact with an infected person. Close contact is defined by health officials as an individual who has been within six feet of an infected person for more than 10 minutes of time.

What health screenings are in place for students, staff and visitors?

Staff are required to complete a daily health screening prior to coming to work. A screening station is also on site for temperature checks.

Parents are asked to monitor their child(ren) before they leave for school. We ask that parents check them for fever, a sense of having a fever, chills, a cough, sore throat, headache, new loss of smell or taste, or new muscle aches. Not all children who have COVID-19 will have a fever, so parents should check their children closely for any of the other symptoms. 

Anyone, staff or student, with a fever of 100º F or higher should not attend school. 

If any of the COVID-19 symptoms occur, please take the following actions: 

    • Keep your child at home
    • Call your child’s school to report the symptoms your child is experiencing
    • Call your child’s health care provider for advice on managing the illness

We will take students’ temperatures when they arrive at school with a non-contact thermometer. Students who have a temperature of 100F or greater will be supervised in a designated room where their temperature will be taken again with an ear or oral thermometer. Anyone who fails to meet the screening criteria or has a temperature reading of 100F or greater will not be allowed to enter the building or participate in any activities or meetings on campus. Students who do not pass the second screening process will be supervised in a designated room until a parent/guardian can pick them up.  Parents/guardians should plan in advance for a designee to pick up children if needed. Children who do not pass the screenings must be picked up promptly (within the hour).

Visitors who do not pass the initial screening will be asked to leave the campus, and staff members who do not pass the initial screening should notify their supervisor or program director. To minimize potential exposure, only authorized visitors are allowed entrance past the front office. School staff will receive students at screening stations to prevent unnecessary adult entry into the building. Visitors are restricted from entering the building during the school day unless the visit is deemed essential. Your temperature will be checked if you are planning to stay on campus. If you are not staying on campus and are just making deliveries or pick-ups, you will not require a temperature screening. 

What about recess, playgrounds and masks?

Will recess be available?
Yes! Outdoor physical activity is very important for students. We will be encouraging students to engage in physical activity that allows for physical distancing while playing outside.

Will the playgrounds be open? Will all students go to recess at different times?
Yes, our playgrounds will be open for students to use during recess and we will be encouraging opportunities for students to go outside. It will be necessary to coordinate groups of students on the playground in order to maintain social distancing whenever possible. Students will be instructed to wash their hands after recess.

Will students need to wear masks while outside?
When social distancing is possible, students will not be required to wear a mask outdoors. When students are interacting closely with others, face coverings will be required. FSSD staff members will direct students when a face covering may be removed.

What are the plans for transportation, arrival and dismissal?

What are the plans for bus transportation?
All school bus drivers have been instructed to stay home if they don’t feel well or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. All drivers will receive daily temperature screenings. Any driver with a fever will be referred for further screening, and an auxiliary driver will be assigned to that route. All drivers will be issued cloth / disposable face coverings and are required to wear them for the duration of each run. As part of their back-to-school professional learning, Transportation Team members will receive training on COVID-19 protocols such as enhanced cleaning procedures, recognizing signs of illness, and health privacy concerns. 

Student riders will be expected to use hand sanitizer each time they board the bus. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available on each bus. All riders will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of their bus ride. This requirement may be modified as developmentally appropriate. Students will be expected to provide their own face covering. Students will be assigned to no more than two riders per seat. All riders will be expected to follow all guidance and directions from their bus drivers, especially as it relates to assigned seating and physical distancing requirements. Siblings and members of the same immediate household will be directed to share a seat. Willful failure to abide by any of these guidelines may result in the suspension of bus privileges. 

Parents and guardians are asked to reiterate the importance of these safety measures to their children. Parents and guardians are asked, when it is feasible and reasonable, to decrease the school bus load by driving their children to school and picking them up in the afternoon. 

All active buses will receive sanitization on a daily basis, including high-touch surfaces after each route, using CDC/EPA registered sanitization products specifically approved for use against coronavirus.

How will school arrival and dismissal look with more families driving to school?
School arrival and departure times will remain the same. Arrival and dismissal can provide a challenge with large numbers of students congregating, making it difficult to physically distance. Therefore, schools will communicate a plan that allows for multiple entrances and assembly prior to the first bell that are safe for students during arrival and dismissal. 

What can I do to help minimize the risk for my children on the bus?
Every student should wash their hands before getting to the bus stop in the morning and afternoon. Hand sanitizer will also be available on school buses. Please ensure your child has a cloth face covering.

What are the plans for transportation, arrival and dismissal?

What are the plans for bus transportation?
All school bus drivers have been instructed to stay home if they don’t feel well or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. All drivers will receive daily temperature screenings. Any driver with a fever will be referred for further screening, and an auxiliary driver will be assigned to that route. All drivers will be issued cloth / disposable face coverings and are required to wear them for the duration of each run. As part of their back-to-school professional learning, Transportation Team members will receive training on COVID-19 protocols such as enhanced cleaning procedures, recognizing signs of illness, and health privacy concerns. 

Student riders will be expected to use hand sanitizer each time they board the bus. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available on each bus. All riders will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of their bus ride. This requirement may be modified as developmentally appropriate. Students will be expected to provide their own face covering. Students will be assigned to no more than two riders per seat. All riders will be expected to follow all guidance and directions from their bus drivers, especially as it relates to assigned seating and physical distancing requirements. Siblings and members of the same immediate household will be directed to share a seat. Willful failure to abide by any of these guidelines may result in the suspension of bus privileges. 

Parents and guardians are asked to reiterate the importance of these safety measures to their children. Parents and guardians are asked, when it is feasible and reasonable, to decrease the school bus load by driving their children to school and picking them up in the afternoon. 

All active buses will receive sanitization on a daily basis, including high-touch surfaces after each route, using CDC/EPA registered sanitization products specifically approved for use against coronavirus.

How will school arrival and dismissal look with more families driving to school?
School arrival and departure times will remain the same. Arrival and dismissal can provide a challenge with large numbers of students congregating, making it difficult to physically distance. Therefore, schools will communicate a plan that allows for multiple entrances and assembly prior to the first bell that are safe for students during arrival and dismissal. 

What can I do to help minimize the risk for my children on the bus?
Every student should wash their hands before getting to the bus stop in the morning and afternoon. Hand sanitizer will also be available on school buses. Please ensure your child has a cloth face covering.

What will athletics and activities look like this year?

Sports may continue or resume at the discretion of state guidelines and/or conference requirements. Programs will be offered when FSSD is open in either Level 1 or Level 2 scenarios and when conference officials determine a sport is open.  Clubs and fine arts groups may continue or resume when safety and social distancing protocols can be implemented.

What health precautions will be in place for athletics and activities?
Face coverings and social distancing will be expected. Additionally, a thorough screening will take place prior to activities.

Will spectators be allowed at athletic events?
Yes. Spectators will be allowed while following FSSD guidelines, including being screened, practicing proper social distancing and wearing a face covering.

If a student athlete or coach tests positive for COVID-19, will activities be canceled or postponed?
If a potential COVID-19 exposure is identified, FSSD COVID Response Coordinators will consult with the Williamson County Health Department to determine next steps, which will likely include cancelation of practices and games for a period of time. Families and coaches will be notified of any potential exposure.

What about MAC, visitors and the calendar?

Will MAC be open?
Yes. MAC will be open when FSSD is open on a full or part-time schedule. MAC will follow the same health protocols as the schools to promote safe practices. MAC will communicate additional information with families.

Will FSSD allow visitors and volunteers at school this year?
Nonessential visitors and volunteers will have restricted access to our buildings this year. Plans may vary during the school year, depending on the level of community spread illness. Visitors will be required to wear a mask and to complete a health screening questionnaire.

Parents/guardians who come to school to drop off or pick up a student will not enter past the school reception area. Each school will communicate the specific procedure for this process.

Will schools be closed on election day this year?
Yes. FSSD schools will be closed to students on November 3. Schools that are used as polling places will be cleaned and sanitized before school starts the next day.

What adjustments are being made? How about lunch?

Are adjustments being made to ventilation in classrooms?
Prior to student and staff occupancy, the HVAC systems in all facilities will be inspected for air quality, including the installation of new filters where applicable. Improvements to climate control systems, and operational schedules will be implemented to minimize transmission. This will include pre-occupancy flushing and air exchanges, consistent ventilation and temperature settings during occupancy, and post-occupancy flushing.

Will students have more outdoor activities and learning?
Teachers are encouraged to use frequent outdoor activities and learning to the degree possible.

How will breakfast and lunch be conducted?
Schools will identify spaces for students to eat while maintaining social distancing. Some students may eat in locations that are not in the cafeteria. Each school will communicate specific details. Many items purchased at school will be pre-packaged to expedite the lunch line and to provide less handling of food. We will share more information on meals and menus in the coming weeks.

Will meals be provided to students on the Virtual Learning plan at home?
Students enrolled in the Virtual Learning plan at home may come to a designated school site to pick up lunch to eat at home. If a student is on the free and reduced price meal program, that will be honored; however, those forms need to be completed annually. Free and reduced meal forms are available in Skyward. We will continue to share information on which sites are designated pick up sites for virtual learners.

How will lunch time be handled for students with food allergies?
Schools will identify students who need special accommodations due to food allergies and will work to ensure that each student has their own dedicated space for eating (either in the classroom, cafeteria, or other location), and surfaces will be cleaned after each use.

Why should students and staff wear a cloth face covering at school?

Why should students and staff wear a cloth face covering at school?
In order to maximize the health and safety of all, staff, students and visitors will wear cloth face coverings at school. The decision to implement mask-wearing includes the following benefits for both children and adults in our schools:

    • Wearing face coverings limits the spread of illness, allowing students to be in school and helps keep our schools open. This will help meet our goal to provide maximum in-person learning and schedules in the traditional classroom.
    • Wearing of cloth face coverings is consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
    • FSSD is committed to caring for all students and staff as part of our mission. We show care for others when we wear our face coverings at school. Wearing a face covering helps protect our classmates and teachers/staff who are more at-risk. Wearing face coverings allows everyone to participate in school.
    • Wearing face coverings offers an added layer of protection when young students, who are developmentally drawn to each other, do not maintain social distancing recommendations. Children will be able to play together in a more age-appropriate way with this added insurance.

Mask breaks can be provided by supervising staff when the opportunity exists, such as outside, inside during lunch, or inside when children can be appropriately distanced.

What if a student or staff member is unable to wear a cloth face covering?
We recognize that some students and staff will be unable to wear a cloth face covering due to medical conditions, social-emotional needs and/or when the risk of wearing a mask would outweigh the benefit. We will work with students to educate them on the benefits and proper wearing of masks and/or develop a safe alternative when needed and possible.

How often should cloth face coverings be cleaned?
Cloth face coverings should be cleaned at home after use each day.

How will you address the social and emotional needs of students at school and at home?

What will be done to address the social and emotional needs of students at school and at home?
Now, more than ever, FSSD understands that students will need emotional and social support to manage the challenges that life brings. We know that students have come to us with diverse experiences and therefore have unique needs. To that end, we are prepared to provide various layers of support in the following ways.

We have partnered with a range of professional organizations in order to gain a deeper understanding of trauma informed care. All staff members will have access to training modules on this topic before and during the school year.

School counselors will continue to support all students through the counseling curriculum by providing classroom lessons. They also are available for one-on-one or small group sessions for students, as they normally are. If you suspect your student is struggling and needs additional help outside of school, our counselors can make referrals to outside agencies and are a good first step in getting additional support for your child. Families will receive mental health tips from the school district via weekly/monthly communications.

School social workers will be available to help students and families with accessing basic needs that may have been disrupted during the pandemic. They can help with access to food, clothing, shelter, transportation and school supplies. Additionally, they are available to make home visits if necessary.

District counselors are available to students. They will continue to run various student groups, one-on-one and small group sessions. 

How will students with special needs, IEPs and 504s receive support?

How will students with special needs, IEPs and 504s receive support?
Students identified as having a disability under IDEA will be provided with the necessary accommodations and modifications to ensure they can access a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), regardless of the manner in which the education is being delivered. Special education services, including social-emotional supports, included in a student’s IEP will be provided to the maximum extent possible.

Students identified as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act will be provided with the necessary accommodations and supports to ensure they have equal opportunity to access and benefit from public education services, regardless of the manner in which the education is being delivered. The 504 plan may be implemented as written in a virtual environment. Adaptations to the 504 plan accommodations/supports will be done as needed when a 504 team member (teacher, parent, student, etc.) alerts the 504 case manager to concerns with the student’s disability symptoms impacting their ability to access and/or benefit from the public education offerings.

Return to Learn 2020
Frequently Asked Questions:  Special Populations

English PDF  •  Spanish PDF

Dear Parent/Guardian,

On behalf of Franklin Special School District, we want to express our deep commitment to the well-being and safety of you and your family during this ongoing pandemic. FSSD is working diligently to provide continuity of learning for your child during the start of the 2020-21 school year. When normal school resumes, FSSD will conduct a review of educational impact of these unique circumstances and determine appropriate next steps to address your child’s needs.

We know many of may have questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your child’s education, including the supports and services provided through your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) Plan. We are working to provide answers considering the fluidity of the situation.

For  parents of students with disabilities opting for virtual learning, we will be developing a  Contingency Plan. The Contingency plan will identify how FSSD intends to implement the services and supports outlined in your child’s IEP or Section 504 Plan during virtual learning. FSSD may utilize a combination of remote learning systems and student instructional packets.  We will also work to provide virtual related services, computer-based academic interventions, and learning supports to the extent possible, given the circumstances.

Thank you again for your consistent support of your child’s education. We look forward to continuing our partnership as we work to ensure that all students have access to instruction. If you have questions regarding the services for your child, please contact the building principal or the Special Populations Supervisor at robeych@fssd.org.

You may also wish to consult the guidance of the U.S .Department of Education and the TN Department of Education.

 FAQs

How will IEPs/504 Plans be implemented in a virtual or in person environment?

All students will have equitable access to core content provided by teachers. Grade level teams are working to provide materials and supports that are differentiated and focused on meeting each student’s needs.  Teachers and related service providers will begin supporting access to core content and interventions as well as related services at the start of the school year.

Will paraprofessionals or teachers be allowed to support students in their home environments for virtual learning?

FSSD will be using the Zoom platform to interact with students. At this time, FSSD employees will not be entering individual’s homes. This is for the safety of our employees and our families.  Paraprofessionals will continue to support students and the classroom remotely.

Paraprofessionals may support students in a variety of ways through virtual learning; alongside teachers during instruction, individual or small group instruction as directed by the teacher, check-in/checkouts with your or your child using your preferred method communication method.  Paraprofessionals providing behavior supports will work closely with you to help implement behavior strategies. Any supports from paraprofessionals during virtual learning will be documented in the Contingency Plan.

How will Speech and OT, PT and other related services be provided with online instruction?

Related services will be provided using the Zoom platform.

If a student or family member has an issue with the implementation of the student’s IEP, who should the student or parent contact to discuss this issue?

The family should contact their child’s school principal and special education teacher to discuss their concern. If there are additional concerns that have not been resolved, please contact Dr. Cheryl Robey at robeych@fssd.org.

Will students receive supplies, materials and equipment to address IEP goals?

 If there are not safety concerns regarding the use of supplies, materials, or equipment, the items stated on your child’s IEP will be available to your child.

How will FSSD conduct IEP or 504 Meetings?

FSSD will conduct virtual and or in-person meetings (practicing social distancing) based on parent preferences and availability.

How will FSSD address regression from school closure?

Unfortunately, most students likely experienced regression during the extended closure. Regression is the decline in knowledge or skills due to an interruption in education, recoupment is the time it takes to regain skills to prior level of functioning.

Once the school year begins, FSSD will assess the impact the extended closure had on the learning of all students. Remediation of regression is complex and requires time and resources. Decision regarding regression and recoupment are determined individually and must be based on empirical, qualitative, and predictive data.

While implementing your child’s IEP, we will also be gathering data to make these determinations.  Any compensatory services will need to be considered on an individualized basis with the IEP team after students have been back in school.

Return to Learn 2020 Draft Plan: Message to Parents

July 15, 2020

Franklin Special School District Families,

On Thursday, July 16, the Board of Education will hold a special work session to review a draft of our Return to Learn 2020 plan, which will guide our school reopening. A livestream link to the Board work session will be available online tomorrow an hour before the meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. The plans and options presented in the Return to Learn 2020 plan reflect a balance between maintaining the safety of students, staff members, and families in the face of this continued public-health uncertainty, while also delivering high quality teaching and learning experiences that focus on excellent and equitable outcomes for all students.

After carefully examining current and ever-evolving guidance from local health officials and the Tennessee Department of Education, the FSSD has determined it best to offer our families a choice of two learning options for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • In Person – students attend school five days a week on campus in a classroom environment.
  • Virtual – students attend school five days a week at home in a virtual learning environment.

We believe that having students physically present in school is the best approach to teaching and learning. In listening to feedback from our families, we know there are many FSSD families who are very much looking forward to their children physically returning to school on-campus. We also know that there are families who have concerns about their children physically returning to school due to preexisting health conditions or other reasons, which is why virtual learning that is facilitated by a certified FSSD teacher is an important option and will be available. The Franklin Special School District will support all families in whatever decision is best for their children.

The Board of Education will vote on the Return to Learn 2020 plan at its meeting on Monday, July 20, at Johnson Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday, July 21, parents will receive an email with information about the FSSD 2020-2021 Virtual Learning Program. An Overview, Parent Agreement, and Enrollment Form will be sent by email to all FSSD families as well as posted on the website. The enrollment form will be online with a deadline of July 28 (date changed to July 24) indicating your intent to participate in virtual learning for the fall semester.

At this time, we invite you to review the FSSD Return to Learn 2020 draft plan. As you are aware, community health data continues to change rapidly in our county and surrounding areas. We are continuously monitoring this information with local public health officials and are adjusting our plans accordingly. We are sharing these preliminary plans with the understanding that as we get closer to August 7, 2020, plans could change based on these conditions. We are committed to keeping all FSSD families updated and informed of any potential changes to our reopening plans.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Snowden, Ph.D.
Director of Schools

 

 

SUMMER 2020 UPDATES: parent survey responses, Return to Learn 2020 draft plan, threshold chart

July 3, 2020

We hope our families are enjoying the summer so far. We know you are anxious for news related to our return to school draft plan. Please click the link below to read the FSSD Summer Updates e-newsletter. Included in the updates are:

  • the results of the parent and teacher surveys
  • an Executive Summary of the FSSD Return to Learn 2020 draft plan
  • the COVID-19 Threshold Chart that stipulates district operations based on illness spread in the county
  • a link to the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency COVID-19 Dashboard 

image that links to newsletterPlease understand that we anticipate additional changes as we work with local and state health officials and the Tennessee Department of Education, but we want you to know what we are planning to this point.

FSSD Summer Updates

We will continue to update you throughout the summer as changes or revisions are made to the FSSD Return to Learn 2020 draft plan.

We hope this information brings you a sense of relief as you better understand how our school and district leaders are planning for a safe re-opening of our campuses for students, faculty and staff.

Preview of Planning Scenarios for 2020-2021

May 29, 2020

FSSD families,

Although the school year has just officially ended, we know you have questions about what next school year might look like. While we await guidance from the state regarding its recommendation to school districts, we want you to know we are planning for three different scenarios:

  • School-based Learning (all students physically attending school)
  • Remote Learning (all students participating in virtual learning)
  • Blended Learning (some students physically attending school while other students learn remotely) One example would be for one-half the students to report to school on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and learn remotely on Tuesday and Thursday.  The next week those students would physically attend school on Tuesday and Thursday and learn remotely on Monday-Wednesday-Friday.

We believe the first and best option is to have all students physically attending school each day if at all possible.  There will be strict health and safety protocols in place for any of the three scenarios.

Please see the 2020-2021 Framework for Planning (also in Spanish) document, also available online at www.fssd.org/covid19, to understand some of the considerations that will guide the FSSD Leadership Team in our planning over the summer.

The FSSD leadership Team will use time at its summer retreat June 10-12 to develop detailed action plans to go along with each of the three possible scenarios. Please know that every decision we make will have your student’s safety and security at heart in addition to achieving our goal of providing rich, teacher-directed learning within the state and local health and safety guidelines. As soon as we develop tentative protocols and expectations, we will share these and provide input opportunities for you.

We hope this information brings you a sense of relief as you better understand how our school and district leaders are planning for a safe re-opening of our campuses for students, faculty and staff.

Return to Learn Handbook

Return to Learn logo
Return to Learn 2020 Online Parent Handbook

The FSSD has created an addendum to all school handbooks with information directly related to our Health and Safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please take a moment to click the link above and browse the handbook to see all of the measures we have put into place to keep students, staff and visitors safe while in our schools and buildings.

Return to Learn 2020 Plan

Return to Learn logo
Return to Learn 2020 Plan

English  •  Spanish

Note:  The Board of Education endorsed this plan July 20, 2020, giving the Director of Schools flexibility to make changes when necessary, providing notification to the Board. Community health data continues to change rapidly in our county and surrounding areas. We are continuously monitoring this information with local public health officials and are adjusting our plans accordingly. We are sharing these preliminary plans with the understanding that as we get closer to August 7, 2020, plans could change based on these conditions.  We are committed to keeping all FSSD families updated and informed of any potential changes to our reopening plans.

FSSD Continuous Learning Plan (CLP)

Tennessee Department of Education logoThe COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted education in Tennessee and across the nation. Existing learning and achievement gaps have been highlighted and the urgency to close those gaps with the most effective instructional strategies and materials is even more pressing. This is particularly true for students in grades PreK-2, those with existing achievement gaps, and pupils who require additional school-based services. To ensure high-quality instruction in the current circumstances and throughout the school year, on June 22, 2020, the Tennessee State Board of Education promulgated the Continuous Learning Plan (CLP) Emergency Rule 0520-01-17 and Policy 3.210.

School districts were required to submit extremely detailed Continuous Learning Plans, resources, and key personnel for seven areas: Programmatic Model, Standards- Based Instruction, Attendance, Instructional Technology, Professional Development (for Remote Teaching and Learning), Implementation Monitoring, and Communications. The CLP delineates each component of the work that was necessary to safely reopen schools and ensures that comprehensive plans are in place for each student to receive academic instruction daily, whether in person at school or virtually, at home.

You may read the Franklin Special School District’s CLP on the State Department of Education’s website.

 

School Opening Metric Review


Community Spread Metrics

English  •  Spanish

thumbnail image of metricsOnce the indicated illness spread is reached at each level, a systematic review of local metrics will be conducted with Williamson County health officials, including countywide active cases, data by zip code, clustering data, and absenteeism of students and staff. This review will determine which instructional scenario will be used. FSSD will consult with public health officials prior to finalizing a decision to close a school or the district, and how to reopen, as well as any modifications made to the FSSD Return To Learn Plan.

Wi-Fi Resources

Options for Families without Internet at Home

Families who do not have internet access at home will find a list of internet providers below who are offering free public wi-fi and/or discounted access for qualifying households.

AT&T

Comcast Xfinity

  • The Comcast Internet Essentials Program offers two months of free in-home internet to new customers. https://www.internetessentials.com/
  • Offering free public wi-fi. Just select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots.

City of Franklin

  • The City is offering free public Wi-Fi at designated locations. The network is identified as “COFPublicWiFi.” The service is available at:
    • Downtown Franklin – two-block area around the Square
    • Harlinsdale Farm
    • Eastern Flank Battlefield Park

    Physical distancing should still be maintained while using this service in these designated areas.

Tech Resources and Troubleshooting

The information below should provide answers to questions you might have as your student accesses his/her online resources:

  • Clever Login information: English, Spanish
  • Clever Badge Login: English, Spanish
  • If a student needs their Google password reset, a parent/guardian may email InstructionalTech@fssd.org. The student’s name and grade level will be needed in this communication.
  • If a Chromebook needs to be repaired, a parent/guardian may email their child’s principal and include the student’s name, the Chromebook’s TZ number (located on the metal tag on the front of the device), and explain what is not working properly. That information will be sent to the Technology Department, who will then follow up with the parent.


Student Email (Grades 5 – 8)


Zoom Meetings

The FSSD is committed to protecting student privacy and has worked diligently to ensure teachers and students use Zoom for Education only, not the public Zoom account referenced in various sources of media. Zoom for Education is designed for schools and districts and complies with all FERPA, COPPA, and other privacy regulations. One of the many advantages of this type of account is that we have the ability to control settings districtwide. FSSD students are only able to join a teacher Zoom meeting through our password protected FSSD Clever portal, Google Classroom, or direct student contact and teachers have been instructed to keep Zoom meeting links private. We have the waiting room automatically set up for teachers as well as a few other security measures. These measures prevent the possibility of “hackers” joining meetings and allow teachers to remove someone who is not supposed to be in the meeting, or even a student who is supposed to be in the meeting but not following teacher expectations.

Reflecting on our extensive research across multiple video conferencing platforms, this resource and configuration of settings is the most secure option for students. Families have the option to use Zoom or to refrain from using Zoom at their discretion. To read Zoom’s full privacy statement, please see https://zoom.us/privacy.

Community Food Resources

We understand that the extended school closure will create hardship for many of our families. If you or someone you know needs additional food support, please see the resources in the flyer below:

Community Food Resources Flyer (updated April 13, 2020)

Community Resources

We understand that the extended school closure will create hardship for many of our families. If you or someone you know needs additional support in any area, please see the resources below:

 

Image with May is Mental Health MonthMay is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is extremely important, but helping your child or teen manage stress can be difficult for parents. Click below to find ways to help and to recognize the signs of stress in adolescence.  Here are some helpful resources:

How to help children and teens manage their stress
Emotional Wellness Checklist (English, Spanish)

TN Health Department Hotline

COVID-19 Public Information 877-857-2945
Available 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. CST Daily