FSSD COVID-19 UPDATESCoronavirus-19 Response
The Franklin Special School District is working with local, state and national health and safety agencies in response to the novel coronavirus-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.
Parents can keep up with the latest news about the coronavirus outbreak and actions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and through the Tennessee Department of Health. As new information is available, or if public health recommendations for schools change, we will keep our community informed.
Update #10: New Student Review Packets Available April 13
April 6, 2020
Hello FSSD families,
We want to thank you for the overwhelming support you continue to provide as we work through the extended school closure and the implementation of our Continuous Learning Plan. Your children have likely finished, or are finishing, the first two weeks of review by this point and we are ready to introduce you to the next round of student learning review packets.
New continuous learning opportunities will be available for each grade level and content area by going to your school’s homepage or at www.fssd.org/covid19 on Monday, April 13. Student learning review packets may be accessed by logging in with your child’s Google account using Clever at https://clever.com/in/fssd.
These Week 3 and 4 packets will be available to print from the website or to pick up. Schools will be open to families who choose to pick up the new paper packets on Monday, April 13, from 8:00 until 1:00. To further limit exposure, we are asking those who can to “pop your trunk” and the packets will be placed there.
We are proud of our staff for the hours they have dedicated to creating high quality content at every grade level. We’re proud of our families and communities for putting such a great emphasis on education, even if it looks different than the traditional classroom. We are proud of our students for the resilience they are showing during this unusual time.
Teachers and principals are available to answer questions related to continuous learning and will respond within 24 hours (Monday through Friday). For questions related to Continuous Learning, please contact your teacher or principal.
Also, the FSSD COVID-19 webpage provides lots of information that may help you as we all heed the State and City Safer at Home guidelines. This site includes information on the free meal program, including hours and locations, how free wi-fi and other community resources can be accessed, and technology support for various online resources.
Don’t forget, that this is also the time we need rising kindergarten through 7th grade families to register for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Round up your two proofs of residency (utility bills dated February 2020 to present) and head to https://fssd.org/registration-information/ to complete this 5-minute process.
Thank you for your patience as we work to continue to engage our students during this extraordinary time of learning from home. We cannot stress enough how much we appreciate your partnership and hope that you and your family remain safe and healthy throughout this time.
David Snowden, Ph.D.
Director of Schools
Franklin Special School District
Update #9: School Closure Extended Through April 24
March 24, 2020
Hello FSSD families:
Today Tennessee Governor Bill Lee extended his school closure request through Friday, April 24th. The Franklin Special School District will abide by the Governor’s recommendation in a state-wide effort to protect the health and wellbeing of Tennessee’s students, faculty and staff.
Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn said in today’s briefing that school closures represent a significant disruption for families and students and the Department of Education will continue to work closely with our districts as they serve students and families during this time. The FSSD will continue to work to provide resources for our students.
Today’s student learning packet pickup was overwhelmingly positive. The number of packets picked up, as well as the number of families downloading the online packets, represents an incredible demonstration of your desire to support your children’s learning during this period of social distancing. The FSSD, your schools and its teachers will be in communication with you throughout this closure. We will let you know when new resources are available and how you may access them.
For now, though, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support and patience as we all look forward to the day when we can celebrate your students together in our schools.
We remain #FSSDstrong!
Update #8: Learning Packet Pickup Back on Schedule - Online Access Still Available March 25
March 22, 2020
Hello FSSD Families,
We apologize for the follow up communication but have heard from many families who are anxious to pick up the student learning packets along with the Chromebooks for students in grades 4-8. After additional consideration, we will plan to do our best to allow the pickup of instructional packets following the same Tuesday schedules at each school. Heeding the Governor’s recommendations, we will be working with a small number of volunteers, so the process may be extremely slow. Please be patient as we work to get these packets to your vehicle as quickly and as safely as possible.
We appreciate your understanding!
Update #7: Learning Packet Pickup Postponed - Online Access Available March 25
March 22, 2020
This morning (March 22) Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued an Executive Order with further guidance on the necessity to remain at home to lessen exposure to the novel coronavirus. With that, we have decided to postpone the learning packet pickup originally scheduled for Tuesday at all schools. We are continuing our plans to have the electronic versions of the learning packets fully online on each school’s website by no later than this Wednesday. These review packets are for your children to use to remain engaged in their education but are strictly optional and nothing is required to be turned in.
The free meal drive-through program (click for Spanish flyer) will begin as scheduled tomorrow, March 23, at Poplar Grove and Liberty Elementary from 11:-12:30. The selected bus stops will also be used for delivery of meals. Food is considered an essential resource and we will be using gloves and safety procedures to hand it to the drivers. Please remember that your children need to be in the car or at the bus stop to receive the meals.
Update #6: Learning Packet Pickup and Online Access
March 20, 2020
Thank you for your continued support as we plan for next week. Here are a few updates:
Learning packet pickup is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th. Your principal will communicate the instructions and pickup times. We understand that not everyone will pick up packets so we are also making learning resources available online by school and grade level.
Packets will look different for each grade and may include items such as books, learning games, school supplies, digital resource guides, textbooks, in addition to the workbook/instructional sheets. Teachers have worked to create individualized packets to best meet student needs. The online packets will also include a variety of printable and online resources that your child should be familiar with.
For grades 4-8, your child’s school-issued Chromebook will also be available for pick up at this time. If you have a device at home that you prefer to use in place of the school-issued Chromebook, just let the school staff know at time of pickup.
Because all of the packets include a great deal of resources, we highly encourage you to come to your child’s school on Tuesday for pickup. All schools will be using a drive-through process and all staff members who are handling packets will be wearing gloves and following recommended safety protocol.
Electronic packets will be available March 25th on your school website.
Another important note is that third-quarter report cards originally scheduled to be released Friday, March 27, have been placed on hold.
FSSD school and district offices will be closed Wednesday through Friday next week. All school events and meetings that were scheduled during this extended closure have been postponed and the new dates will be communicated by principals upon our return.
As always, we appreciate your support and partnership and will continue to communicate with you as information evolves. For specific questions, please email your school principal.
Update #5: Update from Director of Schools
March 19, 2020
Let me begin by expressing our deepest appreciation to all of you for the hundreds of calls, emails, texts, and social media posts encouraging our work over the past two weeks to help support you through this new school framework. Your words of positivity and encouragement were so appreciated and we hope to return that feeling to you as you navigate a new home school experience.
Over these past few days, many have been planning and developing resources to assist you while schools are closed. You will receive a communication from your school principal with details about how you can pick up your child’s learning packet on Tuesday, March 24. We understand that not everyone is a teacher at heart and we are not expecting you to assume that role. These learning packets and online resources will include a review of concepts already taught. Your child should be familiar with the content and we will provide opportunities for them to ask questions and interact with their teachers throughout the closure.
Learning Packet Pickup Tuesday, March 24
Students in grades K-3 will receive a packet of consumable materials (worksheets and written assignments). Students in grades 4 though 8 will receive consumable packets as well as a Chromebook in the event they want to access the online resources available to them through their school account. Online access is not necessary to complete the packet however. Your school will provide more details.
Please know that these packets are intended to provide support and continue our learning as we are away from our schools during this time. Learning is retained when we consistently practice. We hope you enjoy “practicing” while you are home. Thank you for being partners in this work – we appreciate your dedication to helping our students succeed.
Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Children
You will also receive information about the FSSD’s new Drive-Through Meal Service, which will begin Monday, March 23, at two sites – Liberty Elementary and Poplar Grove School. These two sites will provide an opportunity for families to drive through the parking lot once a day to pick up that day’s breakfast and lunch offerings. Per USDA requirements, children must be in the car to receive the meals. All children (ages 1-18) may participate regardless if they are normally free, reduced, or full-paying students. No identification is required. For those who cannot pick up, we will have several select locations where meals can be delivered at bus stops to awaiting children and families. This information will be emailed and posted online.
Will These Days Be Made Up?
We are awaiting approval from the Tennessee Legislature for school districts to be able to waive the missed days of school. A bill that has already passed the House Education Committee (House Bill 2818/Senate Bill 2672) includes waivers for TNReady testing for the year, the requirement for 180 instructional days, and the accountability requirements for student attendance. We will pass on what we learn as a result of legislative action.
Again, please know the FSSD stands ready to support you during these next few weeks. We will be sending information about the packets, the drive-through meal service and other food-based programs available through our community partners, and a listing of community resources in a variety of areas. These times are challenging but, as we like to say, we are #FSSDstrong and together we will succeed.
David L. Snowden, Ph.D.
Director of Schools
Franklin Special School District
Update #4: Schools Close Through April 3
March 16, 2020
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has announced the mandatory closure of all schools. The Franklin Special School District will be closed through April 3. The closure affects all district programming, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, weekend events, and all facility use by outside groups. MAC will also close tomorrow through April 3. We understand that this closure may cause an inconvenience, but trust that you will support our efforts on behalf of the wellness of our community.
Classes are set to tentatively resume on Monday, April 6. However, the Governor has said that the state will continue to monitor and assess this situation, and will reevaluate the status of school closures as it gets closer to the tentative return date.
We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many of our families. Please know that we are doing our very best to make decisions that will help care for all of our students, teachers, staff members, families, and community members through this time. Over the next few days, we will communicate our plan to support families through this closure, including:
- Providing a daily “grab and go” breakfast and lunch service through our schools and our transportation department.
- Maintaining learning momentum to the greatest extent possible, given the circumstances. We are prepared with weekly learning packets for students to continue to remain plugged into their education and their teachers. More details about this will be provided in the coming days.
We will send frequent updates with information and resources via email, our website, and social media channels (@franklinspecial on Twitter and @FranklinSSD on facebook). Franklin Special School District employees need to be available to work when requested during this extended closure. We will communicate directly with staff members regarding their specific roles and responsibilities in the coming days.
We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation. We will get through this challenge together. Together, we are #fssdstrong.
Update #3: Schools Close Two Days Prior to Spring Break
March 11, 2020
As our community continues to coordinate its response to the coronavirus cases in Middle Tennessee, the Franklin Special School District has decided to close school for the remainder of this week. This will allow our administrators and teachers time to plan and create how learning might continue in the event an extended release becomes necessary.
While students will not come to school tomorrow and Friday, designated faculty and staff will report to their buildings tomorrow at 8:00 AM. MAC and WeeMAC will be open on Thursday and Friday at the district site, 1406 Cannon St., from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM. MAC students will need to bring a sack lunch.
It is our hope that an extended release will not be necessary. These two days will allow our staff time to ensure that our students will have everything they need to continue learning in the event an alternative learning plan is needed.
We urge you to continue the prevention practices of frequent hand-washing, covering a cough or sneeze, not touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth, and staying home when ill. We will continue to keep you informed. We hope you will enjoy some family time during this break.
Update #2: Cleaning Progress
March 9, 2020
Thank you for your patience as the Franklin Special School District facilities and custodial staff have been able to thoroughly clean and disinfect all of our campuses Friday and today. Taking the time to deep clean provides our students, faculty and staff with a clean building to return to tomorrow in our final days before spring break. Our facilities and custodial staff used hospital-grade products in their cleaning regimen to help stop the spread of communicable illnesses.
FSSD follows the guidance and expertise of national and local health officials to help protect our students and staff from all communicable diseases. The district will continue to communicate the importance of frequent hand-washing, covering a cough or sneeze, not touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth, and staying home when ill.
We are excited to welcome students, faculty and staff back to school tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10.
Update #1: Closure for Cleaning
March 5, 2020
As part of the FSSD preparedness plan and out of an abundance of caution, the Franklin Special School District will close all schools, district offices and MAC tomorrow, Friday, March 6, and Monday, March 9, to deep clean classrooms and all areas that students, faculty and staff work in and around. This includes the cancellation of all extracurricular activities for tomorrow and Monday. We believe that now is the best time to fully and completely clean our buildings and will put all of our resources to that effort. We believe that this can be completed in two days, but if more time is needed, we will certainly let you know as soon as possible. All FSSD employees, with the exception of the maintenance and facilities staff, will also remain at home on these days. We feel this measure will allow us an opportunity to reopen schools on Tuesday, March 10, with all cleaning precautions complete.
This information follows the news that the state has identified the first coronavirus patient in Williamson County. We do know that the patient’s case is considered mild and the state indicated the overall risk to the general public remains low.
We want to remind students, families, and employees that the best ways to prevent the spread of flu or other respiratory illnesses is by washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and remaining at home when ill until you are symptom-free and/or fever-free for a full 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
The Tennessee Department of Health is providing information about COVID-19 on its website. Additional information about symptoms, prevention, treatment and testing is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.
We will continue to follow the guidance of our local and state health departments, and please know that we are committed to updating you with information as it becomes available to us.
Student Learning Packets
Links to student learning review packets may be found on the front of each school website or by clicking on the links below:
Free Meal Service
FSSD Invites Families to “Drive-Through” for Free Meals During Closure
Beginning Monday, March 23, the Franklin Special School District is excited to offer free daily breakfast and lunch using a daily drive-through system, which will enable families to pick up meals for children 18 and under. Thanks to a USDA program usually reserved for the summer months, the FSSD Child Nutrition Department will prepare breakfast and lunch each weekday for children, regardless of if they are typically free, reduced or full pay – no identification is required. Families also do not have to reside in the FSSD to pick up these meals. Per USDA requirements, children must be present to receive the meals – breakfast and lunch – which will come packaged together for one daily stop.
The drive-through program will be set up in two locations:
- Poplar Grove School from 11:00-12:30. Cars should enter at the 2959 Del Rio Pike driveway and follow signs to the back of the building.
- Liberty Elementary School from 11:00-12:30, at 600 Liberty Pike.
For those who are unable to drive through the two locations, meals will also be delivered to select locations in the district Monday-Friday until school reopens. Per USDA requirements, children will need to be present to accept the meals. Delivery locations and times (approximate) include:
Hickory Drive: 11:00
Liberty Oaks: 11:05
Ash Drive – Chestnut Lane: 11:15
Acton Street and Short Court: 11:00
Park Street: 11:05
Franklin Estates (pool): 11:20
Robin Hill Road: 11:35
Cherokee Place: 11:40
* Please be ready for delivery 5 minutes before/after the posted time as these times are approximate.
The FSSD is proud to be able to continue meal service to our students and their siblings throughout this difficult closure, as well as to open our doors to students in other public, private or homeschool situations as well. We have planned and prepared for this event and are staffed to meet the need.
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.
- Offering free public wi-fi for 60 days.
- 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.
Troubleshooting Online Resources
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.
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
TN Health Department Hotline
COVID-19 Public Information 877-857-2945
Available 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. CST Daily