Return to Learn Handbook Addendum


As we prepare for a successful opening of the 2020-21 school year, the Franklin Special School District is doing its best to address the needs of all of our families, while keeping our students and staff safe and healthy. Teams and individuals that make up our District, including staff, parents, Board of Education, District leadership, and local health authorities have weighed in on our FSSD Return to Learn 2020 Plan, enabling us to adopt a comprehensive plan to open our school district using various learning programs based on COVID-19 illness spread and other local metrics. It is important to note that circumstances can and likely will change. Consequently, this plan is fluid and will change and adapt to respond to new information as it becomes available. Click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

The sections below represent information from our Return to Learn 2020 plan that parents should know as school reopens. This information serves as an addendum to your school handbook and covers health and safety related information that is new to our school handbook protocols. If you have any questions, please contact your school office.

button link to Academic Experience pageAcademic Experience

This section describes various academic scenarios from full in-person learning (under a Minimal – Level 1 using the illness spread metrics), to remote learning (Moderate – Level 2 using the illness spread metrics), to all virtual learning (Substantial – Level 3 using the illness spread metrics). Williamson County’s COVID-19 illness spread is at a Level 2 as we open school on August 10 for the 2020-21 school year. Based on guidance from local health authorities, among other factors, the FSSD will open school with In-Person Learning for Grades PreK – 2, and small groups of students in all other grades based on individual services that need to be provided in and In-Person Learning environment. Parents were also provided an opportunity to opt students into the FSSD Virtual Learning program on a semester by semester basis.  All other students will be Remote Learners. Remote Learning is when a student, class, school, or the district must transition to learning from home using primarily online resources and under the supervision of a classroom teacher until school reopens or the student has been cleared to return. (See the Back to School Information Guide in the right sidebar for more details).

While we are currently planning to return to school under this hybrid model of in-person instruction, remote learning and virtual learning, parents and students should prepare for any of the scenarios to be our reality throughout the school year, depending on changing circumstances. The district is monitoring the various health metrics both on a county-wide and zip code basis. If a decision is made to move between Levels 1 – 3, families will be provided at least a weeklong period to transition to the new Level in order to prepare for a shift in learning environments.

button link to Health and safety pageHealth and Safety

This section shares details on our mitigation strategies, plans to address the physical and mental health of our students and staff, and much more. We are taking every precaution we can to keep our staff and students safe during this pandemic and ask students and staff to conduct a daily wellness check. These strategies will continue to evolve as we receive updates provided by our local health authorities.


button link to School Routines pageSchool Routines

From arrival to dismissal and everything in between (class transitions, student meals, recess, etc.) the daily in-school experience will need to look different than before. This section will outline new protocols for the daily school environment. Specific details will vary depending on the building layouts, grade levels, and schedules.


Athletics and Activities

We will need to implement health and safety and facility protocols to keep our students, staff, and fans safe during practices, competition, performances, and events. From cleaning equipment to safety precautions associated with safe hydration, to transporting students to and from contests, you will find necessary guidance to safely navigate this important part of our student experience.


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Building Use and Visitors

This section describes safety precautions and restrictions for outside groups and visitors to ensure a safe environment for our students and staff.

Return to Learn 2020 Plan

Return to Learn logo
Return to Learn 2020 Plan

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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.

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

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School Opening Metric Review

Community Spread Metrics

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Once 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 casesdata 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.

Remote and Virtual Attendance

FSSD Attendance Policy for Remote and Virtual Learners

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The Tennessee Department of Education requires that attendance be taken for these student groups and the FSSD has developed a policy that takes into account the extra time that may be needed for Remote and Virtual Learners to complete the attendance requirements. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school attendance secretary with questions.