JANUARY 28, 2022
Franklin District Bi-Weekly Newsletter | 2021-22 #12
Adapting To Change
I am fortunate to have a view of the middle school from my desk and this week I took a photo of our parents in the morning dropping off their children. It reminded me of how “interesting” it is to live in Wisconsin. How each and every year, we adapt to some extreme changes in weather. I would have to say that the people I know, nearly all of which grew up in Wisconsin, are overall really adaptable to change.
COVID-19 tested everyone's ability to adapt. Here in Franklin and in our school district, we came together to keep our schools open and “weather the storm” of COVID-19. We are all very pleased to be seeing declining case numbers in our schools and the community after the Omicron surge. And sincerely hope they continue to decline.
At the Wednesday Board of Education Meeting this week, District Leadership presented the FPS COVID-19 Semester Update to School Board members. Included in the recommendations and approved by Board vote were the following (3) revisions to our current COVID-19 protocols beginning on February 1, 2022.
COVID-19 PROTOCOL REVISIONS
1. Utilize in-school contact tracing (when it is able to occur) in informing families of their potential exposure rather than as a precursor to quarantine.
2. Pivot a classroom, grade level, or school to at-home virtual learning based upon a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the number of positive cases, the extent to which these cases are limited to siblings, the volume of students in quarantine, the potential for the continued spread of the virus, and the level of disruption to our ability to effectively provide in-person instruction.
3. Utilize a 1.5%, 7-day positivity rate as the benchmark across all buildings as the point of initiating mask requirements, and when the 7-day test positivity drops below 1.5%, mask requirements be lifted. Decisions about masking for the following week will be determined based on the Friday dashboard.
Throughout the rest of this newsletter, we will share other changes and updates in greater detail so please continue to read the newsletter so you can be in the know of what to expect beginning next week.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and to help us adapt to the changes taking place. Our parents are our greatest partners in these endeavors to continue to keep our schools safe and to offer in-person instruction.
Have a great weekend,
Dr. Judy Mueller
UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES
As a reminder, the District Calendar and all building calendars can be found here.
All of our calendars are able to be subscribed to! Follow the steps at the top of the District Calendar for how to subscribe. You will also see our 2021-22 AND 2022-23 Calendar Events in your own calendar app on your device!
COVID-19 UPDATES & CHANGES
COVID-19 PROTOCOLS THAT ARE CONTINUING
Continue to socially distance students to the extent possible.
Continue to provide higher levels of sanitation and high-quality air exchange
Continue to isolate positive staff and student COVID-19 cases considering the recommendations of the CDC and available data regarding secondary spread.
Continue to provide On-site COVID-19 testing for students and staff exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Continue to notify families of school-based exposures when able.
Quarantine close contacts of household-based exposures.
Vaccinated students and staff will not be required to quarantine.
Per continued federal mandate, require masks on school buses for all individuals.
All Early Childhood & 4K students and staff will continue to wear masks (no vaccine option available)
At this Wednesday’s Board Meeting, the following recommendation was voted upon by the board and is now how we will operate in regards to masking:
3. Utilize a 1.5%, 7-day positivity rate as the benchmark across all buildings as the point of initiating mask requirements, and when the 7-day test positivity drops below 1.5%, mask requirements will be lifted. These decisions would be made based on the Friday dashboard for the following week.
Therefore, you will see reflected in today’s dashboard not only the number of positive student cases reported at each building as of yesterday but also the 7-Day Positivity Rate percentage of both staff and students at that school. Masking will be determined based on this rate; 1.5% or above and masks will be required for the following week, below 1.5% and masks will be recommended for the following week. Families will receive an email from the district alerting you to the building change in masking and this will also be reflected on the dashboard. On the weeks we do not send a District Newsletter, you can continue to find the updated dashboard posted to the FPS Communications Hub.
QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION CHANGES
Students who are unvaccinated and are determined to be a close contact with a positive case outside of school will be quarantined. The quarantine period will be 5 days with a strong recommendation to be tested for COVID-19 on the 5th day. Following the 5 days, the student may return on Day 6 if they are not experiencing symptoms of illness. Day 6 returnees are then required to wear a mask for Days 6-10 when at school.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they are required to isolate for 5 days and may return on Day 6 if their symptoms have improved. They are then required to wear a mask for Days 6-10 when at school.
Aside from adding the 7-Day Positivity Rate to the dashboard, you will also see that we will be releasing the dashboard now twice a week -- on Tuesdays and Fridays. Due to the change to 5-day isolation and quarantines, putting the dashboard out twice a week will help to keep families informed of the impact of COVID-19 on our buildings. However, as shared above, any changes to masking for the following week will be determined based on the Friday dashboard.
Below you will find a copy of today's Dashboard. As you can see reflected on the dashboard, Ben Franklin Elementary, Pleasant View Elementary, and Franklin High School will move to recommended masks for next week.
Click for a larger image if needed
CLASSROOM COVID-19 NOTIFICATIONS
As COVID-19 case rates allow, we will begin to send notifications to families and staff to notify them of an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19 in their classroom. Families can expect to receive an alert if a positive case has been identified within a classroom where the individual was in session during their infectious period (2 days prior to symptom onset or date of testing positive if showing no symptoms). Please note these messages are aimed at keeping families informed if there has been a possible exposure and will not designate if your child has been deemed a close contact. We are beginning this type of alert with the elementary and middle school students as they spend the majority of their time during the day interacting with the same group of students. We will not be implementing these alerts at the high school level at this time. We are currently building this notification process and hope to begin this soon.
Summit Clinical Labs continues to provide On-Site Testing for students, staff, and family/household members of positive student or staff cases or anyone deemed a close contact. On-Site Testing continues at Franklin High School on school days from 7am to 3pm and at the ECC District Office from 7am to 5pm on weekdays. Please review this document for other details and questions you may have about how this will work.
Please note: Even though Monday is a No School Day for students, the On-Site Testing center at the ECC District Office only will still be open from 7am to 5pm.
Evidence shows that being vaccinated (and boosted) has helped to decrease the chances of getting the severity and symptoms one will experience with COVID-19 and the risk of spreading it to others. For more background information on vaccines, you can review this information from the CDC. If your family is choosing to explore options for vaccination, please refer to https://www.vaccines.gov/.
DISTRICT SPELLING BEE RESULTS
Last Thursday, we held the District Spelling Bee and we are pleased to share the results! Congratulations to the following finalists that have now qualified for the Regional CESA #1 Spelling Bee. Thank you to all of our students, parents, and volunteers for making the 2022 District Spelling Bee a huge success!
1st Place: Afina Alonso (7th Grade FP)
2nd Place: Harita Dilip (6th Grade FP)
3rd Place: Daven Bienzen (6th Grade FP)
4th Place: Amara Virk (5th Grade BF)
5th Place: Zosia Spicka (6th Grade FP)
6th Place: Ryan Stein (6th Grade FP)
Regional Spelling Bee Alternates:
1st Alternate: Manmeet Kaur (5th Grade PV)
2nd Alternate: Madeline Stine (6th Grade FP)
FRANKLIN FOUNDATION VALENTINES FOR STAFF!
This Valentine’s Day we invite you to surprise a Franklin Public School teacher or special staff member with a personally delivered Valentine greeting! Just let us know by completing this form who you wish to honor, and our volunteers will take care of the rest.
Remember, if you would like to recognize a staff member but are not sure of names, use the FPS staff directory to find those favorite administrative assistants and aides, custodial staff, or special teachers in addition to your student's homeroom teachers.
Orders are due by February 6th. Your valentines will be delivered to the FPS school or ECC building on Thursday, February 14, 2022.
YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING
As part of a School-Based Mental Health Grant we received as a district, we are excited to offer another opportunity to train parents and community members in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). During the YMHFA course, participants develop an understanding of the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, the importance of early intervention, and how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Participants will engage in a 2-hour self-paced course followed by a 4.5 hour in-person session with a district trainer on Thursday, February 24th from 4:30-9:00 PM. If you do not have access to needed technology for the online self-paced portion, arrangements can be made to provide you with a device and/or internet access. The deadline to register is Monday, January 31st. Please complete this survey to indicate your interest in participating. There are limited spots and an email will be sent to finalize your enrollment in the course and next steps.
REGISTRATION FOR 22-23 IS NOW OPEN FOR NEW FAMILIES!
Our registration is now open for next school year for new families to the district and next year’s 4K. You can find all the necessary details on our website here. Please note that students already enrolled in our schools do not have to have a new registration completed. You may utilize the “Create Account” and “Forgot Password” buttons on the registration page to complete your registration or gain access if you have created an account in the past. Please help us share that registration is open with any new families to the area or those with younger children that would be entering 4K or 5K!
Franklin Public Schools
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