Return to School Update

March 5, 2021

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FINAL PHASE OF STUDENTS RETURN TO SCHOOL BUILDINGS: MARCH 8, 2021

We look forward to welcoming our final group of students (Phase IV - Cohort A) to in-person, hybrid learning!

COHORT AND HYBRID SCHEDULE REMINDERS

Cohort A - Returns to school in-person MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2021

Students in Cohort A will attend in person on “A-Week” and learn remotely during “B-Week.”


Please refer to the Hybrid Schedule to know which weeks your child(ren) will attend school in-person or learn remotely.


If you chose to have your child return to school in-person, but DID NOT receive an email, please contact your child's principal. Due to scheduling logistics and required physical distancing in classes, changes will not be made to cohort assignments.

TRANSPORTATION

Bus information will be sent to each returning student a few days prior to their scheduled start date. Due to the limited number of buses available for routing and strict capacity limits implemented by the District, we are unable to accommodate all requests for ineligible riders. If we were unable to accommodate a family’s transportation request, they will receive an email from the District. We assigned seats to all eligible riders first and accommodated as many ineligible riders as possible based on their distance from school.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Please make sure your school has update-to-date contact information, including cell phone numbers, for all Primary and Emergency contacts associated with your child(ren). At least 4 contacts should be listed. It is extremely important that we’re able to reach you for important communications, for contact tracing if needed, and to ensure MyMedBot is associated with the correct email address(es).

CURRENT PUBLIC HEALTH CONDITIONS

Below are important informational links that highlight the current COVID-related public health conditions in Framingham:


Click to see the FPS COVID Dashboard

Click to review the City of Framingham Weekly Data Analysis (PDF)

Click to access the City of Framingham COVID Resource Page

RETURN-TO-SCHOOL DASHBOARD

Big picture

(Text from the table above)


Return-to-School Target

City Positivity: 4% (or less)

New Cases (Daily): 10 (or less)


Current Status (Latest Report: March 1, 2021)

City Positivity: 3.10% (↘︎ Lower than the previous week)

New Cases (Daily): 25.10 (↗ Slightly Higher than the previous week)


4-Week Historical Trend

February 22, 2021

City Positivity: 3.16%

New Cases (Daily): 24.91

↘︎ Lower than the previous week


February 18, 2021

City Positivity: 3.79%

New Cases (Daily): 26.17

↘︎ Lower than the previous week


February 8, 2021

City Positivity: 4.58%

New Cases (Daily): 27.74

↘︎ Lower than the previous week


February 1, 2021

City Positivity: 5.25%

New Cases (Daily): 38.29

↘︎ Lower than the previous week

POOLED TESTING AND COVID CASE REPORTING

  • Monday March 1st: 14 pools were tested and all were negative

  • Tuesday, March 2nd: 50 pools were tested and there were 2 positive and 1 inconclusive

  • Thursday, March 4th: 74 pools were tested and all were negative

  • Please review the FPS COVID Data Dashboard for the most up-to-date cumulative data on positive cases.

COMMITMENT TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM MODEL

As a reminder, families who wish to shift from hybrid learning to remote may request to do so at any time. Requests should be directed to the building principal so that proper notice may be given to the teacher(s), transportation office, etc. Requests to shift from remote to hybrid learning will be considered on the following Family Decision Checkpoints:


  • March 19, 2021 for an April 5, 2021 return

  • May 10, 2021 for a May 24, 2021 return


At this time, the District is required to maintain 6-foot physical distancing when students return to school. Requests to shift from remote to hybrid may not be possible if 6-feet of distancing cannot be maintained.

RISK MITIGATION EFFORTS

We believe that a combination of facility safety upgrades, personal protective equipment (PPE), physical/social distancing, regular (weekly) COVID testing, and the introduction of a vaccine will be exactly what it is needed to confidently return to school.


Masks/Face Coverings

Masks/Face Coverings are among the most important single measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Masks must cover both the nose and mouth. Masks must be worn by everyone at all times with rare exceptions. Families must ensure their child arrives at school wearing a face covering and ideally has an extra on hand. Time will be built throughout the day for mask breaks where students and staff don’t have to wear masks. The District Face Coverings Policy provides more detailed information.


COVID-19 Individual PCR Testing for ALL FPS Staff

Testing has proven to be a key factor to getting students back to school in communities where percentages of positivity and daily new COVID cases are higher than recommended community targets. ALL FPS staff are encouraged to participate in weekly COVID-19 individual PCR testing that is provided at each of our schools.


COVID-19 Pooled Testing for Students

Free pooled testing is available weekly for all students in attendance for their scheduled week of in-school learning. Testing will take place on site at your child’s school during the school day. A completed, signed consent (English, Spanish, Portuguese) form is required for participation. Although participation is voluntary, it is strongly encouraged.


Pooled testing involves mixing several respiratory test samples together in a “batch” or “pool” and then testing the pooled sample with a PCR test for detection of COVID-19. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested using the same amount of resources as a single PCR test. The test is performed at least once per week with anterior nasal swab. Test results are delivered within approximately 24-48 hours. If a pooled test result is negative, then all individuals within that pool are presumed negative and may continue to remain in school. If a pooled test result is positive, then all individuals in the pool must quarantine until they are retested individually with a PCR test.


For additional information, please review the Framingham Public Schools COVID-19 Testing for Students Overview English, Spanish, Portuguese.


MyMedBot (Attestation App)

MyMedBot is your ticket to school! MyMedBot is used to screen all FPS staff and students daily for potential COVID symptoms. Students, families, and staff must answer a series of COVID-19 related questions and based on the answers, the app will show a red screen, meaning you are not permitted to enter the school or a green screen, meaning you may enter the school. MyMedBot invitation codes are unique for each user and are being rolled out by cohort to families with students who are returning to in-person instruction.


If you are scheduled to come back to school and you do not receive the message, you can contact the FPS COVID Call Center (see below). Please remember to complete MyMedBot everyday that your child is scheduled to attend school in-person.


COVID Call Center

Framingham Public Schools has launched a trilingual COVID Call Center to help families with the MyMedBot App questions. Families can reach the Call Center by email COVID@framingham.k12.ma.us or by calling (508) 782-6633. Call Center staff are available between 5:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Friday. Staff who have MyMedBot App questions should continue to reach out to the Help Desk.


Vaccination

Beginning March 11, all K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff will be eligible to schedule appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Educators may book appointments at all 170 sites currently open to eligible residents in Massachusetts by visiting www.mass.gov/covidvaccinemap. More information is coming soon about specific days for educators to get their shots at the Commonwealth's seven mass vaccination sites.

KEY TERMS

Phase I: Students and staff who attended school, in-person, starting in October.


Phase II: Students and staff who attended school, in-person, starting in November.


Phase III: Students and staff who were scheduled to return to school in December, but who did not return due to the shift to remote in consideration of the community public health conditions.


Phase IV: All remaining FPS students and staff not included in Phases I, II, and III.


In Person (Schedule): A schedule where students are receiving instruction in person in a classroom setting from the school.


Remote (Schedule): A schedule where students are receiving instruction from a location outside the school setting via the computer (virtually).


Hybrid (Schedule): A schedule where students are receiving instruction on a rotating schedule that includes both in person and remote experiences.


Concurrent Classroom Model: A model in which students attend class in person and others attend virtually. The teacher in a concurrent classroom attempts to meet the needs of the students in class and online simultaneously.


Synchronous Instruction (live):

Synchronous Instruction

  • Occurs in real-time, with participants doing something together or “in sync” with others;

  • May include Zoom/Google Meets meetings or be streamed; live video is not required for synchronous learning;

  • May include scheduled learning experiences, assessments, or collaboration to be completed at the same time as others; and/or

  • May provide additional structure, accountability, and opportunities to engage with others in the learning community.


Asynchronous Instruction (not live):

Asynchronous Instruction

  • Occurs on one’s own time or pace, with no requirements to be in lock-step with others;

  • Allows students to work independently, or potentially with others, at a flexible pace that meets their individual needs;

  • May include experiences, assessments, or collaboration to be completed within a window of time, but not necessarily in real-time with others; and/or

  • Allows teachers to work synchronously with one or more students while others are engaged in asynchronous learning tasks.

Asynchronous instruction does NOT mean that a student is “offline”, as in not engaging virtually with content.

PREVIOUS / RECENT UPDATES

This is a reminder that, in most instances, travel outside of Massachusetts will require COVID PCR testing and quarantine until a negative PCR test is received. Read the communication from Friday, February 5th for answers to some common questions on this topic: Travel Advisory Reminder and Questions

Framingham Public Schools

The mission of the Framingham Public Schools is to educate each student to learn and live productively as a critically-thinking, responsible citizen in a multicultural, democratic society by providing academically challenging instructional programs taught by highly-qualified staff and supported by comprehensive services in partnership with our entire community. For news, updates, and announcements, follow Framingham Public Schools (@FraminghamPS) on Facebook, Twitter, and (@framinghamschools) on Instagram. You can also join the conversation using #FraminghamSchools.