AUGUST 21, 2020

FPS Family Newsletter | 20-21 Issue 06

Big picture

PARENT PLANNING

Every day I get more excited about the start of school. We are only a week away from seeing our students again and we can’t wait. We are welcoming our staff back next week and completing our final plans to get started.

One of the things we are finalizing in our Reopening Doors planning with the Franklin Health Department is a “monitoring and transition” plan in the event a closure of a classroom or building needs to occur. We plan to share more details with the community around what this looks like early next week. Essentially, we are anticipating that our students will be sent home far more often than in the past and asked to remain at home if necessary. Any student who is sent to the health room with health concerns other than an injury, will be sent home. We will not allow students to “rest until they feel better” this year. Please be prepared with a plan to have your child picked up for school when called.


As we shared before, any child or staff member who has symptoms of COVID-19 may be excluded or isolated from coming to school. The following graphic explains what the difference is between these terms and who makes those decisions. We share this information as we are sure they relate to questions you may be thinking about along the lines of:

  • If I receive a message from the school saying my child has to be ‘excluded’ for a few days, what does that mean?

  • What will it mean when one is contacted saying he or she has been deemed a CLOSE CONTACT?

I am confident in all of the precautions we have put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Together we can do this. Thank you for your continued partnership and for working to actively monitor your family members for signs or symptoms of illness and taking appropriate steps where necessary.


See you soon!

Dr. Judy Mueller

COMMON QUESTIONS

We have been sharing a LOT of information with families and staff over the last week. When communicating, we are doing our best to streamline the information or to package it in such a way that makes sense. There has also been more information coming from other sources in the community or neighboring communities that is getting confused with our messages. We want to take this opportunity to clear up some common questions we’ve been receiving.


Student Reopening Orientation Days (details here)

  • My child is a virtual student, is he or she expected to come to the school buildings on his/her orientation day?

    • No. Virtual students remain home and will attend their virtual classes online only on the day assigned based on last name. In-Person students will report to the school buildings.

  • Are the Student Orientation days full days?

    • Yes. They are regular school hour days based on the building you attend.

  • Are buses running on Student Reopening Orientation Days?

    • Yes. Buses are running their normal and regular routes. You can expect more information on busing as we get closer to school starting.


“Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District” vs. “Franklin Public Schools”

  • We have been fielding many calls about the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District’s decision to go virtual last week. Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District is going fully virtual to start their school year. Franklin Public Schools is not. We understand how this can be confusing since both districts share “Franklin” in the name. We are continuing to follow all of our Reopening Doors planning that we have been sharing with families since early July.

  • In addition, our Community Ed & Rec Department that is part of Franklin Public Schools has been receiving calls about a full day child care offering. Our Franklin Community Ed & Rec Department is not offering any full day child care programs. We are continuing to offer before and after school Kids Club. For more information visit the Kids Club website.

SCHOOL BOARD UPDATES & TRANSITION

At this past Wednesday night’s meeting, the Franklin Board of Education accepted the resignation of Board President Mrs. Janet Evans. Here are some words from her resignation letter to the board:


Due to serious health issues with an immediate family member and the hardships I anticipate to encounter during the months ahead in relation to caregiving, I am no longer able to fulfill my duties as a Board member in a manner that would allow me to commit the full attention I am accustomed to giving to the position for which I was elected. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as a Board of Education member since 2009 and to have been elected as Board President by my Board colleagues for nine of those years. I have enjoyed working with each Board member, Dr. Judy Mueller, our directors, and administration. I am proud of our staff and students and all that our Franklin Public School District has achieved. I wish the Board and Franklin Public School District continued success in all future endeavors.


We thank Mrs. Evans for her years of service and commitment to Franklin Public Schools and wish her well in the care of her family member.

Following Mrs. Evans resignation, the Board elected Mr. Larry Gamble to be our next School Board President. Mr. Gamble was asked to share a few words with our families:


Greetings to our Franklin Public School family, students, teachers, and parents. This past Wednesday night, the Franklin Board of Education honored me by electing me Board President. During the last four years as a Board Member, the school district has continued Franklin’s reputation for providing a high-quality education for our students. But, nothing has prepared us for the curveball that 2020 would bring us.


As we move towards the start of the new school year, the safety and security of our students is always of paramount importance. Dr. Judy Mueller and the Administrative team went to great lengths developing our Reopening Doors plan with the mindset of providing the best possible education in-person or virtually including giving families a voice through our polling for their preferences in reopening our schools.


I am highly confident in the team of dedicated public servants who put education first in the Franklin Public Schools. We are fortunate to have highly qualified board members, administrators, and teachers working toward a common goal of continuous improvement and making Franklin Public Schools even better.


As the new Board President, whose children all graduated from Franklin schools, my priority is to make sure the pivotal planning we accomplished this year will ensure that our children receive the best possible education while our schools remain the cornerstone of our city.


Larry Gamble

FPS Board President

SCHOOL BUS INFORMATION

Franklin Public Schools has been working with First Student to establish guidelines and procedures for bus transportation for this school year. Please review this document and discuss these procedures with your child(ren) so they are aware of the expectations when on the bus.


Specific route information will be emailed to families early next week. It will be imperative that you review this information when you receive it as any changes for the start of the school year will need to be communicated to us by 3pm on Thursday, August 27th at the latest. Information for how to do this will be communicated in the bus scheduling you receive. Following that, any change requests that are received may take up to 10 business days to complete.


Thank you for your patience as we work to organize our routes and busing information for all students.

FOOD SERVICE UPDATES & SURVEY (DUE SUN)

As we shared with families earlier this week, we currently have a survey out to families from our Food Service program to better understand how many of our students will be requesting lunch, whether In-Person or Virtual. We now have our lunch menus updated online so you can view what the offerings will be.


  • The menu during the first two weeks will consist of a cold sandwich meal that includes a fruit, vegetable, choice of milk, and sandwich.

  • Meals for Virtual students will be the same cost as the students that are attending In-Person and we will follow up with Virtual families closer to the start of school regarding pickup times and locations for meals.


If your child will be requesting any lunches during the first two weeks of school, please complete this short survey before 11:59pm this Sunday, August 23rd.

In addition, we have been working on some of our processes for how lunch will work.

  • All Students: When students pick up lunch, they are asked to provide their student ID number. Please work with your students at all levels to make sure they know their 6-digit student ID number. We are in the process of acquiring scanners so we can scan ID cards at the middle and high school level for food purchases and exploring a card option at the lower levels.


  • Elementary: Each school has adjusted lunchtimes to have fewer students in the cafeteria at the same time. Lunch will be provided in to-go containers. Additionally, we will be distancing the lunch tables where possible or, in some schools where space is available, moving the lunch tables to the hallways. Lunch lines will be structured so students can be 6-feet apart while waiting before heading to their assigned lunch table.


  • Middle School: During each lunch section, half of the students will eat while half attend recess and then a switch will occur halfway through the period. Lunches will be provided in a to-go container. We are working to phase in pre-packaged snack and salad lines as the school year gets underway. Students will have assigned lunch tables.


  • High School: Some tables have been moved out into the Saber Center Lobby to create more distance between groups of students. The cafeteria will offer three lines. Two lines will provide the same sandwich, fruit, and vegetables pre-plated on a tray. The third line will offer a prepackaged salad meal. The Snack Shop will not be open until the second week of school. The Snack Shop will offer a limited amount of prepackaged food items and will be open during lunch and after school beginning on September 8th. After school, students will not be able to eat snacks in the cafeteria.


  • Virtual Students Lunch: We will have lunches available for 5K-12 students in the virtual program which can be picked up at the high school. Lunches will be provided at the same cost for full paid, free, or reduced price. Students/Parents must provide the names and student ID numbers of the students for which they are picking up meals. We are still working to structure pick up days and times and will communicate those to families as we have that information.


If any questions about our lunch program, please direct those questions to our District Food Service Manager, Monica Houtler | (414) 423-4656 | Monica.Houtler@Franklin.K12.wi.us

POWERSCHOOL SCHEDULES/TEACHERS NOT ACCURATE

Please continue to be aware that PowerSchool teachers listed or schedules are not accurate or correct. We are working very hard to shore up teaching assignments and student placements in courses. There are no set schedules or teachers at this point. We will communicate with all families when schedules and teachers are set -- which will not be until later next week. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to adjust In-Person and Virtual schedules for the 20-21 school year.

MONITORING FOR ILLNESS

We need your help in monitoring your children for illnesses. If they are exhibiting signs of illness, please keep them home. In accordance with local, state, and national recommendations, we are recommending that parents, guardians, or caregivers ask their child(ren) questions about how they are feeling in addition to checking their temperature daily prior to the start of the school day to promptly identify any illness. We are working on updated attendance procedures which we will share with you next week.


If your child shows symptoms of illness at school, they will be sent to a new health room dedicated to caring for children with signs of a potentially contagious illness. We are working to ensure sick students exhibiting signs of illness are separated from other individuals as soon as possible in the event of a contagious illness, such as COVID-19.


District Nurses, in collaboration with health room staff, will determine if a student meets the criteria for suspected COVID-19 or criteria for other possible contagious illnesses. If the student is deemed to fall under this criteria, the student will need to be picked up from school as soon as possible. In an effort to minimize the number of students with symptoms of contagious illness in the health room at once, it will be essential that families have a plan in place for who may be able to assist with transportation from school at any time.


Students meeting the criteria for suspected COVID-19 will not be able to return until:

Big picture

Additionally, if your child has come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, they will be directed to quarantine by the local health department for 14 days. Please begin making plans for situations that may result in your child being unable to return to school for a longer period of time.


More information can be found regarding how we are handling sick students on the FAQ section of our website.

GROUPS TRAVELING IN VEHICLES

While it is not currently recommended that individuals from separate households carpool, many families rely on partnerships with others to get themselves and their children where they need to be.


Please be aware that cars and vehicles used for public transportation are considered enclosed spaces, and as a result, masks or facial coverings are required when there are individuals from separate households inside a vehicle at this time. In the state of Wisconsin, you do not need to wear a mask in your own car, but you do need to if the car is being used for rideshare or public transportation. Sharing space with others inside a vehicle for an extended period of time increases the risk for germs spreading, so please be mindful of who is in cars with your family and how many different individuals are carpooling in one vehicle.

SNACKS

Our School Wellness Policy (#5315 here) that reflects "snacks" will remain in place for the 2020-21 school year and states that"snacks brought into the classroom must be fruits, vegetables, cheese, yogurt or meat." Thank you in advance for keeping our students safe within the classrooms.

TRAVEL

Did you know that if your child travels internationally, your child will need to quarantine for 14-days prior to returning to school. For more information, please click here.

BUILDING NEWSLETTERS START MONDAY

All through August, we've been sending this district newsletter to all families with information as we ramp up to the opening of school. Beginning this coming Monday, August 24, you can expect to receive your school building Weekly Bulletins again. Building secretaries, principals and staff will be providing information specific to your building as we get into the school year. We will continue to run this district newsletter on Friday until we get a few weeks into the school year and then will communicate how the district newsletter may shift to more of a staggered delivery.

LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION?

We are working very hard to prepare for the school year. We encourage you to continue checking out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page where we are constantly updating that information with questions and answers that will be helpful. We are marking new or updated questions with (NEW) in front of the question to draw your eye to newer information.

Franklin Public Schools

Looking for a past issue of the District Newsletter?

Check the ARCHIVE page here.


We pride ourselves on being...

  • A Better Place to Learn
  • A Better Place to Work
  • Part of a Better Community