Return to School Update

January 8, 2021

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With 2020 now behind us, we look to the new year with hope and optimism and a return to teaching and learning, in-person. Our return-to-school metrics remain in place (see dashboard below) and it is our resolve to start bringing back our staff and students (based on commitment form responses) for in-person teaching and learning and extracurricular activities once the City’s public health conditions improve and as we continue to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in the Framingham Public Schools. Weekly updates will highlight the current COVID-19 conditions in the city, our return-to-school targets, risk mitigation efforts, a decision-making schedule for planning purposes, and a refresher on key terms.


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

FPS COVID Dashboard

City of Framingham COVID Data Dashboard


The illustration below includes a couple of key community metrics that will impact our return-to-school. In addition, the district will work closely with the Framingham Department of Public Health to constantly assess both the risk (e.g., in-school transmission and upward data trends) and risk mitigation efforts (e.g., weekly testing and downward data trends) which will also impact the target return dates for Phase I & II and Phase III & IV.

Please note the phased return dates have shifted since our December 17th update.

Big picture
Big picture
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It is my pleasure to introduce Ms. Diane Snow who has joined the Framingham Public Schools as our District’s COVID Team Project Coordinator. The COVID Team Project Coordinator will be responsible for assisting the Director of Safety and Security and the District Resource/Contact Tracing Nurse with a wide range of special projects and tasks relating to COVID at Framingham Public Schools.


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.

COVID-19 Testing for FPS Staff

Due to the increasing level of community spread in Framingham, we are pleased to inform you that the district will be providing voluntary and free COVID-19 PCR testing for our in-person staff starting January 2021.

Attestation App

The Framingham Public Schools are adopting MyMedBot App in order to allow all staff and families the ability to engage in a daily attestation of health with regard to COVID symptoms. We expect to have the app up and running for staff by January 20, 2021. Students, families and staff will answer a series of COVID-19 related questions via the mobile app and based on the answers, the app will flash red, meaning you are not permitted to enter the school or green, meaning you may enter the school.


Here is the detailed schedule that identifies key decision-making and implementation dates. This schedule is based on the improvement of public health conditions and added risk mitigation efforts.


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.

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.