TES Family News
Sunday August 29, 2021
Special Principal's Message
The health and safety of our school community is always a top priority. While we are all excited to return to fully in person learning we must also all remain committed to taking care of ourselves and one another. This newsletter includes all pertinent FCPS information related to COVID-19 health and safety strategies, contact tracing and quarantine.
We are in this together and appreciate your ongoing support!
Yours in education,
Michele Baisey & Karl Williams
Maintaining the Health and Safety of the Entire School Community
FCPS has provided clear guidance to administrators regarding COVID-19 mitigation strategies. This guidance is found in the Administrator Handbook and is updated regularly based on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and the Frederick County Health Department (FCHD). The guidance document addresses universal and correct wearing of masks, physical distancing, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, and contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine.
Health and Safety Strategies
After reviewing the guidance from CDC, AAP, the Maryland Department of Health, and working in close collaboration with the officials from the Frederick County Health Department, FCPS will be requiring face coverings for all students and staff inside our school buildings. This requirement allows us to support two priorities:
1. Preserve in-person instruction for our students
2. Prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community
Masks will be made available to those students and staff who need them (including on buses).
The safety of students and staff are the first priority for FCPS. As indicated by the CDC, daily cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings should be sufficient to remove potential viruses that may be on surfaces. Custodial teams will place special emphasis on frequently-touched surfaces in their daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Examples of high-touch surfaces include: pens, counters, tables, doorknobs, handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, desks, keyboards, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If a school has had a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours, the spaces they occupied will be cleaned and disinfected. To facilitate effective disinfecting, each school has been provided an electrostatic backpack sprayer, and each secondary school will also receive one misting machine to facilitate the disinfecting in large areas, including physical education and athletic spaces. FCPS Custodial Services Office will ensure adequate provision and distribution of cleaning supplies, EPA approved disinfectants, and microfiber cloths.
Maintenance has modified the ventilation schedules such that the occupied mode begins two hours prior to staff arrival and continues through the end of the school day. Staff may not open doors and windows due to security and health concerns. Maintenance procured and installed upgraded filter media (i.e., MERV-13) in air-handling equipment, where existing air-handling equipment will accommodate such media, as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers in response to COVID-19.
Good hand hygiene— regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available—reduces the spread of germs that can cause illness, especially if done at key times throughout the day. FCPS installed an additional 1,800 dispensers to extend the current installation of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to every classroom, and hand soap is readily available at sinks throughout each school. Hand washing is still the preferred method of cleaning hands, but hand sanitizer is available for when hand washing is not possible. Proper hand washing and hand sanitizer usage will be reinforced by staff with students, and time will be built into the day for washing hands.
While FCPS will begin the 2021/2022 school year fully operational with all student access, both adults and students will be required to wear face coverings while indoors in order to support the health and wellbeing of every school community member. The Superintendent will periodically review health metrics to determine when and if this requirement can be relaxed.
Health & Safety Resources
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic we know there are ongoing questions related to how we are keeping our schools safe for fully in person learning. FCPS has provided the resources below to assist families in understanding how we respond to individuals who are symptomatic, those who test positive and those who are identified as close contacts. Please review these resources which outline our systemic response protocols.
Health Room Contact Information
Any questions, concerns and/or needs related to your child(ren)'s health can be directed to our health room. Please contact our health room staff at:
- Thurmont Elementary Health Room- 240-236-0932
- Thurmont Primary Health Room - 240-236-2806
Our school nurse and/or health tech is available to support you!
As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of all those in our school community, we share the following information regarding visitation:
- All FCPS schools will ask for parents to "kiss and go" during drop off at school. Parents, or other family members, will not be permitted to escort students to their classroom.
- If/when you have an in person appointment at the school please ring the doorbell, answer the screening questions posted on the front door and report to the main office for assistance.
- Bring a photo ID with you any time you are visiting the school.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to maintain health and safety during our full in person reopening!
Dear TES Families,
It has been an outstanding start to our school year. I walk the halls each day and get to see students jumping into their work. The TES staff has been working hard to create some incredible opportunities to engage and challenge students each day. It has been impressive to see.
At TES, we have been talking a lot to students about the characteristics of R.O.A.R and the role they play in making sure they live those characteristics every day. R.O.A.R stands for Responsibility – Organized – Academic - Respectful. Can you #HearusROAR ?
To help further our work in developing our R.O.A.R characteristics, we have started to discuss the Habits of Work with our students. You will begin to see a lot of information come home to you about these habits. The Habits of Work include; Perseverance, Self-Advocacy, Social Responsibility and Learner Agency. We will be working with students to help them understand the role they play in developing their skills and how they can demonstrate those habits. We ask them to think about how they persevered through a challenge? (Perseverance) Did they advocate for themselves to get help with something they did not fully understand (Self Advocacy)? Were they Socially responsible and communicated and cooperated with others (Social Responsibility) and did they demonstrate learner agency by being organized, staying focused and fixing their mistakes after they received feedback from teachers. (Learner Agency).
Please see the rest of our TES Family Newsletter for some very important information.
Yours in Education,
Free and Reduced Meal Applications
All families should have received a Free and Reduced Meal Benefits Application form with their child's teacher/class assignment letter. We ask for the form to be returned. Even if you think you will not qualify for meal benefits, or do not plan on accessing them, the information you provide can still help our school to access funding for materials, resources, and more.
Additional information, online application and printable application forms are included below...
Bus stop information is at https://www.fcps.org/transportation/bus-stop-information-online.
Please visit the website to look up your child's bus number and pickup/drop off times. Check periodically to confirm the times as there could be changes.
If you need support regarding transportation, please call the school at 240-236-0900.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
- Monday, Sept. 6 - Schools and Offices Closed
- Tuesday, Sept. 7 - Schools Closed
- Thursday, Sept. 16 - Schools Closed
- Tuesday, Sept. 21 - TES School Picture Day
- Thursday, Sept. 23 - 2-Hour Early Dismissal
- Friday, Sept. 24 - 3.5-Hour Early Dismissal