Foothills Elementary School

Personal Best! Nothing Less!

Preparing for Back to School 20-21 (updated 7/7/20)

This newsletter has been prepared with GREAT excitement as it signifies the start of our school year after being away from our students since March! Careful planning has gone into bringing our students back into our buildings on July 30, 2020. As you know at Foothills, we all strive to give our, "Personal Best! Nothing Less!" As we partnered with you to close our schools in March 2020 and moved towards distance learning, we will continue this partnership as we reopen.

We have worked with district leadership and our staff over the course of the last month to gather feedback and identify protocols surrounding the educational, social, and the emotional needs of our students and families. We appreciate your most recent feedback and have added some additional information that has been added in bold/italics. Minimizing interactions over the course of the school day, as well as increasing our cleaning efforts are at the top of our list. To begin, we will implement the following actions:

  • Increased deep cleaning practices
  • Hand sanitizing stations at various locations and increased hand washing throughout the day
  • Every student and adult will have their temperature checked daily; additional checks as needed. The frequency of temperature checks will be modified according to school site data analysis. Daily, for the remainder of the school year, adult temperatures will be checked.
  • Students with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be isolated and sent home. Please see MCS Health Services COVID-19 Management Plan links below.
  • Reducing social interactions by having students travel in cohort groups
  • Only essential and pre-approved visitors will be allowed at Foothills. Those approved are required to wear a mask.
  • Careful thought on school-wide events and field trips

Please note that we plan to be transparent with you and your families and as guidelines change we will modify and adjust our plans as deemed necessary. The following will outline how things will look a little different next year as we plan for our re-opening.

Increased Cleaning and Practicing Prevention...

  • Signage will be displayed noting daily cleaning, as well as information on how to reduce the spread of germs and proper hand washing.
  • Portable hand sanitizers will be used at main entrances during arrival.
  • Staff training on COVID-19 symptoms and protocols will be provided.
  • Increased cleaning schedule of "high touch" areas in the classroom, as well as our restrooms.
  • Teachers will implement social distancing, strategic seating/grouping, and extra handwashing/hygiene as often and feasible as possible.
  • Our main office will be open to parents with inquiries or to pick up their child, to teachers, to substitute teachers, for deliveries, and late arrival of students. ALL will need to adhere to our safety protocols, including a temperature check and use of hand sanitizer.
  • Parents dropping off items throughout the day, such as lunch boxes or classroom snacks will be able to drop them in the main vestibule. Our FHE staff will be sure to get these items to your child.

Mask Guidelines for Students and Staff...

  • Every effort will be made in elementary (K-3) to keep students in small cohorts and minimize mixing between groups. Students are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering on buses, during congested transitions (changing classes, dismissal), and when working in close proximity environments, interactive student work sessions, etc.) Teachers will remind our students throughout the day during these identified times.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at any time. If you are planning to have your child wear a mask, please communicate this with your child's teacher.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering on buses, during congested transitions (changing classes, dismissal), and when working in close proximity to peers and adults. We ask that parents support responsive mask wearing.
  • Staff members will be provided masks and face shields. All faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering in common areas, large gatherings, class changes, anytime outside their classroom, and in the classroom when they cannot social distance of at least 6 feet.

Arrival and Dismissal...

  • Prior to school we ask that you conduct a health check on your child(ren). When students arrive at school they will have their temperature checked. In order to accomplish this efficiently and safely, families doing parent drop off must remain in their vehicles and utilize the lane in the front and back of the school. Parents will not be able to walk their student(s) to the door. All students will exit from their cars where staff will receive them and conduct temperature checks.
  • Once your child's temperature has been checked, kindergarten and first grade students will go to the gym. Second, third, and any student eating breakfast will go to the cafeteria. In both of these areas, student will be seated in their cohort groups.
  • At the end of the day, students will be dismissed in cohorts to travel with their teacher to their bus and parent pick up locations. At parent pick up, we will require that all families remain in their cars and utilize the parent pick up line, rather than walking up to retrieve your child. This will allow us to expedite our process efficiently and safely while students exit the building in their cohorts. We will follow our normal process for walkers, wherein a teacher will walk students to the end of the sidewalk to cross over.

The Classroom...

  • Classrooms will be broken down into "cohorts" groups that will travel together for lunch, recess, and dismissal.
  • Doorstops will be utilized to limit door handle contact.
  • Frequent cleaning will occur throughout the day of "high touch" areas.
  • Students will use supplies from their own "pencil box," rather than sharing communal supplies.
  • Students will be asked to bring a spill-proof water bottle from home that can be refilled throughout the day as our water fountains will be turned off.
  • Teachers utilizing masks or shields when working with small groups.
  • Classrooms will be closed to volunteers, except by a pre-approval system with the school administrator. We still welcome your help and would love to send tasks home that you can complete for the classroom teacher.
  • Curricular field trips may still be approved on a case by case basis, but will be limited in scope and size.


  • Barcode IDs and scanners will be used for "contactless" payment in our cafeteria.
  • Students will sit in their assigned cohorts.
  • Cafeterias will be closed to parents and outside guests.
  • ALL employees will wear masks and gloves in the dining and serving area.
  • Considerations by our food service team will be made regarding the packaging of food. i.e. individual containers and grab-and-go. Self-serving for students and staff will not be option.


  • Please stay tuned for plans for our Open Houses and Virtual Open Houses.
  • Annual school-wide events on our calendar may be moved forward or delivered in a different format, such as virtually, or a revised schedule by cohorts.

Positive Case of Covid (NEW)

  • Central office’s COVID 19 Management Plan outlines the action plan if a student or staff member has a confirmed temperature (multiple checks with resting period) of 100.4°F or greater or any COVID 19 symptoms.
  • The COVID 19 Management Plan also details the districts’ action plan that will be taken if there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case at Foothills Elementary.
  • The Health Department will take the lead and notify appropriate individuals that have been around the exposed student or staff member if there is a positive case involving a student or staff member at Foothills Elementary.
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Important Dates

  • June 29th - MCS Parent Update #3 released with DRAFT PLANS for review
  • July 8-12th -FHE families complete school attendance survey for instructional choice option (DIGITAL or TRADITIONAL) for 2021
  • July 16th - Early Bird Registration
  • July 24th - Registration Day
  • July 30th -FIRST DAY of SCHOOL for grades 1-3, both in person and digital instruction
  • August 10th - FIRST DAY of SCHOOL for kindergarten

Gosh! We sure have missed these faces!

New Faces to Welcome to Foothills!

Please join us in welcoming four new faces to Foothills!

Moving Forward...FHE STRONG...

When we open our doors on July 30, 2020, we will welcome 570+ students. Our school year may not have ended as we all had wanted it to for the 19-20 school year. One thing remains true and that is our teachers are committed to providing high expectations coupled with a rigorous pace of learning. We have thought through how things will look different in each area of our school as we proactively plan for post pandemic schooling.

Mr. Hensley and I are committed to providing you with effective leadership. YOU are a valuable member of our school family. Please consider partnering with our strong FTO so that we can continue to excel with your help. We will continue to utilize SeeSaw to communicate with you regularly, as well as through "Rocky Reminders," our weekly email update. Our website is also another place to visit for updates.

We are BEYOND EXCITED to bring our students back into the building to kick-off the 20-21 school year! We are looking forward to the #bestyearever! LET'S DO THIS!

With great appreciation,

Mrs. Schito

Mr. Hensley

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Contact Information

Mrs. Karen Schito, Principal

Mr. Rob Hensley, Assistant Principal

Mrs. Kristie Arendale, School Counselor