• **How to translate the Website and Providing Comments on the Safe Return Plan.**

    વેબ સાઇટ અનુવાદ અને સુરક્ષિત વળતર યોજના પર ટિપ્પણીઓ પ્રદાન કરવી            

    Traducción del sitio web y comentarios sobre el Plan de Retorno Seguro  

     


    The Federal American Rescue Plan Act, which we will call the “Act” , requires each district seeking monetary assistance under the Act to create a Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Service, we will call it the Safe Return Plan.  The Act also requires that the district seek comments from the public on the proposed Safe Return Plan.  The Plan must be reviewed, and if necessary, revised every six months.  The district must also seek comments on any revisions.

    Our Safe Return Plan, hereafter referred to as the Plan, below provides some details about how the district will apply the current guidance from the Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health agencies during the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year assuming that all teaching and learning remains in person.  The previous versions of this Plan, incorporated by reference, Board of Education Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward and its various appendices. The Board of Education abolished  the Policy at their June 20, 2023 meeting. Therefore, revisions to this version of the Plan have eliminated reference to Policy 1648.11.  References to the district’s Isolation Protocol have also been eliminated.  However, should circumstances warrant the recreation of this Protocol by district nurses, it will be acknowledged by the Board of Education and communicated to staff and student families as soon as practicable.  

    Please see the different areas of the Safe Return Plan which has been revised below.  Please click on the form link to provide comments about that area.  This form will remain open through November 9, 2023. The district will consider these comments before the revision to the Safe Return Plan is finalized.  There is an additional link at the end of the Safe Return Plan in case you have any general questions or other comments.

     

    1. Maintaining Health and Safety

    A. Universal and correct wearing of masks - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health department guidance with regard to the wearing of masks. Currently there is no executive order in effect which makes the wearing of masks in schools mandatory. 

    There may be circumstances when universal indoor masking is recommended, and circumstances where mask wearing by certain individuals is recommended.

    Franklin Township Public Schools will consider the applicable Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health department guidance to determine in what circumstances mandatory face coverings may be required.   Should mandatory face coverings, district wide or for a particular group, be required, the school community will be notified as soon as practicable.  Exceptions to the mandatory requirement as allowed in applicable guidance, will be permitted.  These exceptions, if any, will be communicated to the school community.

    When the wearing of masks indoor school premises is not mandatory no student or staff member shall be prevented from wearing a mask should they choose to do so.  The Board prohibits the bullying of students or staff members who wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks.  Any individual found to have bullied another for wearing a mask will be disciplined in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct or applicable staff protocol.  

    Should circumstances require mandatory masking staff and students will be reminded of this requirement and the correct way to wear a face covering.  The Positive Behavior in Schools framework will be used as a reinforcement tool as applicable. 

    Submit comments on this topic here.

     

    B. Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding) - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to physical distancing. At this time there is no requirement to utilize cohorts or other strategies to maintain physical distance between individuals. 

    Franklin Township Public Schools will consider the applicable Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health department guidance to determine to what extent physical distancing will be utilized in the buildings of the district, at district sponsored extracurricular activities or on school buses and vans. 

    Physical distancing strategies will be communicated to staff and student families as soon as practicable, should these strategies become warranted.  

    Before and after school care options will continue to follow all applicable guidelines as well.  

    Submit comments on this topic here.

     

    C. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to handwashing and respiratory etiquette.  

    This part of the Safe Return Plan will cover handwashing procedures and how the district will respond to situations where students might gather. 

    The district will prepare and maintain hand sanitizing stations with alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) or other approved sanitizers, when and where appropriate. 

    Children ages five and younger will be supervised when using hand sanitizer. 

    Schools will continue to use diagrams to depict hand washing practices and students will be reminded of those practices.

    The district will teach and reinforce covering coughs and sneezes to help keep individuals from getting and spreading infectious diseases.

    The Positive Behavior in Schools framework will be used to reinforce these protocols.

    The implementation of the curriculum for physical education and fine, visual and performing arts classes will continue to be revised to comply with applicable health department guidance, if necessary

    Extra and co-curricular activities will be in person and all applicable health department guidance will be considered.  

    Athletics will continue to be offered in compliance with the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association rules and in consideration of any governmental or health guidance.  Middle school athletics, provided there is sufficient interest, will also be offered in consideration of any governmental or health guidance.

    Should extenuating circumstances, as determined by the district in conjunction with the local health department warrant, Franklin Township Public Schools may postpone or cancel extracurricular, co-curricular or athletic programs or events.  

    Submit comments on this topic here.

    D. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to maintaining healthy facilities, including guidance regarding ventilation.  

    The district is prepared with supplies for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year including supplies necessary to sanitize appropriately.  

    The district will continue to clean and maintain schools and district buildings to provide a safe learning environment for staff and students.   

    The district will continue its use of bottle filters in place of drinking fountains.

    Improving Airflow 

    Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to consider the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to maintaining healthy facilities, including guidance regarding ventilation.

    In the 2020-2021 school year, the Board of Education authorized a field study of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in the schools of the district.  This study was completed and deficiencies noted in the report were corrected.  Other general recommendations found in the report, for system modification continue to be implemented where feasible.

    Air purifiers may be utilized in common areas as needed when feasible. 

    Submit comments on this topic here.

     

    E. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine - In collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments - Franklin Township Public Schools will follow any applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine. 

    Principals will routinely remind their student families to keep children who are feeling ill at home.  Additionally, absence reporting procedures are reviewed by the building principal typically at the beginning of the school year. 

    Students and staff who are ill and seen by the school nurse may be sent home per the guidelines for illness located on the district website. Certain communicable illnesses may require a note from a health care provider for the student or staff member to return to the school building following an illness. Typically, exposure to an illness will not prevent a person who has no symptoms from entering a district school or office building.    

    Franklin Township Public Schools will consider any applicable Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health department guidance to determine in what circumstances any additional response to symptomatic staff or students or non symptomatic individuals who have been exposed to an illness, would be warranted. This response may include the creation of an Isolation Protocol.  Should circumstances warrant the creation of an Isolation Protocol, it  will be posted on the district and school websites and acknowledged by the Board.  The school community will be notified of the Isolation Protocol as soon as practicable.

    Submit comments on this topic here.

    F. Diagnostic and screening testing - Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to diagnostic and screening testing. 

    The district will make symptomatic staff and the families of symptomatic students aware of any recommendations for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease. 

    The district will continue to provide information about diagnostic testing sites to symptomatic staff and the families of symptomatic students.

    Franklin Township Public Schools will consider the applicable Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health department guidance to determine in what circumstances further use of diagnostic testing might be warranted. Should further use of diagnostic testing be warranted, an Isolation Protocol will be created, posted on the district and school websites and acknowledged by the Board.  The school community will be notified of the Isolation Protocol as soon as practicable.

    The district will continue to advertise and coordinate facility usage for screening testing opportunities.

    Franklin Township Public Schools will consider the applicable Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health department guidance to determine in what circumstances screening testing may be required.

    Should screening testing, district wide or for a particular group, be required, the school community will be notified as soon as practicable.

    Testing results will be reported to public health authorities by the entity conducting the testing as required.

    Submit comments on this topic here.

     

    G. Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible - Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to vaccinations.

    Franklin Township Public Schools will  promote equitable access to vaccination and inform the school community of the importance of staying up to date on routine vaccinations to prevent illness from many different infections by: providing information about vaccination opportunities from trusted partners such as the local health department and Zufall Health; ensuring that communication meets the needs of people with limited English proficiency who require language services and individuals with disabilities who require accessible formats and continuing to make district facilities available to the Township and other entities to host vaccination clinics.  

    Submit comments on this topic here.

     

    H. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies - Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies.

    Submit comments on this topic here.

     

    2. Ensuring Continuity of Services

    In 2023-2024, the district will continue its partnership with Rutgers Behavioral Health, Effective School Solutions, Zufall Health and the Positive Impact Mentoring Program to support the health of students at greater risk. Academic needs will continue to be addressed by a Multi-Tier System of Supports as well as through the use of acceleration, a targeted approach in which the grade-level teacher starts with grade-level content and strategically builds in key concepts from the previous grade level when students need them to master the grade-level work. This “just-in-time teaching” ensures students spend more time on the work of their current grade level. The district’s preschool program has grown and students may be have been placed in private provider facilities in the larger Franklin community to meet the needs of our students and families.  The physical needs of students will continue to be addressed by the school nurses and breakfast and lunch will be offered to district students daily.  The Somerset County Greater YMCA will provide before and after child CARE programs at each of the district’s elementary schools as long as enrollment supports the need for such a program.

     

    3. Provide Comments or Questions on an area not covered above.