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FHS COVID-19 Guidebook

  • UPDATED FHS COVID-19 GUIDEBOOK Spring 2021

    Rigor, Respect, Responsibility

    Falmouth High School

    874 Gifford Street
    Falmouth, MA 02540
    (508) 540-2200

    Ms. Mary Whalen Gans, Principal
    mgans@falmouth.k12.ma.us

    Mr. Thomas McManamon, Assistant Principal
    tmcmanamon@falmouth.k12.ma.us

    Mr. Henry St. Julien, Assistant Principal
    hstjulein@falmouth.k12.ma.us

    Ms. Audra Reilly, Special Education Building Administrator
    areilly@falmouth.k12.ma.us

    Mr. Alan Kazarian, Director of Guidance
    akazarian@falmouth.k12.ma.us

    IMPORTANT UPDATED INFORMATION FOR THE TRANSITION TO FULL-TIME IN-PERSON SCHOOL 5 DAYS PER WEEK EFFECTIVE MONDAY, MAY 3, 2021

    Introduction

    • In planning for having students return to full-time in person school 5 days a week, we have developed this Updated FHS COVID-19 Guidebook which we ask that you read through in its entirety.  For DESE’s Guidance on this, please refer to this link:  DESE In-Person Learning Guidance for High Schools.

    • Note that our transition to full-time in-person school 5 days per week does not start until Monday 5/3.

    • During the week of 4/26, we will still be following our hybrid model with Cohort B and the Every Day Cohort attending school in-person, and with Cohort A and the Remote Cohort attending school remotely.

    • Please refer to this  FHS Updated Spring 2021 School Calendar which shows our school calendar for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

    New Student Cohorts

    • Transitioning away from the hybrid model to full-time in-person school requires us to divide students into just 2 Cohorts - the Every Day Cohort and the Remote Cohort.  Students in the Every Day Cohort will attend school in-person 5 days a week.  Students in the Remote Cohort will attend school remotely 5 days per week.

    • On or about Wednesday 4/28, PowerSchool will be updated to show which Cohorts students are in for the 5/3 transition to full-time school. 

    • Students have been assigned to either the Every Day Cohort or the Remote Cohort based on which option was chosen in the FHS Spring Learning Model Survey. 

    • Student Cohort assignments are displayed in BOLD print on student schedules in PowerSchool.  Note that Cohort assignments DO NOT appear in the PowerSchool app.  In order to view Cohort assignments, please access PowerSchool via the website which can be found here:  FHS PowerSchool Sign-In Page.

    • For instructions regarding how to access PowerSchool, please refer to this link:  PowerSchool Student Portal Overview 2020-2021.pdf.

    • Once Cohort assignments are updated in PowerSchool, if you think we have incorrectly assigned your child, please let us know ASAP.  

    • Please keep in mind that if you chose the Remote Cohort on the FHS Spring Learning Model Survey, and now want your student to be in the Every Day Cohort, we will document your request, but we cannot guarantee that we can grant the request.  If you chose the Every Day Cohort on the Survey, and would now like your student to be in the Remote Cohort instead, we are able to grant that request.

    Academic, Social & Emotional Support

    • We recognize that returning to full-time in-person school with significantly more students in the high school may carry with it a lot of questions, worries, and concerns for our students and their families.

    • Please know that our School Adjustment Counselors, our School Guidance Counselors, and our entire faculty and staff are here to support all students and their families.

    • We will do our very best to be proactive and preventative.

    • Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for any support or assistance that may be needed.

    Updated FHS Spring 2021 Bell Schedule

    • Please refer to this FHS Spring 2021 Bell Schedule.pdf for the updated bell schedule effective Monday 5/3.

    • Half Day on Tuesday 5/4 - Note that Tuesday 5/4 is a Half Day for students.  We will follow our usual Half Day Schedule with dismissal at 11:10 am:  FHS Half Day Schedule.  A grab and go lunch will be available for all students.

    • No Remote Wednesdays - Starting the week of 5/3, there will no longer be Remote Wednesdays.  Instead, students in the Every Day Cohort will attend school in-person on Wednesdays, and will follow their Wednesday class schedule exactly as it appears in PowerSchool.  Students in the Remote Cohort will attend school remotely on Wednesdays, and will follow their Wednesday class schedule exactly as it appears in PowerSchool.  

    • On Wednesdays, students will be dismissed at 11:58 am, and a grab and go lunch will be available for all students.  There are no lunch waves on Wednesdays.  

    • Just as they did on Remote Wednesdays, students will attend all 7 of their class periods on Wednesdays which means we will have several staggered transition times between periods during the day on Wednesdays for students who are in-person.

    Attendance

    • Whether in the Every Day Cohort or the Remote Cohort, it is extremely important for students to follow their daily schedule and attend all of their classes.  Attendance is a legal mandate, and is taken daily by teachers in every class.

    • Students in the Every Day Cohort who need to remain home for quarantine and/or for other legitimate reasons will be able to attend their classes remotely from home on those days.  

    • Nevertheless, please keep in mind that students in the Every Day Cohort should indeed be attending school in-person unless they have a legitimate reason for attending school remotely.  It is not acceptable for Every Day Cohort students to decide on a day to day basis that they would prefer to stay home and attend school remotely.

    • Students in the Remote Cohort should not be working at a job during school hours.  This will negatively impact their attendance and could result in loss of credit.

    • Students who are not participating in in-person learning or remote learning will be excused with appropriate documentation.  All other absences will be unexcused.

    • Students SHOULD NOT attend school in-person if they have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive or if they have symptoms themselves.  Students should stay home, and their families should contact the District Public Health Nurse, Ms. Jennifer Reissfelder, who can be reached by email at jreissfelder@falmouth.k12.ma.us or by phone at 774-392-6477.  If well enough to do so, students should attend their classes remotely.

    Classrooms

    • Desks in classrooms are now 3 feet apart.

    • There will be assigned seating in every classroom.  This is required for contact tracing purposes.

    • For health and safety reasons, students are required to sanitize their assigned desks and chairs with school-issued student-safe wipes when they arrive in and leave each classroom.

    • Note that if we find that we have more students than desks in a particular classroom, we will either switch that classroom to a larger classroom that can accommodate more students/desks, or we will place students in an overflow location within the school where they will be able to virtually log into their teacher’s class.

    One Way Hallways & Stairways

    • By now, students are quite familiar with our one way hallways and stairways, and clear signage is posted throughout the school.  A School Map showing the one way hallways and stairways can be found here:  FHS One-Way Map 9.9.20.pdf

    • There are some hallways that are two way hallways - the field house hallway, the main entrance/exit hallways and the auditorium entrance/exit hallway - these hallways must be two way, but they are very wide, and have a center line down the middle.

    • Students are required to follow the one way hallways and stairways, and must wear masks and practice physical distancing at all times. 

    Masks

    • Students must wear masks at all times except during lunch and scheduled mask breaks.

    • The district has identified certain masks that are allowed and those that are prohibited - please make note of the different types of masks:  FPS What Type Of Mask Is OK?

    • Students who arrive at FHS with prohibited masks and/or with no masks will be provided with an approved mask.

    • The Falmouth School Committee adopted this Policy regarding consequences for students who violate the mask rules: Policy EBCFA: Face Coverings (If students are in violation of this policy, the principal will first contact the parents/guardians to issue a warning and inform them that continued noncompliance will result in the student being transitioned from the school building for in-person learning to the remote learning model until such time as they can comply with the requirement or the requirement is lifted.)

    Mask Breaks

    • In accordance with the guidance issued by DESE, there are two scheduled mask breaks in the school day - lunch is a mask break and there is another scheduled mask break during Block C.

    • Students must remain at least 6 feet apart from each other during mask breaks.

    • Students must follow teachers’ instructions during mask breaks.

    Hand Sanitizing Stations

    • Hand sanitizing stations have been installed in every classroom and throughout the school, and students are strongly encouraged to use them as frequently as possible.

    • Students are allowed to bring their own hand sanitizer to school, as well.

    Nut-Free Schools

    • All schools in Falmouth are operating as nut-free schools. As there are a number of areas that will be designated for snack and/or lunch, there is a greater need to ensure that there is no cross-contamination for students with food allergies.

    • Students should not be bringing foods containing nuts in them to school for lunch and/or snacks.

    Breakfast

    • Every morning, a grab-and-go prepared breakfast is available for any student who wants one.
    • Students will be required to eat their breakfast in Cafeteria B at assigned seats.

    • Given the 6 feet of physical distancing that is required during meals, students are not allowed to eat their breakfast in classrooms.

    Lunch

    • As you are aware, we have 2 student lunch waves at FHS.

    • Students must remain 6 feet apart while eating during their lunch waves.

    • Given the increased number of students who will be attending school in-person as of Monday 5/3, lunch will take place in the FHS cafeterias, as well as in the Small Gym.

    • These spaces are each set up with individual student desks set 6 feet apart from each other.  

    • Freshmen will be assigned to eat in the Small Gym.

    • If they so desire, seniors will be allowed to eat in designated spaces outdoors behind the Cafeterias.

    • While we used to have assigned seating during lunch, we have implemented a new QR Code system which allows students to select where they would like to sit during lunch.  This system still allows us to keep track of where students are seated during lunch which is critical should contact tracing be required.

    • Given that 6 feet of physical distancing is required during meals, students are not allowed to eat their lunch in a classroom.

    • While students can certainly bring their own lunches to school, school lunches are available for any student who wants one.

    • Students are not allowed to share food or drinks during lunch or any other time during the school day.

    Drinks & Snacks at School

    • Except for whatever drinks students bring to school with them for lunch, students will only be allowed to have water bottles in school during the rest of the school day.

    • No coffee, tea, juice, soda drinks, etc. are allowed in hallways and classrooms.

    • Students may bring canned or plastic bottled drinks (e.g., Gatorade) for consumption during lunch only.

    • It is extremely important to note that because masks are removed when drinking, students must be at least 6 feet apart from others in classrooms and/or hallways/stairways when they drink from their water bottles.

    • Keep in mind that desks in classrooms are 3 feet apart, and thus, if students wish to drink from their water bottles in classrooms, they must make sure they are at least 6 feet apart from others when they do so.

    • As with water bottles, snacking in classrooms will be extremely restricted given that desks are 3 feet apart and masks must be removed to eat snacks.  Students must remain at least 6 feet apart from others in classrooms and/or hallways/stairways when eating snacks.

    • Unless students are getting breakfast from FHS, they should eat breakfast before they arrive at school as they will not be allowed to eat breakfast in classrooms.

    Water Fountains & Water Filling Stations

    • For health and safety reasons, all water fountains at FHS have been covered and students will not be able to drink from water fountains.

    • Students will still be allowed to refill water bottles at the water filling stations throughout the school.

    Student Bathrooms

    • We will continue to follow the student bathroom rules that we have had in place since September.  

    • Only one student at a time will be allowed in each student bathroom.  This is supervised by our School Monitors.

    • For health and safety reasons, students will not be allowed in bathrooms during transition times between blocks.

    • Students will go directly to class, and if they need to use the bathroom, their teacher will give them a pass.  Again, for health and safety reasons, each classroom teacher will allow only one student at a time out of the classroom in order to go to the bathroom.

    • For contact tracing purposes, students will be required to date and sign out on a destination sheet when they are given a pass to go to the bathroom (or to any other location - e.g., Guidance, Health Office, etc.).

    • Bathrooms and hallways are closely monitored by our School Monitors and Staff Aides.

    Bus Transportation

    • Students are only allowed to ride the bus they are assigned to and will have assigned seats.

    • Students must have a bus pass in order to ride a bus to school.

    • Bus passes for formerly Remote Cohort students who are now Every Day Cohort students will be available at FHS.  We will notify students when we have their bus passes.  

    • In the meantime, students can still ride the bus without a pass.  Bus drivers will have a list of student seating assignments to help students who may not have a bus pass.

    • Students who ride buses to and/or from school are not allowed to have friends ride to and/or from school with them on the bus.  Only students assigned to a bus are allowed on that bus.

    • Once buses arrive at FHS in the morning, students will begin departing the buses between 7:10 am and 7:15 am.

    • There are no late buses after school.

    • With more than 70% of our students returning to full-time in-person school, we expect to see increased daily ridership on our buses.  

    • If buses exceed 23 students, there may be a need for shared seating on buses.

    • Students will be required to continue to abide by all mask and physical distancing protocols while on buses.

    • Students SHOULD NOT ride a bus to school if they have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive or if they have symptoms themselves.  Students should stay home, and their families should contact the District Public Health Nurse, Ms. Jennifer Reissfelder, who can be reached by email at jreissfelder@falmouth.k12.ma.us or by phone at 774-392-6477.  If well enough to do so, students should attend their classes remotely.

    • Students who are being transported to and from school by bus must enter and exit FHS via the Main Entrance Doors and/or the Auditorium Entrance Doors.

    • The District's Director of Transportation, Mr. Greg Kennedy, is the primary contact for any and all bus inquiries.  Mr. Kennedy can be reached by email at gkennedy@falmouth.k12.ma.us or by phone at 508-548-0151 ext. 176.

    Student Drivers/Student Parking

    • During the 2020-2021 school year, FHS is not charging student drivers a fee to park in the Student Parking Lot.

    • While no fee is being charged, student drivers must nevertheless register their car with the FHS Student Activities Office.  

    • Once registered, student drivers will be issued an FHS Student Parking Sticker which must be affixed to their car’s windshield.  

    • Student drivers will enter the campus via the Gifford Street Entrance adjacent to the tennis courts and will park in the Student Parking Lot.

    • Student drivers may begin arriving at FHS in the morning at 7:05 am, but will not be allowed to exit their cars until 7:10 am.

    • Students drivers and their student passengers, if any, must enter and exit FHS via the Side Doors that face the Student Parking Lot. 

    • For more information regarding parking registration and stickers, please contact Student Athletics & Activities Secretary, Ms. Amy Mckenzie, by email at amckenzie@falmouth.k12.ma.us or by phone at 508-540-2200 ext 3037.

    Student Bikers/Walkers

    • Students who walk or bike to school should arrive as close to 7:15 am as possible as they will be allowed to enter the school at 7:15 am. 

    • Students who walk or bike to school must enter and exit FHS via the Main Entrance Doors or the Auditorium Entrance Doors. 

    Parent/Guardian Drivers - Drop-Off/Pick-Up

    • As has been the routine since September, parents/guardians who are driving students to school will enter the campus via the Gifford Street Entrance near the FHS tennis courts where staff will be directing traffic to the back of the school where they will drop-off/pick-up students at the lower level Cafeteria Doors.

    • Although arrival and dismissal routines will remain the same at FHS, we kindly ask for your patience and understanding as we are anticipating an increase in the number of students who will be dropped off and/or picked up by parents/guardians.  

    • Please follow all posted signs and instructions from our staff who are directing traffic.

    • Once parents/guardians have dropped off and/or picked up students, they will continue to drive straight ahead behind FHS past the new turf field and will exit via the Gifford Street Exit adjacent to the softball field.

    • While parents/guardians may begin lining up their cars in the morning for drop-off outside the lower level Cafeteria Doors at 7:05 am, students will not be allowed to exit cars until 7:10-7:15 am.

    • Parents/guardians may begin lining up their cars in a single file outside the lower level Cafeteria Doors for pick-up at 1:55 pm.  Students will exit FHS from the Cafeteria B Doors.

    • Students who are being dropped off and/or picked up by parents/guardians must enter and exit FHS via the lower level Cafeteria B Doors.

    Morning Arrival

    • Students will be allowed to enter FHS starting at 7:15 am.

    • Students riding buses to school will depart their buses between 7:10 am and 7:15 am.
      • Students riding buses to school will enter FHS via the Main Entrance Doors or the Auditorium Doors.
    • Student drivers may begin arriving at FHS at 7:05 am, but will not be allowed to exit their cars until 7:10 am.
      • Students who drive to school will enter FHS via the Side Doors that face the Student Parking Lot. 
    • Students who walk or bike to school should arrive at FHS as close to 7:15 am as possible as they will be allowed to enter the school at 7:15 am.
      • Students who walk or bike to school will enter FHS via the Main Entrance Doors or the Auditorium Doors
    • While parents/guardians may begin lining up their cars in the morning for drop-off outside the lower level Cafeteria Doors at the back of the school at 7:05 am, students will not be allowed to exit cars until 7:15 am.
      • Students being driven to school will enter FHS via the Cafeteria B Doors in the back, lower level of the school.

    Afternoon Dismissal

    • Student dismissal begins at 2:00 pm except on Wednesdays when dismissal is at 11:58 am.

    • Students who ride buses home from school must exit FHS via the Main Entrance Doors or the Auditorium Doors.

    • Students who drive to school must exit FHS via the Side Doors that face the Student Parking Lot. 

    • Students who walk or bike to school must exits FHS via the Main Entrance Doors or the Auditorium Doors

    • Students being picked up by parents/guardians must exit FHS via the Cafeteria B Doors in the back, lower level of the school.
      • Parents/guardians may begin lining up their cars for pick-up in a single file outside the lower level Cafeteria Doors at the back of the school at 1:55 pm.

    Before & After School

    • Students are not allowed to gather in or on the high school campus at any time whatsoever before school.

    • Students are not allowed to gather in or on the high school campus at any time whatsoever after school unless they have permission to be there for authorized after school athletic or extracurricular activities only - instead, all students must leave the campus at dismissal time.

    Early Dismissal Procedure

    • A note from home is required for students needing to be dismissed early from school.  Students should bring a note directly to the Assistant Principals’ Office. 

    • If students are being dismissed early and are being picked up by a parent or guardian, please wait outside in your car in the half circle in front of the school, and please call the school at 508-540-2200 to let us know you are out front.  We will send your child out to meet you.

    • If a student is being picked-up by someone who is not on the student’s emergency contact list, a parent/guardian must call in advance, and the adult who is dismissing the student must show an I.D. to school staff at the Main Entrance. 

    • If students are dismissed prior to Clipper Time, unless otherwise excused, they remain obligated to remotely attend any Clipper Time appointments that have been scheduled by their teachers.

    Visitors

    • Visitors, including parents, guardians, and other family members, are not allowed in the school building.

    • If families need to drop something off or pick something up for a student, you will press the buzzer at the Main Entrance and will be met by a staff member outside at the Main Entrance.

    • If a student leaves an item on the bus or at school, please call FHS at 508-540-2200 or Lucini Bus Lines at 774-255-9101.

    Behavior Expectations

    • Falmouth High School’s motto is Rigor, Respect, and Responsibility.  We expect students to engage in the Rigor that an FHS education offers them, to treat each other with Respect, and to take Responsibility for their actions so that everyone in our school community can have a welcoming and positive experience.

    • At FHS, we take our Code of Conduct seriously and expect all students to follow the school rules as set forth in this Guidebook, and in our Student Handbook which can be found here:  Student Handbook / Student Handbook.

    Overall Health & Safety Protocols

    • Transition to full-time in-person school requires all of us at FHS to strictly adhere to the following comprehensive set of critical health and safety requirements that we have had in place since September:
      • Rigorous hygiene, handwashing, and hand sanitizing.
      • Use of masks/face coverings.
      • Physical distancing.
      • Following one way hallways/stairways.
      • Reducing unnecessary interaction among groups of students.
      • Staying home when sick.
    • Families can continue to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 at FHS by doing the following:
      • Checking their children daily for any COVID-19 symptoms.
      • Keeping children home from school if they are sick or have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
      • Supporting the use of masks in school and on the bus.
      • Continuing to follow state guidance on health and safety outside of school.
      • Ensuring children are current on all standard vaccinations and consider the medical community’s strong recommendation for an annual flu vaccine.
      • Contacting the District Public Health Nurse, Ms. Jennifer Reissfelder, by email at jreissfelder@falmouth.k12.ma.us or by phone at 774-392-6477, with any COVID-19 questions or concerns - families may also contact the FHS School Nurses, Ms. Sharon O’Connor and/or Ms. Jessica Mansfield, by email at soconnor@falmouth.k12.ma.us and/or jmansfield@falmouth.k12.ma.us or by phone at 508-540-2200 ext. 3090 or 3091, with any questions you may have regarding your child’s health.

    Additional Resources & Information

Last Modified on April 28, 2021