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FCPS webinar focuses on returning to classrooms

By Cleo-Symone Scott

FRANKLIN

On Oct. 8, Franklin City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tamara Sterling provided information on how Franklin City Public Schools is making the decision on bringing the students back to school during a public webinar. One-hundred twenty-eight participants attended the program.

“At this time, we are in a decision-making process and we want our community to be included in that process,” said Sterling.

FCPS is in Phase 3 of their Reopening Plan. During Phase 3, FCPS parents had the opportunity to select online or in-person learning; however, on Aug. 6, with the Superintendent’s recommendation, the FCPS School Board voted for 100% virtual learning during the first semester of school for all students. Families were surveyed before the vote and most also voted for 100% virtual learning. At the August meeting, the School Board and Sterling committed to reconvening and analyzing the health data before students were allowed to return to in-person instruction. The purpose of this webinar was to analyze the data like promised and take questions from the public.

“Your voices are extremely valuable,” said Sterling. “A survey will be conducted to see if you are comfortable with sending your child back to school.”

Dr. Todd Wagner, health director with the Virginia Department of Health, shared data so that informed decisions can be made on sending students back to school. Sterling stated they will be looking at the data trends before making decisions.

Also during Phase 3, grants allowed FCPS to provide all students with technology devices. Additionally, social distancing measures were ordered to stay in place. Face coverings are required. Also, with Phase 3, extracurricular activities and athletics have been limited.

Sterling went over several learning environment policies, procedures and containment strategies for when students return to in-person instruction. Mitigation measures that have already been put in place include protective barriers, required face coverings, updated ventilation, deep cleaning, touchless thermometers at all schools and health screenings.

Surveys will be sent to families and teachers about returning to in-person instruction. “I’m very proud to be in a school division where our families and teachers have a choice,” said Sterling.

The superintendent asked the following question at the end of the webinar: How comfortable do you feel allowing our students, Prek – 2, to return to in-person instruction on a staggered schedule on Nov. 5? Answers to this poll and any questions can be directed to her at tsterling@fcpsva.org.

The community can find more information on our website: www.fcpsva.org/

Dr. Todd Wagner provided the following informational COVID-19 links for the community:

• https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-in-virginia/

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/key-measures/pandemic-metrics/school-metrics/

CLEO-SYMONE SCOTT is the communications and social media coordinator for Franklin City Public Schools. Contact her at 757-569-8111, ext. 5502 or cscott@fcpsva.org.