Reopening Plan 2020-2021

Frequently Asked Questions

9-8-20 Hybrid Plan

Reopening Schools: Information & Updates

As the Findlay City Schools plans for the start of the 2020-21 school year, we are committed to keeping our families, staff, students, and community members informed. While there are still many uncertainties regarding what the upcoming school year will look like, we are hard at work to ensure our students continue to have access to a high-quality educational experience. 

This FAQ page serves as a hub for updates related to the reopening of our schools. Here, you will find information on potential school schedule changes, cleaning protocols in our buildings, health and safety measures, meal service procedures, and how we plan to provide students with access to technology. It also includes information on athletics and activities, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving with time. We will regularly update this page as our plans continue to take shape. We encourage you to keep checking back for the latest information.

Findlay City Schools (FCS) Vocabulary: 

Traditional=Students learning at school, same as face-to-face learning

Remote Learning=Students learning at home on an electronic device. Wireless access and Internet is needed.  A Findlay City Schools teacher will be the classroom instructor. 

Hybrid Learning=Students will attend in person school on a reduced schedule, with decreased student population, in conjunction with remote learning 

Click here if you need to register a child for kindergarten. 

SCHOOL SCHEDULES

We know that the question at the top of our families’ minds is whether students will return to the classroom for in-person instruction at the start of the upcoming school year. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 situation,  our plans remain fluid. We are working closely with our local health department to determine how to move forward. FCS is currently planning for several scenarios.

Traditional Model:  If we are able to welcome back all students into our buildings and resume a normal school day schedule. This would involve enhanced cleaning protocols, physical distancing among students, adjustments to how students enter and exit buildings, and changes to how we manage transitions between classrooms throughout the day. Masks are required for all staff and students.  

Hybrid Model: Students would spend 2 days in school and the other days engaged in remote learning. Under this scenario, physical distancing, adjustments to how students enter and exit buildings, and changes to transitions between classrooms will be made. Masks are required for all staff and students.

Remote Learning: It remains possible that we will need to begin the 2020-21 school year with students engaged in all-remote learning.  If this is the case, all remote learning would be required. Attendance, grades, assessments, and daily work would all be tracked.  

Remote-Only Option
The district will offer a remote-only learning option for families who do not yet feel comfortable having their students return to school. We will provide more details soon.

HEALTH & SAFETY MEASURES

The district will implement a variety of health and safety measures. These include the following:

Temperature Taking
All students and staff are asked to self monitor their temperatures prior to entering our school buildings each day. 

Handwashing
Students and staff will be regularly reminded about the importance of proper handwashing. Teachers may allow for more breaks to give students the opportunity to wash their hands, either at a classroom sink or in a restroom. 

In addition, we will place hand sanitizer throughout our buildings. Students and staff will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer regularly.

Masks
All teachers and staff are required to wear masks while on school grounds, with the exception of eating or other designated “mask break” that would take place.  Masks will be required for students while on the bus to and from school.  Student masks are required while in school grades K-12.   

Staff and students members can only wear face shields if they have a physician note or for specific educational purposes. 

Transitions Between Classes
To help avoid situations in which large groups of students are gathered in one place, we will adjust the way students and teachers move between classrooms when possible and other spaces in our schools and we will encourage social distancing. 

Social Distancing
Students and staff will maintain social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings as much as possible.  To support social distancing efforts schools will have areas marked off to indicate proper social distancing. Adjusting the traditional plan, based on the alert level of Hancock County, will increase the ability to provide proper social distancing. 

Social distancing will be enforced by classroom seating being revised to maximize distancing between students as much as possible. This may include removing some desks and/or replacing with individual desks.  It will also involve moving unnecessary items out of the room to allow for more room.  

We will limit accessibility to lockers to decrease congregating in the hallways.  Social distancing markers will be placed where appropriate and necessary to encourage social distancing. 

Drinking Fountains
We are recommending that all students bring water bottles to school so that they can refill them at touchless drinking fountains or a sink. Students should not share water bottles with others. 

Entering/Exiting Schools
Family members should not leave their vehicles when picking up or dropping off students.  Students are not permitted on school grounds until the doors are open. 

Visitors/parents in the building
No visitors will be allowed at this time. If visitors must come to school (approved by administration), masks are required, we are asking that they self monitor temperature and symptoms.  

CLEANING & DISINFECTING

Our custodial staff will significantly increase the wiping down and disinfecting of public spaces and high-touch surfaces across our buildings and throughout the school day. We will also provide greater access to cleaning materials for our teachers and staff so that they can clean and disinfect spaces, as needed.

Each evening, our custodial team will conduct a thorough cleaning of our spaces, again disinfecting high-touch surfaces like sinks, drinking fountains, door handles, tables, and desks. For specific cleaning or disinfecting questions, please email: ddoolittle@findlaycityschools.org

FOOD SERVICES

In-School Cafeteria Procedures
To avoid situations in which students are gathered in groups, we will adjust our typical breakfast and lunch room service schedule in each of our schools. 

Students (and adults) may not share food. All meals will be served either in the cafeteria or in the classroom. If students are eating in the cafeteria social distancing will take place.  Students will need to wash hands before and after eating.

    • Decrease occupancy in the school cafeteria when possible.
    • Increase social distancing by increasing seating capacity and adding more tables when possible.
    • Limit the number of students at each lunch table when possible and stagger students waiting in line.
    • Ensure cleaning and disinfecting of all tables/seats between lunch periods.
    • Do not allow guests or visitors to join students for lunch.
    • Assign all seating when possible.
    • Limit self-serve options.
    • Add additional protective barriers for cafeteria staff where needed.
    • Prepayment for meals is strongly recommended to reduce touchpoints for students. Click here for EZpay (touchless payment)
    • Parents are encouraged to complete free and reduced lunch documents – Parents will find the meal application documents on the Final Forms list.

For specific questions related to food service, email: twelty@findlaycityshools.org

TECHNOLOGY ACCESS

Due to the high likelihood that all students will need to engage in remote or online learning at some point in the school year, the district plans on being 1:1, this fall. That is providing a Chromebook for all students, Kindergarten through grade 12. However, with the outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year, the delivery of our new Chromebooks has been delayed. Therefore, some students in grades K through 2 may start out the year using an iPad rather than a Chromebook. We will be announcing our plans for distributing devices (iPads & Chromebooks) in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about our 1:1 program please check out our 1:1 handbook at: https://docs.fcs.org/District/Tech/1To1DeviceAgreement.pdf.  If you have specific technology-related questions, please email: mwhite@findlaycityschools.org.

ATHLETICS & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

At this time, we plan to offer athletics and extracurricular activities in the fall semester. However, activities, practices, and schedules may need to be modified to ensure students remain physically distanced and can maintain proper hygiene. Each activity will look a little different, and coaches and advisors will be able to provide you and your students with more information. 

It remains possible that some or all of our athletic seasons may be restricted or shortened. This will depend largely on recommendations made by Governor DeWine (OHSAA) Ohio Highschool Athletic Association.  These decisions are also subject to change during the season depending on the status of COVID-19 in our state and region.  For specific athletic questions, please email: nweihrauch@findlaycityschools.org

BUSING & TRANSPORTATION

As one can imagine, ensuring students remain physically distanced on school buses is a significant challenge. Busses will be loaded back to front and uploaded front to back to reduce exposure to others.  There will be assigned seats.  Students of the same household may sit together.  No student will sit behind the bus driver.

Masks or cloth face coverings will be required on buses.  Hand sanitizer will also be available on all buses. 

Finally, we are working closely with Mr. John Dell, Transportation Director, to ensure all buses are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. For specific bus transportation questions, please email: jdell@findlaycityschools.org.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are answers to frequently asked questions our families, students and community members may have regarding the Findlay City Schools plan to reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year. If you have any additional questions, please contact us.

Will students be able to attend in-person classes this fall?

Classes begin on September 8, 2020.  We will continue to update the community as we proceed.

Will students and staff need to wear masks?

Staff and students are required to wear masks.

How will the district ensure physical distancing takes place in school buildings?

While maintaining physical distancing will be a challenge, we are implementing a number of measures to ensure students remain at least six feet apart for as much of the school day as possible. Measures will include, but are not limited to: signage, reminders, reconfiguration of classrooms, etc.

How will the district monitor students’ health?

We are asking staff and students to self monitor their temperatures at home and symptoms before they report to school each day. If they are not feeling well, we are asking them to stay at home.

I am not yet comfortable sending my child to school. Can I have them continue with remote learning only this school year?

The Trojan Academy is available for those who prefer online learning.  Registration for the Trojan Academy closed on August 16, 2020.

How will the district clean buildings, rooms and surfaces to ensure a safe learning environment?

The district will implement enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols to help keep students, staff and families safe while COVID-19 remains with us. Our custodial staff will significantly increase the wiping down and disinfecting of public spaces and high-touch surfaces throughout the school day. We will also provide greater access to cleaning materials for our teachers and staff so that they can clean and disinfect spaces, as needed.

 

Each evening, our custodial team will conduct a thorough cleaning of our spaces, again disinfecting high-touch surfaces like sinks, drinking fountains, door handles, tables and desks.

Will there be physical education classes?

We plan to offer physical education classes in the 2020-21 school year. All efforts will be made to ensure physical distancing takes place during these classes. Physical education instructors will engage students in no-contact sports and activities while avoiding activities in which students need to be close together. 

As a district, we made this decision to help ensure our students continue to get adequate exercise during a time at which a healthy lifestyle can help protect individuals from serious illness.

Will students be able to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities?

Yes, we plan to offer athletics and extracurricular activities in the fall semester. However, activities, practices, and schedules may need to be modified to ensure students remain physically distanced and can maintain proper hygiene. Each activity will look a little different, and coaches and advisors will be able to provide you and your students with more information. 

It remains possible that some or all of our athletic seasons may be restricted or shortened. This will depend largely on decisions made by the OHSAA Ohio Highschool Athletic Association. These decisions are also subject to change during the season depending on the status of COVID-19 in our state and region.

Will the district close schools if a certain number of students or staff report illnesses?

Yes, the district is preparing for situations in which school buildings need to once again close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or reporting other illnesses. We are also planning for the need to close buildings if there is a considerable increase in COVID-19 cases in our state or county.

Please note that the decision to close schools in our district rests largely on the alert level color codes issued through Governor DeWine.

What if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

In order to minimize the spread of infection we will continue to follow the guidelines put forth by our partners at the local health department.

What protocols are in place to trace possible infection?

FCS will collaborate with the health department for contact tracing to ensure the health and safety of our staff and students are maintained.

What are the district’s plans for transitioning back to remote learning if schools need to be closed again in the future?

If extended school closures become necessary during the school year, the district will be prepared to quickly transition to remote learning. While we recognize that the transition last spring was not perfect, we learned a great deal about how to improve the process in the future. Our administrators, teachers, and staff continue to make great progress in planning for this scenario. 

We will provide more information on exactly what this process will look like as we get closer to the start of the school year.

Individual Education Program (IEP)/504's

Your child’s Intervention Specialist/Counselor will communicate with you in reference to adjustments to schedules, services or delivery model that may be necessary to individually meet the needs of your child. Families will work with their school level team to problem solve individual concerns. For questions regarding special education, contact Kathy Young at: kathyyoung@findlaycityschools.org; or Kelly Glick at: kglick@findlaycityschools.org.

What does it mean to participate in the online option? Who will teach my child?

For details about the online learning platform, please visit: https://www.fcs.org/reo

If we select an online option, can we switch to traditional or hybrid later?

We strongly encourage students to remain online for the entire semester.

How much interaction will there be with other classrooms?

It will be limited as much as possible.

What happens if a child has a cough, runny nose, headache, low grade fever or any other symptom that kids often come to school with normally?

More than likely they will be sent home unless the nurse determines symptoms are not consistent with COVID-19.

For the online option what is the teacher to student ratio target?

The classes will be an appropriate size for the teacher to effectively teach and closely monitor student learning.

Will building attendance figures be made available online daily to be transparent?

Attendance data will be shared with the Hancock County Health Department.

Will there be recess?

      • Schools will make every effort to maintain consistency with all safety recommendations.
      • Schools may limit student access to certain pieces of equipment and/or restrict activities that are “high touch” and difficult to clean or maintain social distancing.
      • Schools will encourage “structured” activities that increase time outside while limiting students’ physical contact with others.
      • Students will wash or sanitize their hands after recess.
      • Entry to/from recess when feasible will be staggered to ensure social distancing.

Will field trips be allowed?

Field trips will not be permitted at this time.

How long does the virus live on surfaces?

Please visit the Center for Disease Control’s website at: https://www.cdc.gov/ for up-to-date information.

How will you deal with ventilation and heating issues inside of the building?

We will continue to implement and recommend best practices for minimizing heat in schools that do not have air conditioning, while also working with local health officials and industry experts to ensure proper air movement and air quality in all buildings to keep students and staff as safe as possible.

When will school supplies be listed online?

The school supplies are listed online at https://fcs.org/student-resources/.

If a digital option is selected, are kids still allowed to do REACH, band, and orchestra?

Details to participation in specific programming are still being developed.

If online classes are selected, what does the band and choir look like? How will that work?

Details to participation in specific programming are still being developed.

Can you discuss Millstream?

For information about Millstream Career Center’s restart plans, visit: https://fcs.org/updates/

How will state testing be done for online school?

FCS will follow guidance from the Ohio Department of Education.

REOPENING GUIDE FOR FAMILIES

DAILY HEALTH ASSESSMENT

KEY CONTACTS

Mr. Troy Roth, Incoming Superintendent
troth@findlaycityschools.org

Mrs. Krista Crates-Miller, Incoming Assistant Superintendent
kristamiller@findlaycityschools.org

Mr. Michael Barnhart, Treasurer
mbarnhart@findlaycityschools.org

Mr. Rich Steiner, Director of Secondary Instruction
rsteiner@findlaycityschools.org

Ms. Stephanie Roth, Director of Elementary Instruction
sroth@findlaycityschools.org

Mrs. Teresa Welty, Director of Food Services
twelty@findlaycityschools.org

Nate Weihrauch, Director of Athletics
nweihrauch@findlaycityschools.org

Mr. John Dell, Director of Transportation
jdell@findlaycityschools.org

Mr. Martin White, Information Technology Director
mwhite@findlaycityschools.org

Mr. Dennis Doolittle, Director of Operations
ddoolittle@findlaycityschools.org

Mrs. Pam Hamlin, Director of Millstream Career Center
phamlin@findlaycityschools.org

Mrs. Kathy Young, Supervisor of Special Education (K-5)
kathyyoung@findlaycityshools.org

Mrs. Kelly Glick, Supervisor of Special Education (6-12)
kglick@findlaycityschools.org