COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES: FHSD Says Grades Can Only Increase From Third Quarter, Schools Close Through April 24

St.+Charles+County+has+been+taking+steps+to+minimize+at+COVID-19+outbreak+such+as+closing+all+dine-in+services+for+bars+and+restaurants+and+working+to+close+many+school+districts+in+its+borders.+St.+Charles+County+currently+has+one+case+of+COVID-19.

Credit to CI Photos / shutterstock.com

St. Charles County has been taking steps to minimize at COVID-19 outbreak such as closing all dine-in services for bars and restaurants and working to close many school districts in its borders. St. Charles County currently has one case of COVID-19.

By Emily Hood, Executive Producer of FHNtodayTV

April 2, 2020 – 5:44 p.m.

Senior Jesus DeLaPaz and Sophomore Julian DeLaPaz shared their story about how their family was impacted by COVID-19. Click here to read the full story.


April 2, 2020 – 4:44 p.m.

FHSD has released plans for grading for fourth quarter. A student’s grade can go up from their previous 3rd quarter grade, but cannot go down as long as they meet certain criteria. Students should attempt and submit 75% of their assignments and teachers will give feedback to students to “promote accuracy.”

Teachers in AP and Dual Credit classes should enter grades in accordance with their partner institutions, and teachers in regular classes should enter one grade per week. All assignments should be graded based on completion, and students should not be graded with attendance points for a virtual instruction time period.

Students may be asked to participate in a maximum of 30 minutes of classwork per class per day. If a teacher has not heard from a student, teachers, counselors and principals will reach out to the student to try and solve the issue. Only a principal can determine whether or not a student can be penalized. There will be no traditional final exams.

Read the full email from FHSD below.

With our school closure officially extended beyond April 3, it is appropriate to determine grading procedures for the remainder of the closure. It is important during this time to understand the unique circumstances we are facing, and the many potential hardships our families may be experiencing. Understanding we will not be able to continue with classes as normal, we still want to keep our students engaged in learning experiences to a reasonable extent.

As we move forward with new learning, we ask that teachers keep the focus to essential standards. We know that learning new material may be a challenge for students as they attempt to access learning in new ways without the typical supports provided at school. We still want students to receive feedback from teachers on their work so they can understand their own progress on learning these standards.

We understand the importance of grades, especially as they pertain to high school credits and transcripts. The guidelines below outline the approach we will use to provide grades for high school and middle school courses. In all cases, we want to acknowledge the challenging circumstances many of our students are experiencing and use flexibility in our professional judgment with students.

Please read the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidance for schools as we facilitate learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADING DURING COVID-19

  • If a teacher is not hearing from a student (no work, no responses, no participation):
    ○ Teacher reaches out to problem-solve
    ○ If no resolution, counselor reaches out to problem-solve
    ○ If still no resolution after that, principal reaches out to problem-solve 
  • If there is a legitimate obstacle (device access, trauma, Internet issues, COVID-19 sickness, other life events), then we don’t hold that against a student, and their grade will be no lower than their 3rd quarter grade
  • If there is no legitimate obstacle, then a student’s grade could potentially be impacted by non-completion of assignments
  • Only a student’s principal can determine if the student’s grade will go down. There would have to have been many documented attempts to address the issue
  • Students may be asked to participate in a maximum of 30 minutes of work per class per day. This includes live class discussions, work, etc.
  • Teachers should submit one assignment to the gradebook per week
  • Teachers should grade assignments on completion, not accuracy. Teachers should give feedback to students to promote accuracy
  • With no guarantee that students have reliable access to technology and the internet, students should not be graded for accessing live virtual instruction. This, therefore, prohibits the use of attendance points as a grade
  • Teachers should limit new instruction to essential standards and should collaborate with PLC members to identify essential content
  • The District will take a “hold harmless” approach to grading. Students will be issued a letter grade. A student’s grade can go up, but cannot be lower than their 3rd quarter grade as long as the student meets the following minimum criteria of work completion:
       ○ AP, Advanced Credit, Dual Credit classes:
             ■ Students will attempt and submit 75% of all assignments
             ■ Teachers will grade work and give feedback
             ■ Teachers and students will follow specific guidelines from partner institutions
       ○ All other classes:
             ■ Students will attempt and submit 75% of all assignments
             ■ Teachers will grade work and give feedback
             ■ Teachers will enter one weekly grade in the gradebook
  • There will be no traditional cumulative final exams

MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADING DURING COVID-19

  • If a teacher is not hearing from a student (no work, no responses, no participation):
    ○ Teacher reaches out to problem-solve
    ○ If no resolution, counselor reaches out to problem-solve
    ○ If still no resolution after that, principal reaches out to problem-solve 
  • If there is a legitimate obstacle (device access, trauma, Internet issues, COVID-19 sickness, other life events), then we don’t hold that against a student, and their grade will be no lower than their 3rd quarter grade
  • If there is no legitimate obstacle, then a student’s grade could potentially be impacted by non-completion of assignments
  • Only a student’s principal can determine if the student’s grade will go down. There would have to have been many documented attempts to address the issue
  • Students may be asked to participate in a maximum of 30 minutes of work per class per day. This includes live class discussions, work, etc.
  • Teachers should submit one assignment to the gradebook per week
  • Teachers should grade assignments on completion, not accuracy. Teachers should give feedback to students to promote accuracy
  • With no guarantee that students have reliable access to technology and the internet, students should not be graded for accessing live virtual instruction. This, therefore, prohibits the use of attendance points as a grade
  • Teachers should limit new instruction to essential standards and should collaborate with PLC members to identify essential content
  • The District will take a “hold harmless” approach to grading. A student’s grade can go up, but cannot be lower than their 3rd quarter grade as long as the student meets the following minimum criteria of work completion:
       ○ MS classes for HS credit (students will be issued a letter grade):
             ■ Students will attempt and submit 75% of all assignments
             ■ Teachers will grade work and give feedback
             ■ Teachers will enter one weekly grade in the gradebook
       ○ Standard MS classes (grades will be pass/fail):
             ■ Students will attempt and submit 60% of all assignments
             ■ Teachers will grade work and give feedback
  • There will be no traditional cumulative final exams

EARLY CHILDHOOD AND ELEMENTARY GRADING DURING COVID-19

  • If a teacher is not hearing from a student (no work, no responses, no participation):
       ○ Teacher reaches out to problem-solve
       ○ If no resolution, counselor reaches out to problem-solve
       ○ If still no resolution after that, principal reaches out to problem-solve
  • Teachers can introduce new content and skills. Know that students will face significant limitations and may be attempting to learn alone
  • Teachers should limit new instruction to essential standards and should collaborate with PLC members to identify essential content
  • No grades will be given, but teachers should still give students feedback on student work
  • Maximum learning time per day:
    ○ Early Childhood-1st Grade: No more than 45 minutes per day
    ○ 2nd-3rd Grade: No more than 60 minutes per day
    ○ 4th-5th Grade: No more than 90 minutes per day 

April 2, 2020 – 4:12 p.m.

St. Charles County currently has 129 cases and five deaths from COVID-19.

The White House is expected to make an announcement advising all Americans to wear face coverings when grocery shopping. This does not include N-95 masks, which are in short supply and desperately needed by healthcare workers across the county. Shoppers should consider wearing cloth or homemade facial coverings, like bandanas, to prevent spreading the virus to others before showing symptoms. These masks would not protect those who do not already have the virus from contracting it.


March 30, 2020 – 11:04 a.m.

Today, students should begin online instruction with their teachers. FHSD has created a district website with resources from each teacher across the elementary, middle and high school levels. High school students looking to access material should click the dropdown for “High Schools and Alternative Site,” then select their school. Students and parents can then search for folders with their teachers names to find resources needed for their classes.

The FHN administration teams are handing out devices to students still in need of access this week. District officials are still making decisions regarding the grading process at this time.


March 29, 2020 – 9:54 p.m.

Tomorrow, FHN students will begin distance learning. Students should have received communication with their teachers via email discussing plans for the week ahead. Each class period will have set times where class meetings and conference calls can be scheduled to avoid conflicts between classes. Many teachers will be using a mix of scheduled class time and assignments that can be completed at any time throughout the week.

St. Charles currently has 43 cases of COVID-19. Missouri currently has 903 cases.


March 27, 2020 – 3:02 p.m.

Head Principal Nathan Hostetler will be hosting a Zoom meeting on April 2 at 8:15 a.m. to receive feedback about online learning after students begin instruction on March 30.

Superintendent Mary Hendricks-Harris sent an email to parents today giving updates for the future of COVID-19 in FHSD and providing advice on how to prevent illness.

“I believe we will have multiple cases of students, staff, and parents in all of our schools who test positive for COVID-19,” Hendricks-Harris said in her email. The St. Charles County Health Department will notify the District if there is a positive case, and the district can only disclose the person’s role and building. 

Read the full email below.

Dear FHSD Community,

As we work collaboratively with the health department and receive additional updates from the CDC, it has become apparent that there will be widespread transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) across our nation and here in our community. In the coming months, much of the US population will be exposed to the virus. I believe we will have multiple cases of students, staff, and parents in all of our schools who test positive for COVID-19. Because of federal HIPPA regulations, the county health department will not notify us of individual positive tests. If we are informed (by the infected person) of a positive test, we will provide notification. We cannot provide any more information than the person’s role and building.

The St. Charles County Department of Public Health will contact individuals who may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. As the number of cases increases, many with the virus might not be able to get testing. At some point, it will be best to assume you have been in contact with someone who has been exposed to the virus.

Self-monitor for the following symptoms:
• Cough
• Fever
• Shortness of breath

Other COVID19 symptoms that have been observed, but are less common are chills, muscle aches, sore throat, runny nose, chest pressure or pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headache.

Everyone should monitor themselves for symptoms and notify their primary care physician if necessary. Please continue to take the appropriate precautions to protect your health and well-being (wash your hands, use good respiratory hygiene, stay at home). I know there is much anxiety right now, and we find ourselves in difficult times. I have seen many heart-warming and helpful actions in our community, but the best thing we can do right now is to stay at home and practice social distancing as much as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris
Superintendent


March 25, 2020 – 5:14 p.m.

FHSD has announced that all schools will remain closed until April 24 due to COVID-19 outbreaks in St. Charles County. Students will be participating in online instruction, beginning on March 30. All athletic and activity events will also be cancelled during this time and facilities will not be in use.


March 24, 2020 – 9:41 p.m.

Teachers and faculty are discussing options for fourth quarter grades. No decisions have been made at this time.

Missouri has voided all attendance requirements for the 2019-20 school year. Students will not have to make up any days missed due to COVID-19. The last day of school will be May 28, 2020.

At this time, it is the understanding of FHN administration that all FHN students should have access to a device and internet by the end of this week. Students without internet access will have a hotspot delivered to their homes tomorrow.

The 2020 Olympics, set to be held on Tokyo, Japan, have been pushed back to 2021 due to concerns over COVID-19. Before this announcement, Canada and Australia announced they would not be sending athletes to the games if they were not postponed.


March 23, 2020 – 11:26 p.m.

In a Facebook Live to students, Head Principal Nathan Hostetler explained procedures for future online instruction. Students should hear from their teachers by Wednesday, March 25 to explain guidelines for each class. FHSD has created a website where students and parents can select their teachers and see what work has been assigned. This website will be pushed out next week. Online instruction will begin on March 30. At this time, classes will resume on April 6.

Prom has been rescheduled for Friday, May 22 at Old Hickory Golf Club from 7-10 p.m. Graduation is still set for Saturday, June 6 and potential changes to that date are being evaluated.

PLTW End of Course Exams have been canceled due to cancelations of state testing.

Three new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in St. Charles County. These are believed to be the first cases of community spread in the county. County Executive Steve Ehlmann stressed the importance of social distancing to limit community spread. Today, the St. Charles County Department of Public Health was also notified of the first death related to COVID-19. A man in his 70s passed away after being hospitalized. St. Charles County currently has 6 cases of COVID-19.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann has issued new guidelines to residents. The county is now requiring all residents to stay in their homes except for except for activities that “they deem necessary to their physical, mental or spiritual well-being, or for employment.” All local businesses must inform customers of social distancing restrictions, but the county does not designate which businesses are deemed “essential.” Ehlmann says stricter restrictions could be put into place to stop the spread of the virus and will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 24.


March 22, 2020 – 10:33 p.m.

A man in his 20s who recently traveled to Spain was diagnosed as the third case of COVID-19 in St. Charles County.

St. Louis County and St. Louis City have ordered all residents to stay home. All non-essential businesses will be required to close and residents are only allowed to leave for groceries, healthcare and critical household duties. This order will take effect on Monday, March 23.

At this time, St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann has said that St. Charles County is not looking to close businesses and issue a shelter-in-place order.

There are currently 106 cases of COVID-19 in Missouri. This increase is likely due to an increase in testing from private labs.



March 21, 2020 – 10:38 a.m.

Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven announced that all statewide testing, including EOC and MAP exams, has been cancelled for this year.

Next week, teachers will be meeting to discuss plans for online learning. Teachers should be reaching out to students by Wednesday, March 25 to discuss expectations in each class. Actual instruction will begin on Monday, March 30. Watch the full video from Head Principal Nathan Hostetler here. At this time, FHSD still plans to return to school on April 6.


March 20, 2020 – 1:41 p.m.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development has reduced or suspended certain requirements for A+ Scholarship eligibility requirements. This scholarship gives students two free years of community college and scholarships at certain Missouri universities.

The number of service hours required has been reduced from 50 hours to 25 hours. High school seniors are no longer required to maintain a 2.5 GPA, but meet their school’s satisfactory academic progress requirements. These changes only apply to 2020 high school seniors and current college students.


March 20, 2020 – 11:31 a.m.

The College Board has announced changes to the AP Exam system due to school closures because of COVID-19. In-person exams will not take place this year as the College Board develops a system for an online exam. Students will take an online exam for 45 minutes that will only cover materials reviewed in classes through early March. Students can take these exams on any device that has internet access, and two testing dates will be available for students who want to take the exam early and students who want more time for review. Students who do not have internet access at home should contact the College Board.

On Wednesday, March 25, students can attend live AP review courses online for free before exams. These review sessions will focus on the first 75% of material covered in each course.


March 20, 2020 – 10:32 a.m.

The FHSD Candidate Forum, scheduled for April 1, has been cancelled. The 4.0 Luncheon has also been cancelled until further notice.

Missouri currently has 47 cases of COVID-19, up from 24 cases on March 19. This jump is due to an increase in testing from private labs in the state. St. Louis County currently has the most cases at 10. St. Louis City has five cases and St. Charles County has one case.


March 18, 2020 – 10:21 p.m.

The Francis Howell School District will be creating meal packages containing five days worth of food for students and families in need during their emergency school closure.

FHSD is asking for donations that can be dropped off on Friday, March 20 at the FHSD Administration Building at 4545 Central School Road between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The district is looking for items such as instant oatmeal, cereal, pop tarts, cereal bars, granola bars and more. Monetary donations can also be made at this link.

Find out more about what resources are needed here.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has announced Missouri’s first death due to COVID-19. The patient, in their 60s, tested positive for the virus in Boone County, which contains Columbia, MO and had recently traveled outside the U.S.


March 18, 2020 – 7:04 p.m.

St. Charles County has received its first case of COVID-19. The woman is in her 20s and the case was travel-related. She has been under quarantine. 191 people are currently being monitored for symptoms in the county for travel-related cases and 17 people are being monitored as contacts to known cases.

County officials stress that if you suspect you have COVID-19, you should call the county’s hotline number or your health care provider instead of rushing to an emergency room.

Follow COVID-19 updates in St. Charles County here.


March 18, 2020 – 10:31 a.m.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order moving all elections held on April 7 to June 2 to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri. FHSD was due to hold School Board elections and vote on Proposition S, a no-tax increase bond issue to provide funding to help maintain the district’s facilities.

“Given the growing concern surrounding COVID-19 and the large number of people elections attract, postponing Missouri’s municipal elections is a necessary step to help combat the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of Missouri voters,” Parson said in his statement.

St. Louis Mayor Lynda Krewson confirmed a second case of COVID-19 in St. Louis City. There are currently 16 cases in Missouri as of Wednesday morning.


March 17, 2020 – 6:23 p.m.

Missouri now has 15 positive cases of COVID-19. St. Louis County has four cases and St. Louis City has one case. There are still no positive cases of COVID-19 in St. Charles County. Here’s the breakdown of cases by county.

Greene County – 4

St. Louis County – 4

Cass County – 2

St. Louis City – 1

Henry County – 1

Boone County – 1

Cole County – 1

Jackson County – 1

Watch FHN Head Principal Nathan Hostetler’s update to students and parents.


March 17, 2020 – 4:36 p.m.

On Tuesday, March 24, students will be allowed to enter FHSD buildings from 8-4:30 to gather any belongings left before break. Three administrators will be present to open the building and allow students to grab items from classrooms and lockers. Students should only come if there is something they absolutely need at the school. Teachers will be able to get into the building on Monday, March 23.

FHSD is currently working on a system to provide online instruction to students. This website will be released to students and teachers in the coming week.

The College Board has released resources for AP teachers and has suggested they will extend testing dates if schools remain close and instructional time is lost.


March 17, 2020 – 3:22 p.m.

St. Charles County has announced that all restaurants and bars will not be allowed to offer dine-in services. Delivery and carry-out services are still available. These restrictions will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 20.


March 17, 2020 – 9:48 a.m.

St. Louis City received its first case of COVID-19 on Monday after a St. Louis University student who recently traveled abroad tested positive for the virus. The person flew into the U.S. from another state and drove to St. Louis. They followed public guidelines for isolating themselves.

On Monday, a third case of COVID-19 was discovered in St. Louis County. The person is 50-60 years old and recently traveled abroad. Missouri currently has nine cases of COVID-19, four of which are in the St. Louis area.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in St. Charles County. At the recommendation of the CDC, St. Charles County has banned gatherings of more than 50 people or more to help stop the spread of the virus. This order did not apply to grocery stores, retail stores or public transit.


March 15, 2020 – 7:10 p.m.

A call was sent to parents at 7:05 p.m notifying them that school will be closed until April 3, 2020. All after school activities will also be canceled during this time. FHSD will be working with students, teachers and community members throughout this week to develop a plan for the coming weeks regarding possible e-learning and meal needs for families. Updates will be given throughout the week.

See more info about the announcement here.


March 13, 2020 – 5:14 p.m.

Two more individuals have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 in Missouri today, bringing the total number of cases in Missouri to four. 94 individuals have tested so far, 90 of which have come back negative.

Governor Mike Parson has announced that Missouri will be placed under a state of emergency during his press conference at 5 pm on Friday, March 13. Parson says this declaration is not intended to close schools, but schools should seek the advice of local health agencies and make the decisions on a case-by-case basis. This announcement will help free up money and resources to help deal with COVID-19 cases in Missouri. Washington University and the University of Missouri-Columbia will be conducting tests with positive COVID-19 cases received from the state. Parson emphasized the need of individuals to follow self-quarantine orders if they are given.

“The primary purpose of this emergency declaration is to provide greater flexibility in providing resources,” Parson said in his press conference.

Mercy’s Virtual Care Center in Chesterfield has created a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19. The site is designed for those who have a fever of 100.4 or more and symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. Before visiting the site for a test, individuals should call Mercy’s COVID-19 Clinical Support Line before arriving at 314-251-0500.


March 13, 2020 – 4:25 p.m.

St. Charles County has announced they have sent 2 new COVID-19 tests to the state lab for testing. One was a 34 year-old man who had recently traveled to France and the other was a 41 year-old woman who was in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus in another state. Both are currently in self-quarantine.

FHSD told students to bring home devices and any textbooks needed in case of a school closure. At this time, there are no plans to close school after spring break.

FHN Choir will no longer be participating in their competition in Orlando, FL due to Disneyworld closures. They will still be spending time at Disney and Universal Studios through Sunday. Plans after Sunday are to be determined.


March 12, 2020 – 7:51 a.m.

The 2020 Eastern Missouri NSDA Speech and Debate tournament, scheduled for March 12-14, has been cancelled. The tournament was not cancelled due to any specific COVID-19 case in Missouri. This tournament would have allowed competitors to advance to the National Speech and Debate Tournament. NSDA is examining options to reschedule the tournament to a later date.

President Donald Trump announced in an address to the nation that he is restricting travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days. The restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom and does not apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S.

The NBA has cancelled their season after Rudy Golbert of the Utah Jazz has tested positive for COVID-19. This announcement came after a Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game was abruptly cancelled before tip-off last night.

Tom Hanks has announced that him and his wife, Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the virus on Wednesday night. They are currently in Australia producing an Elvis Presley biopic. Hanks’s announcement makes him the first American celebrity to announce a COVID-19 diagnosis. They are currently in isolation and are in communication with healthcare officials.


March 11, 2020 – 5:15 p.m.

The Francis Howell School District is in active communication with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health and the CDC to determine the best course of action to keep students and community safe.

Parent Teacher Conferences are still being held on Thursday, March 12. Parents are encouraged to wash their hands as they come into the building and use hand sanitizer that will be available.

On Feb. 17, all hard and soft surfaces at FHN were sprayed with an anti-microbial film to reduce the ability of microbes to live on surfaces. This cleaning was not directly related to a potential COVID-19 outbreak. FHSD has also been covering bus seats with this same film.

Letters were sent home to parents of students at FHN who do not have internet access notifying them that if they do not want a device sent home with their student, they will need to opt-out by tomorrow.

At this time, no field trips have been cancelled due to COVID-19. The FHN Choir program has been cleared to travel to Festival Disney in Orlando, FL for a competition. Decisions to attend field trips are made based on the location of the field trip and the recommendations of the SCC Department of Public Health and the CDC.

4 people in St. Charles County have tested negative for COVID-19. Currently, no one in St. Charles County has tested positive for the disease. St. Charles County has created a website to track cases of COVID-19 in the county, including the number of people being monitored, the number of negative tests and the number of positive tests.

Many colleges and universities in Missouri and St. Louis have cancelled classes or decided to hold classes remotely through online platforms. St. Louis University will suspend classes next week due to COVID-19 while developing a plan to finish the semester remotely. University of Missouri-Columbia will hold classes remotely until March 20. Maryville University will be holding classes online beginning next week. Webster University will hold classes online until March 26. Washington University-St. Louis will extend their spring break by one week to prepare for online instruction, beginning on March 23.

FHN Head Principal Nathan Hostetler released a video to FHN community members yesterday addressing preparations being made at FHN. Watch the video below.

 


March 10, 2020

Francis Howell School District is beginning preparations in case of a COVID-19 (popularly referred to as the coronavirus) outbreak in the district. At this time, it is the understanding of FHN administration that no one in FHSD is suspected of having COVID-19. An email was sent to teachers today asking them to check with students if they had internet access and/or a device with internet access in case of a potential school closure.

St. Louis County diagnosed its first case of COVID-19 on Friday. The woman had been studying abroad in Italy and returned to St. Louis from Chicago via Amtrak. The woman and her family are currently self-quarantined in their home.

FHSD Superintendent Dr. Hendricks-Harris sent out an email to students and parents on March 9 addressing community concerns. Read the email below.

Francis Howell Community,

As you likely already know, St. Louis County has confirmed the first case of COVID-19. Francis Howell has been preparing for the possible scenarios if the virus were to spread to our community; last week we met with our safety team, other districts, and experts in the region. We are not aware of any confirmed cases in St. Charles County, our community, or our schools. We would like to emphasize the following precautions:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
• Stay at home away from others if you are sick.
• Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
• Do not bring your student to school, or come to work at school, if you have cold or flu-like symptoms (elevated temperature, fever, cough, shortness of breath).

School Closings

I have received several questions regarding school closings. If it becomes necessary to close school, the length of the closure will impact our next steps. We will collaborate with the local health department before we would close any schools. It is likely, if our District closes for several days, there will be an attempt to make-up the time using our current snow day schedule. Should we need to close schools for an extended period of time, we will work with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to determine if some instructional time can be waived. DESE has always worked with schools in extreme situations, and I would expect this to be the same. We are not prepared to provide online learning for our students on this short notice, but are accelerating our efforts to provide learning resources for students. The FHSD community will be notified of any closures through the same channels we communicate snow closures. Please be sure your information is up-to-date in order to receive email, texts, and/or calls.

Attendance

During this time, if it is necessary for your child to be home, it will be an excused absence. It is essential for student safety that if a student isn’t feeling well, they remain at home.

We have been in meetings with health experts and other school districts as we prepare for the potential of COVID-19 cases in our county. We are updated daily on any new information from the St. Charles County Department of Public Health and the CDC. This week your students will receive a lesson on precautionary measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The latest FHSD update on COVID-19, along with other links to resources, can be found on the District website. In addition, this resource link will provide parents with some information to share with their children. It is my hope this will support some of our students who may be feeling anxious.

Student and staff safety is a priority in Francis Howell. This is a dynamic situation, and I will continue to keep you updated.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris
Superintendent