Protocol and Guidelines For In-Person Learning


By Justin Brewer

FHN returns to school tomorrow, Aug. 31. For the first time, students have been able to choose whether to attend virtually or in-person due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. FHN administrators have worked with the district to create protocol that will keep in-person students safe and healthy, ranging from the mask mandate to changes with the lunch system to new bus guidelines.

“We had to kind of rethink everything that we do from students entering the building and where they go when they come in first thing in the morning to where they sit in classes for contact tracing purposes,” associate principal Katie Greer said. “Everything that we have done normally we had to think about it from a different angle and what it would look like.”


  • Masks are required to attend school and to enter the building.
  • Places to wear a mask at all times: classroom, hallways/stairs, choir, band, busses and passing periods.
  • Places where there are exceptions include the lunch room and during PE/gym. In the cafeteria, they are expected to be worn during the transition to the cafeteria, they can be taken off while eating and are to be put on after finishing eating. During PE, they are required indoors except during warm ups and when distancing is possible. They may be removed outdoors at the teacher’s discretion and when distancing is possible.

Social Distance 

  • Each classroom is a little bit different in its layout, size and the contents within that room. Each classroom will be social distanced in its own way.


  • The doors will open at 6:50 a.m. It is recommended to arrive at school by 7:00 a.m., however the doors will be open at 6:50.
  • Once they have arrived at school, students should go to one of two places. If they are eating, then those students should proceed to the cafeteria. If they don’t eat when they arrive at school, students should proceed directly to their first hour and wait for it to begin.


  • The number of people per lunch period has been decreased from 600 to 250.
  • There will only be a certain number of people allowed to a table. This is to allow for social distancing. 
  • There will be no “assigned seats” necessarily. Students will get to choose where to sit in the cafeteria and as student’s schedules begin to solidify, so will their lunch seats. For the first couple days, administrators will take note of where students are sitting. As the first week of school progresses and schedules become more permanent, so will students’ seats in the cafeteria. This allows for contact-tracing, where someone around you contracts the virus and it prevents administrators from having to walk around everyday and confirm where students are sitting and it becomes a sort of “attendance” or “roll call,” much like in a classroom.
  • Once students are in their seats, they are asked to remain in that seat until the bell rings at the end of lunch and there will be specific routes for exiting the cafeteria at the end of a lunch period to prevent crowding.
  • The number of lunch periods has been increased from three to five shifts to allow for distancing and to prevent the overcrowding of the lunchrooms.


  • Students who get on the bus first will walk to the back and fill the back of the bus first. As more students get on the bus they will gradually fill the bus, filling the bus from the back forward. This eliminates the number of people students have to walk by to get to their seat and how many people walk by them.


To read more about the 2020-21 school year, check out FHNtoday’s interview with head principal Nathanael Hostetler here.