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Coronavirus Updates

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

NOTE: The term COVID-19 will be used throughout this document in reference to the coronavirus.

May 26, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released new guidance for what to do if you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick. Click here for more information.

May 3, 2020

Gov. Kemp, Dr. Toomey Urge Georgians to Wear Face Coverings to Fight COVID-19

Residents are urged to wear face coverings when they are in a community setting where social distancing is may be difficult such as a grocery store or picking up food at a restaurant. Face coverings help slow the spread of the virus, some people may have the virus and not know it. A face covering prevents the virus from being passed to others. Click here to the Georgia Department of Public Health guidance on face coverings.

April 23, 2020

 

School System Announces Plans for Retrieval of Personal Belongings and End-of-Year Activities

 Many traditional end-of-the-year school activities were interrupted with the abrupt closure of schools caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Here is a breakdown of the various activities and how they are being addressed.

  • Plans are being developed by each school (elementary, middle and high) for students and staff to retrieve their personal belongings and return items such as textbooks and other materials. This will be done while observing safety procedures and protocols put in place by the Georgia Department of Health. These plans will be communicated directly by the school to their parents and employees in the coming weeks.
  • All high school proms have been cancelled; schools are working on refunds for tickets that were previously purchased.
  • All high school Underclassman Honors Nights are postponed until the fall. Each school will communicate their new date after the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

 We know that this time has been difficult for our students, their families, and our staff; thank you for your support and patience as we navigated these uncharted waters. We eagerly look forward to better days to come and to starting a new school year this fall. Please continue to stay safe and healthy while our state and nation works toward defeating this virus and bringing some normalcy back to our lives.

 

April 22, 2020

Traditional High School Graduation Activities and Exercises Postponed to Late Summer, Virtual Commencement Scheduled for May 22

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) state of emergency that has placed restrictions on social gatherings in Georgia, graduation ceremonies for all Fayette County Public School System high schools have been postponed to August 1 with a virtual commencement taking place on the scheduled graduation day of May 22. Seniors are invited to participate in both graduation ceremonies. This decision was reached based on input from graduating seniors and their parents across all five high schools.

The weekend of Friday, July 31 through Saturday, August 1 will be slated as Senior Weekend. Senior activities specific to each school will take place on Friday followed by live commencement exercises at each school’s stadium at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

It is important to note that the Senior Weekend will take place as planned provided that state of emergency declarations have been lifted by both the state of Georgia and Fayette County municipalities, and that the Georgia Department of Public Health and Fayette County Health Department have deemed it safe for mass gatherings.

On Friday, May 22, each school will broadcast a virtual graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. The virtual ceremony will feature videotaped student speeches, senior awards, and the reading of each graduate’s name while photographs are scrolled. More information will be shared later about the logistics of the virtual graduation ceremonies. 

Additionally, each high school will host a virtual seniors honors night that will be shared with the school’s seniors and their parents prior to May 20.

Graduation is a monumental milestone for high school seniors and their families. Fayette County Public Schools realizes the importance of celebrating this great achievement. We will work hard to ensure that our graduating seniors are properly honored by doing everything within our scope of power to provide them with a meaningful celebration to commemorate their accomplishment. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate the class of 2020, and to wish them much success as they embark on their futures.  

 

April 14, 2020

The Georgia Department of Public Health has revised criteria for COVID-19 testing and is opening up more testing sites throughout the state. Effective immediately, all symptomatic individuals will be eligible for COVID-19 testing, referrals are still required. See the news release below for more information. 

DPH News Release DPH2

 

April 1, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff:

Today, April 1, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order closing all public elementary and secondary schools for the remainder of the school year in an effort to protect the health of the state’s students, their families and school staff as communities across Georgia continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rest assured that your teachers, administrators, and our county office staff will remain in contact with you as we all navigate our way through these uncharted waters. We understand the effect that this closure is having on our students, parents and staff, not just in maintaining the progression of education, but also in dealing with the social/emotional and economic impacts that have come along with it. We stand with you and your family, and are working hard to ensure that we meet the needs of everyone in our school system.

Virtual learning will continue as it has been, and teachers of pre-kindergartners, kindergarteners, and first graders will stay in contact with parents to ensure their children’s education progresses. Employees will be contacted by their administrators/supervisors regarding their work schedules. Employees are reminded to check their FCBOE email accounts regularly for any updates or changes.

These unprecedented circumstances have interrupted some important events for our school system family. In order to keep some normalcy, we will have spring break as scheduled, April 6-10 for students and teachers, and April 8-10 for 240-day employees. Please take this time to try to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy time with your family. Virtual learning will restart April 13.

We know our high school seniors have been looking forward to their graduation. We are going to do all that we can to ensure this monumental milestone is celebrated. Contingency plans are being discussed and our high school principals will communicate them to their graduating seniors as soon as they are finalized.

Thank you for your support, patience, trust, and understanding as we all work through these challenging times together. Please continue to use the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for staying safe and healthy, and remember that the FCBOE website is your official source for school system information.

New CDC Community Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just published new public health recommendations for people in U.S. communities exposed to a person with known or supsected COVID-19. Click here to go to the guidelines.

Tips from the CDC for Coping with Stress

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a website: Stress and Coping – Need Help? Know Someone Who Does?

Click here for the message in EnglishClick here for the message in Spanish.

Internet Access and Resources

Click the following link to view internet access options that are available to FCBOE students and staff: Inernet Access and Resources

 

March 26, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff:

Today, Thursday, March 26, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order closing all public elementary and secondary schools for in-person instruction through April 24 with schools reopening to students and staff on April 27. Consideration for the remainder of the school year will be determined prior to April 27.

We will observe spring break as scheduled the week of April 6 through 10 for students and teachers, and April 8-10 for 240-day employees. These unprecedented circumstances have interrupted some important events for our school system family, this is why we feel it is important for all of us to have some normalcy by keeping spring break as scheduled. Please take this time to try to relax, de-stress, rejuvenate, and enjoy time with your family.

The extended closure still affects all programming at the schools, including before and after school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, general facility rentals, and weekend events. All remaining school scheduled trips through the remainder of the school year, district wide, are officially canceled. (Principals will work with individual trip sponsors regarding potential rescheduling or possible reimbursement options.)

Employees will be contacted by their administrator/supervisor regarding their work schedules through the remainder of the closure. Employees are reminded to check their FCBOE email accounts regularly for any updates or changes.

Virtual learning will take place throughout the closure (excluding spring break), and teachers of pre-kindergartners, kindergartners, and first graders will stay in contact with parents to ensure their children’s education progresses.


Thank you for your support, patience, trust, and understanding as we work toward resuming normal school operations on April 27. Please stay updated by visiting the FCBOE website.

Check Your Symptoms for COVID-19: March 25, 2020

Use this link from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) if you are not feeling well and want to check your symptoms: COVID-19 Self-Check Website

 

Georgia Department of Public Health Amended Administrative Order for Public Health Control Measures: March 24, 2020

Click the following link to read Governor Brian Kemp's new administrataive order regarding isolation and quarantine: Public Health Control Measures

 

Georgia Department of Public Health Isolation Protocol: March 24, 2020

Click the following link to read the isolation protocols: Isolation Protocol

 

Georgia Home Classroom: March 23, 2020

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is offering broadcast programming and accompanying digital resources that adhere to Georgia’s state standards to provide continued at-home learning.

Students in Pre-K through 12th grade can now access free, educational PBS daytime programming designated for each grade level weekdays on GPB-TV. The broadcast schedule will include trusted, educational programming. Additional GPB and PBS programs are also available to stream on gpb.org or the free PBS Video App and PBS KIDS Apps.

In addition to the broadcast schedule, Georgia students and educators can also access an online library of free educational resources from GPB Education, PBS LearningMedia, and Discovery Education, including videos, activities, and associated lesson plans for teachers, that align with Georgia standards. Pre-K through 5th grade resources are now available and we will be adding 6-12 resources in the coming days.

 

Maintaining Health and Well-being: March 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing will likely impact our mental health and well-being as we come to terms with our new temporary reality. All too often, we don't realize the effects of these stressors until it turns to distress.

Here are some tips to support yourself and those around you:

  • Take breaks from the news. Limit watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing stressful news repeatedly can be upsetting, and it often doesn't include any new information that could be useful.
  • Take care of your body. This means trying to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. A special treat now and again is encouraged to keep spirits up! Make physical activity a regular part of your routine. Get plenty of sleep, and avoid coping through use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Take care of your mind. Make time to unwind. Ensure you take part in activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Even if you can't connect in person, there are many options such as Facetime and Skype, telephone call, email, text or a handwritten note to ensure your social health is also being looked after. Set up online coffee dates with friends.

Taking the time to care for yourself during this time is essential.

 

March 20, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases increase in Georgia and Fayette County, we now know that individuals in our Fayette County Public School community have been exposed to the virus either directly or indirectly.

We want to remind you to take safety precautions such as self-quarantining if you have been exposed to someone who has, or might have, the virus. Frequently wash your hands, avoid touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes, and use social distancing to help contain the spread of the virus.

If you think you might have been exposed to COVID-19, Georgia has a COVID-19 hotline. If you need assistance, please call (844) 442-2681.

We extend our heartfelt support to anyone who has suffered as a result of this current situation, and we share with you our firm belief in brighter days to come.

Thank you for your support of our school system. We appreciate your understanding, trust and patience. Stay well and stay safe.

 

March 17, 2020 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Last night, Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order closing all public elementary, secondary and post-secondary public schools in Georgia from March 18 to March 31 to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). In compliance with the executive order, Fayette County Public Schools will remain closed through March 31. We will contact you by no later than noon on March 30 to inform you of school operations for April 1.

Students will continue participating in virtual learning until normal school operations resume. Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade teachers will provide parents with a list of non-digital activities, as well as digital resources, to continue studies. 

Modified work schedules that have been communicated to staff through their supervisor/administrator are still in effect. Staff should regularly check their FCBOE email accounts for any updates or changes.

As always, the safety of our students, staff and families remains our top priority. We will communicate with you when there is significant information to report. Remember that the most accurate source for information is the FCBOE website, so please refer to our website regularly for updates as they become available. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

  

March 16, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Due to the Public Health State of Emergency for COVID-19 (coronavirus) issued by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on March 14, Fayette County Public Schools will remain closed for students and staff through March 27. The closure affects all programming at the schools, including before and after school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and weekend events. We will notify you by no later than noon on March 26 about the operational status of our school system for the week of March 30 through April 3.

In these uncertain times, the safety and well-being of our community is a top concern. The school system is the largest business operation in the county, bringing together over 20,000 students (our consumers) and over 3,000 employees (our educators, support and operational staff) in schools and offices every day. As COVID-19 continues to spread in Georgia, with the number of confirmed cases increasing, and being that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that the virus is growing via “community spread,” we feel it is our responsibility to take measures necessary to help prevent the spread of the virus in Fayette County. 

Within the last several days, the number of confirmed cases in Fayette County has also increased. It is important to note that at this time, we are not aware of any confirmed cases involving our students or staff. The extended closure will allow us more time to continue thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all schools and buildings, ensuring the healthiest of learning and working environments once the statewide risk is lowered, and it is deemed appropriate for normal school operations to resume. 

Throughout the duration of the closure, students will continue participating in virtual learning. Teachers will contact students and parents through normal means of communication regarding instructions and assignments. Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade teachers will provide parents with a list of non-digital activities, as well as digital resources, to continue studies. 

Modified work schedules that were communicated to staff on March 13 through their supervisor/administrator are still in effect. Staff should regularly check their FCBOE email accounts for any updates.

As always, the safety of our students, staff and families remains our top priority. We will communicate with you when there is significant information to report. Remember that the most accurate source for information is the FCBOE website, so please refer to our website regularly for updates as they become available. Thank you for your support and cooperation, and know we will move through this challenging situation together. 

 

March 13, 2020

Dear Fayette County School Community:

The health and safety of our students, staff and families is a top priority, and in keeping this priority at the forefront of all of our decisions, we are closing schools and administrative offices for students and staff starting March 16 through March 20 in an abundance of caution concerning COVID-19 (coronavirus). The closure affects all programming at the schools, including before and after school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, general facility rentals, and weekend events. 

Staff will receive modified work schedules communicated through their supervisor/administrator. Staff should also check the FCBOE website for updated information.

It is important to note that there have been no confirmed cases of students or staff with COVID-19 at this time; however, we are aware of cases that have been confirmed in Fayette County. This closure is designed to limit social contact. While closed, we will continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect all schools and buildings. We will notify you by noon on March 19 about the operational status of our school system for the week of March 23 (our intention is to notify parents and staff on a weekly basis about school operations).

Students will participate in virtual learning during the closure. Teachers will contact students and parents through normal means of communication regarding instructions and assignments for virtual learning.  Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade teachers will provide parents with a list of non-digital activities to continue learning as well as digital resources. 

Again, the decision to close schools for next week is primarily precautionary. While we believe our schools are currently a safe environment, we will take extra steps this coming week to ensure that we are providing the healthiest learning and working spaces for our school community.

As always, the safety of our students, staff and families remains our top priority. Thank you for your support and cooperation. The most accurate source for information is the FCBOE website, so please refer to our website regularly for updates as they become available.

 

March 12, 2020

There will be no school for students tomorrow, Friday March 13. All staff, excluding bus drivers and monitors, will report. If students need to pick up any personal items, schools will be open during regular hours on March 13. Staff members with pre-existing health conditions who do not feel comfortable reporting to work and wish to take leave for March 13, must contact their supervisor. More information will be released tomorrow regarding school operations for next week.

The Georgia Department of Education hosted a webinar on March 11 regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), click here to access the presentation.

 

COVID-19 and Our Schools

Metro area hospitals and designated facilities, including our local hospital, have been set up to address COVID-19. We have confirmed with the Fayette County Health Department that there is one presumptive case of COVID-19 in Fayette County. At this time, we can confirm that this case is not a Fayette County employee or student. We are told that the risk to the general population remains low. 

It is likely there will be other “presumptive positive” and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Fayette County residents, and we do not plan to send you a notice about every case.  These cases will be reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health on its website here

The superintendent and school system leadership are in constant contact with public health, state of Georgia, and Federal officials, and continue to follow their guidance on developments related to COVID-19. 

 

What is COVID-19

COVID-19 is a new illness, which means information and advice surrounding the outbreak is relatively limited and can change alongside new developments. 

COVID-19 is a type of virus. Typical symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Please rest assured that having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the virus. 

 

What To Do, What Not To Do

Students cannot wear protective gear (gloves, masks, shoe covers, etc.) to school. Students with health conditions that require them to wear face masks (respirators) are the only ones being allowed to wear them at school, and these students must have a note from their healthcare provider on file at the school. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC ) does not recommend the routine use of respirators (face masks) in the community.

Parents and guardians should verify that their phone numbers and email addresses are correct in Infinite Campus and ensure that notification permissions are set to receive messages.

Any student, parent or staff member who is quarantined (self quarantined or positive case) due to COVID-19 must notify the school principal or nurse either by phone or email. Quarantined persons should not go to the school while in quarantine. 

There are preventative measures you can take against COVID-19, which are the same as for the flu: 

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use tissue to cover it, then throw tissue in the trash

To prioritize the safety of our students and staff, we remain committed to following the most current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). 

 

COVID-19 Guidance for School Operations

Student Attendance Incentives

Students who provide written documentation from their healthcare provider advising them to refrain from attending school due to COVID-19 will be fully accommodated in accordance with Board Policy JB. Families of these students should coordinate with their school’s administration for additional guidance. For all other students, normal school attendance policies remain in effect.

Student attendance incentives for all schools are suspended for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year with the following exceptions: 

  • High school exam exemptions for attendance, including senior exam exemptions, will be based on attendance from January 7, 2020 through March 6, 2020.
  • Perfect attendance calculations will be addressed at a later time.

 

Employee Attendance 

Employees not reporting to work due to coronavirus must provide written documentation from their healthcare provider. The school system will continue to enforce Board Policy GARH. Normal work attendance policies remain in effect.

 

Enrollment of New Students from Identified High-Risk Areas

Families attempting to enroll a student from areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for COVID-19, as identified by the CDC and/or the US Department of State, should contact the Enrollment Center via telephone and/or email. 

  • Phone: 770-460-3990, ext. 1109
  • Email: toney.audrey@mail.fcboe.org

 

Facility Maintenance and Cleanliness

The school system continues to implement all best practices and materials at our disposal to keep each facility clean and disinfected.

 

Re-entry of Students Traveling from Identified High-Risk Areas

Families should inform the local school via telephone and/or email if their student or a member of their household has traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State. Schools, in conjunction with school system personnel and Georgia Department of Public Health protocols, will work with families to determine the appropriate action regarding the re-entry of the student into school. 

 

Staff Travel Restrictions

Out-of-state, work-related travel for all employees will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

Regarding personal travel, employees should inform their supervisor via telephone and/or email, prior to returning to work, if they have traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for COVID-19, as identified by the CDC or the U.S. Department of State.

 

Student Travel            

Any school-sponsored and/or school system-sponsored travel to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for COVID-19, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State, will be canceled for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. Currently, travel scheduled within the US, or for areas not identified as high risk, will be evaluated by the school system. We will communicate with all travel companies utilized by the school system to ensure they follow the same CDC and/or Georgia Department of Public Health recommendations.

The Georgia Department of Public Health will continue updating the community through their website, and the CDC is constantly updating their website with the most current information. 

 

Virtual Learning Options

In order to prepare for emergency related school closings, Fayette County Public Schools is prepared to offer virtual learning days for our students, supported by our employees. Non-digital, ‘unplugged,’ assignments are recommended for prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade students, as well as those with limited internet access.

All personnel should be available and accessible during their regularly scheduled work hours.

 

Facility Rentals 

School system facility rental agreements will continue to be honored at this time; however, lessees will be required to hire Fayette County Public School System custodial staff to ensure system protocols for sanitation and disinfection are followed to the level directed by the CDC. Additional costs associated with these procedures will be the responsibility of the lessee. 

 

School and District Sponsored Events 

Currently scheduled events occurring in closed spaces, or events with 1,000 or more participants, will be reviewed by the school system. All other events will be allowed to proceed as planned. Until further notice, new school and system sponsored events occurring in closed spaces, or events with 1,000 or more participants, will be reviewed for approval on a case-by-case basis. The school system supports the event sponsor and school administrators’ authority to postpone or cancel events. The school system will continue to update information on its website. Please visit this webpage frequently for up-to-date information.