FM schools create reopening plan


PITSBURG — The Franklin Monroe Local School District reopening plan has been finalized and superintendent Jeremy Pequignot said safety was a big emphasis for the plan.

“Safety is always a priority,” Pequignot said.

And in these times, flexibility as well.

“Just like yesterday, when Gov. DeWine mandated wearing masks,” Pequignot said. “And he has said, he will be passing along further guidance for the schools.”

The good news is getting the kids back in the classroom.

“We know what a challenge it is for parents when the kids are not in the classroom,” Pequignot said. “We want to provide a safe and good learning environment for the students. And we know it is important for the kids to have the school experience. We will continue to follow guidelines from the health department and OHSAA.”

The general principals of FM’s plan include the following:

1. FM schools will implement recommended safety protocols to the highest degree possible.

2. FM schools will work closely with the Darke County Health Department (DCHD) to promote safety in each school building.

3. FM schools will be transparent with all stakeholders that some level of risk will always be present when students and school district employees occupy school district facilities.

4. FM schools recognize the need for consistency in areas of operations while recognizing that individual differences in classroom sizes, school facilities, and building operations may lead to some inconsistencies.

5. FM schools are planning to maintain the previously approved school calendar

Through the use of a layered approach in the following areas, Franklin Monroe Local Schools will work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the school environment.

•Assessing symptoms

•Increased sanitation

•Physical distancing

•Face coverings

•Risk assessment and mitigation*

Level 1 or 2 Plan

Daily Self Monitoring

Families, students, and staff are responsible for monitoring temperatures on a daily basis before boarding the bus or arriving at school.

Student Illnesses

Any student with a fever over 100 degrees should stay home.

Any student that has the following symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school and should see their primary care provider to be assessed for COVID-19

Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.

Or two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, muscle soreness, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea).

Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, muscle soreness, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea).

Returning to School after Illness

If a student is diagnosed as having COVID-19, they must meet the following criteria to return to school:

  • Three days with no fever (without using fever reducing medication)
  • Other symptoms improved
  • Ten days since symptoms first appeared

Students that only have a fever and no other symptoms and have not had any contact with an individual that has COVID-19 may return to school after they are fever free for 24 hours without using any fever reducing medications.

Communications when student/staff has been diagnosed with COVID-19

FM schools will will cooperate with Darke County Health Department in contact tracing.

A 14-day quarantine will be required of any student who has been determined to be in close contact with a case of COVID-19.

Face Coverings/Face Shields

Face Coverings are required for staff members and volunteers when they are within 6 feet of students.

Visitors must wear a mask when entering the building.

Students in grades 3 through 12 are encouraged, but not required to wear masks.

FM schools highly recommend students wear face coverings in situations where social distancing is more difficult.

Daily Cleaning, Hygiene and Sanitation

FM schools will establish cleaning an sanitizing routines.

Hand sanitizer will be available at the building entrances, as well as in each classroom, common space and high traffic areas.

Students will be encouraged and given the opportunity to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.

Interior doors will be propped open when possible to eliminate frequent contact.

Buses will be sanitized between routes.

Additional deep cleaning will occur on a scheduled basis.

Food Service

Follow physical distancing to the extent possible.

No self-service.

Individual condiments.

Face coverings will be required by cafeteria staff.

Parents are encouraged to keep money in their students accounts.

Classroom Occupancy

Classroom occupancy will be determined by each individual circumstance.

Face coverings are recommended for all students.

School employees will be required to use face coverings when within 6 feet of students.

Seating charts will be maintained.

Remote Learning

FM schools will develop a remote learning plan with guidelines from the Ohio Department of Education.

Online Learning Option

FM schools will have an online learning option available.

The programming for the option will be online only.

Completion of the assignments will be the responsibility of the student/parents.

Students will remain enrolled at FM and will be subject to the school policies.

Students participating in this option will be required to complete the entire semester before having the option to return to classes at FM.

Parents wishing to opt in to this option must do so by notifying the superintendent’s office.


Visitors are generally discouraged from being in school district facilities during the school day.

All visitors must call ahead to assist with planning.

Safety protocols will be implemented for all visitors, such as taking temperatures and screening questions during the school day.

Volunteers will need to be approved through the building principals.


FM schools will attempt to limit students to two per seat (three if from the same household or group stop).

They will attempt to seat siblings together.

Seating charts may be required to assist with contact tracing.

Face coverings are required for drivers and highly recommended for students.


FM schools will make every effort to maintain consistency with other safety procedures.

This may mean students access to certain playground equipment will be limited.

Students must sanitize their hands after recess.

Open House and Other Events

This year’s open house has been cancelled, with elementary students being contacted by their teacher prior to the start of the school year.

Regularly scheduled events, such as Muffins with Mom, Doughnuts with Dad and Grandparents Day have been postponed.

School parties may still occur with no visitors.


They will continue to follow guidance from the OHSAA and Ohio Department of Health on procedures and protocols.

There are also additional plans for Level 3 (Red) and Level 4 (Purple), which can be found in the entire plan on the Franklin Monroe Local Schools website.

By Rob Kiser

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