• Safe Return and Continuity of Service 2021-22

    Content on this page may be updated as new information becomes available. Last updated January 11, 2021

     

    To view FSPS COVID Updates, please visit the FSPS COVID Updates Page on the FSPS Website

    REPORTING A POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE TO THE DISTRICT 

    If a student or parent/guardian needs to report a positive Covid case or situation to the district, we ask that students and parents/guardians first inform the school nurse at their school during school hours. The school nurse will then follow the protocols for reporting the positive case or situation to the district point of contact. If a student or parent/guardian needs to report a positive Covid case or situation to the district after school hours, please call this number: 479-651-4157.

     


    Although there are parts of the overall safety plan that require guidance from the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), FSPS continues:

    1. High level disinfection of classrooms, buildings and touch points daily,
    2. Following current quarantine procedures, and
    3. Maintaining as much distance between students as is possible in district classrooms and enclosed spaces.

    Cleaning and Disinfecting Classrooms

    One of the most important things that FSPS will continue to do is practice high level cleaning protocols designed with CDC guidance to disinfect buildings, classrooms and touch points daily.

    Masks

    Jan. 11, 2022 Update

    Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education voted 4 to 2 to reinstate a mask requirement for Fort Smith Public Schools students and staff for 30 days or until the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) falls below 50 cases per 10,000 community cases within the District. The mask requirement includes staff, students and visitors in all school buildings, buses and property for the time specified. The Board’s resolution gives the superintendent the authority to end the mask requirement when the infection rate falls below 50 per 10,000 or into the range designated by the color orange.

    10/13/21 UPDATE: FSPS Mask Requirement Removed

    As a part of the Oct. 11 Called Board Meeting, the Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education voted 4 to 3 to remove the current mask requirement for students, staff and visitors effective immediately. Read more.

    FSPS Board Approves 60-Day Mask Requirement 

    The Fort Smith Public Schools (FSPS) Board of Education approved a 60-day mask requirement for all who are present in school buildings. The resolution is effective immediately. It does not require students, staff and visitors to wear face coverings outside, during meals or other special circumstances. The Board will review the requirements of the resolution and current COVID conditions at its upcoming meetings. 

    Please view a PDF of the Resolution on the FSPS Website.

    Note: Preschool students will not be required to wear masks during the 2021-22 school year.

    DESE 2021-2022 COVID-19 Guidance for Schools Updated on August 10, 2021 (originally published July 27, 2021)

    DESE 2021-22 COVID-19 GUIDANCE for SCHOOLS - updated October 19, 2021 (embedded at the bottom of the page)

    Learning Options

    Learning options for the 2021-22 school year include in-person or virtual learning. There will be no additional virtual enrollment opportunities until the second semester of the 2021-22 school year.

    Vaccination Opportunities 

    FSPS encourages staff members and students eligible and interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine to visit the Arkansas Department of Health Website for vaccination locations available in their area. FSPS will continue to share local vaccination opportunities with FSPS families and staff as they are made available.

    Quarantine Guidelines

    FSPS will follow state guidance for quarantine procedures during the 2021-22 school year. This guidance was published on January 6, 2022.

    If you test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

    • Applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status
    • Stay home for 5 days
    • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
    • Continue to wear your mask around others for 5 additional days.
    • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

    If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

    • If you have been boosted OR completed the primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna within the last 6 months OR completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months, wear a mask around others for 10 days and test on Day 5, if possible. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay at home. 

    • If you completed the primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR completed the completed the primary series of the J&J vaccine over two months ago and are not boosted OR you are not vaccinated, you should stay home for 5 days. After that, continue to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days, and test on Day 5, if possible. If you are unable to wear a mask, continue to quarantine for 10 days. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay at home.  

    Buses

    Mask wearing is required on buses. Riders should maintain as much physical distance as possible while on the bus. 

    Visitors in Buildings

    FSPS will allow visitors to the school buildings. Visitors are highly encouraged to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the school buildings. Masks are required for all visitors to FSPS school buildings.

    Distancing in Classrooms

    FSPS will continue to maintain as much distance between students as is possible in district classrooms and enclosed spaces.

    Outside Food and Drink

    Lunch may be brought from home by students. However, no lunch deliveries by outside vendors or parents are allowed. This also includes deliveries of flowers, balloons and other gifts.

    Water Access

    Students may bring their own refillable water bottles to use at the water filling stations at their school building. Water fountains will not be available for use. 

    Field Trips

    This topic is being discussed further.

    Handwashing

    Fort Smith Public Schools will encourage students and staff to frequently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of germs. 

    Self-Screening for COVID-19 

    FSPS encourages students (with family support depending on age and ability) and staff to self-screen for any COVID-19 symptoms before arriving at their school campus or building. 

    Anyone with a fever of 100 or higher should not come to school or a FSPS facility for 48 hours. They should be fever-free for 48 hours before returning. FSPS Student Health Guidelines as listed in the Student Handbook (pp. 9 and 10) continue to apply. “Parents should not send a student to school who has a fever of 100 degrees or greater.”

    Students and staff may be subject to periodic temperature checks for verification, especially if they are feeling ill or suspected of having a fever during the school day. Each campus has a touch-free forehead thermometer to check/verify temperatures throughout the day. Anyone with a 100 or higher temperature will need to leave school. Staff are required to notify their immediate supervisors if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are presenting COVID-19 symptoms.

    Response Protocol

    In the event of a confirmed case or cases of COVID-19 in our district, school leadership will contact its District Point of Contact (POC) who will report cases as quickly as possible to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). When possible, the school nurse or trained school personnel will be the first point of contact for student health concerns 

    Renting FSPS Facilities by Outside Parties

    This topic is being discussed further.

    Helpful Links

    District Contact Information

    Beginning Monday, August 9, the District will resume normal business hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Here is the FSPS School Directory. The Service Center is located at 3205 Jenny Lind Road in Fort Smith. If you have a question, please email 'questions@fortsmithschools.org' and a staff member knowledgeable about your question will respond as soon as possible.

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