2021-2022 Return to School Plan

Return to School Plan

Franklin and Jefferson Counties Special Education #801

     Return to School Plan  2021-2022       .           


FJSPED’s Return to School Plan was developed in collaboration with administrative staff and school representatives under the guidance of Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Bi-County Health Department. This plan was created to provide clear direction in the safe reestablishment of our school and our services while allowing flexibility for continuous learning both remotely and in-person. Pending further guidance/directions for the State of Illinois, ISBE, or the CDC the contents of the Return to School Plan are subject to change.

FJSPED Educational Program’s 2021-2022 first day of student attendance will be August 18, 2021. In-person instruction will be provided five days a week. FJSPED is committed to providing students with the best educational services possible while maintaining strict safety standards for our students and staff.

Health and Safety Protocols

The health and safety of students, families, and school personnel are top of mind in all District decisions made pertaining to the reopening of the school, and health and safety matters are prioritized in each of the plan’s components. 

Training- All staff will be trained at the start of the school year on prevention, social distancing, screening, and contact tracing. We will teach students at all grade levels how to protect themselves against the COVID-19 virus, how to maintain good hygiene (handwashing, covering coughs//sneezes, etc.), and how to prevent themselves from inadvertently infecting others.

Masks- Due to ISBE and IDPH guidelines, masks are required by all students, staff, and visitors while inside the building, on buses, and if social distancing cannot be maintained, while outside of the building. Face masks must be worn at all times inside the school building even when social distancing is maintained. Masks can be removed when outdoors social distancing can be maintained. Medical documentation is required for those who cannot wear a face mask, and an IEP meeting may be needed to determine the impacts of not being able to wear a mask on the student and the school as a whole. 

Personal Hygiene/Sanitation- Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing is key to help prevent the spread of COVID19. Students and staff members must clean their hands as often as possible with soap/water for at least 20 seconds. If soap/water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. Students and staff should use hand sanitizer upon entering the classroom(s) every time. Students and staff should avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and/or nose as much as possible. FJSPED will place age-appropriate visual reminders/signage to remind students and staff members of the need for proper hand hygiene. If assisting a student requires close contact (e.g. hand-over-hand guidance, attending to an injury), hand washing or sanitizing should be performed by staff both before and after close contact with students

Symptoms- If anyone presents symptoms of illness, they will be isolated in a designated area until they can be picked up. 

SECTION 1: Symptoms

If your child has any of the following symptoms, that indicates a possible illness that may decrease the student’s ability to learn and also put them at risk for spreading illness to others. Please check your child for these symptoms:

  •  Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth

  • Sore throat

  • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/ asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)

  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain

  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever

SECTION 2: Close Contact/Potential Exposure

  •  Had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person with confirmed COVID-19 

Transportation- Student’s Resident District is responsible for Transportation to and from FJSPED Programs. Please refer to the Resident District Return to School Plan for details. 

Classrooms- Social distancing or small student grouping will be created to help with social distancing. Students and staff must be masked at all times within the building. Enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented. Outdoor classroom areas will be established and used as much as possible, and frequent breaks will occur so masks may be removed. 

Cleaning/Disinfection Procedures- FJSPED rents the current facility from Mt. Vernon Township High School. The MVTHS custodial/maintenance staff will be trained on the return-to-school guidelines, where applicable. District custodians and other personnel who perform cleaning functions will perform both routine cleaning and extra sanitization/disinfection tasks in both low and high-contact areas using EPA-certified cleaners/disinfectants approved for use in school buildings. Cleaners and disinfectants will meet or exceed current federal and state regulations.

Custodians and other personnel who perform cleaning functions will clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces (e.g. door handles, desktops, countertops, light switches, pencil sharpeners, computer keyboards, learning manipulatives, phones, common storage cabinets/backpack areas, sinks, faucets, toilet handles) on a regular basis. Building restrooms, hallways, cafeterias, and common areas will be cleaned throughout the school day. Soft surfaces (e.g. carpets, rugs) will be disinfected regularly. Other items that are difficult or impossible to disinfect (e.g. cloth toys or other cloth materials) should not be used.

Social Distance- Social distance (3’ or more separation) must be observed as much as possible in all areas of the school campus. FJSPED will post age-appropriate visual reminders, signs, floor markers, and/or other signage throughout school buildings and in areas where students congregate or line-up (e.g. arrival/departure, cafeteria lines, hallways, recess lines, libraries). School building schedules may be staggered for arrivals/dismissals, hall passing periods, meal/snack times, bathroom breaks, etc., to ensure student and staff safety. Staff and students should abstain from physical contact, including, but not limited to, handshakes, high fives, hugs, etc. Staff members should maintain social distancing during breaks, lunches, etc., and should minimize eating with their masks off near others.

Water Fountains- Water fountains will not be expressly prohibited. However, students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Water bottles will also be provided.

Students who present medical exemptions- Students who present medical documentation stating they are unable to comply with the return to learn regulations will have an IEP meeting to discuss the concerns and documentation, and to come to an agreement on the student’s education plan. 

Arrival To School:

Car Riders

We ask that no car rider students arrive prior to 7:50. Students who are car riders should be dropped off at the sidewalk on 8th Street (directly behind the building) Staff will be present each morning to monitor drop off.  Upon arrival, all students will have their temperature taken. The student’s masks will be hanging on hooks labeled by classroom and student name. Students will put on their mask after passing through the metal detector and will remove their coats/sweatshirts and hang on their hook. Students will then proceed directly to their classroom where they will begin their school day. Breakfast will be delivered to each classroom between 8:05 - 8:10 (upon delivery).

  Bus Riders

Students who ride a  bus will be dropped off at the sidewalk on 8th street (staff will be present) The student’s masks will be hanging on hooks labeled by classroom and student name. Students will put on their mask after passing through the metal detector and will remove their coats/sweatshirts and hang on their hook. Students will then proceed directly to their classroom where they will begin their school day. Breakfast will be delivered to each classroom between 8:05 - 8:10 (upon delivery).

Student Dismissal 

Car Riders: parents will call the office (618-513-4709) to notify staff that they are in the parking lot behind the school on 8th street. The office staff will notify the teacher that the parent is present. Students will then be dismissed through the same door they entered. They will remove and hang their mask on their individual hook prior to exiting the building. Staff will escort the student to the parking lot and make visual confirmation with the parent/guardian. Students will then be dismissed to their parents/guardians. 

Bus Riders: buses will pick up students at the same place they drop them off - the sidewalk on 8th street. Staff will be positioned at the end of the sidewalk and outside the door students exit through. Additional staff will assist students as they gather their coats/sweatshirts and exit the building through the metal detector.

Preparation for When a Student or Staff Member Becomes Sick- In the event that a student or staff member becomes sick, FJPSED will utilize the most up-to-date guidance available from ISBE/IDPH/CDC/Jefferson County Health Department or Bi-County Health Department at the time of occurrence of the illness. Students (families) and staff members who show any signs or symptoms of illness should stay home. Students (families) and staff members should also report possible cases to the school where the individual attends school or work to initiate contact tracing (completed by Jefferson County Health Department or Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department).

As we transition back to regular school attendance, we all must commit to keeping each other safe. Primarily, if a student or employee is experiencing any symptoms of illness, they must stay home.  If you know your child has a fever in excess of 100.4, please do not administer a fever mitigating medication (Tylenol, Ibuprofen) and send them to school.  Please keep students home if they have a temperature or any other symptoms. A conscious effort by all will help minimize risk and help ensure that we can maintain as normal school attendance as possible.


Illinois State Board of Education & Illinois Department of Public Health,”PART 5 — SUPPORTING THE FULL RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS AUGUST 2021”


Illinois State Board of Education & Illinois Department of Public Health, “Starting the 2020-21 School Year, June 23, 2020, Part 3—Transition Joint Guidance,” https://www.isbe.net/Documents/Part-3-Transition-Planning-Phase-4.pdf 

Illinois State Board of Education, “Part 3 Transition Guidance: Starting the 2020-2021 School Year FAQ, Last Updated: July 24, 2020,” 


Illinois State Board of Education, “Fall 2020 Learning Recommendations, July 23, 2020,” https://www.isbe.net/Documents/Fall-2020-Learning-Rec.pdf 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Website Posting Regarding Schools, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html 

American Academy of Pediatrics, Website Posting Regarding Reopening Schools, “COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-Entry,” https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinicalguidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/

Check out our new website: https://www.fjsped.org/