by | Jun 20, 2020

FHCS COVID-19 Task Force Committee Members:

  • Josh Snyder, School Principal
  • Kyra Dreiling, Board Member
  • Megan D. Steele, MSN, RN, FHCS School Nurse
  • Sasha Thomason, DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Lizzie Snyder, BSN, Pediatric Nurse
  • Lacey Dunn, Psychology Technician, Inpatient Behavioral Health

Academic Panel Includes:

  • Zeb Carter, Secondary Teacher
  • Mary Hall, Secondary Teacher
  • Merv Bitikofer, Secondary Teacher and Technology Administrator
  • Ronda Helmick, Elementary Teacher
  • Linda Warren, Elementary Teacher



Re-opening infographic

Click on the infographic to open a full-size PDF in a new window.

Our overarching goals for writing a Comprehensive Plan for Back-to-School are (1) to provide a physically safe environment for FHCS students and employees, and (2) to prevent COVID-19 outbreak and additional closures in the future.

We want to express the words Connected & Respected, our rallying cry for the 2020-2021 school year at FHCS. The parent survey conducted weeks ago indicated that the greatest challenge for students during the time of remote learning was that students were socially isolated. We are connected because relationships are so important; community is vital for our students to flourish. There was a major trend in the parent survey data to reopen the school as normal as possible for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. However, there are varying ways on how that might be executed. We are a school community that respects each other’s differences, and our unity in Christ is what ultimately binds us together and gives us identity.

Our plan for the 2020-2021 school year is to reopen in such a way that promotes good health for students and employees in a holistic manner; we are taking into account each student’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare. We have hired a school nurse who will be leading the management of student health and educating our community on best health practices.

We are connected & respected!

Joshua Snyder, Principal

Below is an outline of guidelines that we plan to implement:

    1. Educating the Community
      1. Students will be instructed at the beginning of the school year about how the buildings will operate differently, empowering them to help keep the school healthy.
      2. Families will be educated on signs and symptoms of communicable sickness. School health guidelines will be clearly communicated to families. Parents are encouraged to prepare an emergency plan for a sick child(ren).
      3. School nurse will continuously educate employees regarding our current situation, contagious disease signs and symptoms, procedures for removing a student or employee that is suspected to have a contagious disease, thermometer education, and basic first aid.
      4. Visual resources will be posted around campus.
      5. Students will be educated about mental health, and the school will provide resources.
    2. Screening Student Health
      1. It is the parents’ responsibility to keep sick students home to prevent further spread of illness.
      2. It is encouraged that parents take their child’s temperature at home every evening. This should be done prior to administering fever reducing medication (example: Tylenol, Motrin).
    3. School Nurse
      1. Will monitor and record absences to obtain signs, symptoms, and diagnosis of students who are absent from school.
    4. Wearing Masks
      1. Masks are optional for employees and students when showing no symptoms. Any student or employee with signs and symptoms of a contagious disease will need to wear a mask and be temporarily placed in our nurse’s office until leaving school. Staff will disinfect the nursing room after the student or employee leaves.
    5. Family Travel
      1. We will be following KDHE guidelines on family travel. Families that travel in vulnerable areas will need to be quarantined depending on KDHE guidelines.
    6. Keeping Students or Employees Home When Sick
      1. An employee or student must stay home with a temperature of 99.7 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and may not return until fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication (example: Tylenol, Motrin).
      2. Employees or students displaying the following signs and symptoms must remain home and may not return until symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
        1. Vomiting, diarrhea, cough, new rash that is undiagnosed and/or untreated, excessive nasal drainage without medical documentation.
      3. All students must be picked up within an hour of parental notification when sick.
      4. When students return after being sick, they must check in with the school office for admittance approval.
    7. COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing
      1. If an employee or student tests positive, he or she will need to remain off campus for a minimum of 14 days until given clearance by a physician or county health department to return.
        1. In the case of a positive COVID-19 illness in an employee or student, the FHCS campus may be closed temporarily for sanitizing.
        2. In a case in which a family member of a student or employee tests positive, potentially exposed employees or students living within the home will need to remain off campus for 14 days, or until given clearance by a physician or county health department to return.
      2. Employees and students that are presumed to have COVID-19, but have not been tested, may return to work if they have had no fever for at least 3 days, their symptoms are improving, and at least 10 days has passed since their symptoms first appeared.
      3. Employees and students may return to school if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and have been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication to control illness signs and symptoms.
    8. Student or Employee exposed to anyone who tests positive for coronavirus
      1. In a case in which a family member of a student or employee tests positive, those potentially exposed students or employees living within the same home will be required to remain off campus for 14 days, or until given clearance by the health department.
    9. Facilities
      1. Classrooms will be equipped with an increased number of hand sanitizer dispensers.
      2. Hands-free sanitizer dispensers will be installed at each main building entrance/exit and the entrance to the cafeteria.
      3. Water fountains will be disabled. The new bottle filling stations will remain in use.
      4. Students will avoid sharing books and supplies (pens, pencils, paper, etc.).
      5. High touch surfaces will be cleaned multiple times per day.
    10. Elementary Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures
      1. Morning Drop Off: Elementary students will go straight to their grade level in the gym as normal, but each grade will be spaced further apart.
      2. Afternoon pick up will be conducted as normal.
    11. Lunchroom
      1. All students will be provided time prior to lunch to wash hands.
      2. Full time pre-kindergarten students will eat lunch in their classroom.
      3. Reminders will be regularly communicated throughout the school year to encourage families to routinely wash lunch boxes.
      4. Communal fridges will no longer be used for student lunches. Student lunch boxes will need a cold pack.
      5. In the lunchroom, tables will be sanitized after each use.
      6. Sneeze guards will be hung to protect the food line.
      7. Secondary students will be encouraged to spread out and/or eat outside, weather permitting.
    12. Bathrooms
      1. Bathroom doors on elementary wing will be propped open to increase ventilation and reduce contact with door handles.
    13. School Bus
      1. Bus will be sanitized after each use.
      2. Passengers will be spaced when possible.
    14. Playground, Weight Room, Physical Education, and Athletics/Extracurricular
      1. Sanitize children’s hands upon each return from the playground.
      2. Sanitizing station for all weight equipment. Students will be required to clean equipment after each use.
      3. Sanitizing all balls and athletic equipment after each use.
      4. Extracurricular activities will continue as planned.  No sharing of practice jerseys, uniforms, water bottles, towels, etc.
      5. PM Academy will continue with increased hygiene measures observed.
    15. Library and Computer Lab
      1. Library books will be returned and placed in a box for 72 hours before entering recirculation.
      2. Chairs and tables will be cleaned after every use.
      3. Computers and iPads will be cleaned after each use.
    16. Community Events
      1. We will be making every effort to provide a virtual option for anyone that is not comfortable attending school events.
    17. Instructional Delivery
      1. The faculty is currently exploring options for utilizing video conferencing or video uploading as a means to provide instructional delivery for students who are home due to quarantine.
    18. Medical Supplies
      1. The school will have on hand and maintain personal protective equipment on-hand.
      2. The school will install a new first aid station with thermometers in a common area for easy access for staff, coaches, and volunteers.
    19. Cleaning the Classroom
      1. Teachers will receive education on the use of Clorox wipes.
      2. Teachers will utilize students to assist in wiping down equipment used in the classroom while encouraging continued practice of healthy hygiene habits.
    20. Communications
      1. If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, FHCS will communicate to the health authority. In addition, FHCS will send out a school email and text regarding the positive case and any temporary closures.
      2. FHCS commits to maintain privacy and confidentiality for employee and student health information.


If the situation warrants, FHCS may consider implementing further actions to help minimize students’ exposure (i.e., increased social distancing). The school’s goal is to maintain open status and as normal of routine as possible.  The re-opening task force committee will continue to evaluate plans for increasing continued education opportunities throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

We will continue to follow the COVID-19 situation closely and will give further updates over the summer. New KDHE guidelines are expected to be published July 10, 2020.