Friend Public Schools announced on July 27 that, for the time being, it plans to welcome students back to school starting Aug. 18. The announcement came in a letter written by superintendent David Kraus that outlined calendars, as well as letters from principal Elizabeth Stutzman and school counselor Amy Hottovy.
“Friend Public School will utilize the COVID risk dial through our local public health departments and communicate to parents what section we are in,” Kraus' letter said. “This dial will help us determine what plan and precautions we will need to follow and adapt to changing conditions in our area. Although not all situations can be foreseen, this plan does provide guidance which will help us determine our decisions and what we communicate to our parents.”
Students are strongly encouraged to wear masks or face coverings but are not required. Kraus emphasized hand-washing, social distancing and continual cleaning. Additional masks and hand sanitizing stations have been purchased, as well as touch-less digital thermometers to continually monitor staff and students.
Parents are encouraged to keep their child home if they show symptoms of the coronavirus.
In her letter sent to students, Stutzman expressed her appreciation and excitement for students returning. She also shared the theme of the school year – Color Your Life With Happiness – which, she described as “focus on the positives and the little things we take for granted daily, which should be easy coming off of an interesting ending to the last school year.”
Hottovy's letter reminded parents that their students need their immunizations and physicals completed and turned in to the office before the start of classes, per state law. Handbook and safety forms handed out on the first day of classes have to be returned that following Friday.
“We look forward to seeing you and your child here in a few weeks,” Kraus' letter closed. “If you ever have any questions or concerns, know that you can contact us so we can work together to make this a great school year.”
Walk to School Night and Seventh-Grade Orientation have both been canceled. Instead, Aug. 17 is a teacher work day and all students are scheduled to return to school the following day.