FFC8 COVID-19 Updates, Resources and Response
This page is dedicated to providing the FFC8 community with educational, health, and community information and resources regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on FFC8. This section of the website will be updated frequently as new information becomes available.
Current School Status (announced Nov. 16, effective Nov. 19)
Currently, children in grades PK - 5 are attending traditional schools in-person, full-time. Children in grades 6 - 12 are attending traditional schools in-person on a rotating basis with half the students in buildings every other day (with the exception of Welte Education Center, where students are attending in-person, five days a week due to the size of their enrollment).
Effective Thursday, November 19, children in grades 6-12 will attend school remotely through Friday, December 18. If El Paso County's COVID dial color improves, or the district is allowed to conduct targeted quarantine procedures, then we will reevaluate the decision to bring secondary students back for in-person learning. A decision for in-person learning for the second semester will be made later this year and announced well before January 5, 2021. Given cohorting practices in elementary schools, the quarantine restrictions do not impact those schools as negatively, and those schools will remain open for in-person learning.
For information on specific school schedules, please see each school website or refer to communications directly from schools.
The district also offers a fully online education option in the Fountain-Fort Carson Virtual Academy. For more information about that, please visit the FFCVA website.
Should students, a cohort or classroom, or a whole school need to move to Remote Learning temporarily, in response to COVID-19, resources can be found on the Remote Learning website.
It is important to note that the community plays a key role in helping to keep schools open. The following specific behaviors will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH).
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact and put at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who are not immediate members of your household.
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings and when around people who don't live in your household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- FFC8 recommends that if a student's family member is being tested for COVID-19, then any students in that household should isolate/stay home until test results for that household member have been come back. Parents/guardians should contact the school nurse if someone in the household is being tested for COVID-19.
County health data plays an important role in decision-making for schools. Effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 13, 2020, El Paso County is currently in Safer At Home: Orange - High Risk.
The EPCPH COVID-19 dashboard can be found at https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/covid19data-dashboard
All cases affiliated with an FFC8 community member (staff person or student) are reported to EPCPH immediately and included in the county dashboard.
A person is in isolation after displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive and is kept home for 10 days or until they are no longer infectious.
- When in isolation you must stay home and away from others. Only have contact with those who are providing you care.
- Do not go out in public, except to seek medical treatment.
- Isolation lasts for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and until an individual is 24 hours without fever. The isolation period is 10 days because most people positive with COVID are no longer infectious after 10 days.
- FFC8 recommends that if a student's family member is being tested for COVID-19, then any students in that household should isolate/stay home until test results for that household member have come back. Parents/guardians should contact the school nurse if someone in the household is being tested for COVID-19.
A person who was in close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or who is displaying COVID-19 like symptoms are sent home to quarantine for 14 days.
- When in quarantine you must stay home, avoid all public places and keep away from others who are not part of your immediate family.
- Do not go out in public, except to seek medical treatment.
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with the individual who has, or is suspected to have, the virus. The quarantine period is 14 days for a close contact because symptoms may appear two to 14 days after their last known exposure to the virus.
- If an individual in quarantine lives in the same household as a symptomatic person in isolation, the close contact must remain home for the 10 days of isolation and then quarantine for 14 more days to ensure they do not develop symptoms.
- If you become symptomatic during a quarantine, you should notify the school immediately. In addition, you should get tested to avoid further spread of the disease. If you test positive, you will need to be placed in isolation, and then follow the guidelines listed above.
A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
Someone is considered exposed to COVID-19 if that person was fewer than 6 feet away for more than 10 minutes to an individual who has tested positive or has been exposed to a known positive case and is exhibiting COVID-like symptoms, during their infectious period (two days prior to their test or first symptoms, until no longer showing symptoms or ten days after their positive test).
The district works closely with El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) regarding response to and the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. EPCPH and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have issued guidance for schools and child care centers on addressing COVID-19 cases and outbreaks, which can be found online at the link on the right of this page.
Guidance from EPCPH includes notification of impacted persons. Some contact tracing and notification is conducted by EPCPH and some of it will be done by the school. Those individuals determined to be at risk of exposure to COVID-19, due to symptoms or a positive case, will be notified directly.
Schools will contact families directly by telephone if students are required to quarantine as recommended by EPCPH. Schoolwide messages will be sent to staff and parents if there is a situation that impacts school operations, if there is an outbreak in the school, or if the school needs to close.
All positive case reporting is done in conjunction with EPCPH and reflected in their community database, which can be found at: https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/covid19data-dashboard In all cases, the names of individuals within the district who are affected by COVID-19 will be kept confidential. The district has a legal obligation to uphold HIPAA privacy rules and will follow the policies of local and state health departments.