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Hybrid Transition

Ferndale Family,

The Ferndale Schools Board of Education has approved a plan which will allow for students to return to in-person instruction (utilizing a hybrid model) on the dates indicated below. This learning plan will allow for families return to in-person learning part-time utilizing a hybrid format or continue to remain all virtual. Ferndale Schools is dedicated to educational equity, and we believe this plan allows each family to make the choice that is best for their student.

The decision of the Board of Education is based on the current scientific data available. Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic this situation remains fluid and the District will remain responsive to emerging information. Should conditions change, the Board may reconsider this decision.

Transition Dates

FECC, Lower & Upper Elementary
— March 1st

Ferndale Middle School
— March 8th

Ferndale High School, University High School, Tri-County Education Center
— March 15th



There are no requirements for masks for children under 5, but masks are strongly encouraged at FECC?

Most students are wearing masks throughout the day at the FECC. Masks are REQUIRED only in hallways, gyms, restrooms, and other common areas.


Prepackaged, individual meals will be provided.

To minimize exposure, teachers are utilizing picnic blankets around the classroom and other creative solutions to space out students while eating.


Elementary schedule is available on the Hybrid or Virtual page, and will be added to the Returning to Learning Schedule page in the coming days.

Elementary & Secondary

In-Person Orientation

Kindergarten & First Fives

Kindergarten and First Fives students will have appointments with the teachers on February 26th to come into the classroom, meet the teacher in person and take pictures with their parents. We will make sure that our youngest learners have had a chance to see the classroom and interact with their teacher prior to the first in-person learning day.

All Other Grades

Multimedia tours will be delivered to students and parents from building administrators.

Daily Pre-Check Protocols

All students will be required to pre-check before coming to school using the ClearToGo App. Students who are unable will be able to receive a temperature check from the school nurse.

Additional Safety

Face Coverings

As a reminder, please be sure your child's mask follows the Ferndale Schools mask guidelines.

  • Face masks can be either reusable or disposable.
  • They should fit tightly over your entire nose and mouth.
  • Masks should NOT have valves.
  • Students and staff are welcome to wear face shields brought from home, but they are not required.  A face mask i still required, even when wearing a face shield.
  • Neck gaiters and bandanas are not sufficient face coverings. They may be worn in addition to a face mask.
  • All face coverings must have school-appropriate graphics.

Pre-Check Protocols

All students will be required to pre-check before coming to school using the ClearToGo App. More information will be forthcoming about the ClearToGo App when protocols are finalized. Students who are unable will be able to receive a temperature check from the school nurse. 

Class Sizes

Based on the community response survey, our plan has estimated 50% return to in-person in our school buildings. This will allow for classrooms of approximately 15 students, with desks spaced 3 ft apart and particulate barriers. Combined with mask wearing, we believe this will provide adequate protection for students and teachers.

Desktop Barriers

The district has ordered UltraBoard Micro Barriers for elementary and secondary students. These corrugated plastic tri-fold panels are foldable and lightweight, allowing secondary students to transport them between classes.

Elementary Breakfast

Breakfast will be sent home the day before for students to eat at home, before coming to school.


Lunch will look quite different.

  • Assigned seating

  • Prepackaged lunches at multiple pick-up locations

  • Additional space available

Schedules can be found on the Transition section at the bottom of the Schedule page.

View Schedules »

Elementary Doors Open

Doors Open 10 minutes before classes start.

  • 8:28 at Lower
  • 8:30 at Upper

Individual Schedules Will Be Sent Home

Detailed letters, including individual schedules, will come from elementary teachers the week of February 22nd.


CASA will be offering in-person classes as much as possible. Virtual students can still join CASA in-person classes.

Labs & Afterschool


There will not be latchkey services after school.

Learning Labs will be available in the afternoons.


Learning Labs will only be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Labs will be available to those who utilized them during the first part of the year. We will do our best to accommodate additional requests, but they are prioritized based on need.

No Lockers

Students will not be using lockers. All personal items will need to be kept in backpacks. Teachers will have procedures for where to place backpacks and store masks depending on classroom layout specifics.


All students will be expected to bring their school-issued electronic devices to class each day.

School Supplies

You will receive communication from your child’s teacher and building principal.

Personal Items

All personal items must be kept in a backpack. No lockers will be available. We suggest limiting personal items to only the essentials.

Water Bottles

Drinking fountains have been turned off. Water Bottle filling stations are still operational, and students are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle. Water bottles must be taken home to be washed each day.

No Snacks

Children cannot bring snacks at this time. To provide the safest environment, students will be required to keep masks on and refrain from eating while in the classroom.


Assigned recess times will be used to keep numbers limited outside. Movement breaks will also be taken near student’s desks.

Elementary Bathroom Breaks

Lower Elementary plans are still being developed to maximize physical distancing in the handwashing areas.

Upper Elementary bathrooms are attached to classrooms, and will be shared with cohorts at spaced intervals.

Secondary Bathrooms 

Bathrooms will be safely and respectfully monitored from outside to reduce congregating.

Secondary Hallways

One way markings have been placed in hallways to provide physical distancing.

Students will have extra time between classes to reduce congestion in hallways. Lockers will not be used.

Roomie to Zoomie

Transitioning from in-person to all virtual instruction can be accommodated reasonable quickly. If you make this transition, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to return to in-person quickly or at all, depending on the circumstances.

Zoomie to Roomie

Transitioning after classrooms, seating charts, and space requirements have been established will be a challenge. We will try our best to accommodate you, but there is no guarantee you will be able to transition to in-person instruction if you select the Zoomie option at this time for the remainder of the year.

Changing Overall Situation

We will continue to monitor the situation and receive feedback from families, including requests to adjust learning models and potentially return to all in-person instruction this year. As the situation evolves, we will notify the community about any future changes that may arise. It is our belief at this time that the Board approved model is the best option for our students for the next several months.

Busing Availability

Yes, busing will be available.  For students who select in-person learning, the transportation department will reach out with information and details. 

Busing Eligibility

Busing will be available to residents students in grades K-8 provided they reside outside of  walking distance.

When are pickup times?

Pick up times at all Ferndale bus stops for Upper and Lower Elementary will be approximately between 7:45 and 8:20 am.  Please be ready to receive your  student(s) at the bus stop after school at the school dismissal time (1/2 hour early on Wednesdays.)


After we receive counts of students attending in person, we will adjust routes and update families.

Will there be a limit as to how many students will be allowed to be a Roomie?

Not at this time. The current model is based on estimates from the collected survey data. If in-person selection numbers exceed these estimates, we will propose an alternate plan to the board for approval. Parents will be given a new selection window at this time.

Will assignments still be submitted on Canvas-Google Classroom or will the Roomie students be doing some or all of their work on paper?

This will be a teacher-by-teacher decision

Is there a minimum number of students required to maintain the virtual program, or will it remain an option regardless of the number of students participating?

We are committed through this year.


How do you determine which students/teacher need to quarantine if a student/teacher gets Covid

  1. Utilizing seating charts and assigned seats to maintain contact tracing.

  2. Students immediately surrounding the confirmed COVID carrier on all sides will be quarantined.

  3. Classroom and school-wide notification will be sent out

Would teachers be required to take sick time if they get covid


About Teachers

Will all teachers be vaccinated by the time in-person learning begins? If not, is there a plan to get all the teachers vaccinated?

Some teachers will be fully vaccinated by the time in-person begins. Our Teachers union estimated that approximately 70% would be fully vaccinated by mid-March.

We are unable to collect data from our teachers on their vaccination status.  This is a private health matter, and due to HIPAA privacy laws, we are not able to track this formally.

Not too long ago, several FPS teachers spoke out at a board meeting and said they do not feel safe returning to in-person learning. What input have you received from staff on the approved plan? Do you anticipate that all of the teachers will return?

Teachers and union representatives have participated in much of the development process for this plan. Before our Community Town Hall on February 4th, we also hosted town halls for the elementary and secondary teachers to gather their input and solutions.

Are there any concerns about having enough substitute teachers available and/or filling vacancies within the district? If so, what is the contingency plan?

We do not anticipate a dramatically increased need for substitute teachers. We will address the need the same as we have in the past.