COVID Response — Fall 2021

Ferndale Family,

I hope everyone has been enjoying a well deserved break during these summer months. As we approach the start of the 2021-2022 school year I wanted to take a moment and update you on the safety protocols and procedures that will be in place this Fall. Please note that due to the ever changing nature of this pandemic we will continue to monitor any new developments and make changes to our protocols as needed. Thank you again for your continued vigilance and flexibility.

Attendance Selection


In-Person Instruction

We will be returning to a more normal school day including face to face instruction, lunch, specials/elective classes such as art, music, and gym.  We will also be following a much more typical school schedule that we are all familiar with. Details regarding specific schedules and events will be provided by the principals near the start of the school year on August 30th.

Full Details

Program Descriptions Document


Remote Instruction

Ferndale students have the opportunity to select a virtual instruction model if they elect to. Please note that the virtual options offered this school year will be very different from last years. To select face to face or virtual instruction please log into MiStar and make your selection by August 6th.

If you do not make a selection in MiStar by August 6th your student will be placed in Face to Face instruction.

Full Details

Program Descriptions Document

Masks Requirements

The CDC has changed its stance on masks, encouraging vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors, as well as everyone in K-12 schools. New guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that all students and teachers wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

In following these guidelines, Ferndale Schools will require all students and staff to wear a mask while they are inside of our buildings and busses.  Masks are not required while outdoors.  Since the start of the pandemic Ferndale Schools has not had a single case of COVID 19 spread within our schools where both parties were wearing a mask.  We strongly believe that the wearing of masks is an important step to ensuring that we can facilitate face to face instruction for our students.

CDC Guide to Proper Masking External Link

Health Guidelines

CDC and Oakland County Health Department Guidelines

Ferndale Schools will continue to monitor and follow the guidance of our federal, state, and local health authorities when possible.

School Guidance Update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Are you ready for the school year?


Oakland County Health Department 2021-2022 Safety Guidelines

Additional Health and Safety Information

School Starts August 30th

Please remember the 2021-2022 school year starts on August 30th.  I cannot express how much we are looking forward to welcoming our students back into the classroom.

Thank you for your continued support of Ferndale Schools!

Daily Health Screening

We will continue many of the sanitation based practices that were adopted last year to include regular cleaning and sanitization of our school facilities, encouraging student hand washing, self-monitoring child and staff illnesses, and staying home when ill. School staff will be able to take temperatures of students.  However, it will not be a requirement for entry.

At this time we do not anticipate requiring a daily health screening to enter school.  We continue to encourage families to inform school personnel of absences and COVID-19 positive cases, or exposure to a positive case within your family. We will then follow quarantine and close contact tracing protocols as required by the Oakland County Health Division.


Additional Safety Measures


  • 6 feet sticker signage
  • hallway pathway signage
  • hand sanitizer stations
  • water fountain caps

Personal Protective Equipment

  • The district has purchased PPE including face shields and paper masks for students and staff to use as needed.

Social Distancing

  • The district will make every effort to have students and staff socially distanced when possible.


  • When possible, windows will be opened.
  • Ventilation will be set at the highest intake rate for maximum fresh air flow. 

Breakfast & Lunch Plans

Students will be assigned a seat and have a minimum of 3 feet between each other when possible.  


Students will eat in their classrooms, in their assigned seat and small group.  Family style meal service is still suspended.  Students and staff will wash their hands before and after, staff will wear gloves.  Surfaces will be cleaned with licensing’s 3-step process before and after meals.  



In the cafeteria with forward facing seats at assigned grade level tables.  Students will also use hand sanitizer before entering the cafeteria.


Cafeteria tables facing each other by class family, masks on once finished eating, table dividers as requested.  Students will use hand sanitizer before entering the cafeteria.

Lunch monitors & Family Liaison will provide supervision.  Lunch and recess will be conducted using a 3-4 classroom cohort.



Cafeteria, utilizing as much distance between students as possible.  We will use our camera system to conduct contact tracing if needed.


Cafeteria, 3 feet distance across the cafeteria; group by class, assigned seating, masks on once finished eating.

Lunch monitors & our parent liaison will provide supervision.

Middle School


Cafeteria, distanced as much as possible.


Cafeteria, 3 feet distance where possible, masks on once finished eating, students will have assigned seats.


For 9th and 10th graders, limited seating will be available at lunch tables, masks will be on after eating. 1th & 12th Graders will continue to have an open campus so they may leave during the lunch period. 


For 9th and 10th graders, limited seating will be available at lunch tables, masks will be on after eating. 1th & 12th Graders will continue to have an open campus so they may leave during the lunch period. 


Individual seating in cafeteria, masks on before and after eating, no open campus


Students will move classrooms for "essentials" like art, music, and gym.  Like in their home room, students will have assigned seating so that we are able to conduct contact tracing if needed.

Busing / Transportation

Masks are mandatory for everyone riding the bus. Students will have assigned seating on the bus as well. We will provide as much distance as possible while students are utilizing district transportation. However, due to the volume of students needing to be bused in most instances we will be unable to provide distancing. We will continue to keep windows open as we did last year to ensure maximum ventilation. Students will also use hand sanitizer as  they enter the bus.  


Volunteers & Visitors

Visits from community members will be kept to a minimum. Volunteers will be allowed to enter the building when they are needed for educational purposes.  Athletics will continue to follow MHSAA guidelines for spectators.

Visitors will have to have a reason for entering the building that cannot be accommodated virtually. Visitors will sign in and agree to follow district mandated safety protocols.  


Classroom Distancing

Each classroom will be different depending on the size of the room and the number of students. We will provide the maximum amount of space that is possible.  We will also continue to enhance ventilation by keeping windows open when possible.  Our HVAC system will continue to be set to take in the maximum amount of air from the outside to provide the best ventilation possible.

Students will be assigned a seat in class as well as a locker to use. We will do our best to provide each student with the supplies that they need on a personal basis but there will be instances where supplies will be shared.


Students will have assigned seats at their small group tables, where they will also eat meals. They will have social-distanced, assigned rest areas and set up in a way to avoid laying face-to-face (masks not required during rest time).  Classes will not be combined during gross motor times and will utilize the gym/playground one at a time. Every effort will be made for students to have their own cubbies. Ford Fans will be used in classrooms.  

Lower Elementary

  • Individual desks or spots
  • Dividers as requested
  • Assigned seat/rug spots
  • Ford Fans in the classrooms
  • Center tables will have limited participants
  • Each student will have their own locker.

Upper Elementary

  • 3 feet distancing in classrooms (where possible)
  • Seating charts
  • Rug circles where possible
  • Dividers where requested  


  • 3 feet distance in classrooms where possible
  • Individual desks


  • Individual desks where possible
  • Seating charts
  • Ford fans


  • Individual desks where possible
  • Seating charts
  • Ford fans


  • Individual desks where possible
  • Seating charts
  • Ford fans

Symptoms and Confirmed Cases

Sick Students at School

We will continue to follow the sick child quarantine protocol from last school year.  This protocol calls for the sick student to be quarantined in the building until a guardian can pick them up. To read more, click this link.

Students who miss school due to an illness must be symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication prior to returning to the classroom. A negative Covid 19 test is not required for a sick student to return.

Ferndale Schools will continue to follow the guidance of the Oakland County Health Department when it is feasible to do it.

What is the quarantine procedure?

Students and staff who test positive for Covid 19 will need to isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or positive test.  They will be able to return to school once they have completed their 10 day isolation and have been symptom free for 24 hours.

Students who are deemed  to be a close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid 19 will need to quarantine for 10 days from the exposure.  Students are deemed a close contact if they are within 3 feet of the positive case for more than 15 minutes.

Quarantine Exclusions

  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months if they remain symptom-free. Those who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first COVID-19 positive test may need to be tested again if no other cause is identified for their symptoms.
  • Vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria: More than 14 days since receiving the last dose in the series and have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Teachers will ensure their Canvas/Seesaw classrooms are up-to-date every day and will post all classroom materials daily so that sick students may continue to have access to all materials while they are quarantined.

Students will also take home consumable workbooks and will be able to check out a device if needed. Also please note that our Secretaries will not count quarantine periods against state truancy law. 

What happens if there is a classroom outbreak?

A classroom “outbreak” is an official declaration of the OCHD.  If an “outbreak” were to happen and all students from a single elementary class were told to quarantine for 10 to 14 days, we would shift that single classroom to a virtual model where the teacher would deliver daily instruction via Google Meet, following the same daily schedule as the school.

An outbreak in a secondary classroom would be handled differently as students are not cohorted, thus, only a single hour of their day would require that they are virtual simultaneously.  In these instances students would follow the same protocol as if they were individually quarantined for being a close contact.  Students would be given any needed materials including technology to ensure their success.