Welcome to Return To Learn

Students at Lincoln Elementary on the First Day of School



At Fort Wayne Community Schools student and staff safety and well-being is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

Call our COVID-19 Hotline at 467-1907 or message us at Let’s Talk!


Be kind! As COVID-19 continues to spread in communities in the U.S., worry, anxiety and fear can lead to stigma toward certain groups. Stigma and discrimination can create fear and anger that is misdirected at our neighbors instead of at the disease itself.


Return to Learn FAQ (9.4.20)

New Information

The CDC recently updated its COVID-19 self-monitoring symptoms to include: Temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, sore throat, new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, new onset of severe headache (especially with fever), loss of taste or smell.
Based on new guidance from the Indiana State Department of Health, as of Sept. 4, 2020, if a student or staff member has symptoms of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, siblings and/or household members do NOT automatically need to quarantine. They would only need to quarantine if the student or staff member with symptoms tests positive, if they start experiencing symptoms or if there are other extenuating circumstances.
The CDC guidance states these are not as effective at preventing the spread of germs because they allow air to escape more easily out of the mask. Therefore, CDC does not recommend vented face coverings.
There are conflicting studies on the effectiveness of gaiters in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) advises that gaiters made of heavier material are likely effective, but lighter materials may not be as effective. To test your gaiter hold it up to the light and stretch the material. If you can easily see through the fabric, it will be less effective in stopping respiratory droplets from escaping. If you cannot see through it, it should be considered as effective as any cloth mask. Regardless of mask style, multiple layers of fabric are always preferred and considered more effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Parents have the choice to send their children to school in person or to have them learn remotely (sign up here). For elementary students, they will attend in person five days a week. Middle and high school students will attend 2 or 3 days a week (Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, with alternative Wednesdays). On the days when secondary students are not in class learning, they will learn remotely.
Middle and high school students are able to be more independent and learn remotely. By splitting students up, it reduces the number of students in the classroom and on buses each day and allows for better social distancing. Elementary students are not able to stay home by themselves on days they are not in school. Many parents would have to find child care, which may not accommodate remote learning. In addition, with students moving between school and child care, it creates more opportunities for disease spread. We know we can control our classroom environment, so the decision was made to have elementary students in class five days a week.
Yes. Students will remain enrolled in their schools as long as parents choose in-person or remote learning through FWCS.
Yes. FWCS will be 1:1 for the 2020-21 school year. Students in grades K-2 will use iPads; students in grades 3-12 will use laptops. With the exception of Whitney Young Early Childhood Center, pre-K students will not receive electronic devices.
FWCS has a limited number of personal hotspots available. These hotspots will be offered to families that have been approved by the State of Indiana to receive free textbooks. The hotspot will work only with the FWCS device, which has restricted internet access and is monitored by FWCS.
Yes, Comcast offers Comcast Essentials. You can learn more about the program at https://www.internetessentials.com/.
Yes. Students and staff will wear face masks that cover their nose and their mouth when they are on the school bus or in the building. Students will be able to take “mask breaks” and will be able to take them off when participating in PE, recess and some music classes.
Yes, as long as they are cleaned regularly and cover the nose and mouth. FWCS will provide each student with a disposable mask each day for students who do not bring their own.

Group Assignment

Students in Group 1 will attend in-person on Thursday, Aug. 13, with students in Group 2 working remotely. Group 2 will be in-person on Friday, Aug. 14, with Group 1 working remotely. Group 1 will be in attendance in-person on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Group 2 will attend in-person on Wednesday, Aug. 26. The groups will continue alternating for the remainder of the semester. New color-coded calendar
The placement will be random with a goal of having even numbers of students in each group. FWCS will work to keep siblings in the same group for the convenience of families.
No, students will remain in their assigned groups to avoid upsetting the balance of students assigned to each group. The only exceptions will be if student siblings living at the same address were inadvertently assigned to different groups.


Students will be assigned seats and must sit facing forward at all times. Buses will be loaded from the rear of the bus to the front. Upon arrival at the destination, students will exit from the front to the back. We anticipate seating students in each seat as we have in the past.
Students and staff must wear face masks that cover their nose and mouth. If students do not have a mask they board the bus, they will receive a disposable mask. Students will also receive hand sanitizer to clean their hands as they board the bus.
We are not ordering more buses at this time. We are short on bus drivers and are working to hire more. If you’re interested, please apply at https://www.fwcsjobs.org.
All buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily following each morning, midday and afternoon routes.

Special Education

We understand there are many questions related to special education students. Many of the answers will be personal to each individual student. As we make decisions that would affect a broader population, we will post those here. If you have questions about your child, please contact their school.
We will continue to hold case conferences with students and parents to ensure students’ needs are properly addressed in each student’s IEP. If families choose remote learning for their students, a case conference will be scheduled to determine how the student’s needs can be met remotely.
As with other students, special education students can choose either in-person or remote (elementary) or blended learning or remote (middle and high school). FWCS recommends students in severe and profound programs at all grade levels attend in-person, five days a week.
As with all classroom, frequent cleaning will be performed and hand sanitizer will be available. Teachers and assistants in some programs may have additional personal, protective equipment, as needed.
All students are required to wear a mask. However, exceptions may be made for some students based on medical need. These exceptions will be included in a student’s IEP and/or 504 plan. Teachers will wear masks and, in many cases, clear face shields.


Depending on the courses a student takes and the age of the student, there may be some physical books used. This will vary.
Yes, the textbook rental fees pay for more than just traditional textbooks.


We will follow the protocol established by the Allen County Department of Health for contact tracing. Those considered close contacts are individuals who were closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes to someone who tests positive. Those individuals will be notified that they need to quarantine for 14 days. Students in class or on a school bus with a positive individual but who are not close contacts will be notified, but there will be no additional action to be taken beyond self-monitoring, which should be done daily by all students and staff. We will not notify entire buildings of positive cases.
We will have a separate area to hold students who are exhibiting signs of COVID-19 to keep them from students needing ice, bandages or medication. Students and staff members exhibiting signs of COVID-19 are expected to leave the school building as soon as possible.
The current recommendations for anyone having symptoms that could be COVID-19 is to be home until receiving a negative test AND fever and symptom free without the use of medication for 24 hours before returning to school or work.
Please keep your child home any time they are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms. If your child has a chronic health condition that causes symptoms similar to COVID-19, you will need to get a doctor to provide written documentation including an alternative diagnosis and clearance to attend school.
No. If the parent of a student in your child’s class has a positive case, we will not notify other families in that class as there is no direct risk of infection. When there are cases that do have the potential to affect your child, we follow all notification guidance given by the Allen County Health Department.
FWCS has added 8 additional nurses and 7 health aides to better support student health needs, but smaller schools may still need to share a nurse with another school. School staff that provide health services when the nurse is not present will have special training on how to deliver services safely.
No. We expect students (and their parents) and staff to self-monitor and not come to school if exhibiting any symptoms. Please report to the school office the symptoms your child is experiencing in this case.


This will vary based on grade level and parents’ choices for in-person or remote learning. Middle and high school class sizes will generally be one-half their normal size.
FWCS will perform targeted, enhanced cleaning of classrooms, restrooms and other student and public areas to address frequently touched surfaces, such as locker handles, door knobs, plumbing fixtures, desks and chairs. All cleaning products are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. Additional cleaning products will be available within each classroom for students and teachers to use to periodically clean desktops and frequently touched surfaces as needed.
Most classrooms will use their current furniture. In some cases, adjustments may need to be made. Most classrooms will typically be set up to have students in desks facing the same direction with as much space between desks as possible. The actual spacing will depend on the number of students in the classroom.
Schools without air conditioning may open windows and use fans to circulate air, but the fans cannot blow directly onto students because this could increase the risk of spreading germs. Students will be allowed more frequent mask breaks and given opportunities to stay hydrated, as needed. In all buildings, ventilation systems have been thoroughly checked and adjusted to provide multiple fresh air exchanges and corresponding exhaust air exchanges. Air filters have been changed and are scheduled to be checked every 60 days. In buildings without air conditioning, areas have been identified where students and staff can go throughout the day if they need a cooler space.
Students will remain with their home classroom for most of the day and remain with those same peers for PE, art, music, recess and any other activities outside the classroom. The specific arrangements may vary from school to school.
We will try to keep students in small cohorts as much as possible and work to minimize direct interaction between groups of students. However, particularly in high school, students take a wide variety of classes and will need to move from classroom to classroom.

Remote Learning

When students participate in remote learning their virtual environment will mirror classroom learning. Teachers will leverage digital resources to facilitate the learning of Indiana standards and Fort Wayne Community Schools’ curriculum. Many of the programs used by remote learners are the same programs they have used in the classroom. Students will be engaged with educators in live and pre-recorded lessons during the normal school day. Attendance will be taken daily. To be counted as present, a student must log on at the designated time and remain engaged in the lessons throughout the day, whether the learning is directly with the teacher online or independent work completed offline. The remote learning schedule includes teacher-led instruction, individual work time, group collaboration time and designated assignments aligned with classroom instruction. Students are expected to participate during regular school hours as their learning will be supported by remote learning teachers, classroom teachers and assistants.
To count kindergarten through fifth-grade students as present for remote learning, students must log on to PowerSchool Learning or another designated remote-learning platform at least one time per day, and teachers must receive evidence of student engagement for five hours per day. Students in grades six through 12 must log on to the online system designated by their teachers twice per day for official attendance. Teachers may keep track of student attendance for their own records beyond the official attendance counts. Pre-K teachers will be responsible for taking attendance for remote learners.
Yes, attendance will be recorded the same for remote learners as in-person learners. Parents need to call in students when they are sick or will miss all or a portion of the day for it to be excused. Doctor’s notes will still be required.
Students will be expected to attend and participate during normal school hours. Secondary students will be required to log in to each class.
Students learning remotely will be graded the same as those in the classroom.
Remote students will likely have opportunities to work with remote learning teachers, as well as classroom teachers and special area teachers.
During the first days of the new school year, teachers will focus on building relationships with students working remotely and in-person. Establishing relationships is critical in being able to address students’ social and emotional needs. If students are in need of additional resources, school staff will work with the families to provide the needed support.
Prior to Aug. 24 when pre-K students start, teachers will visit with each of their students and their families. Pre-K students participating in remote learning will receive materials and lessons to guide their learning. With the exception of Whitney Young Early Childhood Center, pre-K students will not receive electronic devices. Students at Whitney Young receive devices as part of the STEAM Magnet Program.


Yes. Students will have recess, and when they are physically active, they will be able to take their masks off.
Yes. We will continue to offer these classes at all levels.
We may allow a limited number of field trips.


No, students will eat in their classrooms.
Families must sign up to receive meals for remote learning students. This form must be filled out with each FWCS student requesting meals by Sunday, Aug. 9, to receive meals starting Tuesday, Aug. 18. Those signing up after Aug. 9 will see a delay in when service begins. Parents will be able to pick up the meals at the FWCS high school of their choice from 5-6 p.m. each Tuesday.
Yes, all students will have access to meals five days a week. Students on blended learning schedules will be sent home with extra meals on days they attend school. Fully remote students will be able to pick up meals for a full week at designated times.


Yes, new families will have the same choice as families who are already registered.
Tutorials on how to access the PowerSchool Learning Management are available online at the parent resources page
When we have inclement weather that results in a school closure, all students will learn remotely and the day will not need to be made up.
Teachers will have five days of professional learning prior to the start of the school year to prepare for new styles of teaching.
Teachers with special circumstances should discuss options with their principal. If necessary, they should contact Human Resources.
At this point, middle schools will not have athletic or co-curricular activities until at least Labor Day.

FWCS COVID-19 Hotline (260) 467-1907


In addition to regularly updating this web page, FWCS will utilize its regular communication tools to provide updates to parents. If you are not currently signed up, please utilize the instructions below.

SchoolMessenger – Make sure your child’s school has your cell phone number. Then, text YES to 67587

Peachjar – Go to www.peachjar.com to sign up and select the school(s) you want. Or, contact your child’s school to have your e-mail address added.

ACADEMICS (8.17.20)

FWCS welcomes students back to Return to Learn with the first day of school on Thursday, Aug. 13.

Beginning Monday, July 20, parents will be able to select remote learning as an option for the 2020-21 school year.

We understand that families, students and staff members have questions and concerns and the leadership of the District has been working for months to create a plan to provide the necessary detail to return to learning for students. We will continue to provide more detail as it is available and answer questions you may have on this page.

Return to Learn Announcement

Return to Learn Graphic

Return to Learn Graphic (Spanish)

Return to Learn Graphic (Burmese)

Return to Learn - Vocal Music

Return to Learn - Instrumental Music

Additional Fine Arts Guidance


Return to Play Plan

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Return to Play Plan is based on and co-exists with Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Allen County Department of Health, Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) guidance, in addition to best practices from entities specific to individual sports and fine arts programs. All guidance and this plan are subject to change as new information emerges.

Please refer to your school or coach for specific information on your sport or co-curricular. If you have questions or concerns please call the FWCS COVID-19 Hotline at 467-1907.

Return to Play Video

Waiver Form

Consent to Treat Form

IHSAA Health History Update

IHSAA Pre-Participation Physical Form

Return to Play Plan - Full Version

Safe Practices to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Wearing a Mask

Proper Handwashing