COVID-19 Information

Grading during Digital Learning Update – March 30, 2020

Buford City Schools will implement a new grading system for the remainder of school closure (through April 27) for grades 1-8. The goal of this new grading system is to provide low impact grades for all students while providing additional support for those students who have not yet mastered standards in the four content areas.  Teachers have already provided face-to-face instruction over the majority of the grade level standards. Yearly averages should not be negatively impacted. 

Students who were passing courses as of March 13 for yearly average will receive a weekly participation grade (100) if they submit all of their work for the week.  Participation Grades will be included in final grade calculations but will be low impact grades and will not significantly increase or decrease a student’s averages. As of March 13, all students will have three grades to date, Week 1 Participation, Week 2 Participation, and Week 3 Participation. (Note: 1st and 2nd Grade student Participation grades began with Week 2) Grades taken between March 16-present will remain in the gradebook but will not impact final average as noted by the asterisk.

Students who were failing any of the four content area courses (ELA, math, science, and social studies) as of March 13 for the yearly average, will continue to receive Participation grades and additional support and grades in the area he/she was failing until the student is passing the course. 

3rd Quarter Middle School Connections classes will be converted to Semester 2 classes in Power School and teachers will continue to give a weekly participation grade.

We appreciate your patience as we all work together to navigate the digital learning process and find a healthy balance to continue learning. If you have questions about a particular class, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

COVID-19 Update – March 27, 2020
 
 
Event Cancelations/Postponements
  • With Governor Kemp’s recent executive order, we have had to make some difficult decisions regarding upcoming events.
  • Blood Drive at Buford Arena (March 30-31) – This is considered an essential gathering and will take place using the precautions the Red Cross has set up. This blood drive is by appointment only and we appreciate all who have signed up.
  • K-5 Teacher Parade – Postponed
  • BHS Prom – Postponed (With this taking place at the Arena we have the flexibility that other districts do not have.)
  • BHS Variety Show (April 30 – May 1) – Canceled
  • Run the Rails / Buford Open – Both of these events take place in May, so we are not making a decision regarding them at this time.
  • Graduation – No decision has been made on events occurring in May.
 
Meal Delivery During Closure
Our Nutrition Department will continue with our meal delivery service. Next week they will distribute meals on Monday (2 breakfasts and 2 lunches) and Wednesday (3 breakfasts and 3 lunches). No meals will be delivered during Spring Break (April 6-10). Our meal delivery service will resume on Monday, April 13 using the same Monday/Wednesday delivery schedule.
 
** To help our nutrition staff plan accordingly, if you plan to receive meals please fill out this short survey. This is just for planning purposes. No one will be turned away if they did not complete the survey. **
 
Reminders:
  • No one is turned away based on income.
  • The child(ren) that is 18 years or younger must be present to receive the meals.
Meal Delivery Times
COVID-19 Update – March 24, 2020
 
Aggressive efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 in our community continue as Buford City Schools (BCS) is underway with our second full week of Digital Learning Days. Last week, we rose to the challenge and used our creativity and technology to connect in virtual spaces to continue the teaching and learning in our District. Additionally, BCS staff and volunteers eagerly greeted many of you at our 10 BCS food distribution sites around our District.
 
Instructional Support for Distance Learning
 
Digital Learning is well underway, and BCS students and teachers are adjusting to the new reality of these methods. Within this new reality, you may see your student talking with their teacher and other students through our Google Meet platform, participating in live teacher-led lessons, and reading a host of online books through MyON reading.
 
To give our faculty time to plan accordingly, we have begun a rotation of Teacher Planning Days for our teachers. These days will allow them to have virtual department and faculty meetings, as well as time for planning their Digital Learning curriculum and complete grading. For students, this will allow them a day to catch up on their work or to enjoy reading a book or some (social-distancing) time outside.
 
The schedule for the Teacher Planning Days during Digital Learning Days are as follows: BES – Monday, BA – Tuesday, BSA – Wednesday, BMS – Thursday, BHS – Friday
 
School Closure - When Will This End?
 
I realize this is the most obvious question I need to address. At this point, the honest answer is: I truly don’t know. I acknowledge that other school districts may be projecting a specific return date. In the absence of any clear guidance from state and national officials, I do not feel comfortable guessing when our school doors will open. It has been stated it is highly likely the number of coronavirus cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks. As such, a return to school would be even more unlikely as we are directed, per our community mitigation strategy, to further social distance and self-quarantine. With all that said, I don’t know when we will return to school; but I promise to over-communicate with you as I know more information.
 
Closure Dates, Spring Events, Community Meetings, and Graduation
 
We’ve previously shared that Gov. Kemp closed schools through March 31, 2020. Given recent guidance from health officials and governmental actions from various elected officials, the decision has been made that BCS will continue Digital Learning through April 3, with Spring Break following April 6-10. I want to share this information with you now to allow you as much time as possible to prepare for this length of the closure.
During our closure, all previously planned community meetings and events have been canceled. We are evaluating future events on a case-by-case basis and will make decisions in the near future. To the Class of 2020, while we cannot offer any definitive words on what the rest of this school year and graduation will look like, please know that we are cognizant of the importance these senior year events hold. I’m going to take everything one day at a time.
 
State Suspension of Assessments, Evaluations
 
State School Superintendent Richard Woods on Monday, March 16, announced the suspension of state assessments, including the Georgia Milestones, as well as attendance accountability measures until further notice. Mr. Woods said school leaders need to be focused on the safety of students and staff and on creating flexible ways to keep virtual learning going. That is exactly what we are doing.
 
No Kid Hungry
 
We are proud to have delivered 4,664 meals to BCS students this week. Each day, across 10 stops in our community, we have been delivering a healthy breakfast and lunch. I am eternally grateful for the school nutrition staff, bus drivers, and volunteers who selflessly (and safely) make sure that no kid in Buford goes hungry. For the well-being of our students and staff, please know we are following strict health guidelines in food preparation and delivery; we will continue to do the same going forward as we seek to meet our moral and social responsibility to feed children.
To reduce the health risk to our staff and our families, we are changing our delivery times. On Thursday (March 26, 2020), we will deliver meals for Thursday and Friday, which will include 2 breakfasts and two lunches. Next week, we be delivering meals on Monday (March 30, 2020) and Wednesday (April 1, 2020). On Monday, there will be 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches, and on Wednesday, there will be 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches. This plan will require a little more preparation, so the delivery times have been pushed back by 30 minutes. You can find all the details on the meal delivery flyer. We will not be delivering meals during Spring Break (April 6-10, 2020).
Meals are available to children 18 years old or younger, or 22 years old or younger for those with special needs. Children must be present to receive the meal and be counted for required state and federal recordkeeping. Families are encouraged to pull up with their children in a drive-thru style for service and should remain in their vehicle while receiving their food. Walk-ups are welcome.
 
Weekly Groceries Available
 
The North Gwinnett Cooperative is providing families with shelf-stable groceries for the week. For full details, you can click here.
  • Hours for services will change to: Monday 4pm-8pm / Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 10am-2pm / Saturday Noon-2pm
  • Hours for donations will change to: Monday Noon-8pm / Wed-Sat 10am-4pm. (See a list of current needs here.)
These groceries are in addition to our emergency meal distribution and bus delivery of food, which we began last week.
In closing, I thank each of you for your persistence, patience, and understanding. Now more than ever, I am grateful for how each of you continues to support our BCS children and community. Please continue to over-communicate with school staff or me as you have specific needs – we are all here for your success.
COVID-19 Update – March 18, 2020
 
Digital Learning Days
We have been pleased with how well the start of our Digital Learning Days have gone. As this is unchartered territory, our teachers have done an outstanding job creating quality instruction to connect with their students. Our Curriculum Directors and Digital Learning Coordinator are working with the staff closely to make adjustments and provide support for their efforts. Many of our teachers have commented that the strong support from their parents encourages them; thank you for supporting them!
To ensure that students have “at home” learning opportunities during this time of school closures, Get Georgia Reading and Renaissance are partnering to provide readers free, anytime/anywhere access to digital books and news with myON.
Unlimited, 24/7 access makes it easy for students to continue reading and learning at home. Students can read online using any Internet-enabled device, or read offline with free mobile apps.
• The myON library includes more than 6,400 enhanced digital books, with titles for a wide range of reading levels and in diverse genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels.
• myON News provides five age-appropriate articles, Monday through Friday, on US and world events, arts and entertainment, sports, science, and technology.
Getting started is easy!
1. Go to www.myon.com/login/index.html to login and start reading.
a. School Name: Get Georgia Reading (type the first few letters and select from the drop-down menu)
b. Username: bufordcity
c. Password: read
2. Click the Sign In button and start reading!
 
Weekday Meal Delivery
The first two days of meal delivery have gone great. Our CO and administrative staff have enjoyed seeing the students at the different delivery sites. We know that these times bring different challenges for every family. Whether there its food-instability, empty grocery stores shelves, or a need to see a smiling BCS staffer, please know that everyone is welcome to these meals. All youth 18 years and younger may receive bagged-meals each weekday. You can click HERE for more information.
 
COVID-19 Hotline
The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline: (844) 442-2681
Georgia Department of Public Health: “If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic or local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.”
 
We understand that many will have on-going concerns about how these closures will impact their families; please know that we will not have answers to all of them. Our plans will evolve daily as we begin to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. However, our district will continue to answer as many questions as we can through our emails, website, social media sites, and local media outlets.
We encourage all of our BCS families to continue following the recommended personal hygiene prevention methods. If you begin to feel sick or experience symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. Our hope is that we can return to our regular school schedule in the near future. Until then, stay safe.
COVID-19 Update – March 16, 2020
 
In accordance with newly issued federal guidance, Governor Brian Kemp signed Executive Order 3.16.20.01 closing all public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools in Georgia through March 31, 2020.
 
Buford City Schools will be closed until March 31. Further guidance will come from the school district in the coming days.

COVID-19 Update – March 16, 2020

Meal Delivery

When we received Governor Kemp’s recommendation to close, our most immediate concern was how quickly we could begin feeding our students who would no longer have access to the healthy meals provided through our School Nutrition Program. I am happy to share that thanks to the quick work of our staff, we received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to begin feeding students on Tuesday, March 17.

Please know that many thoughtful discussions led to our Meal Delivery Plan, with the well-being and needs of our students as the main focus. I am proud to share that each weekday until schools are back in session, we will be providing a healthy breakfast and lunch to youth that is 18 years old and younger. These meals are available regardless of Free and Reduced Lunch status.

In the hopes of decreasing the burden on families, we are deploying our school buses as mobile delivery units. Each weekday, our bus drivers will load up their bus with meals and stop at 9 sites across our district. We have a team of dedicated drivers and school nutrition professionals who will work diligently to ensure that our students receive a healthy meal. All food preparation and delivery are being conducted in accordance with the Department of Public Health guidelines.

At this time, our meal delivery to students is being run by our staff but should that change and we need volunteers we will reach out to our BCS family.

If you are interested in our Meal Delivery Program, please use this link to find more information and determine which location is best for you.

Additional Food Assistance

Our friends at the North Gwinnett Cooperative have reached out to our community to share additional assistance they are providing. Each family they assist will receive on average 50 pounds of food in addition to gift cards to local grocery stores (while supplies last). Please contact them directly with any questions.

For those who have generously reached out asking where you can be of assistance, please consider donating those resources to the North Gwinnett Co-Op. We partner with them throughout the year as they serve our families each month. You can find specific needs updated regularly on their Facebook page.

Free Internet

With the vast number of closures, some families who rely on internet access at different locations have been halted. This can make digital learning plans difficult, so we want to share options that are available at this time.

Comcast has announced that they will offer 60 days of free internet, waiving the usual $9.95/mo fee, through their Internet Essentials service to help low-income students and families stay connected to the internet during the impacts of COVID-19. Low-income families who live in a Comcast service area can sign up as new customers to receive 60 days of free Internet. According to Comcast, to qualify, applicants must be eligible for public-assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI. Visit internetessentials.com to enroll or call (855) 846-8376 for English or 855-765-6995 for Spanish. 

Charter Communications also announced free public Wi-Fi for 60 days, with Charter offering free broadband for households with students through college age who don’t already have a subscription.

Second Semester Progress Reports

The second-semester progress reports for grades 1-12 will be emailed today. For security purposes, this file is password protected and will expire in 14 days. To open the progress report, you will need to enter your student’s date of birth using the MM/DD/YYYY format (for example 08/07/2005). There must be two digits for the month, two digits for the day, and four digits for the year, as well as a / separating those numbers. If you would like to print a copy you will need to do so before 3/30/2020. We will not be able to offer printed copies until schools resume. If you have any questions about your student’s grades, please contact the teacher(s) directly.

State Testing Suspended

The Georgia Department of Education announced this morning that State Superintendent Richard Woods has suspended state testing (including Georgia Milestones EOGs and EOCs, the Georgia Alternate Assessment/GAA 2.0, and all other required testings) until further notice.

COVID-19 Update – March 15, 2020

MEAL DELIVERY DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE

In discussions regarding school closures due to COVID-19, one of our immediate concerns is making sure our students stay fed. Our School Nutrition and Transportation Departments have developed a plan to deliver breakfast and lunch to our students at specific stops throughout our district. As we focus on the safety and well-being of our students, providing a healthy meal is a top priority.

If you have a Buford City Schools student in grades PreK-12 (18 years old and younger) in need of a healthy breakfast and lunch during our school closure, please refer to the BCS Meal Delivery Site List below. Please note that you are welcome at any of our distribution sites, regardless of your specific school or home location.

A healthy breakfast and lunch will be delivered at the times listed for each location every day, starting Tuesday, March 17, and continuing until school is back in session. Student must be present to receive meals.

BCS Meal Delivery Site List

Bloom at Buford (Management Office) 9am - 9:30am

Buford Academy 9am - 10am

Buford First United Methodist Church 9am - 10am

Countryside Village (Community & Sales Office) 9am - 10am

Eagle Creek (Parking Lot Closest to South Lee St.) 9:25am - 9:45am

Frenchies (Sudderth Rd & French Blvd) 9:35am - 10am 

Peeblebrook (Gas Plus by Entrance) 9am - 10am

Rose Hill Plantation (Sturgeon Rd & Sturgeon Circle) 9am - 9:20am

Windridge (Management Office) 9:50am - 10am

COVID-19 Update – March 12, 2020

In light of the most recent announcements from Governor Brian Kemp, and consultation with our neighboring school districts and the Georgia Department of Education, Buford City Schools will be closed beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. The district will monitor closely and assess the situation to determine if this closure should be extended past this week. When a date to re-open is determined we will let you know immediately. This decision comes as a result of thoughtful discussions regarding what is best for our students, staff, and families. Schools and offices will be open for our scheduled early release day, tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020, as we prepare for this closure. 

Additionally, all athletic practices and competitions will be canceled beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020, and will resume when school is back in session. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation for our district and community. As we have continued to communicate, this is ever-changing and we may need to extend this closure accordingly. We are committed to providing you with information and updates throughout the closure. Look for additional correspondence from me within the near future regarding how we intend to support our students during this closure.

COVID-19 Update – March 9, 2020

Coronavirus:  Information and Guidelines for Buford City Schools

The District Leadership has been maintaining close contact with public health officials and continue to follow their guidance on the health-related developments.  In an effort to keep our students, employees, and families safe, we remain committed to following the most current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) and/or the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).  The following updates will be in effect immediately.

Enrollment of New Students from Identified High-Risk Areas:

Families attempting to enroll a student from areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC and/or the US Department of State, should contact via telephone and/or email their school for instructions related to registration.  

Re-entry of Students Traveling from Identified High-Risk Areas:

Families should inform their school via telephone and/or email if their student has traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State.  The local school will work with the family to determine the appropriate action regarding the re-entry of the child into school.  

Re-entry of Employees Traveling from Identified High-Risk Areas:

Employees should inform their supervisor via telephone and/or email, prior to returning to work, if they have traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State.  

COVID-19 Update – March 5, 2020

 

Buford City Schools (BCS) is continuing to closely monitor influenza and coronavirus (now named COVID-19) with the professional guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local Gwinnett County Health Department. These are the agencies whose directives we follow about the prevention of disease, injury and disability; promotion of health and well-being; and preparation for and response to emergencies from a health perspective.

You can use these tips to help prevent the spread of flu, the coronavirus, and other illness:

  • Keep children who are sick at home. Don’t send them to school.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow or cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue; throw the tissue away; wash your hands.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The most up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website, and according to the CDC, the risk to the U.S. public is low at this time. However, the coronavirus has impacted travel for several countries. If your family has upcoming international travel plans, we encourage you to visit this link for the most current travel advisories.

In BCS, our standard practices during cold and flu season are to use diligent cleaning processes and to monitor student absences. Recently, we have increased and enhanced our custodial procedures. Each day in our schools, frequently used/shared surfaces and items such as door knobs, desks, and computer keyboards will be cleaned, and each classroom and school bus will be supplied with a spray bottle of cleaner that can be used as needed for cleaning. Additionally, we will use foggers in our schools and buses to disinfect those areas not easily cleaned by hand. Please be assured that all cleaning products are safe and approved for schools and do not leave a residue after use. Our administration continues to track student health data and absenteeism on a regular basis so that we can identify the health patterns of our students and staff. We have encouraged school staff to be diligent in referring students to the school nurse if they show fever or flu-like symptoms.

As the Gwinnett County Health Department and the CDC learn more, their guidelines and recommendations may change and adapt. We will continue to rely on their expertise and guidance and will be prepared to take additional steps, as necessary, to keep our school community safe.
 
Additional Resources: