Return to Learn Fall 2020
August 11, 2020
Dear BCS families,
The day has finally arrived! I hope your children are as excited about tomorrow as we are. If the last five months have taught us anything, it has taught us that adjustments will need to be made. As much as I would like to say we have thought of everything, it's simply impossible. What I can tell you is that we have worked extremely hard to create a feasible plan to balance educational expectations with safety guidelines. As new challenges occur, our administrative leaders will find the best possible solution, just as they have done repeatedly since March 13.
I am proud of the work our staff has put in to provide a safe learning environment. Many of the teachers worked through the summer setting up our new learning management system, Canvas, so that the transition for your students would be seamless. Our facilities management team began working in the spring to make the necessary changes to comply with federal and state guidelines. You can see some of the safety measures that have been incorporated into the schools HERE.
Below you will find a document explaining the steps we have established for our schools when a student, staff member, or family member has received a positive COVID-19 test. Our protocols have been approved by the Department of Public Health, with who we work closely. The most important step I want to stress is that if your student does not feel well, he/she needs to stay home. If you have any questions about whether a student should be home or at school, please reach out to the school’s nurse
As you send your students off to school tomorrow, I know you will be anxious and filled with questions. You are not alone. A lot of the first days will be reacclimating and assessing needs. Our counselors and social worker are prepared to assist staff and students with any concerns during this transition. If you take nothing else away from this email, please know that your student is loved and is our top priority.
It has been a team effort to bring us to this day, and you have played an integral part. The support and faith you continue to provide to me graciously are appreciated.
July 20, 2020
First, I want to thank everyone for the generous support you consistently provide my staff and me. It is fair to say that there is not a right or wrong way right now. There isn’t a handbook for any of the decisions that we are facing each day. For every answer, there seem to be two more questions to follow. We face these decisions head-on each day with a resolution to do what we feel is in the best interest of our students and staff.
Today at our monthly Board of Education meeting, I presented our Return to Learn plan. You can view that presentation HERE. I know that other school districts have chosen to begin their year with a complete digital learning format, but I am resolute in my belief that our schools are the safest place for our students to be. The size of our district lends itself to options that aren’t feasible in larger districts.
I know that every family has a different situation to consider the current climate. We have offered the digital learning option, in addition to our in-person instruction, hoping to serve all of our families in a format that suits them best. With our new learning management system, Canvas, ready to be implemented, we feel prepared for both learning options. Our Board voted today to delay our first day of school until August 12, 2020, to allow an extra week of preplanning for our teachers. This time will be spent learning how to optimize Canvas, both in-person and for digital learning.
With the new date for the first day of school being a week later, our schools will be shifting some of their dates as well. They will send that information as soon as those details are available. Our administrators are currently finalizing the digital learning class rosters, so we will not send out homeroom teacher assignments for K-5 until July 29. You will find the updated school calendar attached to this email.
We have had many discussions with many staff and community members over the last week. One of the most significant concerns shared with me is the use of face coverings. Face coverings are mandatory when social distancing is not possible. This directive allows our teachers to give breaks from face coverings when the students are separated and working independently. Please make sure your student brings a face covering that complies with the standards set in our Return to Learn guidance.
As each day draws closer to reopening our doors, I am cautiously optimistic that we will soon hear the sounds of education once again echoing through our halls. While the target keeps moving, we are doing everything possible to ensure a safe and healthy atmosphere in our buildings, along with an excellent level of education. Thank you for your grace and understanding as we work to bring to you the details you deserve.