At the August 17, 2020 School Board meeting, Superintendent Hohler announced that all BSD students will begin the year with remote learning through the first marking period (November 6). This decision was made after weeks of meetings, data analysis, input from our three work groups, and of course survey results from families and staff. Here are some of the key factors that led to this recommendation:
- There was a 50/50 split between BSD parents requesting remote learning and those requesting in-person learning (either full-time or hybrid).
- The guidance from DOE contains restrictions that significantly impact classroom capacity for students with 6’ distancing, bus transportation with a maximum of 23 students per bus, and the number of students assigned to each teacher due to classroom capacity issues.
Simply put, BSD would need more physical classrooms and more teachers in order to make any kind of in-person instruction work at this time. As much as we tried, we could not accommodate the number of requests for in-person learning within the mandated restrictions.
Remote learning will look markedly different than it did in the spring. There will be a mix of live, interactive video instruction as well as recorded lessons. Instruction will be robust, new, and on grade-level to ensure that students continue to grow and meet standards. To ensure equity and access, all BSD students will receive a loaner Chromebook in order to complete work at home.
During the first marking period, we will slowly begin to bring small cohorts into the buildings to receive specialized support. Among these will be students whose IEP requirements are difficult to meet remotely, as well as typical peers in need of academic, social, or emotional support. These groups will most likely only be in the buildings a few times a week, or as needed. At the middle and high school levels, we also will phase in other unique groups as needs exist (e.g. CTE students in need of specialized equipment, physics classes for a hands-on lab, a specific club that has the need for an in-person meeting, etc.) All such groups would need prior approval by their building principal who will monitor and track the number of students in the building or on campus and ensure that adequate supervision is provided and that no mixing of groups is permitted. Of course, any and all groups of students coming on site are subject to the safety protocols of the District.
Additional details about remote learning, Chromebook distribution, sample schedules, parent tips, and more will be forthcoming in direct emails to families, social media posts, and web updates between now and the first student day on September 16. We also have scheduled four town hall meetings via Zoom to communicate directly with families, one each for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school families. Those dates are posted on the BSD website. In addition, we know you will have questions, so in order to keep the lines of communication open we have created a dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please check out the sections above on remote learning, health and safety protocols, and the process used to determine the path forward. As revisions are made to this website, they will be noted in the Revisions Log section, and the BSD community will be notified.
Please Note: The content detailed in this plan is based on the information known to the District as of the date of its publication and is intended to supersede any conflicting District rules, protocols, or guidelines during the time of its application. Changes will most likely need to be made periodically given the fluid nature of COVID-19 spread, as well as evolving medical research, improved data sets, changes made to local, state, and national orders and regulations, and other factors. To continue to meet the needs of students and our community, this plan will be reviewed and adjusted, as necessary. A running list of all changes will be cited on the Revisions page. Stakeholders will be notified by email and/or phone message of substantive revisions, additions, and deletions.