We continue to experience an increase in cases of COVID-19 in our local community, and we are doing our best to plan for the potential impact that this rise will have on our school environment. As we consider both the safety and the academic experience of our students, we have determined to be proactive and make a strategic and intentional move to distance learning for the week following Thanksgiving break (November 30th – December 4th) with students returning to school on Monday, December 7th. This measure is specifically designed to reduce our students’ risk of exposure to COVID-19 after Thanksgiving gatherings. It also significantly increases the likelihood of continuity of in-person school to close the first semester.
Why we made this decision:
- Community spread in our state and in our county continues to increase on an almost daily basis.
- Both the state and county health departments are expecting a broad increase of spread after Thanksgiving break.
- Each positive case in our secondary student body has quarantined a large number of otherwise healthy students through the contact tracing of classrooms and lunch tables.
- Distance learning reduces our students’ risk of being quarantined leading into the final days of this semester. Sweeping quarantines during this window of time would cause significant academic disruptions for students.
- Losing the preparation for semester finals would be consequential to students’ ability to perform at their best on final exams.
- Losing semester finals would place students and teachers in a situation where the performance on and security and integrity of the semester final could be compromised.
The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our number one priority. Every case brought into the school increases the possibility of a larger-scale spread in our BCS community. Ultimately an uninterrupted (or far less interrupted) early-December, coming on the heels of a strategic week of distance learning after Thanksgiving, gives us our best chance to finish the semester with students safe, in school, and prepared for the conclusion of the semester and the delivery of semester finals.
- During this week of distance learning, classes will remain on the school schedule, with each class meeting at its scheduled time daily. Student attendance and participation in each class will be expected. We will follow up and share a detailed academic plan with students and parents before the week begins.
- Athletics will continue uninterrupted under this plan, as the students involved in those activities are voluntarily placing themselves at risk of quarantine, whereas students sitting in class next to each other are not.
- Middle school students will take a Chromebook home with them for the week, so every student in the BCS secondary school will be equipped with the technology needed to be successful.
- The Preschool Academy, Primary, and Intermediate Schools will continue to meet in person. The urgency and importance of the end of the semester at the secondary level, along with the ability for secondary students to self-monitor their own distance learning, are factors in place for our older students that are not present with our younger learners.
- All lunch orders for the week of distance learning will be credited back to the family’s account.
We understand this may cause an inconvenience for your students and family. Please know that we have taken that fully into account in making this decision. In the end, we believe this is in the best interest of our students and families from both a safety and an academic perspective. Please let us know if you have any questions.