February 11, 2021
Dear BFCCPS Families,
I wanted to thank the members of our community that participated in one of our three return to in person instruction teams. We recognize that this was a significant amount of work on top of everything else you are doing to survive this global pandemic. We were incredibly pleased with the level of participation in our family survey where 75% of you provided input into the process.
During tonight’s Board Meeting, each of the teams presented a slideshow with their findings which is linked here if you are interested in the complete details.
While many of you were able to attend the Board Meeting this evening, I wanted to be sure that all of our community had access to the full details of my recommendation to the Board of Trustees. You will find my full memo to the Board of Trustees linked here which recommends that we resume hybrid, in person learning for students on Monday, March 1, 2021.
Please stay tuned for additional updates with respect to reminders with respect to return to school protocols and procedures.
We hope that you enjoy a restful and relaxing February Vacation. Our offices will be closed starting on Friday, February 12th at 4pm and reopening on Monday, February 22nd at 8am.
In accordance with the BFCCPS Travel Policy, please remember that any students, faculty or staff who are traveling outside of the U.S or to a state deemed high risk must quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to in-person education. If your child has travelled out of state, please use this form to notify the BFCCPC Central office and BFCCPS Health Office. It is incredibly important that everyone remains vigilant with respect to safety protocols and takes the responsibility of protecting all members of our community seriously. Ongoing communication whenever there has been a suspected COVID exposure or symptoms will be key to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community; we thank you for your continued cooperation.
BFCCPS is using a Phased In approach for the Fall of 2020 for a measured return to in person learning. Learn more about BFCCPS’s Phased In Reopening Plan in the slide deck below:
You can also review the complete Fall Reopening plan submitted to DESE.
Phased In Return Status:
Please note that each return starts on a Thursday, so for example, the Kindergarten and Grade One students with a Th/F cohort would begin on 10/1. Students with a M/T cohort would begin the following Monday on October 5th.
*Phased times are estimated based on current health data. It is important to note that the public health situation is constantly evolving. Parents should be prepared that any time, BFCCPS may be required to quarantine a cohort of students, or even revert to a full Remote Learning method.
More information will be provided closer to the start of any given hybrid phase.
Grade 6-8 Phased In Return
We have heard from many parents that having children with two very different schedules in K-4 versus 6-8 presents significant challenges for families with students enrolled at BFCCPS in both grade levels. In fact, two different schedules also proves to be challenging for our team with respect to logistics for transportation. Therefore, in order to provide a consistent schedule for our community, we will be adapting our approach to Grade 6-8 scheduling to a Monday/Tuesday versus Thursday/Friday schedule.
It is our goal to maintain student placements with their current homeroom teacher and classmates as we transition some students back to in-person education. In order to do so, our approach will be to live-stream our teachers from the classroom. In this scenario, our teachers will teach live to both the in person cohort and the students who are learning at home. The at home learners will consist of both Remote Academy students as well as the hybrid students on their at home days.
At this time, we will be asking all Grade 6-8 parents to make a determination as to their planned instructional model from now through the end of the second trimester. As you might imagine, we need accurate and firm counts on planned student enrollment to provide a consistent experience for our students, and to ensure that health and safety guidelines can be met at all times for those teaching and learning in person.
In order to ensure safe limits to our in person class sizes and create equally sized cohorts, we will prioritize the placement of siblings in the same cohort. We will also provide an opportunity for families to disclose a significant need for a specific cohort related to the nature of the parents work and childcare arrangements. Please note that we can not honor requests for specific classmates, collaborative podding, or transportation at this time.
In order to provide a consistent start and stop time for our students this year, when our students and staff “phase-in” they will move to a 9am start time and a 3pm dismissal time. This eliminates the need for parents to travel to two different bus stops, or perform two rounds of drop off in the morning. A single drop off time for our K-8 in person students expedites our bus transportation service and reduces the possible number of cohorts for each student.
This is a one year change in our school schedule for middle school and instituted strictly for the purposes of COVID-19 safety protocols.
Please click here for a short video of some things that are new at BFCCPS on in-person days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here for access to a spreadsheet with Frequently Asked Questions from our Town Halls and Parent Surveys. The spreadsheet is organized by topic, please scroll to the bottom to view various tabs within the document.
Homeroom Assignments, Sample Schedules and Co-Curricular Education
We have created a brief slideshow designed to share more details about student classroom assignments, provide you with links to sample student schedules and to highlight changes to our staffing model for the 2020-2021 school year.
We have redesigned how our co-curricular education will take place this year in order to limit interactions between cohorts, to account for changes in our staffing model and to provide all students the opportunity to participate in synchronous specials.
Town Hall Meetings
We understand that parents will have many questions and as always, we will communicate regularly throughout this process. To that end, we will offer three virtual Town Hall meetings for parents to learn more about the return to school. The content of these meetings will be to discuss primarily the start of the school year in a remote format. Additional information and meetings will be held by Grade level prior to their return to in person education.
We are in the process of reviewing questions which were submitted in previous surveys. We will be responding to these questions in a Frequently Asked Questions document and will also respond at the upcoming Town Hall Meetings. You can also pose a question on this google form.
Meetings will be held in Grade Level spans on the following dates:
- Click for Video from: Virtual Town Hall for Kindergarten and Grade 1 – September 2nd from 7-8:30 PM
- Click for Video from: Virtual Town Hall for Grades 2-5 – September 1st from 7-8:30 PM
- Click for Video from: Virtual Town Hall for Grades 6-8 – September 3rd from 7-8:30 PM
Please find some high level overviews of these new products as we approach the start of the school year. Today’s update is a long one, but contains a lot of information to our learning platforms that we hope will be helpful. Please keep this communication handy for future reference.
As mentioned in previous communications, the DESE has shortened the school year by 10 days, allowing districts to take 10 days of training at the beginning of the school year for planning, professional development, review of safety guidelines, and procedures. The Board voted to approve this years school calendar to follow the DESE’s change in length of year. Our first day of remote school will be Tuesday, 9/15.
The new school calendar is posted here for your review 2020-2021 Revised Calendar. Please note that by amending the start of the year, it rearranges our term end dates, necessitating a change in our parent/teacher conferences. Parent/Teacher conferences will be held virtually on December 22 and December 23. December 22 will be a 1/2 day for all students. Conferences will begin at 12:30 and would run until 7:00. There will be no school on December 23 conferences will run from 8:00am- 1:00PM. (Given the volume of Grade 6-8 conferences we will need to hold additional conference dates to accommodate all parents. Details to follow as soon as possible) Please note that given this schedule, November 23 would revert to a full day of school and November 24 would become a 1/2 day.
Previously planned professional development days have been moved to Wednesdays to maintain the hybrid schedule rotation. Please update your family calendars to take note of holidays, vacations and early releases throughout the year.
Before and Afterschool Programming
After much consideration, BFCCPS will not be offering morning or after school care in the 2020-2021 school year. Our first priority is the safe education of students and successful implementation of remote and in person education as we move through our planned phases. In examining different scenarios for morning and after care we have concluded that the program would create a great deal of cohort mixing, and lead to a wider section of the school being impacted by any potential COVID-19 cases. I realize this may create a challenge for some of our families, and do hope that in subsequent academic years, we will be able to reinstate these valuable programs.