Dear BFCCPS Community,
When we first met to discuss an extended closure of our building, I was concerned about how our sense of community would carry through when we were not able to be together on a daily basis. I have been truly inspired over the last few weeks to see how seamlessly our faculty and staff pivoted from teaching and supporting students face to face in person, to providing that same educational support, caring and sense of community using a multitude of tools such as morning meetings, zoom meetings, Google Hangouts, telephone calls, emails and loom videos, all with the goal of maintaining their connection with your students and families.
Simultaneously, the BCCPS Parent Community has astounded me with their ability to support remote learning opportunities at home and provide comfort and service to others in our community by posting photos of your kids engaging with the learning opportunities, a surprise virtual distance birthday sing-along, creating chalk art at the Franklin Town Common, setting up Zoom virtual playdates, providing generous support of families in need through donations to Ben’s Basket and much more.
Your dedication to the students, family and supporting each other, and your ability to do this no matter what the obstacle may be is awe-inspiring, and another example of what a very special place BFCCPS is. Today I am reaching out with more information about guidance from the DESE in light of school closures until early May, as well as information about how our remote learning plan 2.0.
The DESE provided guidance to all public and charter schools with respect to remote learning for students across the Commonwealth. The goal is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful and productive learning opportunities through an appropriately structured educational program.
The guiding principles from the Commissioner of Education are as follows:
- The safety and well-being of students, families, and staff has been and must continue to be our top priority as an educational community.
- Nothing can replace the in-person schooling experience, and we should not expect that remote learning can replicate the traditional school day.
- Remote learning is not synonymous with online learning. Remote learning can take place in a multitude of ways.
All Massachusetts public schools (both traditional and charter) have been asked to consider a model which will:
- Offer a combination of educator-directed learning and student self-directed learning
- Provide meaningful and productive learning opportunities for approximately half the length of a regular school day.
- Focus on reinforcing skills already taught this school year, applying and deepening these skills.
- Incorporate physical activities and enrichment opportunities daily.
- Provide feedback (not grades) as student participation is encouraged yet not compulsory.
The BFCCPS entire faculty and staff will meet virtually on Tuesday, March 31st in the afternoon to review our approach to this framework. We will be providing enhanced learning opportunities for our students starting the week of April 6th with the following objectives:
- Allow for students to continue learning in meaningful ways
- Maintain the social bonds between teachers, staff, students and parents
- Provide for the social/emotional needs of our community
- Allow us to support all students, to the best of our abilities
- Take into consideration the needs of our teachers and families who are working really hard to balance multiple needs in working from home, and trying to homeschool their children.
Over the next few days teachers will be collaborating in grade level teams with respect to lesson plans for the next few weeks. The BFCCPS administration will be in touch on Wednesday, April 1st with families to communicate the specific components of the Remote Learning Plan 2.0 and its delivery.
We thank you for your continued partnership with us at BCCPS.