Bedford Central School District
BCSD E-Brief, March 2020, Edition #9
Inspiring and Challenging Our Students
Cultivating curiosity and passion for learning.
Providing challenging educational opportunities.
All students achieving their full potential.
Dear BCSD Community,
I hope you and your families are taking care of yourselves during this unsettling time. I want to take a moment to provide some updates on where we are and what we know as we enter into the second week of our closure in response to COVID-19. Information keeps coming and our continued development of plans and contingencies are subject to change while flexibility, patience and forgiveness have become our opening “asks” as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters together.
First, I want to express appreciation to our district leaders, faculty and staff. We have been asked to develop an entirely new methodology for teaching, learning and operating our systems in real time. When I review the work coming out of each of our buildings, and as I receive notes from grateful families throughout the district, I have tremendous pride in the professional commitment of our staff, who have stepped up to create, innovate, develop and connect with our students and families, while experiencing and navigating stresses for their own families and friends at the same time.
Secondly, I want to thank our parents and guardians, and our students, for being on this journey with us. We receive your notes of appreciation and your questions and suggestions for enhanced planning going forward. We are a diverse community with a range of levels of access and resources. The concern for all of our students and families is an affirmation of the strength of the BCSD community when we come together as a system protecting and serving all.
A few updates:
Calendar: We do not yet know how long we will be out of school. We continue to be concerned about maintaining social distance. As of today, the Executive Order from the Governor is that schools will remain closed through March 31. BCSD announced, prior to the Governor’s Executive Order, that we will be closed through April 3. We are awaiting additional information from the State and County regarding the length of closure, and we continue to plan that this closing could be longer than first assumed. As we get additional information about the length of closure, we will also have more information to share regarding Spring Break. Should dates change, we will keep the community informed as information becomes available.
- Technology: We distributed Chromebooks to additional students, grades 3-8, last week. Today, we are distributing several hundred additional devices to students in grades K-2 who receive Tiered Support, as well as to students who receive Special Education services. Technology Help Desk: Our technology department is available to assist you if you need any technical assistance. Parents and students can receive support with hardware by clicking on the Technology Help Form.
- Food Services: We continue to offer meals to BCSD students who qualify as well as for those who might now need breakfast and lunch provided by the District. 'Grab and Go' meals are available at BHES and MKES for any BCSD student who needs it. Distribution is from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Mondays and Wednesdays, students are provided with meals for two days.
Child Care: Per the Executive Order of the Governor, we will be opening a child care facility at BHES. This will be available to parents who are First Responders and Medical Providers. Those families in need have responded to a recent survey we sent out. We are working with a community partner to get the program started shortly and will be in touch with those families we are able to accommodate.
Distance Learning: It is hard to believe that this is only the first full five-day week of closure. So much has had to happen so fast to create a system of educating our students with little lead time. All teachers have systems in place for assigning and assessing work, and providing contact and feedback to their students and families. We are providing professional development for teachers and we will continue to identify and introduce more enhanced methods of instructional delivery in the coming days and weeks. All of our principals have been sending regular updates to our families regarding delivery of educational programs, including structures for scheduling and expectations for regular communications between students and their teachers.
- Special Education and Related Services: Special education teachers are working in conjunction with classroom teachers to provide specialized instruction to meet the individual needs of our students. Each of our providers will continue to implement each child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to the greatest extent possible during this time. They continue to maintain their websites and classroom resources to support on-going specialized instruction. They are providing indirect, direct, and individualized support. Related service providers (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and counseling) have provided activities and learning opportunities through their websites and classroom resources, and through their partnerships with teachers. Our related service providers are working to support each student’s individual goals. They are providing indirect, direct, and individualized support. During the school closure, the Special Education Department will continue to hold annual review meetings. We are working in collaboration with families to schedule or reschedule meetings. Meetings are being conducted via teleconference. Families will be contacted with specific dial-in information. Students whose process requires initial evaluation or re-evaluation via face-to-face assessment or classroom observation, will be delayed until school reopens.
Parent and Teacher Conferences: Elementary Parent and Teacher conferences were scheduled when we first closed our schools two weeks ago. Since closing, these are in the process of being rescheduled through telephone meetings. Many have already occurred. While the content of the conversation might have changed due to the current crisis, the ability to connect parents and teachers is even more important at this time, even if just to check-in and problem solve collaboratively.
State and National Assessments: New York State has announced that all 3-8 state assessments have been suspended for the 2019-2020 school year. We do not yet have information about Regents, though we expect updates from the State Education Department soon. The College Board has been providing updates on Advanced Placement (AP) tests for this year (still on schedule, but in a new, shortened, on-line format) and SAT testing. The high school guidance department will be communicating with the high school community regarding the latest information from the College Board.
Board of Education Meetings and Subcommittee Meetings: The Board of Education continues to meet. These meetings are being held virtually and are being streamed live. Information will be posted on the Website, including how to view the meeting, and how to submit public comments.
While so much of our attention is about how to maintain a level of normalcy at what is perhaps the most abnormal set of circumstances, please know that we are also concerned about the social and emotional impact this crisis is now having on our families, the community, and our staff. We identified Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as a significant goal of our district this year and next. However, here we are in one of the most challenging situations of our time. Social distancing, while medically prudent, can result in feelings of isolation and loneliness. I hope in the days ahead we can, together, create opportunities for virtual group gatherings, and engage in activities which will provide a sense of community and some respite from the stresses of this crisis.
Be well, stay healthy and continue to engage with us.
Dr. Joel Adelberg,
Acting Superintendent of Schools
Upcoming Board of Education Meeting Information
March 25: 2020-2021 Budget Deliberations- Streamed Live
April 1: 2020-2021 Budget Deliberations- Streamed Live
April 15: 2020-21 Anticipated Budget Adoption
Kindergarten Screening Information
We are eager to conduct kindergarten screenings and to welcome our incoming kindergartners. Your building principal will communicate information on the screening process.
All Fields and Playgrounds Continue to be CLOSED
THE USE OF ALL FIELDS AND PLAYGROUNDS ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF INDIVIDUALS WALKING ON THE TRACK.
We need the community, as a whole, to help us educate our children and spread the word regarding the importance of social distancing while respecting the policies put in place by the State of New York and the District for the health and safety of everyone.
The health and safety of our community is and will always be our number one concern.
EL USO DE TODOS LOS CAMPOS Y ÁREAS DE JUEGO ESTÁ ESTRICTAMENTE PROHIBIDO HASTA AVISO ADICIONALCON LA EXCEPCIÓN DE INDIVIDUOS QUE CAMINAN EN LA PISTA.
Necesitamos que la comunidad, en su conjunto, nos ayude a educar a nuestros hijos y a difundir la importancia de la distancia social, respetando las políticas establecidas por el Estado de Nueva York y el Distrito para la salud y la seguridad de todos.
La salud y la seguridad de nuestra comunidad es y siempre será nuestra principal preocupación.
May 19 Annual Budget Vote & School Board Member Election
Please note that the dates for filing requirements and for the Annual Meeting have not changed. The deadline for submitting nominating petitions continues to be April 20. Any new information will be posted on the District's website