BCSD News & Information

February 2020

Welcome to February!

There is a lot of important information included in this month's newsletter.

Be sure to scroll all the way through!

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Important Dates

February 3 - Board of Education Meeting

February 4 - Parent Academy

February 5 - State of the Schools

February 12 - Middle School Conferences

February 17 - No School, Presidents' Day

February 18 - Board of Education Meeting

February 19 - Elementary Schools Conferences

February 20 - High School & Middle School Conferences

February 27 - Coffee and Conversation with the Superintendent

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State of the Schools

Berea City School District will be hosting its annual State of the Schools event on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 7 p.m. at Grindstone Elementary School in Berea. All families and community members are welcome to attend this important event.

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Family First Night - March, 16, 2020

Our second Family First Night of the school year is coming soon! On March 16, 2020, families can have a night to spend time together without any school commitments. There will be no school assignments, athletic practices, and no after school activities to encourage BCSD families to spend quality time together. Our staff will also be encouraged to leave at the end of their day so that they, too, can go home and spend time with family. We hope our families will plan to eat dinner together, play a board game, read a book aloud, or take a walk as a family. The goal is for our families to be purposeful with their time and appreciate one another.

Several local businesses will be joining us in this effort by offering “Family First” discounts. The district will be providing families with a flyer to show designated businesses on March 16 to receive discounts and promotions on foods, services, and activities available to you and your family. If your business or organization would like to participate, please complete our online form by February 21.

We all know strong families make our community, schools and, most importantly, our students more successful. We hope you’ll join Berea City Schools in celebrating our Family First Nights!

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Our Children Are Watching...

What are they seeing?

Once upon a time, social media was a means of keeping up with friends. Nowadays, it’s a way to announce who we’re siding with, or an opportunity to throw out unsubstantiated facts or accusations based on little or no facts. Once it was a source of entertainment; now it’s a primary source for news on all topics. National and local elections make social media a hotbed for rampant opinion. No doubt about it — social media has changed how we give and receive information, yet we still don’t understand its long-term effects on us. We do know that our children are watching us (even if you think they are not). So do something about it by making a personal pledge that helps our children be children.

Purposefully set an example

Maybe you’ve giggled at someone else’s embarrassment or cringed when your own regrettable moment was shared. It can be tough for adults to handle goofs fueled by social media shares. But guess who else is watching? Every single time you use social media to share your opinion, a quote or even a picture you’re sending your child a message about the kind of person you expect he or she to be. While well-intended, think about how many people are “oversharing.” Are we producing a generation that feels everything and everyone must be photographed and shared on social media?
Our children are watching (even if you think they are not).

Draw a line between venting and toxicity

As citizens, our community members absolutely have the right to make public comments about what is going on nationally and locally. This includes the right to comment upon our school systems. I would never want to suppress that right or prevent the free exchange of ideas. That would violate our American ideals and run contrary to what we teach our students. We should all remember the important difference between venting frustrations appropriately and responsibly, and turning toxic with baseless commentary that hurts others.
Our children are watching (even if you think they are not).

Focus on facts, or stop typing

Someone wise quipped: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” It’s not just a clever saying -- it’s a proven fact. It has happened time and time again on social media, and it’s no coincidence that something going “viral” shares the term with sickness. A lone person will post an inaccurate statement with nothing to back it up, other people will spread it via their accounts, and all of a sudden what was untrue has now become part of the public conversation. Before accepting anything as gospel, make sure what you’re passing on is true and accurate. Watch out for posts that start with “Not sure this is true, but …” or “Has anyone else heard …” Step away from the keyboard! You wouldn’t want your kids to be lazy about the facts, right? Sharing questionable material not only can damage an individual, but it can also cause irreversible harm to the morale of a community.
Our children are watching (even if you think they are not).

Be nice. Always.

Berea City School District does not tolerate meanness from our students, and we wish it were not so prevalent on social media. That is an arena in which innocent intent often blooms into hurtful blowback. Our schools and communities are filled with hard-working, well-intentioned and dedicated public servants, and respect and courtesy should guide our interactions. Threats and foul language have no place in our community. Having different viewpoints and working through them respectfully is a hallmark of our democracy. If you resort to attacking the messenger and not the message, you have already lost.
Our children are watching (even if you think they are not).

For news: Choose traditional channels over social media

It’s helpful to remember that “social” media is just that: the best place to see your nephew’s Halloween costume, the recipe your friend wants to try, the fish your father caught on vacation, etc. It’s not called “news media” for a reason, and thankfully most Americans seem to get that. "If America was giving social media a Yelp review, a majority would give it zero stars." Traditional communication channels remain the best way to learn about the goings-on in the school district. Social media can be a wonderful communication tool, but it’s not an effective way to share questions or concerns about our students, staff members, or district. Often, it can actually make situations worse. When you have a question, concern or feedback, please use our suggested communication guide (image also below).

Again, social media has its place and can be a tremendous benefit to our community. I ask our families and communities to use the megaphone of social media to lift up our schools and not to tear them down. We have an incredible community and school district. Let’s keep the positive momentum going!

Very truly yours,

Tracy Wheeler

Superintendent of Berea City Schools

Click the image above to view it larger or download the PDF

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Berea-Midpark High School Construction Progress - January 2020

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Charging Policy Changes

Nutrition Services is revising the current district charging policy. The current policy states that elementary students are able to charge 2 lunches, while middle and high school students are able to charge 1 lunch before receiving a gratis lunch. Currently, charges for breakfast are not allowed, but will be allowed moving forward.

Students will now be allowed to charge 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches before receiving a gratis meal. This equates to the elementary students (K-4) being able to have a negative balance of $17.25 and the middle and high school students (5-12) being able to have a negative balance of $21.25. The intent is to decrease the amount of gratis meals district wide and also give those parents/guardians who are having financial difficulties some lenience. The goal is to ensure students are receiving a healthy, sustainable breakfast and lunch every day. This is not meant to increase the negative balance at the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to use MealTime to pay for meals and/or to track purchases made by their student(s).

Lunch Heroes Program

The district has fortunately been approached by numerous groups and individuals that would like to financially contribute towards students' negative account balances. The district has created a Lunch Heroes Program that will allow anyone to make a donation towards negative breakfast and lunch balances. These funds will be applied at the end of the school year, dispersed evenly to each school, unless a school is specified on the donation form. Donations can remain anonymous. To donate, complete this form and either mail or drop it off to:
Berea City School District
Attn. Treasurer's Department
390 Fair Street
Berea, OH 44017

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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a unique early-year book gifting program that mails a brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years of age, creating a home library of up to 60 books and instilling a love of books and family reading from an early age.

All children from birth to age five who live in Cuyahoga County are welcome to register for the Imagination Library program courtesy of the Bruening Foundation, United Way of Greater Cleveland, the William M. Weiss Foundation, the Heights Family Foundation, Lubrizol, St. Luke’s Foundation, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, and Third Federal Foundation.

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Flu at School: Prevention, Stay Home, and More

Cold and flu season is here. The Ohio Department of Health reports that influenza (flu) activity levels have increased over the past several weeks. As a reminder, please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick. Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. Symptoms of influenza can vary, but generally include a high fever, headache, chills, body aches, sore throat, and cough.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer these tips to prevent influenza:

● Get vaccinated every year

● Avoid close contact with sick people

● Frequent handwashing with soap

● Stay at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

● Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

See more prevention tips from the CDC.

The 2019-20 flu season has been complicated by recent reports of a novel coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Common symptoms in an infected person include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Although there have been reported cases of novel coronavirus globally, to date, there have been no reported coronavirus cases in Cuyahoga County or Ohio. The CDC has said the current risk of local transmission is low.

Berea City School District will continue to monitor the situation and obtain updates from the Ohio Department of Health and local health officials about the diagnosis and management of cases of novel coronavirus, as applicable. People who have traveled to Wuhan, China since Dec. 1, 2019, could have been exposed to the virus. Seek medical care if you traveled to Wuhan and develop a fever and/or respiratory symptoms within 14 days of your return.

If you have questions about these topics, please contact the district’s School Health Manager, Rebecca Elder at 216-676-8400. We thank you for your cooperation and support.

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2020-21 Preschool & Kindergarten Registration

Registration information is coming soon. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve the registration process. In the meantime, you can visit our website and sign up to be notified when registration opens.

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Author Shelley Pearsall visits BMMS

On January 29th, BMMS 7th graders attended a special presentation by local author Shelley Pearsall. Shelley Pearsall is the author of six middle-grade novels. The author visit was possible through an enrichment grant from the Berea Education Foundation. In preparation for her visit, 7th graders had read her book The Seventh Most Important Thing. Students were able to hear her inspiration for the story and took part in a discussion about the book. Select students participated in a Q & A lunch with the author and other students were able to take part in a writing workshop with Shelley Pearsall. Students created a character for a story based on a type of shoe. Shelley Pearsall inspired many of our young writers and taught them that through hard work and perseverance, anyone can achieve their dreams.
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View all current flyers by clicking the Peachjar link above.

Only school-approved flyers are sent to you through Peachjar. If you have concerns regarding your child participating in a program, please contact the organization. Please include any medical conditions that would merit attention, including, but not limited to, severe allergic reactions, asthma, ADHD, Aspergers, autism, physical limitations, etc.

District approval to distribute flyers is a community service and does not imply endorsement.

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Coffee & Conversation with Superintendent Tracy Wheeler

Join Superintendent Tracy Wheeler in discussing the latest topics impacting the Berea City School District. Stop by between 8:00-9:00 a.m. during any of the dates and locations throughout the community.

Can't make any of the dates? Give her a call at 216-898-8300 or send an e-mail to twheeler@bereaschools.org to start a conversation.

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The Education Foundation 20th Annual Auction

Thursday, March 5th, 6:45pm

7230 Engle Road

Middleburg Heights, OH

The Education Foundation's 20th Annual Auction will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2020

​Dinner and drinks
will begin at 6:45 in the evening in the Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 7230 Engle Road, Middleburg Heights

Enjoy a dinner catered by Tavolo 72 Ristorante and bid on your favorite silent and live auction items. Other attractions include wine and beer pulls, end-of-event door prize drawing, lottery, and ping pong pick with gift card prizes.

This year’s featured auction items will be a Gervasi Winery Getaway, a private in-home Paint & Sip event, a private dinner for six at Mike’s Bar and Grille, a BMHS singing telegram, a big screen smart TV, and a Columbia Hills golf outing for four. This is the last year that you’ll be able to bid on a week’s stay in a Cape Cod vacation home.

Early bird tickets are $40 until February 20 and regular tickets are $45 thereafter. Or, show your support and become an Auction Patron or Sponsor!
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