BCSD News & Information
November 23, 2020
To our Titan Families,
As we have stated regularly, our plans for this school year have been constantly evolving based on the latest information regarding the pandemic. Our learning models were developed to create flexibility and mobility during these unprecedented times.
We began the school year based on the recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and announced we would start the 2020-21 school year with remote learning for the first nine weeks. As you know, we continued to monitor the situation, looked at the data, and felt confident that we could safely bring students back into a hybrid model. Our school district has been successful in mitigating the spread of the virus within our school community. We have cooperated and collaborated with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health regarding all of our mitigation protocols and have coordinated with them on every case that has occurred. Based on our data, all of the cases that we’ve had within our school community have occurred as a result of contact outside of school.
On November 18th, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health issued a resolution to implement a stay-at-home health advisory for Cuyahoga County. The resolution also makes a recommendation that "universities and public and private K-12 schools that are currently implementing a hybrid or full in-person protocol are advised to transition to online remote learning after the Thanksgiving holiday." As a school district, this recommendation had little immediate consequence as we had already moved to remote learning for Monday 11/23 and Tuesday 11/24.
We have been dissecting this resolution and analyzing our local and school data in order to make educated and informed decisions for what schooling will look like for the period between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. In recent weeks, we have endured higher levels of daily staff absences due to isolations, quarantines, or staff simply being sick as we enter the cold and flu season. Even with the proactive measures we took by hiring permanent substitute teachers that are available each day, we cannot meet the demand. Our teachers, support staff, and administrators have stepped up and stepped in to cover classes in any free moment they have in their day to keep us going. I am grateful for our staff who have been so flexible and supportive of other staff while they have been out. We would not have been able to remain open up to this point without everyone truly working as a team.
We want our schools to be open. We understand that kids need to be in school. We understand the hardship any closure creates for families. However, we have reached a point where we have endured high levels of staff absences that make it difficult for us to provide an acceptable educational experience for our students. Since Friday, we have had an additional 14 staff members who have either tested positive or are now required to quarantine as a result of exposure to COVID. All indications from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health are projecting that this issue will get worse before it gets better. Therefore, BCSD will transition to Remote Learning from November 30th through December 22nd.
Remote Learning Schedules 11/30-12/22
There are NO Blue/Orange days, ALL K-12 STUDENTS will now participate in remote learning 5 days per week, Monday through Friday. The Remote Learning schedules are different from the ones that were used at the beginning of the year. NO students will be attending for any in-person instruction.
There are NO Blue/Orange days, all preschool students will now participate in remote learning on their regularly scheduled days.
Second Trimester Learning Choice for Grades Pre-K-4 and Grade 5
If you have any questions about your student in grades 6-12 and their opportunity to participate in TVLA, please contact your child’s counselor.
Meal Distribution Week of 11/30/20
During this extended remote learning period of November 30th through December 22nd, we will continue to assess the impact of COVID spread in our district and the ability to maintain hybrid in-person instruction. Our local health officials and experts are reporting that COVID is spreading across our community because of the actions happening outside of our schools. Please commit to doing everything possible to prevent further community spread. Our current plan is to resume hybrid instruction on Monday, January 4th. I will provide an update on the learning model for January 4th sometime during the Winter Break.
This year has challenged us to turn our homes into offices and classrooms, but we will continue to persist and thrive. I thank you for the sacrifices you have made to help your children learn successfully at home. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am incredibly thankful to be a part of this community. I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving at home with your family. Please continue to follow the advice of public health officials and stay home as much as you can, wear a face covering, and practice social distancing. Let us work together to flatten the curve, keep our community safe, and successfully reopen schools in 2021.
Be safe, be kind, and always be a Titan!
Tracy L. Wheeler