Schedule and Locations (Every Wednesday and Friday)
North Ave. Alliance Church
Schedule and Locations (Every Wednesday and Friday)
In response to the August 11th update to the Agency of Education’s “A Strong and Healthy Start Guidance,” we have created a tool in PowerSchool that will allow families to complete student health screenings at home each morning before leaving for school. Please check out the video for a look at how to complete the daily form, then login to your BSD PowerSchool account to complete the screening.
Remember, it will be important to complete the screening before 7:30 AM each morning, if possible, because at 7:30 each morning, staff will download a report to see who has completed the screening. Those who did not complete the screening prior to 7:30 AM will have to complete the screening on-site prior to building entry. Once students arrive, staff will verify which students still need to be screened and confirm students are fever-free.
BSD invites members of the community to participate in a School Safety Task Force as requested in the Board of School Commissioners’ resolution passed on June 25, 2020. The resolution charges the School Safety Task Force with reviewing the role of School Resource Officers (SROs) and presenting recommendations to further the district’s policy goals of implementing all elements of Restorative Practices (RP) as part of the district priorities of equitable and safe inclusive schools.
Those interested in joining the School Safety Task Force should complete the application today.
The School Safety Task Force’s charge is to present a plan that accomplishes the following objectives:
– Identify and document the original intention of the SRO presence in the schools and the functions SROs perform in the school.
– Determine whether any of these functions must be performed by uniformed law enforcement officials. Which functions are done jointly with BSD staff?
– Develop options for alternative approaches that reinforce a restorative model for all of Burlington’s students/youth during and outside school hours.
– Ensure the safety of all of Burlington’s students/youth during and outside of school hours using a Restorative Practices model that eliminates the traumatizing effects associated with weapons, uniforms, and a police presence communicated by some of the district’s students and community members.
Per the resolution, the School Safety Task Force must be comprised not more than nine people, including school district leaders, school commissioners or their designee, a city councilor or their designee, a student, a parent, and a community member with lived experience with SRO’s, restorative practices, law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and youth development.
The School Safety Task Force will meet for at least two hours a week for two months and produce a report of recommendations by December 2020. This is a voluntary role; there is no compensation for participating in this Task Force. Applicants will need to be available to attend all meetings, both in-person and remotely.
Tuesday is the day! Here are a few more updates to help everyone be prepared for school this year.
Online Health Screenings: Before students leave home each day, all families should complete an online screening form through their PowerSchool account. The form contains four questions, including asking about fevers, other COVID systems, physical distancing, and travel. The form takes less than 30 seconds to complete per child, and includes instructions on what do if any of the questions are answered “yes” (in most cases, the student should not leave home for school). Step-by-step instructions can be seen here and a tutorial video is available on the District YouTube page.
Masks: As you know, masks will be required by all staff and students this year. Schools will be providing a few masks for all students next week. Please check out this quick resource for tips on how to wear and care for masks.
Bussing: At around 1 PM today we learned that GMT that that will be increasing the occupancy limits up to 30 passengers on their largest buses starting tomorrow, Saturday, September 5. This is great news for BSD and we are grateful. However, please remember that even with the increase, this is still only about half the capacity we usually have. We still encourage students to seek alternative transportation if at all possible.
Guidance: Please visit our website to access BSD Reopening Guidance, Version 2. This document has a lot of new information that you can find in green. We also used the strikethrough function so that you can see what changes have been made.
Town Halls: To help answer questions, we have participated in and hosted a number of Town Halls this week and many are available on the District YouTube Channel including:
BSD Reopening Town Hall with Special Education Focus
Message of Patience: Finally, we want to remind you that this year will look different. Please remember that Tuesday will be our first attempt at welcoming students back in school since March. With new safety protocols, things may take longer than in previous years. If you’re doing drop off Tuesday or Thursday, please remain patient with us.
Thank you, we can’t wait to welcome students back!
The BSD Reopening Team
We need your help!
BSD is entering into an agreement with the AOE to allow for all students to receive free lunch at Champlain, Edmunds Elementary, Edmunds Middle, and Burlington High School this year. This includes take-home meals for remote learning days. In order for this to happen, we need all families to complete the online Free and Reduced Meal application as soon as possible. Coronavirus has had many financial implications for our families; if your student attends any of these schools, please fill out the application even if you haven’t qualified before.
We need the applications completed in order to get the best possible funding for this program and to have the Free and reduced lunch data that many programs need for grants and other funding. If successful, there is a possibility we could offer FREE LUNCH at these schools until school year 2023-24! All students at all schools already receive breakfast and supper at no charge, and these four schools are the only schools which have not been able to offer free lunch… so the addition of free lunch at Champlain, EES, EMS, and BHS will go a long way to combat hunger.
Please remember, you should complete this form using your current income, even if you expect your income to resume/increase in the coming months. This program is fully funded by the Federal Government, and your participation will not cause other children, students, or families to lose any of their current benefits… there is enough to go around, we just need help to bring the program to Burlington and serve our students the best way we can!
August 6, 2020
Hello BSD Community,
We’ve had another productive week focused on preparing for reopening. Thank you for your engagement (and patience!) through this process. We have received many thoughtful questions, suggestions, and offers of partnership from across the city. Our planning process has been and continues to be intentional and thoughtful; every decision we make prioritizes equity, engagement, deep learning, and the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community.
This past week, I’ve been meeting with school faculty across the district and we are having positive conversations about reopening. Andrew Styles (Burlington Education Association President) and Becca McCray (COVID-Coordinator, Edmunds MS School Nurse, and President-elect of the School Nurses Association) are joining me in these meetings. As you can imagine there are a lot of questions, and all ideas we hear are making our plans better. From these conversations, it is clear to me that our staff are committed to serving our students and our community, and they are gearing up for in-person instruction in September.
We are also excited to provide BSD-specific reopening guidance this week, and a survey so we can hear your preferences around the start of the school year. Please see below for a number of important updates, including our Enrollment Survey, the new start date for school (September 8), and information regarding our Reopening Guidance document.
Enrollment Preferences Survey – Parents, we are ready to hear your preferences regarding options for this coming fall, including whether you plan to have your student access their education through the hybrid model or through 100% remote learning. For those of you who are choosing the Hybrid model, you will also be asked if you prefer “A” Days (Mondays and Thursdays) or “B” Days (Tuesdays and Fridays) and why. Please remember, we will do our very best to accommodate schedules but there is a possibility not every family will receive their first choice of hybrid days.
The survey also asks about access to transportation, thermometers, food, and internet. The feedback obtained through this survey will be CRUCIAL to our planning team. Thank you for your response, please complete the Student Enrollment Survey in Powerschool today. Once you log-in, you will find the survey in the “Forms” section on the left side of the page. Click on forms and then scroll down to until you reach the “Reopening Enrollment” section where the form is located. Please note that you will need to complete this form for each of your students in the District. If you need help completing your students’ forms, please call our central office at 802-865-5332 ext. 1 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New School Start Day, September 8 – On July 31 Governor Scott’s office issued an Executive Order (signed July 29, 2020) to delay the start of all schools in Vermont until Tuesday, September 8th. This will allow more time for staff to plan the reopening at their schools prior to school reopening. We will abide by Governor Scott’s Executive Order and are awaiting additional guidance from the AOE regarding the impact of the order on a number of decisions including but not limited to teacher workdays and student instructional days. At this time, we are planning for all teachers and paras to begin work on August 20 and will continue to communicate with staff and union representatives leading up then.
Guidance – As we prepare for Reopening BSD, we know parents and staff have many questions. Please visit our Reopening Task Force website for version one of our Reopening BSD guidance document. It is important to note that this document will be updated between now and the start of school. We still have additional details to put into our plans and as you know, guidance from state and federal agencies is continually changing. I hope this document provides a solid baseline understanding of our plans to date and I encourage all staff and parents to continue to reach out with questions, comments, and suggestions.
ABCAB Model – Last week I communicated the District’s decision to implement an ABCAB Hybrid Model, where “A” Days are Mondays and Thursdays, and “B” Days are Tuesday and Fridays. This is an example of a decision not made lightly, and one that prioritizes equity, deep learning, and safety.
After careful consideration, our Reopening Task Force decided upon the current model after consulting principals and health professionals. Ultimately, we decided the ABCAB model would better support social-emotional learning, allowing for more regular contact between staff and students, as well as students with their peers. In an AACBB model, we would have gone 5 days each week in-between seeing students. An ABCAB model allows us to reduce that large amount of time, which will better support student learning.
Additionally, we determined that in our District the ABCAB model makes it much easier to ensure food access for our food-insecure families by allowing for additional meal distribution days between remote learning days. And this model offers much better continuity of learning, particularly for our EL, special education, and high-need students.
And finally, the science now shows that this disease primarily spreads person to person through the air, not from surfaces to a person. As we will be wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and hand washing frequently, the cleaning done on a daily basis in our buildings is sufficient between pods. The deep cleaning on Wednesday will ensure our building remains extra clean every week, but we feel the possible benefits of deep cleaning between pods (the AABCC model) do not outweigh the negative effects of 5 consecutive days away from school every week. While no hybrid model is perfect, we feel an ABCAB model better ensures “whole health” (physical, mental, social-emotional) for every student.
New Hire – BSD is thrilled to have Quaron “Q” Pinckney join our team as our new District Coordinator – Head of Athletics. Quaron joins at an exciting time as we explore how to make athletics part of our larger reopening plans while ensuring the safety of our student-athletes and coaches. Welcome Q!
Edmunds Middle School
275 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Tel: (802) 864-8486
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