Dr. Shultz January 3, 2022 Update

Be Prepared for a Sudden Shift to Remote Learning If Necessary
Posted on 01/03/2022
Update from the Superintendent, Dr. Carl Shultz

January 3, 2022

 

Dear BPS Families, 

 

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and healthy break and is excited to be returning in the new calendar year. I wanted to update you on what we are seeing in our district as it relates to COVID cases. As I’m sure you are aware, like most communities across the state and nation, Bedford is experiencing an increase in our community with COVID positivity rates as well as other illnesses. These higher case numbers and associated close contact quarantines have placed an added stress on the district’s ability to staff our administration, classrooms, buses, and other key departments.

 

BPS has worked diligently over the previous 24 months to maintain in-person learning. This continues to be our educational goal for our students and staff. However, if case numbers continue to spike at the current rate we are experiencing, the district will need to pause in-person learning and transition to remote learning until staffing levels are once again adequate to return safely to our classrooms. The difficulty in stating this is that numbers change quickly, thus leaving very little time for families to prepare. Therefore, as a precautionary measure I am encouraging all families to plan for what remote learning would look like in your home should the need arise. Below is a brief overview of what this transition would include for our students and staff:

 

  • Our goal with remote learning is to mirror the level of rigor that students experience each day. Attendance and grades taken during this period will count.
  • All secondary students (6-12) will follow their current daily/hourly schedule and should be prepared to be in each of their classes via Zoom. Students in these grade levels will use Zoom and Schoology to learn synchronously as if they were sitting in physical classrooms.
  • Elementary students (Y5-5) will have a schedule that outlines their learning each day by subject. The schedule will be similar each day to help families plan their online learning time. Students in these grade levels will use Zoom and Schoology to learn synchronously as if they were sitting in physical classrooms.
  • It is important that all students (Y5-12) bring home their devices and chargers each day from school so that they are prepared for a necessary and sudden transition. (This is a change to our normal Y5-2 protocol that building/classroom teachers will provide more information on)
  • State of Michigan guidelines require districts to attend 180 days of instructional learning and hold 1,098 hours of instructional learning. For a district to count remote learning toward these requirements, students must be present and accounted for in their scheduled live zoom classrooms just as they would be if learning were being held in-person. Therefore, remote learning would count toward completion of a full school year if the above guidelines are followed each day.

 

Again, this letter is intended to provide families with an update of how the district is currently faring and what the plan is in case a change is necessary. As of this afternoon, the district is planning to open tomorrow for in-person learning as scheduled. We currently have 35 staff members that have reported COVID or other illness related absences beginning tomorrow. This is an extremely high number, but as of now we can maintain our scheduled return. If something should change, I will alert families and staff immediately.

 

As a reminder, please do not send your child to school with any illness symptoms and make sure to let the school know if your child is COVID positive or is in quarantine. District leadership is working directly with the Monroe County Health Department and MDHHS to determine if the recent CDC changes in quarantine guidelines can apply to schools as well as it would help greatly with staffing and student learning interruptions. We are also working to learn more about the recent state changes in substitute credentials and will be sending additional information out to our families and community shortly in hopes of attracting additional available substitutes for our buildings. Thank you once again for your support and for your continued partnership in education. 

 

Respectfully,

Dr. Carl Shultz

Superintendent


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