Dear BASD Families,
We are once again facing possible inclement weather.
Earlier this week we had two traditional snow days and did not engage in remote instruction. At the elementary level, we must distribute devices to all students who need them every time we move to remote instruction. That did not occur at all schools last Thursday. Therefore, we were not in a position for all of our students to engage in remote learning.
Last week we tried to have a remote learning day without all devices being distributed and it was not very successful. Therefore, moving forward, shifting to a remote instruction day will only be a possibility if all devices are distributed.
The potential for inclement weather exists for both tomorrow and Friday. As of today, all of our students who use a school issued device should have access. Some students previously had their device at home and were asked to keep it there until further notice. Others will be bringing it home after school today.
At this time, we intend to have school in person on Thursday, February 18. However, if we need to close our buildings due to inclement weather, we will have a remote instruction day.
Friday, February 19, 2021 will be a remote instruction day, as planned, due to our voluntary school closures.
I know this has been a very rough week for everyone. So let me provide some hope and possible good news.
At the end of last week, Butler County was in the moderate range for COVID-19 community spread. According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s current guidelines, if community spread is in the moderate range for two weeks in a row, school districts are no longer required to follow the state’s attestation form mandates.
If Butler County remains in the moderate range this week, we will be able to modify our operating status. More specifically, this would mean:
Elementary students (Grades K-6): Beginning on Monday, February 22, elementary students will be able to attend school in-person five days a week. No more voluntary closures on Friday.
Secondary Students (Grades 7-12): Beginning on Wednesday, February 24, Cohorts will end and students will be able to attend in-person instruction four days a week with Friday being the only remote learning day.
While in the moderate range for COVID-19 community spread, our school buildings will be able to stay open. We will still conduct contract tracing, sanitize specific building locations and isolate individuals who were deemed to have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case.
At this time, I am sharing this to keep you informed of what is possibly on the horizon. For now, we must continue to operate according to the attestation form. This means we will have a voluntary closure on Friday, February 19.
If we are still in the moderate range for COVID-19 community spread as of Friday, February 19, we will communicate the change in our mode of operation. I will let you know if/when we are able to do that. The Pennsylvania Department of Health calculates and determines the level of community spread each week. The data is updated on Fridays. This is the link, should you desire to monitor it yourself: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Monitoring-Dashboard.aspx
As always, thank you for your continued patience and flexibility. I sincerely appreciate it.
Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Butler Area School District