Dear BASD Families:
As we enter the final nine weeks of the school year, I want to thank you for your flexibility and assistance in helping us to try and operate as normally as possible. We continue to need your help. Butler County’s covid numbers have increased to the substantial range for the last two weeks. My ask of you is if your child feels ill or has symptoms that could be COVID related, please keep him or her home until you consult with a medical professional. As a reminder, possible symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Now that we are in the substantial range for community spread for the second week in a row, we are required to follow the guidelines stipulated in the Attestation Agreement. This is not optional.
As you may recall, the Attestation Agreement stipulates thresholds in which schools must close based on positive COVID cases attributed to students and employees assigned to that school. The attestation guidelines have been updated. Previously it was a mandatory 3 day closure once the threshold was reached. Now it has been reduced to 1 to 2 days. All contact tracing and cleaning must still be completed prior to reopening school.
As I previously communicated to you, voluntary closures on a Friday allow us to reset our count for the following week. Unfortunately, our next Friday off is Friday, May 7, 2021. Therefore, we are working through contingency plans should we hit the threshold that requires a closure.
At the elementary level (grades K-4), we would either move to a remote learning day using Seesaw and Google Meets or share asynchronous activities for students to complete. The format will depend upon when we are made aware of the positive cases and our ability or inability to distribute technology devices. We recognize how disruptive this is for families. Therefore, we are also exploring a potential partnership with the Boy Scouts of America - Moraine Council Trails to utilize Camp Bucoco as a possible field trip location. Should we need to close one of our K-4 Elementary Schools, it may be possible for us to relocate to Camp Bucoco for a day or two for voluntary, in-person learning. We would be able to use the camp’s inside and outside resources, allowing learning to continue, just in a different setting and in a different manner. If we move to this option, at home work will be provided for students whose parents prefer the student to work from home. Obviously we will provide families with many more details about Camp Bucoco before we would implement that possible option.
At the middle school (grades 5-6), we would move to a remote day using google classroom with live instruction.
At the secondary level (grades 7-12), we would move to a remote learning day if needed. We will also monitor our weekly count and may voluntarily choose to have a remote learning day on a Friday to reset our COVID school counts.
At Center Avenue, we would move to remote learning using google classroom with live instruction.
My hope is that we can continue to operate all of our schools in person five days a week. Thank you again for your flexibility, patience and efforts to help us keep our school community healthy and well.
Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Butler Area School District