August 11 2020

School Committee Approves Reopening Plan

By: Tad Stephanak

The Burlington School Committee approved a remote and in-person hybrid learning reopening plan for Burlington Schools at a special meeting Monday evening.

At the meeting Superintendent Dr. Eric Conti stated that a 100% remote learning option will be available for all students. Remote learning will include tracking of attendance, participation and regular communication with parents and teachers. The plan also calls for an in-person option to accompany the remote learning and is based on state recommendations.

Conti said there is a balance of risk in having students in school and out of school, including learning loss, the social and emotional impact, parental employment and food insecurity. 

All students and teachers will be required to wear masks including pre-k and kindergarten. Face shields cannot be worn in place of masks. The schools have purchased PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for the first twelve weeks of school. They are also having a firm perform air quality testing in the schools.

There are many details of the plan covering schedules, distancing and transportation.

Early childhood will have a more structured day and Elementary students will be sent home for lunch followed by remote learning in the afternoon. The Middle School is developing a system for serving lunch. Elementary and Middle School students will be taking devices home for first time.

High School students will be released mid-day with no lunch being serve initially, except for a grab and go lunch program for food insecure students. The High School will also have extra cleaning on Wednesday afternoons. 

Conti noted that students can switch from remote to in-person learning if desired and they are setting procedures to check on the social and emotional health of students. 

After school programs will be looked into over the next couple of weeks. 

Following the presentation the School Committee heard from parents and teachers with lively chat messages throughout the discussion. The School Committee voted to approve the reopening plan by a 4-1 vote. The plan will be officially submitted to the state Friday, August 14th

According to the Burlington Public Schools website this plan is contingent on the spread of COVID-19 remaining low and other factors. The administration and the School Committee will continue to provide regular updates in the days and weeks ahead. 

The Special School Committee meeting of Monday, August 10, 2020 can be seen in its entirety by Clicking Here.

Burlington Public Schools will continue with their live presentations on BCAT’s Government Facebook Page Thursday, August 13th on instructional technology, remote learning and expectations for parents, health screening and protocols. 

Question and concerns about the BPS reopening plan can be emailed to 2020SchoolOpening@bpsk12.org

 

 
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