I wanted to touch base with everyone to provide another update to our COVID-19 Response Plan. Please keep in mind that this could, and probably will, change quickly. If information becomes available that suggests we should not follow any of the procedures below, we will adjust - again. I appreciate your patience and understanding.
Make Up Days for Students
Tuesday will be our 5th missed day of school this year. Under current guidance, any day we miss beyond that will be made up 2 for 1. So if we miss 8 days passed Tuesday (which we will at a minimum) we will make up 4 of those days. No determination has been made as to when those days will be scheduled.
Beginning Tuesday March 17, 2020 a late breakfast and a late lunch will be provided for all students who are interested. Parents may bring their children (children must be present) to the parking lots of Van Pelt, Highland View, Washington-Lee, and Stonewall Jackson Elementary Schools to pick up those meals. Additionally, meals will be delivered to the Springdale, Eastridge, and Harbor Point neighborhoods, Boys' & Girls' Club and Girl's Inc.
Additionally, non-perishable food will be delivered to over 100 families currently being served by Communities in Schools on Tuesday, March 17. On Thursday, March 19 non-perishable food will be available for pick up at our School Board Office at 220 Lee Street. We will deliver additional boxes to several neighborhoods that day. Non-perishable food will also be available at all 3 Bristol Virginia Fire Stations beginning the evening of March 19.
Schedule for Employees
On Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17, all permanent, regular employees except teachers, permanent substitutes, and instructional assistants, and interventionists will report to work. Any hourly employees in those groups will be paid their normal wage. On Wednesday, March 18, permanent regular employees will report to work. Most instructional staff will be trained to prepare remote instructional materials. Any hourly instructional staff not involved in instructional tasks will be cross trained to work in other departments if they choose to work over the remainder of the break. Teachers will engage with students remotely as appropriate for the remainder of the break. That time will be counted as the days that students are not required to make-up. Clerical and Leadership Team will work a normal schedule.
Mental Health Services
We understand that many of our students will continue to need mental health services over the break. Our School Counselors will be developing a plan to provide such services in conjunction with community partners. If your child is in need of immediate mental health assistance, email me directly at [email protected] or call 911 if necessary.
Currently, the first allowed contest date for all Spring VHSL activities have been postponed for 2 weeks. No decision has been made about continuing practice next week. We will make that decision later in the weekend as more information is available.
We do not anticipate approving any student travel over the next few weeks. We will look at each situation individually.
This goes without saying, but please continue to wash your hands often, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, avoid physical contact and close proximity with other people, and if you are sick stay home.
Students with Disabilities
Services to students with disabilities are not mandated to be available while schools are closed unless specifically addressed in an IEP. However, if your child needs assistance with one of their normal accommodations, please contact our Director of Special Education, Megan deNobriga at [email protected] .
Current guidance suggests that SOL testing will be administered this spring. The learning materials that will be provided next week will help to ensure that students have materials and resources to review while we are closed. We hope to provide a continuity of education but won't plan to introduce new material except in very unique circumstances.
Conclusion - for now
Please keep in mind that we are in uncharted waters. This situation changes rapidly and drastically. Our plan is not perfect and I have probably forgotten to include something. However, as issues are brought to our attention, I promise that we will address them in an expeditious manner. Thank each of you, from the bottom of my heart, for working together to ensure that ALL Bearcats thrive during this difficult time. I greatly appreciate your patience, support, and understanding. Go Bearcats!!!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.