Update 02/21/2020 Regarding BESD's High School Reopening Plan:
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
This week we welcome back students in grades 6-8 for in-person, hybrid learning. We are now serving students from Pre-K through 8th grade with learning experiences in-person with our amazing B-ESD teachers. We continue to keep students and staff safe by following the recommended health and safety guidance, wearing masks and other personal protective equipment, maintaining physical distancing, and conducting regular health screenings. It is so wonderful to have students back in buildings.
We are excited to continue the work of developing a schedule and timeline for re-opening in- person learning for our high school students. Last night, our School Board offered their support for bringing our 9-12 students back for hybrid, in-person learning on Tuesday, April 13th. This allows the high school staff to continue planning, address any schedule modifications, and avoids disrupting the current quarter. This date also aligns with the start of 4th quarter classes for students. Additionally, the high school plans to bring 9th grade students onto campus in late March for an orientation. While we will share specific details once they are available, we know that cohort sizes will be kept small and within Department of Health guidelines. Like the younger students, high schoolers will complete health screenings, practice physical distancing, and wear cloth face coverings while at school. Classrooms will be structured to accommodate physical distancing and maximize the use of space between student desks.
If families choose to opt students out of in-person learning, we will continue to offer a fully remote, home-based learning model. Families will receive a survey within the next day that will provide us valuable information to help us refine our reopening plan. Please complete this survey by Friday, February 26th.
While we monitor local health updates daily and regularly collaborate with our partners at Skagit Public Health, we remain encouraged that data continue to show that, with reasonable health and safety precautions, schools are not driving virus transmission.
Thank you for your continued partnership and support for B-ESD schools. With appreciation,
Laurel W. Browning, Superintendent
Update 12/21/2020 Regarding BESD's January 2021 Reopening Plan:
December 21, 2020
Dear B-ESD Families,
As students and teachers begin Winter Break and look forward to the holidays, I want to provide an update on the latest information from the Skagit Public Health and what it means for us in the Burlington-Edison School District.
As I am sure you know, the virus rate in Skagit County remains high. Recently, Governor Inslee extended his restrictions on many Washington businesses and activities through January 4th. He also updated the state recommendations and the decision tree for reopening schools to in-person learning. Thanks to the diligence of our Burlington-Edison staff, we still have had no evidence of virus transmission in our schools. We know that a few of our students and staff have contracted the virus, but "no transmission in our schools" means that they did not get the virus at school, nor did they pass it to anyone else at school.
Looking forward to January, our goal is to bring back students in grades K-5 for in-person learning in a hybrid model. We will begin January with remote learning for all students, planning to keep the majority of students in remote, Home-based Learning for at least two weeks after the winter break. We will resume on-site services for students currently receiving in-person special services and for students accessing Learning Hubs on January 11th. Based on the survey data we received from K-5 families, we have created a reopening plan. In concert with Skagit Public Health, the school board will review local health data and the impact of the holidays, process the updated decision tree, and make a determination as to the exact date in January that K-5 students will return for in-person learning.
When we do resume hybrid learning, we will continue to follow all of the recommended safety precautions, which include regular screening of both staff and students, wearing masks and other PPE, maintaining physical distance, cohorting and avoiding large groups.
We are encouraged that the data continues to show that, with reasonable health and safety precautions, schools are not driving virus transmission. When the pandemic began, we were afraid they would. However, the science has not played out that way. Small outbreaks (defined as just two or three people transmitting the virus to one another) have occurred in some schools across the nation; although, as we have reported, not in any Burlington-Edison schools to date. And large outbreaks have been uncommon in all schools where safety measures are in place. Our protocols work; our families and staff are doing an excellent job implementing them; and, as a result, we are successfully minimizing risks.
I appreciate all of your flexibility, patience, and partnership throughout this uniquely challenging school year. I continue to encourage everyone to follow the health guidelines and hope that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday.
Laurel W. Browning
B-ESD Website: https://www.be.wednet.edu/
Update 10/20/2020 Regarding Delaying the Return of Grades 3 & 4 to In-Person Learning:
October 20, 2020
Dear B-ESD Families,
This week we welcomed back many of our Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students to in-person, hybrid learning. Teachers, administrators, and support staff across the Burlington-Edison School District are working hard to ensure a welcoming, smoothly operating, and safe learning environment for students. It is such a welcome sight to see students in classrooms learning and following the health and safety processes so well.
Additionally, our remote home-based learning model continues to flourish. We see high levels of daily student engagement and innovative instruction from our teachers. Instructional staff work hard each day to engage students and make learning fun and exciting. With both the home-based learning model and the in-person hybrid learning model, we remain so grateful for your continued partnership and support for your child's learning.
While we are happy to welcome back many of our K-2 students for in-person hybrid Learning, we also continue to closely watch the health metrics in the Skagit County region. We had tentatively planned to bring back grades 3 and 4 on November 9th, however, we plan to delay this a few weeks to continue to monitor the local health developments. It is important that regional health data are stable and remain in the moderate range before we bring more students into our buildings. We will share a return date for in-person hybrid learning for grades 3 and 4 as soon as it is available. To help inform our planning, we will send a survey out to parents of students in grades 3 and 4 today. This survey will be open for a week and will help to shape our processes moving forward. If you have a 3rd or 4thgrade student, please check your email for a link to the survey.
Please continue to be well,
Laurel W. Browning Superintendent, B-ESD
B-ESD's Home Based Learning Resources for Parents: https://www.be.wednet.edu/familycommunity/parents
B-ESD's Home Based Learning Guide: https://bit.ly/31jTECI
The Burlington-Edison School District plans to present a remote home-based learning plan for beginning the school year to their board on Monday, August 3rd.
You can read the letter from B-ESD Superintendent, Laurel Browning here: http://ow.ly/pgVt50ALL2O
The plan will include:
- Instruction will consist of a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences, incorporating technology-based and non-digital lesson activities.
- Attendance will be taken daily and learning will be structured to meet the state requirements around minutes.
- Students can expect regular feedback, contact and outreach from teachers. Each school site will have a Learning Engagement Team, including counselors, administrators, teachers and other support personnel to conduct regular outreach to hard-to-reach students.
- With considerations around equity and access, there will be opportunities for students with unique needs to engage with teachers in-person, adhering to state and local health guidance. We will offer Learning Management System (LMS) Hubs where students can access online classroom spaces.
- We will provide regular meals to students and offer devices and hotspots to address issues of access and connectivity.
- Professional learning opportunities for staff will be integrated to support best practices around remote teaching and learning.
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During this time we encourage everyone to be informed and do what they feel is best for their own family. Find more information regarding the Corona Virus in Skagit County here: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirus.htm
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