Here is an update from last night’s BOE Meeting from a discussion on re-opening schools to in-person learning. Safety and the science of COVID-19 remain top priorities as we progress to in-person learning.
The Superintendent reported on the latest parent preliminary survey results, which included 2,809 respondents. About 50% of respondents indicated that they want their children to remain in full remote instruction for the remainder of the quarter, semester, or entire school year. The student preliminary survey results had 1,519 responses with 67% of students indicating that they are ready to return to school at least a few days a week. The survey also includes many noteworthy opinions from students on remote learning.
Each building principal is now tasked with developing a plan to bring back up to 100 students for 5 days a week for a total of about 7,000 students returning district-wide. The students prioritized to return are those with disabilities, youngest learners, and English Language Learners. High schools are also considering seniors and those students who are behind on course credits and need support. Planning discussions are happening at School Based Management Team (SBMT) meetings with teachers, parents, aides, and students. I highly encourage parents to become involved in your child’s SBMT and to be part of this shared decision-making. Learn more about shared decision-making in BPS and SBMT by clicking, here.
Building principals will be submitting plans to the Superintendent and his team by the end of the month. The Superintendent is expected to present a fleshed out plan at the BOE’s Work Session on Nov. 4.
My own commentary: I believe this approach prioritizes safety with equitable access to quality instruction, programming, and supports. A hybrid approach is far from impeccable. The hybrid models that I know of and have seen firsthand, have notable challenges and limitations.
At this time, I feel that many schools across WNY and the state (i.e. NYC), as well as, day cares, have demonstrated that some students can safely return to schools and I’m hopeful that this will begin in BPS. However, everything is subject to change at any point given the ever-changing circumstances of COVID-19 and utmost importance to keep students, families, and staff safe