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BPS School Closure Update - Friday, April 3

As we wrap up week one of our more formal Remote Learning Plan, we wanted to review our key focal points in our CODE acronym along with some other news. 

CODE - Communicate, Options, Differentiate, and Emotions

Communicate:

We are wrapping up week one of our more formal Remote Learning Plan.  We need to thank all of our educators who contributed to the initial content options and everyone who continues to add content and structure each day.  We have been impressed with the level of collaboration we have seen. Another note of thanks needs to go to our technology staff. Folks came in to work this week and gathered nearly 200 devices to distribute to families on Tuesday.  Because the number of requests keeps growing, we are collecting requests for a final round of distributions next week.  

Options:  

Please remember that the intention of the Choice Boards is not to have children in front of a screen all day.  There are options that do not require any technology and outside activity with appropriate social distancing is always an option.  When in doubt, reading a book and talking about it is always a great choice.

Differentiate:

We are hoping there is enough content and choices on the Choice Boards to allow for different levels of possibility and different areas of focus.  

Emotions:

We recognize that parents are not teachers and that requiring school work can create some tension in an isolated house.  Please know that we are asking an educator to connect with students each day in a variety of formats. We hope this connection will support the emotional needs of both the student and the educator during the school closure.  

The graphic below came across our computers this week from a a school administrator in Arkansas and the image aligns with the guidance we received from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and with our values during this closure.  Every family, including our educator families, have different levels of need and impact during this health crisis. A one-sized solution will not work.  Our K-8 Choice Boards and Flexible Learning Schedule is meant to provide as much or as little structure as educators and families need to navigate these difficult times.  

We will continue to listen and to make adjustments.  We understand that there are still many unanswered questions - like April break and whether we will return on May 4th.  We are working across our region and state to provide answers to these questions. In the meantime, we will continue to focus on maintaining connections between our excellent educators and our students while providing engaging, flexible options, both digital and analog, for students to work on during the day.

Celebrations

BHS Associate Principal/Athletic Director Shaun Hart was recognized as the Athletic Director of the Year by the Massachusetts Secondary Schools Athletic Directors.  Congratulations Shaun. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Burlington’s student athletes.

BHS Librarian Callie Graham was one of the recipients of the Massachusetts Library Association’s 2020 President’s Award for New Librarians Making an Impact on Student Learning.  Congratulations Callie! -  well-deserved recognition.

Our Francis Wyman teachers held a parade to try to connect with their students this week. The Boston Herald at some great photos from the parade that you can check out here

Gratitude

Chris Tota, a member of our BHS Science Dept., and Suzy Shields, one of our BHS nurses, are both working on the front lines in healthcare during this crisis. Chris is an EMT and Suzy is working on a floor with COVID19 patients at Winchester Hospital. We are thankful for their efforts! 

In support of his fellow EMT’s Chris has started a drive to collect used ski goggles that EMT’s can use as protective wear. If you have new or used ski/protective goggles you can spare, please swing by our #GogglesForDocs donation bin which is set up outside the main entrance to BHS! Donated goggles will go directly to the 1,000-bed field hospital at DCU center to protect healthcare workers!

School Closure Check-Ins

We have started a series of school closure check-ins on YouTube to check in with different staff members across the district to see how they are doing during the school closure.  Staff members talk about how they are adjusting to their new routines, how they are staying connected, and sources of gratitude.

Until next week, Stay well and Stay connected!