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BMU's Welcome Back Letter

Updated: Aug 18


17 AUGUST 2020 - Link to Details

Dear BMU Parents/Guardians and Students, Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! We ended the previous school year under extraordinary circumstances and we are starting this new school year equally under extraordinary circumstances. Regardless, we will persevere and we are looking forward to the students returning to the building. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce and welcome the following new members to our school community: Scott Kleinschrodt – High School Special Educator Paul Landau – Middle School Special Educator and APPS Program Forrest Matthews – High School Math Teacher Shelby Peters – Middle School Social Studies Teacher Casey Robibero – K-12 Physical Education Teacher As you start to plan for your student(s) to return to school, we would like to share some information with you. By Executive Order, Governor Scott has delayed the start of the school year for students to Tuesday, September 8, 2020. This first day will be an A-Day for the middle and high school students. This is a regular school day for all students with classes starting at 7:45am and the day ending at 2:25pm. School busses will be running their regular routes. This year students have the choice of attending school in person and/or virtually/remotely through the use of Zoom and/or Google Classroom. We ask that for those students who will be attending virtually/remotely, please communicate your decision to do so to the school and applicable teachers as soon as possible (unless you have already responded to the summer questionnaire). For students who opt to attend virtually/remotely, a non-contact lunch pickup will be available here at BMU from 12:00pm – 12:30pm daily. Please contact Murdena Baker for more information. Starting Wednesday, September 16, 2020, and through the rest of the school year, every Wednesday will be a remote/virtual learning day for all students. Classes will be held virtually/remotely, through the use of Zoom and/or Google classroom. The school day for students will be 7:45am – 12:00pm. We will be providing breakfast and lunch to students each virtual/remote Wednesday. Meals will be delivered via the school bus. These meals will be charged to the student’s meal account. Upon delivery, a BMU staff member on the bus will be checking off the name(s) of student(s) who accept the meals. Per Governor Scott, school is opening under step 2 of the guidance provided by the state of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Education, and the Vermont Health Department. This means that all students and staff are required to wear masks when in the school building and students will need to wear masks on the school bus; and that appropriate social distancing measures will be in place. Considerations have been put in place for children in the pre-school program. We are requiring that prior to bringing your student(s) to school and/or allowing you student(s) to leave for the bus stop that parents/guardians perform a daily health check. Included in this packet are the daily health check questions. If your student(s) respond “yes” to any of the questions, they are not able to attend school. Please keep your student(s) home and call into the school to report the absence(s). A student with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is not allowed to come to school. Please feel free to contact our school nurse, Kate Dunn with any questions. Students who ride the bus to school will have their temperature checked daily by a BMU staff member. If a student has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed to ride the school bus. Therefore, we are requiring that a parent/guardian or another designee be at the bus stop daily in the event that a student is not allowed to board the bus. Students who are driven to school and/or who drive themselves to school will go through a temperature check daily process before entering the school. If you are driving your student(s) to school, we are requiring that you please wait until the temperature check process has been completed (by a BMU staff member) in the event that your student(s) is/are not able to remain at school. For this school year students cannot arrive at school prior to 7:15am. When students arrive at school they will be reporting directly to their classrooms. Under the current guidelines, students will not be allowed to gather in areas such as the cafeteria, the gym, or the hallways. Students will be supervised in their classrooms by the classroom teachers until the start of the academic day (7:45am). The cafeteria is closed under the current guidelines. This means that students in grades PreK through six will have lunches delivered to their classrooms and will eat lunch in their classrooms. Students in grades seven through twelve will be allowed to go into the cafeteria to pick up their lunch, and then will return to the advisory classroom to eat lunch. Students (and staff) may bring their own lunch to school. However, there can be no sharing of food this year. Based upon the current guidance there can be no homemade food items brought into the school to be shared with students and staff. Any and all food products to be shared have to be prepackaged and purchased through the school. BMU will be a closed campus this school year. This means that parents/guardians, with the exception of the Pre-School program, will not be allowed to enter the building. To enter the building, a parent/guardian must have a scheduled meeting (at least 24 hours in advance) with a BMU staff member. Once you are admitted into the building, all visitors will report directly to the main office and will have to go through a screening/contact tracing process. We are also discouraging students from signing in and out of the building during the school day. Any student who leaves the school during the day and returns (for example from a schedule appointment) will need to go through a screening process in order to re-enter the school. BMU has not been qualified to continue with the universal lunch program after August 31, 2020. This means that school breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase each day. Enclosed with this letter is the application form for Free/Reduced Lunch. We encourage every family to complete and return the application, even if you think you will not qualify. Finally, under current guidelines, there will be no field trips, class trips, concerts, play performances this school year. We are also not allowed to have any volunteers in the school building this year. Regrettably, we will not be holding our annual open house this year. However, we will be hosting a virtual School Report Night later on this school year. More information about this event will be forthcoming. Fall athletics will be starting on September 8, 2020. Our Athletic Director will provide additional information to students. Enclosed with this letter, please find the following documents: • BMU’s revised 2020-2021 Academic Calendar (to reflect the Governor’s Executive Order) • The middle/high school A-Day/B-Day Rotation Calendar • The September lunch menu. Lunch prices for the 2020-2021 school year have not been set as of the date of this letter. Once the prices have been sent, a revised September menu, including lunch process will be made available to students/families. • The Daily Health Check Questions and Guidelines document • A letter from the school nurse (Kate Dunn) and the document 10 Things to Prepare for Back to School • Free/Reduce Lunch Application • Annual Health Form • An Emergency Form Please complete an Annual Health Form and an Emergency Form for each of your students. We are also encouraging all families to complete the Free/Reduce Lunch Application (even if you believe you will not qualify). You can either mail these completed documents back to BMU or have your student(s) bring them to school on September 8th. A drop off box will be set up outside of the main office. We know and understand that these guidelines will make this school year challenging for student, parents/guardians, and staff. However, we are excited to welcome the students back to BMU. The building has been too empty and too quiet for too long. Keeping the students and adults who will be entering BMU this school year safe while also providing an appropriate education has been quite a task. But, the students of our communities deserve the best possible education we can offer. Maya Angelou once said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.” Sincerely, Scott Blood, M. Ed. Principal; Grades PreK-6 John L. Barone, Sr., Ed.D. Principal; Grades 7-12

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