BSD Family Communication for January 18, 2022
January 18, 2022
Dear BSD Families,
We’re writing to share an important update for our families and students related to online auditing courses. As you can imagine, our absence numbers since the return from winter break have been higher than normal, but we are fortunate that the majority of our students are with us in person.
We want to thank our families for your continued diligence in keeping your children home from school when appropriate. We know most of our current absences are a result of students who are isolated or quarantined as well as those who may not be feeling well or are trying to find access to a COVID test, which has been a challenge these last two weeks. In addition to COVID cases in our community, we also know there’s been an increase in the number of flu cases as well as other respiratory illnesses contributing to students having similar, COVID-like symptoms. We appreciate that when in doubt, our families have been keeping their children home.
We are making a temporary change to ease the burden of accessing Zoom links for students unable to attend school. Starting Wednesday, January 19, teachers will post Zoom links in Schoology (in some cases lower elementary teachers may provide links using ClassDojo). The teacher will deliver the lesson to the students that are in person. Having the Zoom link to the lesson will allow students unable to attend in person to hear and see the lesson being delivered to their classmates. We remain committed to in-person learning; however, the ability to audit allows students to stay engaged in their coursework for a few days until they are able to return. Please understand that the auditing format allows for access to the lesson without an interaction component. While there is not an expectation for interaction to occur as the teacher’s focus is on their in-person students, teachers may, at their discretion, interact with students online.
Please note that the regular bell schedule at school for the start and end times of class periods will be strictly followed. This means that students joining the class remotely using Zoom must be signed in and ready to go at the time the bell rings signaling the start of class. Teachers will not be monitoring the Zoom waiting room once the class period begins, so those arriving late won’t be admitted.
We hope this will decrease the burden of catching up on lessons and assignments when students are able to return to their classrooms after they recover or meet isolation and quarantine requirements. If a teacher is absent and there isn’t an ability for a guest teacher to access the classroom Zoom link the assignments will be posted for students to complete asynchronously.
As always, please continue to alert your student’s school about their absence and send a note with dates and explanation upon your child’s return. Your child’s school nurse will continue to be your main point of contact for determining date of return for COVID quarantine and isolation. We did also want to share that we’ve been hearing from some of our families that they are receiving letters from Delaware Public Health that have differing student return dates from what our school nurses are sharing with families. In the event this happens, please go by the information you receive from your school nurse. Delaware Public Health contact tracers are still working to catch up on the latest guidance. Our school nurses are already utilizing that information; therefore, their guidance is the most accurate.
We will return to a more individualized approach to providing access to Zoom links when the numbers of students that are isolated, quarantined, or symptomatic decrease.