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A message from Superintendent Jody Monroe

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on March 11, 2021

A message for BC families from Superintendent Jody Monroe

Dear BC family:

Earlier this week, two high school seniors — Natalie Qualia and Avery Daggett — surprised teachers and staff who work in the building with buttons decorated with inspiring messages. They are called “pins of positivity” and the two made enough for everyone. Mine says “hope” 

Natalie and Avery’s extraordinary effort to make people smile is a timely one as we reflect on a year of life during a pandemic. It was one year ago, on Mar. 13, that Bethlehem schools closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. At the time, we would have never predicted that buildings would have stayed closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year as teaching and learning moved online. We have come a long way since then. Hope (and fingers perpetually crossed) have played important roles in our schools being open this year, but it’s people that have helped us reach this milestone with what has so far been a successful school year in the most challenging of times.

The primary goal of our 2020-21 school year has been to provide in-person instruction to as many students as possible within a safe learning environment and with the exception of the holiday surge, we have succeeded. Administrators, teachers and support staff have worked tirelessly to accomplish this, as have our students. Our parents, too, have been so incredibly supportive and flexible, especially when quarantine notices have meant last-minute schedule changes or when the best-laid plans have come undone.

From the beginning of the year, families were offered the choice to keep students at home to learn remotely if needed. Approximately 15% of families chose learning from home. That number has fluctuated throughout the year as COVID numbers have risen and fallen. As we approach spring, we are seeing more students choosing to return to the classroom and it is a welcome sight, a sure sign of hope.

COVID cases continue to trend downward, many sports activities have resumed and we have been able to expand other in-person extracurricular opportunities for our students. With safety as the backdrop, we plan to continue to expand these types of opportunities to students who have shown incredible patience, cooperation and understanding beyond their years.

We have no crystal ball to know exactly what the 2021-22 school year will look like but we are more prepared than ever before to meet the challenges that may come our way. We are more optimistic, too, thanks to a community that has demonstrated time and again over its support for BC schools. For that, we not only feel hopeful but truly fortunate.


Jody Monroe