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An important message from Superintendent Jody Monroe

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on March 19, 2021

Dear BC family:

On March 17, the Board of Education approved an updated calendar for the 2021-22 school year. The first day of school will be Thursday, September 9. While we still do not know what the new school year will look like, we wanted you to have a copy of the new 2021-22 calendar for planning purposes.

Our goal this year and next is to have as many students receive in-person instruction as possible. In doing so, we will continue to follow the guidance of state and local health officials to ensure a safe learning environment for both students and staff. 

Today, the CDC issued updated guidance for schools allowing for three-feet social distancing in classrooms rather than the current six feet, with masks still a requirement. However, in areas where community COVID transmission is considered to be “high,” including here in the Capital Region, the new three-foot distancing could only take place in elementary classrooms. Using these protocols, middle school and high school students would still be required to remain six feet apart in the classroom. 

So what will this new CDC guidance mean for BC? The district has not yet received information from New York state or local public health experts as to whether this guidance will be adopted across the state or locally. Even without direction from our state or county health officials, I want to assure families of the following:

  • Six feet distancing in all classrooms K-12 will continue for the foreseeable future;
  • Students who are remote-only, at all grades, will still be able to continue in remote learning at least through the end of the 2020-21 school year;
  • Hybrid learning for students in grades 7-12 will continue.

It is important to note during our reopening planning last summer, every classroom was measured to determine how many students could safely meet the six-feet distancing requirement. At that time, we realized that most classrooms could accommodate a full class with 4-5 foot distancing. If the distancing requirement in New York is relaxed in the near- or distant-future, we are able to maximize distancing in most instances to an area of up to five feet.

We will continue to keep families apprised of any formal changes that may be made to distancing requirements. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at jmonroe@bethlehemschools.org.

Sincerely,

Jody Monroe

Superintendent