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BC schools to remain closed as COVID-19 precaution

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on March 16, 2020

BC schools to remain closed as COVID-19 precaution

Dear BC families:

Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his intention to order all K-12 schools in New York state to close for a period of at least two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus. He has not released any further details on this statewide closure, however, his announcement means there will certainly be an extension of the one-week cancellation of classes I announced last week.

We are continuing to monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 developments and guidance we are receiving from federal, state and local public health agencies. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19/Coronavirus in the Bethlehem Central School District.

While I can not yet anticipate when schools will reopen, I wanted to let you know that our administrative and instructional teams have been working out plans to ensure BC students stay connected to their teachers and have as many resources as we can provide during this unprecedented public health emergency.

Families K-5 can expect to receive an email from their building principal later today with information and links to resources that can be used to help guide student learning. These combine online resources with suggested activities to keep students engaged while they are home. The information will be updated as needed.

Middle school and high school students can expect to hear directly from their teachers by 12 noon on Tuesday, March 17. Teachers will be using a weekly plan to outline instructional resources, activities and opportunities for students to connect with them online.

Our special education teachers are collaborating with general education teachers on the materials, resources and modifications for students and families. Related service providers will also share resources and activities to support skill maintenance in areas of speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc.

In addition to academic resources, we want to be sure we are meeting the needs of our students in other areas:

Breakfast and lunch for students while schools are closed

The Bethlehem Central School District is committed to providing nutritious meals for students while schools are closed. Free “Grab & Go” meals will be available for all children 18 and younger. Our Food Services staff will have the meals available for pick-up daily, Monday-Friday, at the high school, beginning Tuesday, Mar. 17. All details can be found here: https://www.bethlehemschools.org/grab-go-meals-for-children-while-schools-are-closed/

Connect with your school nurse

If your child has medication at school that you would like to have at home, you can contact your building nurse. In addition, if you have any health concerns regarding your child, information or updates you would like to share, you are encouraged to email your school nurse. More information here: https://www.bethlehemschools.org/connect-with-your-school-nurse/

Tech assistance for grades 6-12

If your student (in grades 6-12 only) needs assistance with a BC-owned device while schools are closed, there are two ways to contact our Technology Department:

  1. Send an email to helpdesk@bethlehemschools.org
    Make sure to describe your issue or request in detail.
  2. Call 518-478-0296 and leave a detailed message if no one answers.

When requesting technology assistance, please be sure to leave a phone number where you can be reached.

Free Internet access for students whose schools are closed

Spectrum is offering free Internet access to Capital Region households that have students sent home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 60-day offer is only available to households that aren’t already Spectrum customers. The offer includes free WiFi access. Call 844-488-8395 to enroll. Installation fees are also being waived.

Free Library WiFi at locations around the district

Though the Bethlehem Public Library is currently closed due to precautions related to COVID-19/Coronavirus, there is “Free Library WiFi” available in the library parking lot, at Elm Ave Park, Colonial Acres, and at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center.

We will continue to provide updates to BC families as we navigate this public health crisis together. As always, thank you for your continued support of the BC schools!

Sincerely,

Jody Monroe

Superintendent