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Update May 15: Important calendar changes

Filed in District, District News by on May 15, 2020

The following is a message for families from Superintendent Jody Monroe:

Dear BC family,

I am writing this week with some important calendar updates for families. 

Friday, May 22 will be a regular day of instruction for students K-12. The day had been designated a contingent holiday on our original calendar but due to the use of a snow day on December 2, 2019 and our emergency closure day on March 17, 2020, we are going to use that day to continue online instruction. 

Monday, May 25 is Memorial Day and there will be no online instruction and all offices that have been open will be closed. 

There are changes to the end of the year calendar, as well. The last day of instruction for students K-12 will be Wednesday, June 17. Thursday and Friday, June 18-19, will be conference days for our instructional staff. This revised calendar meets our contractual obligations and our instructional schedule for students. The Board of Education is expected to approve this calendar change at its May 27 meeting. As many of our schools’ end-of-year celebrations move online and plans are made to honor those graduating and moving up, please know that those details will be shared by your child’s building principal.

The June calendar change will allow us to continue to move forward in preparing our buildings for an eventual reopening of our schools. Teachers have been cleaning out their rooms and our building maintenance staff will be able to get a head-start on the extensive work they do every summer. That work, as you can imagine, is compounded by social distancing and safety requirements.

Our administrative team is busy laying out “how-to” and “what if” plans that cover every reopening scenario. As you can imagine this work encompasses so many unknowns but we want to be as prepared as possible for whatever timeline and guidance we receive from local and state officials in the coming weeks and months. As these impactful decisions are considered, they will be shared with you as quickly as possible.

We have also been preparing for a budget vote that is unlike any we have experienced. The Board of Education adopted a proposed 2020-21 budget and seven candidates are vying for three seats on the Board. If you haven’t had a chance, I encourage you to read more about the budget and about these candidates. The most important thing you will want to know is how to vote. Like everything else in 2020, it’s different. Here is what you need to know.

You may also be aware that our transportation team is in the process of returning student items to your homes. It is not a perfect process but our staff have been moving mountains of materials to get them organized and get them home to you. I thank them for their efforts and I thank you for your patience.

Earlier in the week I took a few minutes to catch my breath and found a real treat while I did. It’s the Best of Bethlehem K-12 Art Show. Like everything else it has moved online, but the expression of caring, the appreciation of the beauty in the world really comes to life in the work of these student artists, who are as young as kindergarten. As you begin your weekend, enjoy a quiet moment with their work.

Please stay healthy and well, BC! We have a lot to look forward to.

Sincerely,

Jody Monroe

Superintendent of Schools