Dear Benicia Families
I hope this communication finds you are well and resting! I wanted to share an update, timeline and parent survey with you to keep you all informed regarding our next steps in terms of reopening schools.
At the June board meeting, The Board Trustees approved BUSD in moving forward the models presented. These can be found at https://beniciaunified.org/f/ncov/ although we have made an adjustment to the middle school model which includes AM/PM. sessions, much like the elementary schools. We are planning for several scenario models that include Virtual Only, 50% hybrid in person and full return. We are continuing our planning expecting we will be starting with either 100% Virtual or the 50% hybrid return model. If we are able to start with the 50% hybrid model the plan so far is:
- Elementary, BMS and LHS: AM or PM session, Monday-Thursday
- BHS will offer a combination of Virtual instruction twice a week for each class and in-school small group sessions twice a week for each class.
- Fridays at all sites would be an at-home independent work day
That said, we must continue to respond to the Covid-19 risk factors in Solano County in relation to the 4 phases established by the Governor and this constantly changing landscape. We know this information is changing daily. We continue to monitor and receive guidance from local health officials.
There will be a special board meeting on July 23, 2020 at 7 PM where updates and reviews of the models will be discussed. Depending on the data at that point, the Board may take action regarding which model to begin with on the first day of school, August 17, 2020. (*Note this is a date change for the first day of school that was originally scheduled for August 18, 2020. The updated 2020-2021 School calendar is LINKED HERE.)
Linked in this communication is a survey (by school site) to all parents soliciting their preference for returning to school in August. This information will help inform our plans for the opening of school regardless if we are virtual or hybrid. Please fill out the appropriate surveys for your children who are or will be enrolled in BUSD for the 20202-2021 school year. We are asking that you fill out one survey per student.
We will be offering expanded childcare for elementary through our CDU program at all the elementary schools. The information can be located on our website. This childcare would allow families to have their children attend their classroom instruction if we start with the 50% hybrid model (i.e. AM in the classroom) and then move right into childcare (i.e. PM in CDU.) We believe we will have the capacity to meet the needs of our families with our expanded childcare services, and still follow licensing/CDC safety guidelines. If we need to, we will use a system of prioritization for essential workers and teachers.
We are also communicating with the City of Benicia’s Kids K program to keep them apprised of our plans (knowing these may need to change) so they can plan accordingly.
We understand that families need to plan for what the fall will look like. Please know we want to bring students back as much as possible, as long as we can do this safely for our students, staff and community. Please take a moment to complete the appropriate survey(s) below by Tuesday, July 21, 2020. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through the myriad of requirements and recommendations for opening up schools safely.
Charles Young, Ed.D.