End of Year Message & Planning for 20-21 School Year
May 28, 2020
Today marks the last “school day” for the 2019-2020 school year and clearly the end of this school year was not what we all envisioned or hoped for. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is far reaching and impacting all aspects of our lives. Sadly our students have missed out on many experiences this year; however, through collaboration, creative imaginations, and hard work, we have been able to make the most out of a difficult situation. The Class of 2020 will be forever remembered for their many accomplishments, including how they responded to the adversity associated with COVID-19. All of our students are “first-class” and the character displayed by every member of the 114th BCHS graduating class has been inspiring; their parents are commended and the BC community should be proud of the legacy they leave on the District. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
We know there are many unanswered questions about the 2020-2021 school year and the District has just as many questions. The coronavirus situation changes daily and orders from the Ohio Department of Health evolve based upon conditions making planning unbelievably difficult. Any minor changes in virus statistics, one way or the other, could result in new orders and upend any plans before or during the next school year.
In the next few days, school districts expect to receive guidelines from the state for the possible reopening of schools in August. At this time, we are planning for multiple scenarios. Regardless of whether we operate on a normal schedule with safety precautions, are only able to have a percentage of students in the buildings at a time on alternating schedules, or are learning remotely, we will remain committed to our students.
Potential continuations of social distancing and mass gathering restrictions will dramatically impact plans. A traditional school day with all students clearly constitutes a “mass gathering” and social interactions of less than 6’ on school buses, classrooms, and in cafeterias is common. There are also significant academic, social, emotional, and behavioral, consequences of operating all online/remotely or on an alternating schedule.
The economic impact of the coronavirus is being felt by families, businesses, schools, and just about every aspect of society. As a result, the state of Ohio has cut over $300 million from K-12 public education. Our district received over an 8% cut in state funding for FY20 and we expect to see additional reductions in revenue in FY21. At the same time, we are facing additional operating costs for PPE, disinfecting supplies, and other potential changes to comply with safety requirements. It is our responsibility to always look for opportunities to reduce operational costs while also doing what is best for our students and our community.
Obviously, difficult decisions await. The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. I have listened to concerns from parents on both sides of the issue – return or not. I believe we all want to see our students in school on a “normal” schedule - the question is how and when should that happen? Therefore, we need some information from you in order to best plan for all possible situations as we work to follow guidelines and relevant recommendations related to COVID-19.
BC parents were sent a 2020-2021 school planning survey today by email and text to help inform the district with planning.
As we continue through this busy summer, I will be working closely with the Board of Education, administration, teachers, and parents to best balance the safety, academic, and social-emotional needs of our students. School plans for 2020-2021 will be communicated with our stakeholders throughout the summer. We hope that you have felt informed, aware of the good things taking place, and the challenges we face together.
I wish you and your family a fun and safe summer.