Dear BA Families:
Thank you for partnering with us during these challenging times. Our online learning reset period improved student success and engagement compared to online learning last spring, and we thank you for partnering with us during this timeframe. We even welcomed a new middle school student during this period! As you are aware, COVID 19 cases and deaths have escalated dramatically since we went into our reset. We pray that you and your extended family have remained healthy and safe during this time.
With planning and prayers, we are returning to campus starting Monday, November 30, 2020, in our full hybrid model which splits our student body into two alpha sections. This decision was made based on county numbers, input from the Diocese, school leadership team, faculty and our own quarantining and COVID case counts which have been changing daily. To date, we have had nine positive cases. By moving to a full hybrid model, even if a student tests positive for COVID, we will significantly limit the number of students we need to send home to quarantine. By reducing the number of students in the building, we can also mitigate any possible holiday exposure and increase our chances to return to full in-person learning possibly yet this December. Here are specifics for how this model will work, starting Monday, Nov. 30:
November 30-Dec. 11, 2020: Full Hybrid
- Students with last names A-Ka report to school Monday and Tuesday each week.
- Students with last names Ke-Z report to school Thursday and Friday
- Wednesday is our support day - no scheduled classes. Students who need extra support or time to work on projects may come to school. Both teachers and/or students may schedule meetings for this time.
- A full detailed report of our hybrid model is in our Addendum for your review is at this link.
Some students may be asked to report daily; we will be contacting those families directly. If you have any extenuating circumstances which warrants a change for your child’s reporting days, please email the school to let us know of your request: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will the next two weeks look like? Both Faribault and BA’s buses are still operating.
- Mon, Nov. 30-Tues, Dec 1: All A-Ka scholars report; Ke-Z report online to PowerSchool and check in with all classes for lessons and assignments.*Tuesday we celebrate students of the month from A-Ka.
- Wednesday, Dec. 2 –Students needing support or time for projects may schedule time to come into the building or may be requested to report by a teacher.
- Thursday, Dec. 3 – All Ke-Z scholars report; A-Ka report online to PowerSchool and check in with all classes for lessons and assignments. *Today we celebrate students of the month from Ke-Z.
- Friday, Dec. 4 – MASS DAY SCHEDULE. All in person and online students report to homeroom. Ke-Z students will attend Mass. All students at home (A-Ka) are asked to watch Mass online (https://www.facebook.com/divinemercy.cc). 9:30am: Students report to class, A-Ka students report online and check all classes for lessons and assignments.
- Monday, Dec. 7 – All A-Ka scholars report; Ke-Z report online to PowerSchool and check in with all classes for lessons and assignments.
- Tuesday, Dec. 8 – MASS DAY SCHEDULE. All in person and online students report to homeroom. All students in the building will attend Mass in our gymnasium as it is a Holy Day and DMCS will be at IC Church. All students at home (Ke-Z) are asked to join us online (https://www.facebook.com/divinemercy.cc). 9:30 a.m. – Ke-Z students report online to PowerSchool and check in with all classes for lessons and assignments.
- Wednesday, Dec. 9 – Students needing support or time for projects may schedule time to come into the building or may be requested to report by a teacher.
- Thursday, Dec. 10-Friday, Dec 11: All Ke-Z scholars report; A-Ka report online to PowerSchool and check in with all classes for lessons and assignments.
Why are we returning in this full hybrid model? Due to our reset, Bethlehem Academy is better positioned to have students safely in the building; however, since the time of our initial shift to an online reset on November 10, we have had new students and staff diagnosed with COVID, new families having to quarantine, and more families asking to move to distance learning if we return. By returning to campus in full hybrid, we can further mitigate exposure. For those of you still worried if it is safe to return to campus, please know that we have taken even additional precautions including:
- Spreading desks out further or grouping them to limit possible exposure.
- Limited lunchroom seating to no more than 3 a table
- In addition, to date we have not had spread within our building
Final Note: Please note, this plan may still need to be adjusted depending on COVID cases within our building, exposure, or on a positive side, the lack of cases or exposure. The more you do at home to mitigate cases and exposure, the more likely we can continue in hybrid or change to full in-person learning.
Finally, a couple of notes:
- In regards to students when learning remotely, the teachers have adapted their format to do a check in with distance and flipped lesson, so that when students are here they are getting more direct support, which is what was recommended by the schools utilizing this learning model. Our staff feel confident that this will work well.
- Revised symptom checklist for student self-screening: At the advice of public health authorities, we have revised our student screening checklist. Please see the attached checklist to screen for symptoms on days your student will be in the building.
Please contact the school with any questions. Sending wishes for a blessed and safe Thanksgiving! Finally, lease share enjoy and share this link to our virtual Grandparents Day program.
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