Schedule and Locations (Every Wednesday and Friday)
North Ave. Alliance Church
Schedule and Locations (Every Wednesday and Friday)
In response to the August 11th update to the Agency of Education’s “A Strong and Healthy Start Guidance,” we have created a tool in PowerSchool that will allow families to complete student health screenings at home each morning before leaving for school. Please check out the video for a look at how to complete the daily form, then login to your BSD PowerSchool account to complete the screening.
Remember, it will be important to complete the screening before 7:30 AM each morning, if possible, because at 7:30 each morning, staff will download a report to see who has completed the screening. Those who did not complete the screening prior to 7:30 AM will have to complete the screening on-site prior to building entry. Once students arrive, staff will verify which students still need to be screened and confirm students are fever-free.
BSD invites members of the community to participate in a School Safety Task Force as requested in the Board of School Commissioners’ resolution passed on June 25, 2020. The resolution charges the School Safety Task Force with reviewing the role of School Resource Officers (SROs) and presenting recommendations to further the district’s policy goals of implementing all elements of Restorative Practices (RP) as part of the district priorities of equitable and safe inclusive schools.
Those interested in joining the School Safety Task Force should complete the application today.
The School Safety Task Force’s charge is to present a plan that accomplishes the following objectives:
– Identify and document the original intention of the SRO presence in the schools and the functions SROs perform in the school.
– Determine whether any of these functions must be performed by uniformed law enforcement officials. Which functions are done jointly with BSD staff?
– Develop options for alternative approaches that reinforce a restorative model for all of Burlington’s students/youth during and outside school hours.
– Ensure the safety of all of Burlington’s students/youth during and outside of school hours using a Restorative Practices model that eliminates the traumatizing effects associated with weapons, uniforms, and a police presence communicated by some of the district’s students and community members.
Per the resolution, the School Safety Task Force must be comprised not more than nine people, including school district leaders, school commissioners or their designee, a city councilor or their designee, a student, a parent, and a community member with lived experience with SRO’s, restorative practices, law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and youth development.
The School Safety Task Force will meet for at least two hours a week for two months and produce a report of recommendations by December 2020. This is a voluntary role; there is no compensation for participating in this Task Force. Applicants will need to be available to attend all meetings, both in-person and remotely.
Tuesday is the day! Here are a few more updates to help everyone be prepared for school this year.
Online Health Screenings: Before students leave home each day, all families should complete an online screening form through their PowerSchool account. The form contains four questions, including asking about fevers, other COVID systems, physical distancing, and travel. The form takes less than 30 seconds to complete per child, and includes instructions on what do if any of the questions are answered “yes” (in most cases, the student should not leave home for school). Step-by-step instructions can be seen here and a tutorial video is available on the District YouTube page.
Masks: As you know, masks will be required by all staff and students this year. Schools will be providing a few masks for all students next week. Please check out this quick resource for tips on how to wear and care for masks.
Bussing: At around 1 PM today we learned that GMT that that will be increasing the occupancy limits up to 30 passengers on their largest buses starting tomorrow, Saturday, September 5. This is great news for BSD and we are grateful. However, please remember that even with the increase, this is still only about half the capacity we usually have. We still encourage students to seek alternative transportation if at all possible.
Guidance: Please visit our website to access BSD Reopening Guidance, Version 2. This document has a lot of new information that you can find in green. We also used the strikethrough function so that you can see what changes have been made.
Town Halls: To help answer questions, we have participated in and hosted a number of Town Halls this week and many are available on the District YouTube Channel including:
BSD Reopening Town Hall with Special Education Focus
Message of Patience: Finally, we want to remind you that this year will look different. Please remember that Tuesday will be our first attempt at welcoming students back in school since March. With new safety protocols, things may take longer than in previous years. If you’re doing drop off Tuesday or Thursday, please remain patient with us.
Thank you, we can’t wait to welcome students back!
The BSD Reopening Team
August 6, 2020
Hello BSD Community,
We’ve had another productive week focused on preparing for reopening. Thank you for your engagement (and patience!) through this process. We have received many thoughtful questions, suggestions, and offers of partnership from across the city. Our planning process has been and continues to be intentional and thoughtful; every decision we make prioritizes equity, engagement, deep learning, and the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community.
This past week, I’ve been meeting with school faculty across the district and we are having positive conversations about reopening. Andrew Styles (Burlington Education Association President) and Becca McCray (COVID-Coordinator, Edmunds MS School Nurse, and President-elect of the School Nurses Association) are joining me in these meetings. As you can imagine there are a lot of questions, and all ideas we hear are making our plans better. From these conversations, it is clear to me that our staff are committed to serving our students and our community, and they are gearing up for in-person instruction in September.
We are also excited to provide BSD-specific reopening guidance this week, and a survey so we can hear your preferences around the start of the school year. Please see below for a number of important updates, including our Enrollment Survey, the new start date for school (September 8), and information regarding our Reopening Guidance document.
Enrollment Preferences Survey – Parents, we are ready to hear your preferences regarding options for this coming fall, including whether you plan to have your student access their education through the hybrid model or through 100% remote learning. For those of you who are choosing the Hybrid model, you will also be asked if you prefer “A” Days (Mondays and Thursdays) or “B” Days (Tuesdays and Fridays) and why. Please remember, we will do our very best to accommodate schedules but there is a possibility not every family will receive their first choice of hybrid days.
The survey also asks about access to transportation, thermometers, food, and internet. The feedback obtained through this survey will be CRUCIAL to our planning team. Thank you for your response, please complete the Student Enrollment Survey in Powerschool today. Once you log-in, you will find the survey in the “Forms” section on the left side of the page. Click on forms and then scroll down to until you reach the “Reopening Enrollment” section where the form is located. Please note that you will need to complete this form for each of your students in the District. If you need help completing your students’ forms, please call our central office at 802-865-5332 ext. 1 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New School Start Day, September 8 – On July 31 Governor Scott’s office issued an Executive Order (signed July 29, 2020) to delay the start of all schools in Vermont until Tuesday, September 8th. This will allow more time for staff to plan the reopening at their schools prior to school reopening. We will abide by Governor Scott’s Executive Order and are awaiting additional guidance from the AOE regarding the impact of the order on a number of decisions including but not limited to teacher workdays and student instructional days. At this time, we are planning for all teachers and paras to begin work on August 20 and will continue to communicate with staff and union representatives leading up then.
Guidance – As we prepare for Reopening BSD, we know parents and staff have many questions. Please visit our Reopening Task Force website for version one of our Reopening BSD guidance document. It is important to note that this document will be updated between now and the start of school. We still have additional details to put into our plans and as you know, guidance from state and federal agencies is continually changing. I hope this document provides a solid baseline understanding of our plans to date and I encourage all staff and parents to continue to reach out with questions, comments, and suggestions.
ABCAB Model – Last week I communicated the District’s decision to implement an ABCAB Hybrid Model, where “A” Days are Mondays and Thursdays, and “B” Days are Tuesday and Fridays. This is an example of a decision not made lightly, and one that prioritizes equity, deep learning, and safety.
After careful consideration, our Reopening Task Force decided upon the current model after consulting principals and health professionals. Ultimately, we decided the ABCAB model would better support social-emotional learning, allowing for more regular contact between staff and students, as well as students with their peers. In an AACBB model, we would have gone 5 days each week in-between seeing students. An ABCAB model allows us to reduce that large amount of time, which will better support student learning.
Additionally, we determined that in our District the ABCAB model makes it much easier to ensure food access for our food-insecure families by allowing for additional meal distribution days between remote learning days. And this model offers much better continuity of learning, particularly for our EL, special education, and high-need students.
And finally, the science now shows that this disease primarily spreads person to person through the air, not from surfaces to a person. As we will be wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and hand washing frequently, the cleaning done on a daily basis in our buildings is sufficient between pods. The deep cleaning on Wednesday will ensure our building remains extra clean every week, but we feel the possible benefits of deep cleaning between pods (the AABCC model) do not outweigh the negative effects of 5 consecutive days away from school every week. While no hybrid model is perfect, we feel an ABCAB model better ensures “whole health” (physical, mental, social-emotional) for every student.
New Hire – BSD is thrilled to have Quaron “Q” Pinckney join our team as our new District Coordinator – Head of Athletics. Quaron joins at an exciting time as we explore how to make athletics part of our larger reopening plans while ensuring the safety of our student-athletes and coaches. Welcome Q!
July 23, 2020
I am writing to provide you with an update on our plans to reopen our school buildings. To start the school year, Burlington School District, along with all 16 school districts covering Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties who are members of the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA), will implement a hybrid instruction model that will include both in-person and remote learning. This plan to return to school is student-centered, focused on social-emotional needs, and designed to keep our students learning at a high level. Most importantly, a hybrid model affords the ability to offer in-person learning in the safest environment possible while adhering to the best practices of the guidance issued by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE). Here’s how the hybrid model will work:
Students will be divided into two groups.
Groups will attend school in-person two days a week and learn remotely three days a week.
Students and staff attending in person will wear masks and practice physical distancing.
Groups will be thoughtfully created so they best support families, including grouping family members together whenever possible.
We are working on scheduling and will have that information to families as soon as possible.
Almost all students will be learning remotely on Wednesdays. We will use this day to provide individualized support to students, engage in professional learning and planning for our staff, and deep clean our buildings.
While we all agree that nothing compares to the benefits that students receive from in-person instruction, after extensively reviewing the AOE’s guidance and evaluating how to operationally implement those requirements and recommendations in our schools, reviewing survey submissions from our families and staff, and consulting with our reopening committee, we feel the hybrid model will best address the health and safety of our students and staff given the current health data available.
Having fewer students in the building at a time will help reduce contact with others and allow for better distancing. The smaller groups will also allow teachers and staff more time to assess the academic progress and needs of our students. With fewer students in the building, we can better help them adjust to new expectations while fostering healthy routines throughout the day, such as regular hand washing. In these pandemic conditions, it is also imperative that we continue to improve our remote systems so that we can be ready to adapt if health data requires a shift to full remote learning again.
While we move forward planning to implement this hybrid model, we are also continuing to explore other options, such as offering remote-only options. More information regarding this will be available soon, though we do know that additional learning options will be determined by the capacity of our staff and our community’s needs.
We acknowledge the hardships that hybrid and full remote models may place on families, including our own faculty and staff. Although it will be a challenge, the overwhelming majority of families and staff surveyed preferred opening schools in a hybrid learning environment. By working together, openly communicating, and being creative and flexible, we can overcome these challenges together. That said, please understand there are many moving pieces to these plans, and we will need to adapt as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves and we receive further guidance from the AOE and the Department of Health.
Finally, in addition to academic work, I want to assure you that our teams will work tirelessly to support your child’s social and emotional needs through this transition. School is going to look and feel different this year, and we know all of our students will need support. We are here for your children and for your family.
We will send more communication in the coming days and weeks as we finalize plans, but in the meantime, I encourage you to continue to reach out and stay engaged.
Superintendent Tom Flanagan
Burlington School District and Winooski School District have teamed up to bring Erin Walsh, of Spark and Stitch Institute, to your computer screens. Join us on May 21st and May 28th for a short series of webinars regarding social media safety for students.
BSD’s most recent Climate Survey data showed that parents, teachers, and students were concerned about social media safety. These events are designed for parents and teachers to be able to better understand the world of social media and what adults need to know to help prevent, address, and respond to cyberbullying. Parents, if you think your student will also benefit from attending with you, please have them join you!
These presentations are free for all to attend via Zoom webinar (information coming soon) and are split into two presentations to address different grade levels. Can’t attend in person? We will live stream the Zoom webinar to our YouTube page where you will be able to access the presentation to watch when you are able. More information below!
Digital Safety and Wellbeing: Tackling Difficult Conversations in the Digital Age
May 21st, 6:30-8:00 PM: Presentation and Q&A focused on grades K-5. (Attend Via Zoom or visit our YouTube page during the presentation.)
May 28th, 6:30-8:00 PM: Presentation and Q&A focused on grades 6-12. (Attend Via Zoom or visit our YouTube page during the presentation.)
Children and youth today spend an average of 53 hours a week with entertainment media, more than any other activity but sleeping – and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no surprise then that young people today are navigating the ups and downs of learning, relationships, kindness, and cruelty in both offline and online spaces. In this interactive and energizing webinar, Erin Walsh will explain how technology is changing the ways that children and youth grow up, socialize, and make decisions. She will cut through conflicting messages and walk through the latest evidence on topics like cyberbullying, online cruelty and how to cultivate focus amidst a sea of online distractions. Participants will leave with practical tools and strategies for tackling difficult conversations, building trust, and being the media mentor that kids desperately need to make better decisions online.
Participants will explore questions like:
While COVID-19 interfered the 33rd Annual Children’s Art Exhibition Ceremony scheduled at City Hall on Thursday, March 19, Burlington City Arts launched an online platform to host this longstanding community tradition and display over 189 young Burlington artists’ artwork.
(Photo right from River Shepard at Champlain!)
Started in 1987, the Children’s Art Exhibition displays the artworks of local elementary school children at City Hall each year. While the 2020 exhibition was installed in February of this year, the annual ceremony, where children meet the Mayor, was moved online due to the coronavirus.
This year, the exhibition features the work of the following elementary schools: Champlain Elementary; C.P. Smith Elementary; Edmunds Elementary; Integrated Arts Academy; J.J. Flynn Elementary; and Sustainability Academy.
This exhibition recognizes the incredible diversity and creativity of Burlington’s children.
Each year, one or two students from each school are awarded special honors with the Bentley Davis Seifer Award, sponsored by the Charles P. Ferro Foundation, which includes a special certificate (and $20 cash award). This year, the winners include Joe LaMonde and Emma-Rose Holas (Champlain Elementary); Carris Gaito and Adler Kuntz (C.P. Smith Elementary); William Cunningham and Jaylynn Jimenez (Edmunds Elementary); Enoch Ahmed and Rachel Cunningham (Integrated Arts Academy); Adrianna Greene and Bryson Gokey (J.J. Flynn Elementary); and Deeya Gurung and Maddy McHale (Sustainability Academy).
This annual event is one of many arts opportunities BCA provides for parents and children throughout the year. In addition to the Children’s Art Exhibition, BCA works with the middle school on after-school programs in its studios, hosts popular summer arts programming for children, and the BCA Studios at 405 Pine Street offer opportunities for children in our communities to access the arts.
Burlington City Arts would like to thank all of the young artists, their teachers and schools, as well as Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger for providing an introduction to the online exhibition.
Continuity of Learning – Overview of Plan
All IAA school work related to Continuity of Learning can be found on this IAA Learning from Home document. This is grouped by grade level and includes information on curriculum, online class meetings (via Google Hangout), school counseling, e-books, and more.
If you need help with this document or any of the information listed, please contact your teacher directly.
The following is from the Superintendent’s message on 4/13/2020.
One thing I want to make sure to remind parents, and I hope this was clear on Thursday, even as we move to Continuity of Learning, this will not be “school as usual.” I want all of us to be careful to manage our expectations. While we want your students to learn, I hope you do not plan or expect them to be in front of a computer with their teachers from 7:30-3 PM or later every day. The workload will increase and our teachers will work hard to deliver your child’s education, but virtual learning will require effort and patience from all of us.
Parents are not expected to instruct or teach their students beyond their normal practice.
WE are asking parents to partner with their school to monitor students.
The primary support parents can offer is to encourage and help students to engage.
We also need you to regulate the balance between work time and rest time.
Create a mentally healthy environment.
The expectation is that parents are following up with teachers and principals as needed.
Attendance: As we move into Continuity of Learning, the State is requiring that we take attendance. Each school has a system set up for taking attendance and if you haven’t already, you will be learning more from your Principal this week. Please note that attendance will be considered and tracked through a combination of student and parent interactions, so parents, if your teachers or principals are trying to contact you, please do your best to be in touch.
Schedules: Beginning this week, you will be receiving increased communication and more educational requirements from your teachers. These will come in the form of emails, weekly newsletters, and phone calls. Teachers will also be using virtual platforms to connect with students such as Google Hangouts, and classroom work/interaction through Seesaw (K-5) and Unified Classroom (6-12). Teachers will communicate with every student at least twice a week and will communicate weekly learning expectations, including learning targets and assignment details at the beginning of every week. During the week, grades 6-8 will also have virtual Team Check-Ins and grades 9-12 will have virtual Study Groups.
Curriculum: For all students, we are working to provide a combination of technology and non-technology dependent options. This is especially important for our K-2 families, not all of whom have the technology to access online learning at this time.
Teacher Office Hours: This week, your teachers will also be communicating pre-set “Office Hours” during which you can be sure to reach them with questions and concerns. These office hours are in addition to the work teachers are doing to prepare lessons and conduct instruction. They are designed so that you can know when your instructor can be reachable on short notice to help with assignments and learning needs. For Pre-K through 5, these will happen twice a week, and 6-12, three times a week.
Technology: Many of our educators may choose to use a video conferencing tool from Google called Hangouts/Meet to connect online with students in the absence of face-to-face classes. Students and families should know that we are making every effort to protect privacy rights and adhering to state and federal guidelines, including giving parents of students under the age of 13 the ability to opt-out of virtual conferencing. Our Technology Interventionists have created a document (“BSD Guidelines and Information for Families: Online Meetings with Students”) designed to help you navigate video conferencing with your students. Please read it today.
Grading and Assessing Learning: Based on guidance from the AOE, teachers are identifying the high leverage concepts and priority standards/proficiencies as a framework for providing instruction during remote learning. Students will be assessed on these concepts and standards using a combination of formative and summative tools. Classroom teachers will share their assessment plans with families as part of their weekly communication. Your school’s administrator will cover more specifics about grading/reporting as it relates to 4th quarter and end of year in their future updates.
Appreciation: Finally, I hope you will please take a minute to join me in thanking BSD’s Multilingual Liaisons. As I shared on Thursday, 16% of our students identify as new English Learners, Our liaisons have been working tirelessly to help us translate updates, messages, and information over the past two weeks, and each of our more than 550 EL families in the District has received at least two one-on-one conversations during this time. The number of requests for their services, while always high, has grown incredibly during this time, and liaisons are doing an amazing job keeping up. Thank you, Team!
Thanks for reading another long update. Please remember that you can still submit questions about Continuity of Learning via our google form, and you can find a lot of information on our Coronavirus webpage.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and remember physical distancing is working.
If you or someone in your family is losing pay due to the coronavirus epidemic, you should fill out a Free and Reduced-Price Meals Application today, and apply for 3Squares Benefits, even if you have already filled out these applications this year or have never been eligible in the past.
The thresholds have been lowered and more benefits have been added.
More information on both below, please do this TODAY!
The new stimulus package passed by the Federal Government features increased benefits for anyone eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals. Filling out the application can help you get extra money for food in addition to any other benefits you may already have or be applying for. Even if your change in pay is expected to be temporary you should fill this application. Even if you have already filled out an application this year, you should fill one out again if your pay is now different. You can find applications at all BSD meals sites or you can fill out the application online.
Below you can also find applications that you may print out and drop off at any BSD meal site.
3SquaresVT is Vermont’s name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP). 3SquaresVT can help you stretch your food budget so you can put three healthy meals on your table every day. If your income has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, please apply today.
Not sure if you’ll be eligible? Hunger Free Vermont has created a great tool to show families if they might be eligible before going through the process of filling out the application. Try it today.
Integrated Arts Academy
6 Archibald Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Tel: (802) 864-8475
Cultivating caring, creative and courageous people. Join the journey!