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MISSION: To lead an educational partnership with the Community, maintaining an environment that challenges all students to reach their potential as lifelong learners and responsible members of society.

Guidelines For Reopening Schools

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August 13, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of Bethel Park School District Students,

AS OF TUESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2020 OUR OVERALL PLAN FOR REOPENING THE SCHOOLS IN THE BETHEL PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT, WHICH IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE, IS AS FOLLOWS:

We understand and appreciate parents’/guardians’ concerns for the upcoming school year and want to reassure you that we in the District are continuing to work diligently with our staff to provide a high quality educational program during these unprecedented times.  As we present the following plan that has been approved by our school board, please understand that all aspects are subject to change based on changing COVID-19 conditions and mandates from the Governor's office, the Department of Education, Allegheny County Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which currently includes social distancing, hygiene, and the requirement of face coverings. For example, just today the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Health issued joint Public Health Guidance Regarding COVID-19 for Phased Reopening of Pre-K to 12 Schools.  While we will be reviewing this guidance and our plan throughout the school year while providing further detail when appropriate, it is important for families to understand our current planning status.

Per our letters dated June 29 and July 16, 2020, we stated that our continued goal is to provide for a safe back to school plan for all students.  The student start date is September 1, 2020.  Here is the link to the revised 2020-2021 School Calendar: https://www.bpsd.org/Downloads/20-21%20BP%20Calendar%20approved4.pdf .  With that in mind, we are well prepared to move forward with the following transition plan:

1.    TOTAL REMOTE LEARNING AT HOME: (September 1 to October 2, 2020) This remote learning plan will be taught by Bethel Park teachers using the District curriculum and include an updated Learning Management System that will allow for an easy transition to online learning.

2.    RETURN TO SCHOOL HYBRID/BLENDED LEARNING PLAN: (October 5 until December 23, 2020) A blended learning approach where students will return to school on assigned days two days a week and then participate in learning remotely during the unassigned days of that week. This hybrid blended learning plan will be taught by Bethel Park teachers using the District curriculum and include an updated Learning Management System entitled Schoology that will allow for an easy transition for both online and in-school learning. This plan allows for students/families to opt for full distance learning out of safety/health concerns.

3.    RETURN TO SCHOOL FIVE DAYS A WEEK: (January 4, 2021) A total reopen of school for all students and staff allowing for students/families to opt for full distance learning out of safety/health concerns.  Both the in school instructional plan and the remote learning plan would be taught by Bethel Park teachers using the District curriculum.

4.    FIVE DAYS OF TEACHER TRAINING: (August 25 to August 31) The faculty will participate in professional development and training regarding the new Learning Management System entitled Schoology.  The training will provide time for teachers to apply the new information and build lessons.

5.    DISTRIBUTION OF STUDENT TECHNOLOGY DEVICES:  All students (K-12) will be provided with electronic device.  Many of the students already have their device, however, those that have not received one will be notified by the individual building principal for a pick-up time/date.  

6.     LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: The District will be using Schoology to deliver curriculum.  Please click here to learn more.

7.    REMOVING PREVIOUS USER FROM YOUR CHROMEBOOK: Because we were unable to collect Chromebooks at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and get them ready for use by new users in 2020-2021, you will need to remove the previous user from your Chromebook.  Please click here to see a video that will show you how you can do that.

Please understand that Bethel Park School District has concentrated all of its effort in creating a sound educational plan.  A key element in planning is to work with District staff, who we know are eager to continue supporting our students.  As the circumstances change and the plan evolves, we will continue to correspond with our families.  We are now poised to start school on September 1, 2020.  

WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO, THE BETHEL PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL BE SENDING OUT ANOTHER SURVEY TO ALL FAMILIES TO GET YOUR COMMITMENT AS TO YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM, TRANSPORTATION NEEDS AND FOOD SERVICE OPTIONS.  

With this in mind the following items can provide important information:
    Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Requiring Universal Face Coverings. Bethel Park must adhere to this mandate. Learn more at: https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-contenthttps://filecabinet7.eschoolview.com/2020/07/20200701-SOH-Universal-Face-Coverings-Order.pdf 
    Pennsylvania Department of Education-Covid-19 Resources at https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx
    Covid 19 Information for Travelers: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx
    Families First Coronavirus Response Act:  Employee Paid Leave Rights https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

We look forward to continuing to communicate with you and thank you for your input.
 
Sincerely,
 
Joseph Dimperio, PhD.
Interim Superintendent of Schools



IMPORTANT LINKS
  1. Revised 2020-2021 School Year Calendar (revised August 11, 2020)
  2. School Opening Presentation (presented August 11, 2020)
  3. Revised Phased School Reopening Plan (approved August 25, 2020)
  4. A Day in the Life of a Bethel Park High School Student
  5. A Day in the LIfe of an Independence Middle School Student
  6. A Day in the Life of a Neil Armstrong Middle School Student
  7. A Day in the Life of a Bethel Park Elementary School Student
  8. Guidance and Resources for Pre-K to 12 Schools During COVID-19 (to help decide what instructional model the District will use)
  9. Schoology Parent Guide
  10. Schoology YouTube Parent Video
  11. Removing Previous User From Your Chromebook
 

Please click on the links below to see information from the Pennsylvania Department of Education regarding reopening schools in the fall.