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ALL SCHOOLS CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 29TH

Dear Members of the Blind Brook Community,

SCHOOL CLOSED FOR TWO WEEKS STARTING MONDAY MARCH 16: Based on the current status of the spread of COVID-19 in the Westchester County area, all schools in the Blind Brook School District will be closing for two weeks starting on Monday, March 16th. We have several community members self-quarantining for possible exposure to the virus with the expectation of more to come. The District is taking the proactive step in closing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We anticipate re-opening schools on March 30th but will continue to assess the situation and make a determination if additional closure is needed. I will again state that we do not yet have someone who has tested positive to COVID-19. I will continue to keep the community updated if there is any change of status in any community member.

REMOTE LEARNING FOR MS/HS STARTS WEDNESDAY MARCH 18: The District has been closed to students on Thursday and Friday of this week in order to give administrators and teachers the time to finalize plans for remote learning. As this is an extremely short timeframe in which to effectively prepare all materials, there will be no expectation that remote learning will be available until Wednesday, March 18th. This will give everyone sufficient time to prepare for remote learning. At that time students will be expected to complete all assigned activities and work as per their building directive.

It should be understood that the goal of remote learning is to continue the learning process to the extent possible. It should not be expected that the students will get the same experience that they would have when attending an in-person class. I would also note that not all assignments related to remote learning will be online, especially for students in the lower grades. 

REMOTE LEARNING FOR BMPRSS: A letter from the building administration at the Bruno M. Ponterio Ridge Street School will be sent later today explaining how remote learning will work for that building.

LETTER DAY SCHEDULE: Starting on Wednesday, March 18th, students at the Blind Brook Middle School and Blind Brook High School will follow their regular letter day schedule. Students will log into their Google Classroom account at their allotted class time to get assigned work. Teachers will be available for assistance at that time.

NUMBER OF SCHOOL DAYS: The New York StateGovernor has just provided guidance that looks like it will provide an opportunity for school districts to receive a waiver for missing the mandated number of days and minutes of attendance.  I am consulting with our legal counsel to see what needs to be done. We are implementing remote learning regardless as a way to maintain some level of learning while school is not in session for an extended period. I will update the information on this as soon as it is available. 

COMMUNICATIONS: Starting on Sunday, March 15th you can expect to receive at least one daily email from the Superintendent before 8pm with any updates about confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the district, anticipated reopening of the school, news from the Westchester Department of Health, and all other school-related information to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some days may have very little or no news in the email, and some days may have a lot of news; regardless, you will receive at least one daily email. We are formalizing this communications practice to set community members’ expectations about how and when they will receive school updates.

SOCIAL DISTANCING: The purpose of closing the school buildings is to limit the human contact that causes COVID-19 to spread. We would like to remind everyone to limit in-person interactions with others as much as possible so our community realizes the full benefit of social distancing.  This will enable us to stop the spread of this virus and resume a normal school schedule as soon as possible. 

THANK YOUS ALL AROUND!: I need to publicly thank the administrative team for their leadership during this time. I also thank the faculty and staff for all their hard work and preparation. Everyone has been phenomenal in dealing with this current situation!

I realize that this will be a big life adjustment for everyone. Unfortunately, the times that we are living call for radical changes in our day-to-day lives. I do appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility during this time. I will continue to keep the community informed as to what is happening with COVID-19 and learning in our District.

 

Colin Byrne
Interim Superintendent of Schools