Note: Please see all Superintendent updates and the most current information on our Coronavirus webpage.
March 18, 2020
Coronavirus Update 10 – First Day of Closure
Greetings BSD Community,
I want to provide a brief update regarding our work today on the first day of school closure.
First, I want to say thank you to all of our staff. From property services to food services, to teachers, support staff, non-teaching roles and everything in between: YOU made today a successful and safe day for our students. Thank you.
Food Service: I am pleased to report that our Burlington School Food Project prepared 284 breakfasts and 316 lunches! The push to provide free meals for all children 18 and under could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of our incredible School Nutrition Team and several community partners including Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, North Avenue Alliance Church, Burlington Housing Authority, Reinhart Foodservice Burlington and Vermont Agency of Education. Visit our Conoronavirus Prep website for the full list of meal sites with days and times, as well as our current menu. (Photos of the day below.)
Curriculum: Let’s give a huge thank you for our curriculum department and Instructional Coaches for their weeks of planning in order to provide resources on day one. Principals, administrative assistants, and instructional coaches were in schools handing out paper resources to parents and students today. Several parents who have access to the internet were still grateful for the printed copies because they didn’t have printers or were using their printers for work. Here are just a few examples of the type of work happening at each of our schools across BSD: Flynn sent home 130 packets yesterday. Academic Interventionists at IAA created bags to go home with each child in the school; bags include math dice, a deck of cards and a list of math games that students can use to practice math facts while we are on shutdown. Our teachers at EMS have instituted a TikTok challenge to keep students engaged. And the BHS lobby was a site to see with countless classroom materials and resources available.
We also learned today that Burlington Telecom is now offering free internet to eligible families during the closure. We are encouraged by today’s efforts and developments! (Photos below.)
Childcare: A team from our District has been actively exploring ways to provide childcare for our community, prioritizing, for the time being, free child care services from Pre-k-5th grade to essential Burlington City and School District employees, first responders, medical providers, and staff at the UVM Medical Center. We understand that as of today the list of employees who are considered essential by the state is expanding and we are considering those implications as well. Surveys have been sent to our Pre-K-5 families to determine the types of childcare needed. Please complete the survey so we may launch the childcare service. Details on childcare will be in our next update.
Special Education: The Vermont Agency of Education has been in close contact with the United States Office of Special Education Programs and is preparing guidance for school districts across Vermont. They also have a team of attorneys providing legal guidance to them. We are awaiting that guidance which should be coming out shortly. At that time Laura Nugent, Director of Student Support Services, will send a letter that will explain the provision of FAPE while our schools are closed.
Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you again to all staff, parents, and students for continued patience and flexibility.
Join the Journey,