Dr. Shultz May 25th Update

Changes to Outdoor Mask Protocols at BPS
Posted on 05/25/2021
Update from the Superintendent, Dr. Carl Shultz

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Good Afternoon BPS Staff and Families,

Throughout the entire pandemic, changes that affect Bedford Public Schools have come quite rapidly. These past few weeks are no exception and the changes continue to come fast and furious with the recent relaxing of epidemic orders. Overall, this is a good problem to have as it proves that our efforts are producing results that support getting back to normal as soon as possible. However, with this good news also comes confusion about how to best respond to these changes with less than three weeks left in the school year. We have successfully been in a face-to-face learning environment throughout most of the entire school year, largely due to the protocols that we have maintained and strong cooperation from our students, staff, and families. As the end of the year approaches, we would like to ensure that we finish strong without outbreaks or closures. With that in mind, I would like to cover a few items presented in the MDHHS updated epidemic health order and address each of these item’s individual impact on current BPS protocols. If there are additional items specific to a building, building principals will communicate that following this update.

The first change to the epidemic order states that no mask is required for anyone outdoors. This change will take effect here in BPS beginning today. This change in our mask policy includes recess, outdoor school-related activities, end of the year programs and celebrations, and athletics on our home facilities (we do not control rules, expectations, or protocols off of our district campus). It would be our hope that as ambassadors for the BPB community, district guests would adhere to any policy or requests when visiting other school districts or their associated venues.

The second change to the epidemic order states that those fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks indoors. BPS WILL NOT be making this change at this time. This change would only impact a very small number of district students who are fully vaccinated at this point (2 weeks after their 2nd shot (Moderna and Pfizer) or 2 weeks after their first/only shot (Johnson & Johnson) and would not apply to any staff because of conflicting regulations from several governmental agencies. We will continue to mask inside school buildings based on regulations that we have at this time. This policy and adherence applies to all employees, students and anyone else who is permitted in BPS buildings or riding on BPS-provided transportation. Based upon the most updated information received from Lansing, all COVID-related mandates and protocols are expected to be lifted on July 1, 2021. This is most welcome news for our community and district as we continue planning for the 2021-2022 school year. At this time, we fully believe that our district will return to pre-COVID daily school schedules for all students.

As we know, this current order and policy may change as more information or orders become available. I want to once again thank you for the tremendous amount of support BPS has received from our staff and community this year. This support has allowed us to hold in person instruction while also providing other options to support our families. We are very proud of what we have collectively accomplished this year and know that as we continue to work together we will finish the year strong!

Carl Shultz, Ph.D
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

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