Switching to Virtual Learning

All In-Person Learning Suspended
Posted on 11/09/2020
Dr. Carl Shultz UpdateNovember 9, 2020
Dear BPS Parents/Guardians,

Bedford Public Schools leadership and staff have remained vigilant in our pursuit to maintain in-person learning options for students across all district grade-levels. This endeavor has been challenging for all members of our BPS family. The mitigation strategies that have been instituted have made it possible for nine full weeks of available in-person learning. I would like to personally thank all of our students, staff, and families for making the necessary sacrifices needed to make this opportunity possible. As we all have undoubtedly realized throughout 2020, the impacts and changes to our daily lives as a result of this pandemic are often determined by many more factors than our own personal preference and choices. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and desire to remain in-person, we have always known that the impact of COVID-19 on our community would determine our district’s ability to maintain our current in-person learning program options. Due to the significant increase of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and subsequent quarantining, Bedford Public Schools will be suspending all in-person learning options and transitioning all district classrooms to full-virtual learning programs beginning on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

This decision is both difficult and necessary to ensure our ability as a district to keep families safe and learning continuous. BPS is more than aware of the strain that this transition places on our families. We sincerely hope that we are able to share news that is more positive in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. This decision was made in coordination with our partnering experts at the Monroe County Health Department and was based on current and trending local data. In addition to health and safety factors, the most pressing challenges that have forced our transition is the significant number of staff and students who have been placed in quarantine following identified positive individual cases of the virus. These quarantines have made it impossible to adequately staff our in-district learning programs. These challenges are not limited to teaching staff and have affected our transportation, food service, and academic support staff as well.

There will be many extended decisions that will need to be made over the next few days and weeks regarding this transition. Academic program-related information will be shared through individual school building communications. Extra-curricular programs and events will be made on a case-by-case decision and will be facilitated by the individual program directors/leaders. The district will maintain as many of these programs as possible while learning remotely in an attempt to provide outlets for students when safe, feasible, and appropriate. District Food Service will be transitioning to a pick-up service model similar to how it operated during the spring closure. These details, along with more information, will be sent out to all families as it becomes available over the next few days.

Finally, to help our families and community better understand the current data driving this decision, we have created a one-page dashboard with current local, county, and state information. This dashboard can be found on the district website and by clicking on this dashboard link. District leadership will reevaluate the suspension of in-person learning programs based on these data sets during the first week of December. If you have any questions regarding symptoms or the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Monroe County Health Department website or contact them directly at (734) 240-7860. Thank you and I hope that everyone remains safe and well as we continue to fight this pandemic together.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools
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