October 1, 2021 As we turn the page on September and approach our seventh week of school, I want to provide you an update on several school related topics.
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A focus of our students and staff has been building and maintaining a positive school culture. We also rely on YOU! Please continue to be a positive example in your child's life. Using the book Energy Bus we are working on a monthly video series which highlights positive principles of daily life in Brookville Schools. We often share and broadcast the good things happening in our extracurricular programs but fall short in showing you the great things taking place in our classrooms. The principle of the month for September was being VISIONARY. Please take a moment to view these two short videos that promote visionary programs in our buildings:
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We have seen a slight uptick in positive COVID cases. This can be concerning on two fronts. First, just the concern for the illness of our students. Second, a concern for the possibility of quarantines increasing. We are working diligently to spread students out in classrooms, allow for outdoor lunches, disinfecting high use areas and providing hand sanitizer. Please know that once students leave our buildings we task you with promoting healthy decisions. Think twice about giving permission to after school activities that may increase health risk. Also, we have chosen to allow personal choice on such protocols as masks and vaccines. Please consider those choices that give your child the best chance to stay in school. Below are the current COVID numbers for Brookville Schools: https://www.brookvilleschools.org/Content2/20630
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There has been some concerns and questions surrounding the growth of our community and the available building space. At the September Board meeting, Mr. Hopkins gave a PowerPoint presentation and report regarding current numbers, space and the effect of growth. This link provides you with the slide show and sound from the presentation:
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HELP WANTED. How many times lately have you seen that sign at a local business or establishment? Brookville Schools are no different. We are in desperate need, particularly for substitutes in our support personnel positions as well as classroom teaching substitutes. Have some free days? You may want to consider being trained as a bus driver, classroom paraprofessional, cafeteria worker, custodian, etc. Who knows, if you like it you may want to consider full time employment in the future. Like many schools we are particularly in need of additional school bus drivers! Contact our district office at 937-833-2181 to apply.
Parents and Caregivers: As we wrap up the 2021 school year I wanted to provide you with a thumbnail sketch of several school related topics. A Year to Remember: Tomorrow marks the end of this school year. There are a ton of emotions from exhaustion to relief to celebration as the sun sets on this school year. It is hard to imagine that your children just finished a year that will literally go down in world history. I am both happy for and grateful to the staff, students, parents and community for your patience, understanding and support in making this year possible. Sometimes the simple but most powerful 2 words to use are THANK YOU . Enough said. Where Do We Go from Here: The nature of the global pandemic is that we have learned long term plans are always subject to change. However, I am comfortable telling you at this time that we are planning for a “normal” school year in 2021-2022. All health orders will be lifted June 2 and we intend to return next year without protocols and restrictions. The option for protocols like wearing a mask will still be allowable but not required. Senior Shoutout: Commencement Exercises will be held Saturday morning at the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights. I feel like it is appropriate to give a special shout out to the graduating class of ‘21. I understand the last 15 months have not been easy and I couldn’t be more excited that they are going to have this time of celebration. We are gracious of their perseverance and wish them Godspeed in the future. Focus on Positivity: As superintendent, I feel that we completed this academic year with fidelity. Teaching and learning were evident in our classrooms. I would be remiss to not admit that our focus, particularly thru the first three quarters, was to just complete each day. Next year we will return to a school year much more driven to district goal achievement and culture building. That will begin June 3rd as a majority of our staff will be participating in a professional development day that includes our use of the Energy Bus for Schools Program. This is not a silver bullet that is a cure all for adversity and difficult times. However, based on the book “The Energy Bus” by author Jon Gordon, it will help us, post pandemic, to rebuild a school culture around positive principles and practices. I encourage you to grab a copy and read it to understand where we are headed. Synergistic Relationship: The Board of Education and administration have engaged in discussions about the synergy between COVID times and our school operations. What have we learned and done because of the pandemic that is worth keeping. Things like allowing kids to eat outside some days; intermediate school students going straight to first period class upon entering the building, water bottle fillers replacing some water fountains. These are just examples of ways we hope to learn and grow from this unusual school year. Volunteers: One strength of our school district is the awesome volunteer support we receive from parents and community. Because of the pandemic that volunteerism was all but eliminated this year. We look forward to having you back. As volunteers you are so vital to our success. Look for BIB background check information in early August and know that we will be happy to have our volunteers return. You Must be New!: For numerous reasons, including retirements, we will welcome more new employees in the Fall of 2021 than we have in over 20 years. At the time of this message that includes 8 new teachers, a new guidance counselor, 3 new director level administrators and several new support personnel. More in the way of introductions will be coming in the Fall. Finances and Stimulus Funds: In the way of finances our school system continues to be on stable footing. Our immediate financial future is healthy. Our Board uses a 10 year financial Master Plan under the direction of our school Treasurer, Mrs. Hiser, to monitor revenues and expenditures in the most prudent manner. I have been asked by several people about receiving federal stimulus funds. We have, although the amounts are based on a formula driven by economic need in your district. Therefore, our stimulus dollars are not as high as some of those in other districts. Most importantly our goal is to strategically use these funds in ways that support the 10 year financial master plan moving forward. Please Hit the ReSet Button: To reiterate, everyone involved in our schools from staff, students, parents and community have been amazing this year. Most importantly, you have done what was right for you in protecting and supporting our children. They are our most important treasures. Now, I ask you to spend June and July hitting the reset button. Rest, we are all exhausted from the trials of the pandemic. Clear your mind and recognize the positives in your life. As a community we have been able to survive a torrid 24 months because we cared for one another. Especially our children. Have empathy and grace for everyone. It’s what makes us Brookville. Thank You, Tim Hopkins, Superintendent
Parents, Brookville Schools have been offered an opportunity to hold a COVID vaccine clinic for students ages 12-18. The clinic will be conducted by Dayton Children’s Hospital and take place in our administrative building (old Westbrook Elementary) in the Board Room at 75 June Place. Registration and important information is below. Important: Our Board of Education and school district believe that the decision to vaccine children is a very personal choice. The district has no intention, at this time or moving forward, to require COVID vaccines. We are not encouraging or discouraging vaccination. We simply are providing our facilities for the convenience of those in the community who would like to have their 12-18 year old's vaccinated. When: Monday, May 24th 3:30pm - 5:15pm Where: Brookville Local Schools Board of Education Office - 75 June Place Appointments: Can be made by using the following link https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0a4aadaa2fa6fe3-brookville Consent forms (attached): Must be completed prior to arriving for the appointment Parents do not have to be present BUT the parent consent form is REQUIRED. The Pfizer vaccine will be administered and will require a 2nd dose on Monday, June 14th also 3:30pm - 5:15pm
Latchkey to Close At Years End As we head into the final weeks of the school year, I want to communicate with you as elementary parents regarding the closing of our school based latchkey program. We started this service nearly 30 years ago. At the time, Westbrook Elementary was the school involved and housed grades K-4. This plan modeled what was occurring at numerous school districts in the state and local area. From the inception of Latchkey, the school district has maintained a stance that the program must be financially self-sufficient to exist. In recent years, both here in Brookville and around the area, school based latchkey programs have found it very difficult to stay solvent. Many schools in larger communities have handed latchkey operations over to YMCA’s or other agencies, even if they are maintained in school facilities. At the end of this year, Brookville Schools will need to end our school based latchkey. Our usage numbers have diminished and we cannot subsidize this as a school based program. Along with other community based opportunities, you have likely seen the new, privately owned and operated Latchkey Academy located just in front of the elementary building. They, along with other programs, will be available to fill this gap. Our current Latchkey will remain in place through the end of this school year. Then, May 27, or the last day of school will be the last day of operation. Our hope is that by announcing this change now you will have time to plan accordingly for the upcoming year.
Parents, As COVID-19 numbers have continued to fluctuate, the CDC and State Department of Health have changed recommendations to school protocols. At the end of last week our school based ReStart Committee met to assess how these changes affect our operations and adjust accordingly. There are some items that will stay the same and there will be a few changes you may see or hear from your kids upon the return to school. I want to communicate those with you at this time. Small group and partner work - Staff have missed the quality of work they can do with students in small groups or collaborating with partners. We will enforce a time limit and students will wear masks as we return to use of this instructional model. Paper and Pencil Work - From the beginning of the year we have limited the amount of paper and pencil work both in classrooms and at home. However, we have heard concerns from students and parents alike about the amount of screen time on computers. While a certain amount of this work will still be useful we will begin to return to more paper and pencil work at school and home. Barriers and Shields - The CDC came out last week and stated there is no evidence of benefit gained from barriers and shields. In those situations where students are wearing masks, such as classrooms, we will begin taking these shields down. Outdoor Lunches - We have now purchased solid surface picnic tables and when weather allows will allow students to rotate days eating outdoors. The elementary tables will likely not be available till Fall. Some Practices NOT changing: Morning entry to the building will stay the same for the remainder of the year. Classroom cleaning protocols - desks being wiped down between periods and high use surfaces being cleaned will remain the same the rest of the year. Food in classrooms - This will NOT be permitted the remainder of the year. Drinking Fountains - will NOT be used for the remainder of the year (except those transitioned to bottle fillers). Guest speakers or outside visitors - Will NOT be permitted the remainder of the year. Deliveries - will continue to be left in building foyers for office staff to gather. Social Distancing - will still be practiced at 3 feet or more whenever possible. Masks - There was some confusion last week when the Ohio Department of Health released new Health Orders. However, since that time they have clarified that in school all ages of students must continue to wear masks. Let me finish by sharing my gratitude to everyone for your continued patience and support this year. I know, it hasn’t been easy. You have all been consistently understanding and cooperative. I can’t help but give special kudos to your kids. They have been unbelievably strong through all of this. It has not been easy but they have met and overcome adversity. Unfortunately, it isn’t over. Most importantly we request that you continue to practice health assessments each morning. Please do not send students to school if they have COVID related symptoms. We ask for your continued support in an effort to finish strong!!
Parents, Students & Staff Today’s post is to communicate another slight change in the school calendar. In the months of January, February and March we are going to use an early release, or STAR day schedule, the last Friday of each month. These dates are all Fridays, January 29, February 26 and March 26. The intermediate and high school will release students at 1pm and the elementary at 2pm on those three days. The purpose of this is to allow our staff the necessary time to stay on top of the inordinate amount of work that is created by COVID-19. We still have a large number of students in quarantine because of community exposure (in the home, etc.) These early releases will give staff an opportunity to make sure all students are receiving the instruction and support they need. While we have learned through this pandemic that you cannot predict the future, we hope this is the last school calendar change of the year. At the beginning of this year we cautioned that everyone would need to be flexible during this pandemic. Please plan accordingly for these three early releases. There have been some questions sparked by media reports about whether or not inclement weather or snow days will still be used at Brookville. In the age of electronic and remote learning, some districts that are more remote than in person, have said they will forgo inclement weather days and continue remote instruction. As a district that has maintained in person classes, we will still call inclement weather days when necessary. The district will continue the practice of One Calls, news outlets and ParentSquare to notify you if necessary. As always, thank you for your continued support. We are pleased to have started our second semester!!
Good evening. I hope everyone enjoyed a restful and healthy Holiday Season. We look forward to students returning to the classroom, tomorrow, January 6, 2021. The purpose of this message is to make you aware of a few changes and stress the continuation of those items that remain important to our success. Staying the Same - Our COVID-19 Protocols Remain the Same Most importantly, your morning self health assessments must continue. Please be cautious - and stay home if you are running a fever or showing any symptoms of COVID-19. Back Up, Mask Up, Wash Up - we must continue to work on distancing from others, wearing a mask and washing our hands frequently. These measures help keep us healthy. Please notify our school nurses if you have a positive case in the household or a child showing symptoms. The protocols and measures we have practiced here at school will all remain in place. What has Changed? Classroom Quarantines - Schools received a significant change/update regarding contact tracing and the quarantining of students. The Governor and Ohio Department of Health used data from a study of over 725 cases in Ohio, along with a similar study from Mississippi, to establish new quarantine rules. These studies show that there was no discernible difference in the incidence rate between the exposed students and those not exposed. This involved students IN CLASSROOMS. The caveat is that students have to be masked. Therefore, lunchtime and after school activities where masks are not being worn do not fit with these new guidelines. This is only true for students IN CLASSROOMS, wearing masks. A point of emphasis upon return to classes is that we will insist that students wear their mask and do so appropriately. Our students have done a GREAT job following COVID protocols. However, at times they become lax with the proper wearing of their masks. With these new guidelines it will be important they are diligent in this regard. Again, we look forward to resuming school. We ask for your continued support as we work our way through these unprecedented times!!
Dear Parents & Caregivers First, let me take an opportunity to express how grateful we are for your continued support. Throughout this Fall, you have shown a sense of understanding and willingness to work through many issues. We simply could not have overcome the odds and stayed in-person without your partnership. Today, I am writing to inform you that we are going to slightly tweak our upcoming schedule. A decision has been made to extend the student Christmas Break two days through January 4 and 5 . They will not be remote learning days for students but rather just an extension of the break. These will be in-service days for all employees. Students will return to classes Wednesday, January 6, 2021 . There are two primary reasons for this decision. First, we know that individuals who have contracted COVID-19 most typically show symptoms in the first 3-5 days. Coming off New Year’s Eve festivities this allows for the 5 day window of concern. We want to emphasize that if your child has ANY symptoms during this time you keep them at home. It doesn’t matter the severity, symptoms are symptoms, you know what to look for. Contact tracing and the quarantine of healthy students continues to be our biggest nemesis. If we are able to minimize the amount of positive cases in the buildings it will help tremendously. We believe having students stay home these two days should allow those symptomatic or exposed time for recognition. Second, our staff has worked tirelessly in helping us successfully hold in-person classes. These two in-service days will give classroom teachers and support personnel time to reset. From cleaning and classroom structure to planning remote lessons for quarantined students, it will be a good time to prepare for moving forward. Like you, they have been incredibly supportive in our efforts to remain in-person. I will finish by saying that I recognize for families this can be a significant inconvenience. These decisions are not easy and are made with great consideration. However, we truly believe these two days will set us up for continued success. The next three months may not be easy. Our commitment to in person school has not wavered. We would appreciate your willingness to maintain actions and protocols within your family that support our efforts. PLEASE HAVE A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE CHRISTMAS SEASON!! Thank you!
Parents, As you probably know, late last week the CDC posted new guidelines for reduced quarantine days of an individual exposed to someone COVID-19 positive. Early this week the Ohio Department of Health adopted those guidelines and late Tuesday afternoon Public Health Dayton Montgomery County joined Clark, Greene, Warren and Miami Counties in doing the same. Since that time the Montgomery County school districts have been working to get as close as possible to consensus on how to use these new guidelines. We are going to adopt what public health refers to as Reduced Duration 1 to be available to families/students. This allows parents to choose an option of returning quarantined students to school 10 days after last exposure. Families/students still have the 14 day quarantine available. This will come with the caveat that if your COVID-19 exposure is from someone living in the same household it is a non-negotiable 14 day quarantine. The following is updated guidance regarding COVID-19 quarantine from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health, and Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County. Brookville Schools is revising its health protocol accordingly. Please see the attached:
Dear Elementary and Intermediate School Parents, You may have heard this afternoon we adjusted the high school schedule over the next two weeks to infuse some remote learning days. This is because of an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases that caused a large number of quarantines. This message is to let you know that the schedule at Brookville Elementary and Intermediate School has NOT CHANGED. As of now, these two buildings will operate on the normal schedule. Thank you and have a great weekend.