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.
Good Afternoon Parents, Staff and Students of Brookville High School, Unfortunately, the time has come for us to be responsive to increased cases of COVID-19. We have seen an uptick in positive cases among high school students this week. While the number of positive cases is still not overwhelming, a much larger number of students have been quarantined through contact tracing. This includes three athletic teams. As a result we are going to attempt to create some pockets of days when students are not in the building in order to reduce the need for contact tracing. Therefore, our high school ONLY will operate remotely Tuesday, December 8; Monday, December 14 and Tuesday, December 15. Again, that is next Tuesday and the following Monday and Tuesday. Under this plan we hope to reduce the amount of students that have to be quarantined and keep positive contact between our students and teachers leading into the Christmas Break. Since this is short term we will not be sending out requests for devices. Students who have a concern can contact their classroom teacher. We continue to encourage families to do self health assessments each morning. If kids are not feeling well, please keep them at home. Our plan from day one has been to safely keep kids in school regularly. Students, staff and parents have given great effort to make in person schooling work. I couldn’t be more proud and grateful. We just need to pull back on the reigns a bit at this point and give ourselves a chance to be successful moving forward. Thank you.
Parents and Staff, There has been a question raised about how parents and staff should notify the school if you have a COVID related issue over this break (eg symptoms, exposure, pending test results, positive that may need contact tracing). We are asking that beginning Friday, November 27 thru Sunday November, 29 if you need to pass on such information you contact our school nurses either by email or ParentSquare: email@example.com Grades K-3 firstname.lastname@example.org Grades 4-12 Your timely communication will help us get off to a good start, Monday! Thank you.
Dear Parents and Caregivers, As we move into the Thanksgiving Break I felt it necessary to communicate with you our current thoughts on in-person learning. I acknowledge the fact that Public Health Dayton Montgomery County (PHDMC) has issued a Health Advisory. Likely next week we will become level 4, purple status, under the states’ public health advisory system. In particular, there are questions about the implications of the Purple level guidance relative to “only leave home for supplies and services.” Yesterday, The Ohio Department of Education sent us notification that education qualifies as a service for purposes of this quoted statement. These cautions are, however, evident of the sustained increase in COVID cases. I am not blind to these numbers nor immune to the increases here in our own community. Like everyone, I monitor the county-wide effect of COVID-19 with increased concern. What we have done as a school district, from day one, is stand strong to some guiding principles regarding how we will react to protecting the health and well being of our staff and students AND still provide the best education possible. These include: We deeply believe that students learning in person, from our staff, is the most effective model for providing the children of Brookville a quality education. We equally believe that along with academics, the social, emotional and psychological benefits of children being in school are tremendously important. These elements greatly influence the mental health of our students. We believe that the protocols we have put in place and practice daily create a healthy, safe environment for our staff and students. This is evidenced after 14 weeks of school with 170 staff, close to 1,500 students and countless hours in classrooms and extracurricular activities. We understand and respect the fact that some parents have chosen a remote learning option. We have and will continue to support those learners. We closely monitor county and statewide advisories and trends, however, our LOCAL NUMBERS will guide our decision making relative to any change in how we provide instruction. Understanding those guiding principles, our intent will be to stay open, in person, as long as we possibly can. As of today we have 3 students in grades K-12 currently positive with COVID. That is not to say there will not be more positive cases. This is understood. Our staff has stayed reasonably healthy and provided a remarkable learning environment. Quarantines created by public health guidelines have been much more challenging than actual positive cases. As long as our staff, support personnel and dedicated substitutes are able to keep the doors open, that will be our intent. We believe this is best for the whole child. Please help us over this extended break from school. Be diligent in making decisions that keep your children and those around you healthy. Every agency from the Ohio Department of Health, Governor’s Office and PHDMC has acknowledged that schools have proven NOT to be super spreaders. We have not had 1 student yet become positive from a school exposure. Therefore, your role as families and a community are important in helping us keep our doors open. Finally, thank you. At this time of Thanksgiving I appreciate your support, understanding and willingness to accept inherent changes. Let’s make ‘Together We Can’ have special meaning in Brookville.