Community Update- October 1, 2020
As you are aware, the risk dial for Gage County continues to move toward the "Elevated Risk" level. Thus far we've been very grateful to the community for the overwhelming support in our efforts to keep students and staff safe in our buildings. So in that same spirit of cooperation, we want to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the details of our Tier Plan in preparation for possible tightening of the mitigation guidance from our local health services.
Currently, BPS operates in Tier II with static student groups to limit interaction and mandatory masks (with an opt-out option). In the next few days to weeks, we are preparing our staff and students for the possibility of changes to the Tier level, and we ask that you, as parents and guardians, again familiarize yourself with the potential measures we may need to take. Possible Tier III measures include: requiring temperature checks for all students and staff, staggering exit times and locations, further restrictions on student interaction, and suspension of the opt-out option for masks--among other strategies listed on the Tier Plan. Again, these are just possibilities. Our goal is, and will remain, to keep students and staff safely learning together in the classroom. All of these changes are designed to provide the best chance at that. Tier IV is a move to total virtual learning. While we are indeed preparing for that possibility, we are committed to using every strategy at our disposal to try to prevent it.
However, even with an elevated risk level, it does not automatically mean BPS will move entirely to Tier III. As we've demonstrated already this year, our plan is flexible and allows us to choose the best mitigation techniques from the available options as circumstances change. We can and will evolve our practices, and we will continue to adapt with guidance from trusted health sources. The district has the ability to continue to operate with kids in school as long as it doesn’t affect our staffing capabilities or the safety of the children and community at large. As part of our transparency in this regard, we publish a daily dashboard that shows active cases throughout our district. This data helps us determine the current level in which we operate and is part of our commitment to provide you with the same information we use to make our decisions.
Again, our goal is to try to keep our students and staff safely in school for as long as possible in Tier II. But we are very aware of our responsibility to the community as well, and our procedures must be a reflection of both what is happening outside the schools as well as within.
So at this time, we ask you to begin forming plans. Please watch the risk dial and listen to the guidance from our public health officials. Please read our Tier Plan. Please speak to your family, your friends, your childcare professionals, and your employers to ensure that you know what your circumstances may be in the event of a necessary shift to Tier III or IV. We are here as educators to join you as parents and guardians to ensure the success of your children as students. And in these highly uncertain times, we appreciate more than ever your willingness to help us do so.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the building administrator.