Traditional School Option
Public schools are deemed an essential industry by the United States government. This is an important distinction as it requires us to perform our duties to keep our country operating. If our schools close, businesses close. During the winter, when we close for a snow day, local governments and health providers follow our announcement with their own last-minute emergency closures and cancellations.
Barring an order from the governor to close our schools, we will be open for school in Baldwin County on August 12th as previously scheduled. This opening will come with risk and as a parent you need to understand this risk as you will have a choice to make.
Our BCBE team has spent the last few months planning to create a safe environment for your children in our traditional school setting. We have been reviewing medical guidance from the health department, the CDC, pediatric doctors, medical directors, policy makers and elected leaders. We have been provisioning supplies to sanitize and make our schools as safe and healthy as possible. We have truckloads of hand sanitizer and disinfectants being distributed to all of our locations. We have plans regarding wearing masks. We have plans to monitor student and staff temperatures while in our buildings. We have plans to implement what social distancing we can on campus, in our traditional school setting. We have been working on plans to be transparent and notify parents about sickness within our schools, while respecting privacy laws and regulations.
PARENTS -- Even with all of these precautions and all of these plans - we need you to understand that by choosing to send your child to traditional school, it is likely they will come in contact with the coronavirus. This is a reality we have come to understand and you must accept if you choose to send your child to traditional school.
No matter how much hand sanitizer we put out, no matter how much disinfectant we spray - children are going to be children. They're going to hug each other, drink from each other's drinks, poke, prod, spit and cough on each other. I wish I could tell you they will behave at all times but you know your children better than we do and let's remember, they are children. So even with the best laid plans, we are engaging in an environment of children who have difficulty focusing and embracing the seriousness of the issue.
With that understanding, let's talk about returning to school. Classes for the fall of 2020 will begin on August 12th. Parents, you have two options. You can either enroll your child in our traditional school at whichever school location for which they are currently zoned or you can elect to enroll your child in Virtual School.
Traditional school will be a little different with plans for masks, temperature checks and some social distancing implementations but for the most part we will be the same. Classes for all students, in all grade levels will operate Monday through Friday. For those of you who are worried about sending your child to a traditional school setting because of the coronavirus, we welcome you to enroll your child in the virtual program.
We will be transporting children to and from traditional school as usual, but we will not be transporting children to Virtual School. I will have more to say about our busing operations in the coming weeks but I would strongly suggest that parents who send their child on the bus for convenience, consider alternate modes of transportation because of the level of contagion as a result from overcrowded busses.