Fall 2020 Planning Update 7-2-20

Posted by Bethel School District on 7/2/2020 5:45:00 PM

This week’s update includes new details on our planning for a return to school this fall, as well as registration information for the Bethel Virtual Academy, which we mentioned last week.

As we begin narrowing our options for this fall, we want to assure you that all of them (with the exception of the Bethel Virtual Academy) include a return-to-school model for students.  As we consider possible models, the primary requirement set forth by local health authorities is to maintain a 6-foot social distancing. This, combined with our already crowded schools, will not allow all students to be in school at the same time. All schools will need to adopt a modified schedule for the fall of 2020.

We’ve received many emails from parents concerned about the state requirement for wearing masks in schools that we included in our message last week. We want you to know that all of our schools will be following ALL state requirements when it comes to the health and safety of our students and staff, and this includes wearing masks. This link, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, has information on helping children get used to wearing masks for extended periods of time.

We know many of you are waiting for a decision about fall. We are considering input from all stakeholders as we work to build a model to support all of our students. Rather than make a quick decision we’d likely have to change in a couple of weeks, we are making sure that we look at each scenario from as many different angles as possible, so we’ll only have to make minimal adjustments.

Bethel Virtual Academy
The parent survey we conducted indicated that nearly 10% of Bethel students may want an online-only school option this fall. In order to meet the needs of students and families who do not feel comfortable with a face-to-face return to school in the fall, the district will offer an online-only option through the new Bethel Virtual Academy (BVA). Families that sign up for BVA are committing to 100% online-only learning for at least one quarter at the elementary level and one trimester at the secondary level.

If you would like your son or daughter to attend school this fall via the Bethel Virtual Academy, please complete this form. Once completed, staff will reach out to you in late July/early August with more information.

Complete the BVA Registration Form by clicking here.

We will continue to update you each week via email on progress and decisions that have been made. You can also find the latest updates at bethelsd.org/news.