More information on BKW school reopening

 August 10, 2021

Dear BKW families,

As I am sure you have heard, late last week the NYS Commissioner of Health informed school districts across the state that the NYS Department of Health would not be issuing COVID-19 guidance for the opening of schools in September. As we have come to understand during this pandemic, circumstances change without notice and we must adapt to those changes.

As I indicated in my letter last week, we have been working to plan for September. Now, knowing there will be no State level guidance, we can proceed forward to finalize our plans. It is important for you to know that throughout the summer we have been working closely with many county health departments to develop a regional approach to opening, and we have received more detailed recommendations from the Albany County Department of Health, which was shared with you last week. We are currently finalizing a “layered mitigation plan”. Once our plan document is completed, we will share it with you. I expect it to be ready next Monday, August 16.

Generally, I can share these details with you as you plan for work and childcare for the fall:

  1. With 3-foot social distancing, the district will return to one bus run for all PK-12 students
  2. The daily schedule for both buildings will be 7:55 am-2:38 pm for all PK-12 students
  3. Next to health and safety, having all students attend in-person instruction is a priority
  4. A remote instruction option will be offered through Capital Region BOCES for medically fragile students. If you believe your child has a significant medical condition and should attend the virtual BOCES program, please contact your building Principal as soon as possible
  5. We are working on finalizing a layered mitigation plan that includes the use of face coverings where appropriate to maintain safety

The “layered mitigation plan” will provide flexibility to modify strategies based on local and regional transmission data, so it is in the interest of all to work together to achieve the success we had last year. I am confident we can do this.

The Board of Education will be holding a retreat on Thursday, August 12, at 5 p.m. Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent, Anita Murphy, will facilitate a public conversation on school opening planning in the region. This portion of the retreat will be available via Google meet, should you desire to view the conversation.

 Thank you for your patience and trust in these very interesting times,

Dr. Timothy Mundell
Superintendent of Schools