Sup Scoop-Bring on Fall 2020!

Sup Scoop- Bring on Fall 2020!
Posted on 07/21/2020
Sup Scoop

The time is almost here. Next week we will learn from the Minnesota Department of Education how schools will reopen in the fall. We have three possible scenarios laid out before us:
1) students and staff all return for in person learning;
2) hybrid format - which includes a combination of in person and online learning, but schools are held to strict social distancing and student/teacher ratios; or
3) all students return in a distance learning environment.


Since learning in June that these scenarios were our options, staff have been meeting several hours each week to plan for each of these possibilities. We are regularly discussing the latest guidelines, recommendations, and protocols shared with us by the CDC, MDH, and many more entities who have guidelines for us to follow. Taking center stage in both scenarios 1 and 2 are the safety measures we will be implementing to do our very best to ensure we have clean and disinfected facilities. This will no doubt be a very big, but very necessary, undertaking that will be a team effort by all staff. Most importantly, I have the utmost confidence that we are up to the challenge. 


Something else the Blue Earth Area district did in June was survey our families regarding their plans for fall. For example, the question was asked that if we are able to return to school in the fall, would you plan to send your child(ren) back to school. The majority, 85% in fact, stated that they would indeed send their children back to school if allowed to do so in the fall. Many shared that they would expect safety measures in place, and I can say with great pride that we have terrific cleaning and safety measures that if allowed to return, will be in place. 


However, that still leaves 15% of our families who responded to the survey that they will not be returning their child(ren) to school in the fall, even if allowed to do so. This could be for a few different reasons. Perhaps there is a family member who is medically fragile, therefore posing a risk to have a child return to school. Perhaps some families chose to wait and see closer to fall what the current virus cases look like. Or, for some families, distance learning was a great success and they want to continue with this option. 


These survey results were so helpful and important to us and our planning, and with nearly 50% of our student enrollment responding to the survey, we felt this was valid data to guide our planning. As such, I am so proud and excited to be sharing that we have been working incredibly hard to make plans for fall that will suit all of our students’ and their families’ preferences. By this I mean that if we are allowed to return, we will have plans in place that will provide the safest of environments and highest quality of education possible for your student. Yet, should you choose to do distance learning, I am thrilled to share with you that BEA will have this opportunity for you as well. You need not look to an online academy that is outside the district with staff you are not familiar with. BEA will be offering you the opportunity to choose which format works best for you, and we promise to deliver quality education in a safe environment - whether in person or online - for your student.


This is an incredibly big undertaking--it almost feels like it is educational reform in about 8 weeks time. However, the most important people to us are our students - your children - and we feel it is our responsibility to plan for whatever format feels right for you and your family. And, we feel confident that it is right here at BEA - whether in person or online - where you will get the most caring staff and highest quality of education for your child. We stand ready to serve you this fall, and we simply cannot wait to see our students once again. Bring on Fall 2020!


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