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Superintendent of Schools Brian J. Benigni sent the following notification to local families on Friday, March 13.
As you know, the situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is quite fluid, and it seems that it continues to change nearly hourly as more information and guidelines from the Governor, the Department of Health Commissioner, and the Commissioner of Education. We have implemented, and will continue to implement, recommendations for minimizing the likelihood of contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19) as we move forward and work to minimize risk to our students, staff, and the Berlin community.
School and Office Closures
Beginning on Monday, March 16, all Berlin Public Schools were closed, and will remain closed through Friday, March 27. While we are hopeful that we will be able to re-open schools on Monday, March 30, the re-opening will be dependent on the health situation at that time and the recommendations of our state and local health officials.
The school closure also means that there will be no co-curricular activities, on or off of school grounds during this time, including, but not limited to sports practices/tryouts, club meetings, etc.
School offices and the Board of Education office will also be closed (this week).
At Home Learning
At the elementary level, teachers sent home packets to provide materials to support skill maintenance. In addition, resources to support learning will be posted on the district website.
At the middle school and high school, teachers posted materials in Schoology and/or Google Classroom to support skill maintenance and to provide opportunities to extend learning. The platform to be used has been communicated to students by their teachers.
Students who receive special education services have been provided with resources as well.
We are aware that a number of Berlin families do not have access to the internet and/or do not have devices at home. We want to make you aware that Comcast is making an offer available for two months of free internet service to income eligible families. More information on this offer is available at internetessentials.com.
Cleaning/Health and Safety Protocols
School custodians will be working while school is closed to clean and disinfect all schools, Board of Education, and the Berlin Transition Academy.
We are tightly limiting access to the buildings during the closure to minimize the possibility of re-introducing contaminants into the building.
No determination has been made at this time concerning other adjustments to the school calendar, including the status of April vacation.
Many of you have seen the news that the Governor has waived the 180 day school year requirement. School districts must either complete 180 days by June 30, complete as many days as they are able to by June 30, or submit a waiver to have days during which distance learning options were provided count toward the 180 days.
Upcoming Parent/Teacher Conferences/Report Cards/Progress Reports
No conferences or PPTs will be held during the two week period when school is closed. It has not yet been determined if the conferences will be rescheduled when school is back in session.
The closure will also impact the release of report cards and progress reports.
Family Health and Safety
If a member of your family is diagnosed with a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we encourage you to self-report to the school administrator so that we can take appropriate safety actions consistent with all public health advisories.
Families need to make their own decision about travel plans. If you are traveling to any high risk areas, we are requiring you to notify the school administrator so that we can be consistent with all public health advisories.
Thank you all for your cooperation and understanding during this challenging period. I will continue to provide updates as events unfold. The principals and I will continue to monitor email during the school closure to answer questions as we are able to do so.