BPS Weekly Update 2/18/22

BPS Weekly Update 2/18/22
Posted on 02/18/2022
This is the image for the news article titled BPS Weekly Update 2/18/22

COVID Protocol Reminder
This past Wednesday, the Burlington School Committee unanimously voted to rescind their face covering policy that had been approved in August of 2021. This vote in conjunction with the Governor’s decision to end the state mask requirement in schools on February 28th allows the district to move forward with a mask optional environment when we return from February break - Monday, February 28, 2022.

There are two important exceptions.

Masks are still required on school buses. This requirement is a Federal order and needs to be changed by the Federal Government.
Federal law also requires individuals to wear masks in health care settings. Because our nurses’ offices are considered health care settings, masks will need to be worn by students and staff while inside the nurses’ office.

These Federal exceptions may change. We will communicate this change as soon as we are made aware. Neither of these changes are under the control of the school district or the school committee.

The mask optional protocol means that any student or staff member who wishes to continue to wear a mask throughout the day may do so. The School Committee stressed that students and staff who choose to wear a mask or to not wear a mask will all be supported and honored. Please work with your children to explain that they may have friends in masks or without masks and that either choice is welcome and follows the rules.

The School Committee also recommended that the district examine the other, non-mask related, mitigation practices in place with the purpose of moving back to more typical practices across our schools. To this end, parents will be receiving invitations back to participate in school-based activities and opportunities in the coming weeks.

Elementary Lunches
Another change we will be looking to make after break is reorienting students to lunch in the school cafeteria. We will use the week after break to review procedures and protocols with the hope of serving lunch to all elementary students in the cafeteria beginning on Monday, March 7th.

New Fox Hill School
We want to thank the Burlington Town Meeting Members for their support in moving the district forward to the next step in the state’s process toward a new Fox Hill School. On Wednesday night, Town Meeting members voted to accept the enrollment projections of the Massachusetts School Building Authority and also authorized the funding for a feasibility study that allows us to continue on the MSBA’s seven year timeline for a Fox Hill School.

The $1.5 million allocation allows the school district to hire an Owner’s Project Manager and a Designer to study our programs and our building site to determine possible options and potential costs. Without this funding we would not be able to continue onto the phase 2 Feasibility module, and therefore not be eligible for the additional state funding for the formal design and construction phase of the project.

Black History Month
We did not want to head into break without spending some time discussing Black History Month. The district has created a Black History Month Challenge that was shared with staff at the beginning of the month to help us to continue to highlight a small portion of the historical events from our country’s history that they probably did not learn about in school. The first post on the challenge discusses the history of Black History Month. While the history of Black History Month goes back to 1926 when Dr. Carter Woodson, who is known as “The Father of Black History” advocated for a focused time to educate people on black history and culture, it wasn’t until 50 years later in 1976 that President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month asking Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

As we close in on 50 years of Black History Months we want to close with the words of Burlington junior Christian Katende, who recently shared his original poem “Black History” which ends with the following words in regards to when Black History should be recognized and celebrated: “Not just today, not just this month. We need to know now and always who really came through, who really kept fighting for this long deserved justice obtained through the prevailing of black history.”

Have an exciting and safe February break.

Translation Disclaimer 

Arabic

Chinese

Gujarati

Haitian Creole

Hindi

Korean

Portuguese

Russian

Spanish

Vietnamese