Schedule and Locations (Every Wednesday and Friday)
North Ave. Alliance Church
Schedule and Locations (Every Wednesday and Friday)
In response to the August 11th update to the Agency of Education’s “A Strong and Healthy Start Guidance,” we have created a tool in PowerSchool that will allow families to complete student health screenings at home each morning before leaving for school. Please check out the video for a look at how to complete the daily form, then login to your BSD PowerSchool account to complete the screening.
Remember, it will be important to complete the screening before 7:30 AM each morning, if possible, because at 7:30 each morning, staff will download a report to see who has completed the screening. Those who did not complete the screening prior to 7:30 AM will have to complete the screening on-site prior to building entry. Once students arrive, staff will verify which students still need to be screened and confirm students are fever-free.
BSD invites members of the community to participate in a School Safety Task Force as requested in the Board of School Commissioners’ resolution passed on June 25, 2020. The resolution charges the School Safety Task Force with reviewing the role of School Resource Officers (SROs) and presenting recommendations to further the district’s policy goals of implementing all elements of Restorative Practices (RP) as part of the district priorities of equitable and safe inclusive schools.
Those interested in joining the School Safety Task Force should complete the application today.
The School Safety Task Force’s charge is to present a plan that accomplishes the following objectives:
– Identify and document the original intention of the SRO presence in the schools and the functions SROs perform in the school.
– Determine whether any of these functions must be performed by uniformed law enforcement officials. Which functions are done jointly with BSD staff?
– Develop options for alternative approaches that reinforce a restorative model for all of Burlington’s students/youth during and outside school hours.
– Ensure the safety of all of Burlington’s students/youth during and outside of school hours using a Restorative Practices model that eliminates the traumatizing effects associated with weapons, uniforms, and a police presence communicated by some of the district’s students and community members.
Per the resolution, the School Safety Task Force must be comprised not more than nine people, including school district leaders, school commissioners or their designee, a city councilor or their designee, a student, a parent, and a community member with lived experience with SRO’s, restorative practices, law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and youth development.
The School Safety Task Force will meet for at least two hours a week for two months and produce a report of recommendations by December 2020. This is a voluntary role; there is no compensation for participating in this Task Force. Applicants will need to be available to attend all meetings, both in-person and remotely.
We need your help!
BSD is entering into an agreement with the AOE to allow for all students to receive free lunch at Champlain, Edmunds Elementary, Edmunds Middle, and Burlington High School this year. This includes take-home meals for remote learning days. In order for this to happen, we need all families to complete the online Free and Reduced Meal application as soon as possible. Coronavirus has had many financial implications for our families; if your student attends any of these schools, please fill out the application even if you haven’t qualified before.
We need the applications completed in order to get the best possible funding for this program and to have the Free and reduced lunch data that many programs need for grants and other funding. If successful, there is a possibility we could offer FREE LUNCH at these schools until school year 2023-24! All students at all schools already receive breakfast and supper at no charge, and these four schools are the only schools which have not been able to offer free lunch… so the addition of free lunch at Champlain, EES, EMS, and BHS will go a long way to combat hunger.
Please remember, you should complete this form using your current income, even if you expect your income to resume/increase in the coming months. This program is fully funded by the Federal Government, and your participation will not cause other children, students, or families to lose any of their current benefits… there is enough to go around, we just need help to bring the program to Burlington and serve our students the best way we can!
August 6, 2020
Hello BSD Community,
We’ve had another productive week focused on preparing for reopening. Thank you for your engagement (and patience!) through this process. We have received many thoughtful questions, suggestions, and offers of partnership from across the city. Our planning process has been and continues to be intentional and thoughtful; every decision we make prioritizes equity, engagement, deep learning, and the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community.
This past week, I’ve been meeting with school faculty across the district and we are having positive conversations about reopening. Andrew Styles (Burlington Education Association President) and Becca McCray (COVID-Coordinator, Edmunds MS School Nurse, and President-elect of the School Nurses Association) are joining me in these meetings. As you can imagine there are a lot of questions, and all ideas we hear are making our plans better. From these conversations, it is clear to me that our staff are committed to serving our students and our community, and they are gearing up for in-person instruction in September.
We are also excited to provide BSD-specific reopening guidance this week, and a survey so we can hear your preferences around the start of the school year. Please see below for a number of important updates, including our Enrollment Survey, the new start date for school (September 8), and information regarding our Reopening Guidance document.
Enrollment Preferences Survey – Parents, we are ready to hear your preferences regarding options for this coming fall, including whether you plan to have your student access their education through the hybrid model or through 100% remote learning. For those of you who are choosing the Hybrid model, you will also be asked if you prefer “A” Days (Mondays and Thursdays) or “B” Days (Tuesdays and Fridays) and why. Please remember, we will do our very best to accommodate schedules but there is a possibility not every family will receive their first choice of hybrid days.
The survey also asks about access to transportation, thermometers, food, and internet. The feedback obtained through this survey will be CRUCIAL to our planning team. Thank you for your response, please complete the Student Enrollment Survey in Powerschool today. Once you log-in, you will find the survey in the “Forms” section on the left side of the page. Click on forms and then scroll down to until you reach the “Reopening Enrollment” section where the form is located. Please note that you will need to complete this form for each of your students in the District. If you need help completing your students’ forms, please call our central office at 802-865-5332 ext. 1 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New School Start Day, September 8 – On July 31 Governor Scott’s office issued an Executive Order (signed July 29, 2020) to delay the start of all schools in Vermont until Tuesday, September 8th. This will allow more time for staff to plan the reopening at their schools prior to school reopening. We will abide by Governor Scott’s Executive Order and are awaiting additional guidance from the AOE regarding the impact of the order on a number of decisions including but not limited to teacher workdays and student instructional days. At this time, we are planning for all teachers and paras to begin work on August 20 and will continue to communicate with staff and union representatives leading up then.
Guidance – As we prepare for Reopening BSD, we know parents and staff have many questions. Please visit our Reopening Task Force website for version one of our Reopening BSD guidance document. It is important to note that this document will be updated between now and the start of school. We still have additional details to put into our plans and as you know, guidance from state and federal agencies is continually changing. I hope this document provides a solid baseline understanding of our plans to date and I encourage all staff and parents to continue to reach out with questions, comments, and suggestions.
ABCAB Model – Last week I communicated the District’s decision to implement an ABCAB Hybrid Model, where “A” Days are Mondays and Thursdays, and “B” Days are Tuesday and Fridays. This is an example of a decision not made lightly, and one that prioritizes equity, deep learning, and safety.
After careful consideration, our Reopening Task Force decided upon the current model after consulting principals and health professionals. Ultimately, we decided the ABCAB model would better support social-emotional learning, allowing for more regular contact between staff and students, as well as students with their peers. In an AACBB model, we would have gone 5 days each week in-between seeing students. An ABCAB model allows us to reduce that large amount of time, which will better support student learning.
Additionally, we determined that in our District the ABCAB model makes it much easier to ensure food access for our food-insecure families by allowing for additional meal distribution days between remote learning days. And this model offers much better continuity of learning, particularly for our EL, special education, and high-need students.
And finally, the science now shows that this disease primarily spreads person to person through the air, not from surfaces to a person. As we will be wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and hand washing frequently, the cleaning done on a daily basis in our buildings is sufficient between pods. The deep cleaning on Wednesday will ensure our building remains extra clean every week, but we feel the possible benefits of deep cleaning between pods (the AABCC model) do not outweigh the negative effects of 5 consecutive days away from school every week. While no hybrid model is perfect, we feel an ABCAB model better ensures “whole health” (physical, mental, social-emotional) for every student.
New Hire – BSD is thrilled to have Quaron “Q” Pinckney join our team as our new District Coordinator – Head of Athletics. Quaron joins at an exciting time as we explore how to make athletics part of our larger reopening plans while ensuring the safety of our student-athletes and coaches. Welcome Q!
July 23, 2020
I am writing to provide you with an update on our plans to reopen our school buildings. To start the school year, Burlington School District, along with all 16 school districts covering Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties who are members of the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA), will implement a hybrid instruction model that will include both in-person and remote learning. This plan to return to school is student-centered, focused on social-emotional needs, and designed to keep our students learning at a high level. Most importantly, a hybrid model affords the ability to offer in-person learning in the safest environment possible while adhering to the best practices of the guidance issued by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE). Here’s how the hybrid model will work:
Students will be divided into two groups.
Groups will attend school in-person two days a week and learn remotely three days a week.
Students and staff attending in person will wear masks and practice physical distancing.
Groups will be thoughtfully created so they best support families, including grouping family members together whenever possible.
We are working on scheduling and will have that information to families as soon as possible.
Almost all students will be learning remotely on Wednesdays. We will use this day to provide individualized support to students, engage in professional learning and planning for our staff, and deep clean our buildings.
While we all agree that nothing compares to the benefits that students receive from in-person instruction, after extensively reviewing the AOE’s guidance and evaluating how to operationally implement those requirements and recommendations in our schools, reviewing survey submissions from our families and staff, and consulting with our reopening committee, we feel the hybrid model will best address the health and safety of our students and staff given the current health data available.
Having fewer students in the building at a time will help reduce contact with others and allow for better distancing. The smaller groups will also allow teachers and staff more time to assess the academic progress and needs of our students. With fewer students in the building, we can better help them adjust to new expectations while fostering healthy routines throughout the day, such as regular hand washing. In these pandemic conditions, it is also imperative that we continue to improve our remote systems so that we can be ready to adapt if health data requires a shift to full remote learning again.
While we move forward planning to implement this hybrid model, we are also continuing to explore other options, such as offering remote-only options. More information regarding this will be available soon, though we do know that additional learning options will be determined by the capacity of our staff and our community’s needs.
We acknowledge the hardships that hybrid and full remote models may place on families, including our own faculty and staff. Although it will be a challenge, the overwhelming majority of families and staff surveyed preferred opening schools in a hybrid learning environment. By working together, openly communicating, and being creative and flexible, we can overcome these challenges together. That said, please understand there are many moving pieces to these plans, and we will need to adapt as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves and we receive further guidance from the AOE and the Department of Health.
Finally, in addition to academic work, I want to assure you that our teams will work tirelessly to support your child’s social and emotional needs through this transition. School is going to look and feel different this year, and we know all of our students will need support. We are here for your children and for your family.
We will send more communication in the coming days and weeks as we finalize plans, but in the meantime, I encourage you to continue to reach out and stay engaged.
Superintendent Tom Flanagan
While COVID-19 interfered the 33rd Annual Children’s Art Exhibition Ceremony scheduled at City Hall on Thursday, March 19, Burlington City Arts launched an online platform to host this longstanding community tradition and display over 189 young Burlington artists’ artwork.
(Photo right from River Shepard at Champlain!)
Started in 1987, the Children’s Art Exhibition displays the artworks of local elementary school children at City Hall each year. While the 2020 exhibition was installed in February of this year, the annual ceremony, where children meet the Mayor, was moved online due to the coronavirus.
This year, the exhibition features the work of the following elementary schools: Champlain Elementary; C.P. Smith Elementary; Edmunds Elementary; Integrated Arts Academy; J.J. Flynn Elementary; and Sustainability Academy.
This exhibition recognizes the incredible diversity and creativity of Burlington’s children.
Each year, one or two students from each school are awarded special honors with the Bentley Davis Seifer Award, sponsored by the Charles P. Ferro Foundation, which includes a special certificate (and $20 cash award). This year, the winners include Joe LaMonde and Emma-Rose Holas (Champlain Elementary); Carris Gaito and Adler Kuntz (C.P. Smith Elementary); William Cunningham and Jaylynn Jimenez (Edmunds Elementary); Enoch Ahmed and Rachel Cunningham (Integrated Arts Academy); Adrianna Greene and Bryson Gokey (J.J. Flynn Elementary); and Deeya Gurung and Maddy McHale (Sustainability Academy).
This annual event is one of many arts opportunities BCA provides for parents and children throughout the year. In addition to the Children’s Art Exhibition, BCA works with the middle school on after-school programs in its studios, hosts popular summer arts programming for children, and the BCA Studios at 405 Pine Street offer opportunities for children in our communities to access the arts.
Burlington City Arts would like to thank all of the young artists, their teachers and schools, as well as Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger for providing an introduction to the online exhibition.
If you or someone in your family is losing pay due to the coronavirus epidemic, you should fill out a Free and Reduced-Price Meals Application today, and apply for 3Squares Benefits, even if you have already filled out these applications this year or have never been eligible in the past.
The thresholds have been lowered and more benefits have been added.
More information on both below, please do this TODAY!
The new stimulus package passed by the Federal Government features increased benefits for anyone eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals. Filling out the application can help you get extra money for food in addition to any other benefits you may already have or be applying for. Even if your change in pay is expected to be temporary you should fill this application. Even if you have already filled out an application this year, you should fill one out again if your pay is now different. You can find applications at all BSD meals sites or you can fill out the application online.
Below you can also find applications that you may print out and drop off at any BSD meal site.
3SquaresVT is Vermont’s name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP). 3SquaresVT can help you stretch your food budget so you can put three healthy meals on your table every day. If your income has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, please apply today.
Not sure if you’ll be eligible? Hunger Free Vermont has created a great tool to show families if they might be eligible before going through the process of filling out the application. Try it today.
School Board Votes Unanimously to Appoint Flanagan to Position
The Burlington Board of School Commissioners is pleased to announce Tom Flanagan will be the next Superintendent of the Burlington School District. On Thursday, March 12, the Board voted unanimously to approve a resolution and contract to appoint Flanagan to the position
“We are thrilled that Tom Flanagan has accepted the offer to be the next Superintendent of Burlington School District,” said BSD Board Chair Clare Wool. “Mr. Flanagan was selected after a thorough, nationwide search. He brings years of experience leading curriculum efforts and has significant expertise in special education. We are looking forward to Mr. Flanagan’s leadership and welcoming Tom and his family to Burlington.”
“I am delighted to accept the offer of the Board of School Commissioners,” said Tom Flanagan. “I’m very much looking forward to working with the community to build on the strengths of the school system and to improve outcomes for the students of Burlington.”
Currently, Tom Flanagan is the Chief Academic Officer of Providence Public Schools, a position he has held since June of 2016. Previous to that, he was the Deputy Chief of Specialized Instruction for Washington, D.C. Public Schools from 2012-2016. He also worked as a Principal for three years in Washington, D.C. In addition to being certified as a Superintendent in Vermont, he holds a Master’s degree in Special Education and also a Master’s in Educational Administration from Trinity College in Washington, D.C.
Following the October announcement that current Superintendent Yaw Obeng would be stepping down at the end of the school year, the Board of School Commissioners launched a national search for a new Superintendent. More than 20 individuals applied for the position and a search committee comprised of board members, staff and parents worked to narrow the field to three qualified candidates. Last week, those three candidates were interviewed by the board and participated in a community forum.
Burlington School District (BSD) is a pre-k-12 public school system of about 4,000 students in Burlington, VT. BSD’s mission is to graduate students who: value different cultures, engage with the community, communicate effectively, think creatively, skillfully solve problems, and achieve at their highest academic, intellectual, and personal potential. Join the Journey! www.bsdvt.org
March 2, 2020
Dear Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,
We look forward to welcoming everyone back from break. School will be open on Wednesday as planned.
In the Burlington School District, the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. I want to share that we are proceeding with an abundance of caution regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
As this is a rapidly changing situation, I have established a District Health Team tasked with looking at on-going actions and communication regarding coronavirus. We will continue to work closely with public health officials at the local and state levels to monitor the spread of the virus.
BSD has been in contact with the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) who has been monitoring the situation closely with the Department of Health. In an update memo on Friday, February 28th, the AOE provided the following suggestions and guidance:
“Many of the precautions that help prevent other respiratory diseases, like colds and the flu, can also help keep an illness like COVID-19 from spreading:
✔ Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (Don’t forget thumbs and in between your fingers.)
✔ Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
✔ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
✔ Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash.
✔ Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
✔ Stay home when you are sick.”
Going forward, we will assemble a Q & A for questions that come in and provide regular updates including one later this week. In the meantime, please visit the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 website or dial 2-1-1 for more information.
Thank you for reading.
Edmunds Elementary School
299 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Tel: (802) 864-8473
Cultivating caring, creative and courageous people. Join the journey!