Q&A from Elementary Parent Forum

Thanks to everyone who participated in the virtual elementary parent forum on Sept. 9. The following are answers to the questions that were asked during the forum. If you have any additional questions, please call the elementary school main office at 518-954-2700.

Start of School

Q: What will my child in the 100% in-person learning model be doing during remote learning days at the start of the school year?

A: Students in pre-K through grade 4 who are in the 100% in-person learning model will receive from their teachers paper packets or instructions for projects that they should complete during their remote learning days. Students will NOT need technology devices for this remote learning period at the start of the school year.

Q: What will pre-K students be doing during the first two weeks of the school year when they’re learning remotely?

A: Pre-K families should have received a choice board of activities in their welcome packet. Pre-K teachers will send home additional ready-for-school activities. Pre-K students will not need a technology device to complete their remote learning activities.

Technology

Q: Can my child use our personal computer for remote learning?

A: Yes. Any internet-enabled laptop, desktop or Chromebook may be used for remote learning. Remote learners in pre-K through grade 2 may also use an iPad or other tablet.

Q: Will we be given login information to help our children access remote learning materials?

A: Yes, teachers will provide login information.

Q: I requested a technology device for my child in the 100% remote learning model. When can I pick that up?

A: B-P will ONLY be issuing devices to those families that requested to borrow a district-owned device for their 100% remote learner. Families may pick up their requested device 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 in the senior high school bus loop. Note, students in pre-K through grade 2 will be issued iPads and students in grades 3-6 will be issued Chromebooks. If you cannot pick up the requested device Tuesday evening, please call the elementary school office at 518-954-2700 to make other arrangements.

Q: How can I request a Chromebook for my child in fifth or sixth grade now that they will be doing remote learning every other day?

A: Please call the elementary school office at 518-954-2700 to request to borrow a district-owned Chromebook. Chromebooks will be distributed during the school day to students whose families requested one for them.

Grades 5-6 Hybrid Learning Model

Q: Will students in grades 5-6 have the same teacher for all core subjects?

A: No. Students in sixth grade will receive instruction from all five grade-level teachers. Teachers will push in to students’ classrooms on in-person learning days. Fifth graders will receive instruction from a team of three teachers each day. Fifth and sixth graders will travel to the science lab for some science instruction. 

Q: What will remote instruction look like for students in grades 5-6 who are attending school in person every other day?

A: Remote instruction for students in grades 5-6 who are attending school every other day will include live instruction sessions that are recorded for future viewing, virtual office hours with their teachers, reading, and independent practice of concepts they learned during in-person and remote lessons. 

Q: Does my fifth or sixth grader have to be available for live instruction during the school day on their remote learning days?

A: No. Although we encourage families to make every effort for their child to be available for live instruction, teachers will record their live lessons and share the recordings for later viewing. On remote learning days, fifth and sixth graders will have the option of completing their work after school hours.

Q: How long will students in grades 5-6 remain in a hybrid learning model?

A: Students in grades 5-6 will continue in the hybrid learning model at least through the first trimester, which ends on Dec. 11. B-P will re-evaluate the model at that time and communicate with families the plan moving forward.

Special Area Classes

Q: How will specials work for 100% in-person learners?

A: Special area classes (art, music, physical education, and Project Lead the Way) will take place in the general education classroom, in the special area classroom, or outside, weather permitting. When students go to the special area classroom, they will wash or sanitize their hands before entering, and again before returning to their regular classroom. Special area teachers will wipe down all surfaces and shared materials in their classrooms with disinfectant wipes between classes. BPES has built in extra time in the daily schedule to allow for hand sanitizing and surface disinfecting.

Q: Do students have to wear masks during PE?

A: Students only have to wear masks during PE class if they cannot maintain 12 feet of distance between themselves and others.

Q: How will specials work for remote learners?

A: Special area teachers will provide remote instruction through SeeSaw (pre-K through grade 2) or Google Classroom (grades 3-6). Remote instruction will include live instruction sessions that are recorded for future viewing, recorded lessons, and project-based activities.

Remote Learning

Q: When will remote learning start?

A: Remote learning will start on Monday, Sept. 14.

Q: How will remote learning work?

A: Students in the 100% remote learning model can expect to complete up to six hours of learning activities every school day, across all content areas, including special area classes. Students will follow a schedule similar to the in-person learning schedule, meaning they will need to log in at designated times to participate in virtual classes, in addition to watching pre-recorded videos and completing paper-based projects and assignments. The standards that drive our instruction are the same for all learners, whether they are in-person or remote.

Q: Will my remote learner have a chance to meet their teacher?

A: We have not designated a specific time for students in the 100% remote learning model to meet their teachers. Teachers of remote learners may schedule optional in-person learning experiences throughout the school year. Teachers will schedule regular Google Meets with their classes.

Q: Are school meals available for remote learners?

A: Yes. During the first week of school, lunch for the day and breakfast for the next day will be distributed daily, noon to 1 p.m., at the junior high school (formerly TLC) bus loop. Meals are available to any school-age child who is learning remotely that day. When picking up the meals, parents should be prepared to provide their child’s student ID number. Students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will not be charged; all others can expect to be charged for the meals through their school lunch accounts.

Special Education

Q: Will DCT (direct consultant teacher) classrooms still exist?

A: Yes.

Q: How will related services work for remote learners?

A: Related services, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy, will still be provided for all students who have those services on their IEPs. Remote learners will have therapy provided virtually.

Capital Project & Logistics

Q: What time does the school day start?

A: Student arrival time for in-person learning will be 8:35-8:50 a.m. to allow time for temperature screenings at the door of the building.

Q: Where will the student drop-off and pick-up area be located?

A: The student drop-off and pick-up area will be located where it was last year, in the parent/visitor parking lot. (See the site map below.)

Q: How will student pick-up procedures work?

A: Pick-up procedures will be similar to previous years. Students will be dismissed on a staggered schedule starting with pre-K at 2:30 p.m., and other students starting at 2:50 p.m.

Q: Will parents be allowed to walk their children to their classrooms on their first day of school?

A: No, parents will not be allowed in the building. They can walk their children to the entrance of the building, but no further. BPES will have staff on hand to help children find their classrooms.

Q: When will capital project construction be complete?

A: Capital project construction will continue throughout the school year. The new main entrance is expected to be completed by January, and interior work will continue in isolated areas of the building throughout the 2020-21 school year. The vast majority of planned construction will be completed by September 2021.

Q: How will students access the building?

A: At the start of the school year, students will access the building through two main entrances: The old intermediate school entrance, and the entrance at the end of the old BPMS sixth-grade wing, in the part of the building closest to Rt. 107. (See yellow circles on the site map.)

Miscellaneous

Q: Can parents still volunteer in the school?

A: We are looking into whether we can allow parent volunteers and in what capacity. We will keep parents informed as we iron out the details.

Q: Does the school need any supplies that can be donated?

A: At this time, we do not need additional supplies. If we determine that we could use donated supplies, we will let the community know.