7/24/20 - Superintendent Piwowar's Message - Planning efforts for reopening

Members of the Billerica Community:

Over the last two weeks, we have been continuing our ongoing planning efforts for students' return to school this fall. As I shared in my last community message, we are planning for three models for what reopening school might look like - full in-person, full remote, and hybrid. Last week, I provided an update to the Billerica School Committee, and links to the presentation and the video from that meeting are below:

As the success of any plan we develop depends on the support of our staff, students, and families, it is important for us to continue to communicate our current thinking and to provide an opportunity for all of you to give us feedback along the way. What makes the conversation about reopening incredibly challenging is that the context of the work keeps changing as information about the virus and its transmission evolves, as does the guidance we receive from state agencies.

Since the Billerica School Committee has ultimate responsibility for the approval of our reopening plans, along with identifying an initial return model for September, we are using the following schedule to both share information and gather feedback in the coming weeks. We encourage you to participate as much as you can, as your feedback is critical for ensuring that our plans are responsive to student, family, and community context in Billerica.

Please consider this as a "save the date" for these events; links to the individual meetings will be sent out once they are finalized:

  • July 30, 6pm, Billerica School Committee

    • The Committee will hear a more defined (but still draft) version of the three models, and will discuss recent state guidance regarding transportation, operations, and facilities.

  • July 31, Message to Community

    • The models and state guidance discussed at the July 30 School Committee meeting will be shared with the Billerica community via email/social media.

  • August 3, 7pm, Community Virtual Forum

    • A virtual forum will be held over Zoom webinar, where school leaders will share information about the models and current thinking, and answer questions submitted by participants. The forum will be recorded and shared for those unable to attend.

  • Week of August 3, time/date TBD, Student Virtual Forum

    • A virtual forum, similar to the Community Forum, will be held for students. Participation will be limited to students only.

  • Week of August 3, Family Survey

    • A survey will be sent out to families to gather feedback about the reopening plans.

  • August 10, 9am, Billerica School Committee

    • The Committee will vote to approve a comprehensive plan that includes three models, as well as which model is identified for the initial return to school for students.

In addition, next week we will begin sharing a series of short videos to explain key components of our planning process. We encourage you to look for these through our social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter (@BillericaPS).

Thank you for your continued patience and support in this work,

Tim Piwowar, Superintendent