March 13th COVID-19 Update

Hello BCP Families!  The superintendent of MDCPS announced today that all schools will be closed, starting Monday, March 16, 2020.  At a minimum, they’ll be closed just next week and the following week of spring break, but since we’re dealing with a global pandemic, that timeline could be extended.  We want to first pause to acknowledge how difficult this might be for you as you look to provide childcare for your kids without school being open.  You’ll likely need to make sacrifices and changes to your daily routine that can put stress and pressure on you as you juggle all types of responsibilities.  This doesn’t go unnoticed on our end, and we appreciate you for doing what you have to in this difficult time.  We are here to support in any way that we can.  At the same time, we want to assure you of two things: 

1) MDCPS is offering free breakfast and lunch from the hours of 9:00am – 12:00pm at each and every MDCPS school for all students – including charter school students.  This means that if your child takes the bus from, say, Liberty City, and Holmes Elementary is right across the street, they can go to Holmes Elementary next week for a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch next week. Please find the closest traditional school to your home at the link here.
2) We are working to prepare engaging activities that students can complete at home so that they remain sharp through this extended break.  On Monday, all BCP teachers are meeting at the school to put together work packets that can be emailed out to families.  Work is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 17.  Please use this survey to provide an updated email that we can send work to for the week.  Further communication will follow as we develop the plan for home-based learning.
We also want to provide some guidance to you as we head into next week:
  1. The situation at hand is serious, and unprecedented in recent history.  Ignore all media that suggests that this will “blow over” because things are going to get worse before they get better.  The best thing you can do is to prevent the virus from getting into your household.  Follow the CDC guidance and check the website regularly as they update it daily.  
  2. Stay away from crowded places in public.  To the greatest extent possible, stay home, and keep your kids home.  Transmission rates are very high, and cities have limited power to test for the virus, so many people are walking around with COVID-19 and don’t know it. 
  3. Reinforce good hygiene for your students.  Please use this crisis as an opportunity to foster an obsession for cleanliness in your children.  Teach them to wash their hands often and avoid touching their faces.
  4. Go to the grocery store and stock up on non-perishable food items.  Grocery stores still have food, but they’re running low on supplies.  It would be prudent to buy things like rice, pasta, canned veggies and beans, and other items that are inexpensive and easy to cook.  If possible, buy enough food to feed your family for up to 30 days.  
  5. Stay informed.  Things are changing day-to-day, and as the leader of your household, you need to have the most accurate and up to date information.  The CDC website is the best place for this in combination with local news.  
  6. This may be the hardest one, but don’t panic.  We need to maintain a level of calm for the sake of our kids.  Our kids are impressionable and feed off of our energy, so if we act panicked in front of them, they’ll absorb all of that fear and anxiety, and they don’t need that.  Reassure them that they are not at risk for the worst of it, but at the same time empower them with messaging about prevention so that they don’t get sick and pass it to somebody else in your family. 
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!  Please use this survey to ask your question.  Somebody from BCP’s leadership team will get back to you.  
While this will be a challenging couple of weeks, we don’t want you to lose sight of the fact that we’re working together to raise a strong children in mind, body and spirit.  We spend lots of time concerned with the academics and character of our students, but now is a time that we must be concerned with their physical wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of those who care for them at home.  We know that our words cannot quell the frustration that a school closure may cause, but please know that we understand, we care, and we’re here.  We’ll be here now, and after we regain stability in our country.  
Please be on the lookout for further communication from us.  Stay safe and stay healthy!