BMS Back to School Information

BMS Back to School Information
Posted on 08/21/2020
Photo of school supplies and a mask

Yesterday, parents should have received a communication from Superintendent Boothby describing RSU 25’s school re-entry plan for the fall. Because of the high number of parents selecting in person instruction and given the challenges with transportation, Bucksport Middle School will return in a hybrid model.

A mailing was sent out to all BMS parents on Friday, 8/21 that included specific information about their child's schedule [either hybrid in person or fully remote] as well as a revised school calendar and a revised school supply list.  All of the information below was included in the mailing.

Hybrid Schedule:
Under a hybrid school re-entry model at BMS, the school week would be divided into Purple Days [Monday, Wednesday] and Gold Days [Tuesday, Thursday].

On Purple Days, students whose last name starts with A-J would attend in person, while students whose last name starts with K-Z would attend remotely.

On Gold Days, students whose last name starts with K-Z would attend in person, while students whose last name starts with A-J would attend remotely.

All students would participate remotely for a half day Friday morning [8:00-noon], with Friday afternoon reserved for teacher planning and collaboration.

We are also offering a fully remote program for families who would prefer that option.

Students have been grouped into new homerooms for purple in person learning, gold in person learning, and fully remote learning based on parent response to the survey sent out by the district earlier this month.

Please note that we have attempted to group students together by household, including high school siblings. This may result in some students being scheduled in a group that does not match their last name.

Start of School:
The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 8th and will be a GOLD day. Students on a PURPLE day will start the school year on Wednesday, September 9th and do not need to participate remotely on the 8th.  The first day of school for fully remote students will be September 9th.  Information on bus routes as well as the start and end of the school day are being determined and will be communicated to families as soon as possible.

Hybrid & Remote Learning:
Hybrid In-Person Instruction- 

Students will be assigned to either a Purple or Gold Cohort.

Purple cohort will attend in person on Monday/Wednesday.

Gold cohort will attend in person on Tuesday/Thursday.

Students will attend all classes on their remote days synchronously [live].

Fridays all students will be remote.

Attendance will be taken daily each class period.

Brightspace and Zoom will be the main platforms used.

Learning technology installed in each classrooms (Cameras).

Fully remote learning will look different this fall than it did last spring-

Brightspace and Zoom will be the main platforms used.

Courses will cover the same curriculum and remote students will be expected to complete the same assignments as students learning in person.

Students will be expected to fully participate in each of their classes Monday-Thursday. Participation will be synchronous [live] and students will be expected to have their video and audio turned on except during screen breaks or when the teacher says it is okay to do so.

Friday will be a blend of synchronous [live] and asynchronous [at your own pace] learning.

Attendance will be taken for each class every day.

Students will receive the same grades as in person students, either a 1-4 standards-based grade in grades 5 & 6 or a 1-100 numeric grade in grades 7 & 8.

All students grades 5-8 will be issued a school Chromebook. These laptops will be taken home each night to be used on the remote learning days and on Fridays. The laptops will include school filters and monitoring, even when offsite. Laptops will be distributed to students on the first in person day of instruction.  Parents of students in fully remote learning will receive information soon about how to pick up their child's laptop.

If families do not have internet access for the remote learning days, please contact us as RSU 25 has internet hotspots available for families to use.

Health & Safety:
All in person school re-entry options would include standard health & safety measures, including:

Symptom self-screening prior to coming to school each day;

Required face coverings;

Cohorting of students by homeroom; teachers rotate to classes;

Distancing of at least six feet whenever practical and never less than 3 feet;

Rapid response & return to school protocols for anyone demonstrating COVID symptoms and/or testing positive.

I encourage you to read the full RSU 25 re-entry plan on the RSU 25 website.

As families prepare for a return to in person learning, we kindly remind students and parents that several members of our school community are sensitive to common foods including blueberries, garlic, and peanuts. As we strive for a school community that is inclusive of everyone, please be sure not to bring any items with either garlic or blueberries into school and make sure that any items containing peanuts are well packaged and not consumed in common areas. We appreciate your precautions to help keep all members of our school community safe.

Food Service:
A “grab & go” breakfast will be available to students as they enter the building in the morning. Lunch will be served to students in their classrooms. There will be an option for school lunch on remote learning days, but lunches will need to be picked up at school. School breakfast will cost $1.75 and lunch will cost $3.10. Free & reduced lunch will be available for students who qualify.

In order to protect the health and safety of students and staff, we will only be allowing visitors by appointment this year. All visitors to our school will be required to wear a face covering.

If parents need to speak with a teacher, nurse, administrator, or other staff member, we encourage them to call or use a digital meeting whenever possible. If parents must enter the building, please call the office to make an appointment. Parents dropping off students or picking students up for dismissal will need to wait outside the building and remain in their vehicles. Details on drop off and pick up will be communicated with information on bus transportation and will be provided as soon as possible.

School Supplies:
We are asking that students not bring in extra supplies, as there is limited space for each student to store their supplies. Students will be keeping all of their supplies in their personal cubby, and supplies will not be shared this year.  Please see our revised school supply list.

Co- & Extra-Curricular Activities:
At this time, we are still trying to determine which athletic, extra-curricular, and co-curricular activities we will be able to offer this school year. BMS will be following the guidance of the MPA and high school sports when determining if we will be offering fall athletics. At this time, we are unable to offer choir. We are hoping to offer band but need to address very restrictive guidelines for the use of certain instruments. We will provide more details as they become available to us.

Open House:
We will be unable to host our traditional Open House this school year, but we will be offering a Virtual Open House the week before school begins. We will have short videos from students teachers, health information from our nurses, and tours of our socially-distanced classrooms and hallways.

Despite all of the changes and challenges of the coming school year, we do look forward to the 2020-21 school year and the return of our students to the building and in our online classrooms. If you have any questions or would like additional information on any aspect of the return to school, please do not hesitate to contact the main office at 469-6647 or email Principal West at [email protected].