November 12, 2020
Dear BPS Parents, Guardians, and Staff;
I hope you are safe and well. The Bridgeport Public Schools’ priority continues to be the health and safety of all our students and staff. In the last few months, we have worked tirelessly to maintain in-person teaching and learning as we understand the importance and benefits of keeping schools opened. However, the BPS and the Bridgeport Department of Public Health have been closely monitoring a spike in positive cases of COVID-19 affecting the Bridgeport community. The consistent increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in our community is cause for great concern at this time, as it affects our ability to safely keep our schools adequately staffed and safe for in-person learning.
After consulting with the Bridgeport Department of Public Health the district has made the extremely difficult decision to transition to full remote learning starting November 23, 2020. We will re-evaluate the circumstances in three weeks and any necessary adjustments to our schedule. We believe this is the best decision for the Bridgeport Public Schools community at this time.
The district has been working hard in the past several months to secure technology for all our students. At this time, all students have been provided with a device to engage in remote instruction. All teachers will report daily to their school building to provide remote instruction to their classes. Training on synchronous learning has also been provided to teachers and support staff. The district is in a much better position than we were in September. The focus of our work needs to shift from daily operations to remote teaching and learning and the delivery of instruction to all our students.
This pattern of positive COVID-19 cases in our community has been primarily due to spread in families and from community activities. I have previously communicated that Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Holiday recess would be critical times for our community. I ask that everyone continues to do their part to help mitigate the spread of this virus when out in the community and at social gatherings. Please wear your masks over your nose and mouth at all times when not at home and practice social distancing and healthy habits. It will take a community effort to get us back to in-person teaching and learning for our children. All schools will provide grab and go meal service daily.
A few other extremely important points of information for all families and staff;
- School buildings will continue to remain closed to the public. Only staff members will be in school building during the remote learning time period.
- ALL Extracurricular activities will be virtual.
- All winter athletics will be postponed.
- Planning and Placement Team Meetings will be held virtually.
- Students in the process of reevaluations/being evaluated for special education purposes can have parents provide transportation to and from the schools for assessment purposes.
- Parents of students who need to pick up materials from a school must contact the building principal to work out a mutually agreeable time.
- Staff and parents must continue to report positive cases of COVID-19 to Their building principal.
The health and wellbeing of our students, staff, parents, and the community remains our top priority. The district will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with our health officials to provide you with updates. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Please stay healthy and safe and remember to take care of yourself and your family.
Michael J. Testani
Superintendent of Schools