Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus Updates
Posted on 05/29/2020
Bloomfield Schools logoDear Bloomfield Public Schools family:

The safety of our children, staff and families remains the district’s highest priority as we protect our community from this evolving global health crisis, known as COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Here is our update, as of Friday, May 29.

As we prepare for the final two weeks of school, principals and school leaders have been discussing the grading criteria for year-end report cards, re-entry plans and professional development needs.

On Monday, the district’s re-entry task force will convene to continue discussing strategies for re-opening schools in the fall.

Graduation plans for both Bloomfield High School (BHS) and Global Experience Magnet School (GEMS) are set.

BHS will have its graduation celebration June 15. It starts with a parade at 2 p.m. and culminates with a drive-up diploma ceremony at the high school parking lot. At 6 p.m. that day, a virtual ceremony can be viewed online. The BHS Class of 2020 is an historic one, in that it will be the high school’s centennial graduating class.

Speeches by the class valedictorian, salutatorian and my address to the graduates have been recorded and will be part of the virtual presentation. Bloomfield High School is also recording its annual awards ceremony, which will recognize scholarship winners and others. The event will be posted on YouTube and on the BHS engagement website June 10, at 6 p.m.

GEMS’ graduation will be June 12, at 4 p.m., in the campus parking lot. It will be a “drive-in’ ceremony. The bulk of the celebration will be streamed into the cars of the attendees. The 22 graduates will leave their cars to receive their diplomas as their names are announced.

Registration for kindergarten children at Laurel Elementary School and for the Early Start summer program - for students entering grades 1-8 - is going on now. Early Start will run virtually July 6 to July 24, from 9 a.m. to noon. It will include language arts, math, social-emotional programs, virtual field trips and virtual librarian visits. You can check our website – – for more information.

As always, I want to encourage you to adhere to self-care protocols to combat this serious virus:

Wash your hands often. Cover your coughs.

Practice physical distancing (six feet of separation). Refrain from shaking hands

Stay at home

Please stay healthy and take care of one another. Together, we will get through this.

I will update you again Monday, June 1.

Dr. James Thompson, Jr.
Superintendent, Bloomfield Public Schools

Schools Closing

Dear Bloomfield Public Schools families:

In an effort to keep our children, staff, and families safe, Bloomfield Public Schools will be closing all schools indefinitely on Monday, March 16, in response to the spreading COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. This decision was made in consultation with the district’s crisis team, local health officials, and state education leaders.

Gov. Lamont, as you might know, has declared a Public Health Emergency in response to this global health crisis.

In the last few days, Bloomfield teachers have been preparing supplemental learning packets so your children will be engaged with educational learning while at home.

 Please continue to be vigilant with self-care hygiene practices – washing hands with soap and sanitizing often, covering coughs, sneezes, and refraining from shaking hands. The safety of our school community and town residents is our highest priority. We will act accordingly and stay in daily contact with our health officials.

In the event of new developments, we will update you via School Messenger robo call, our district website - www.bloomfieldschools.org – our social media platforms, and Bloomfield Access Television.

Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided to Bloomfield children at Carmen Arace School. We will alert you to pick-up times through robo calls and our district website.

We know this is a very unsettling time for our families. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dr. James Thompson, Jr.

 

FAQ to Distance Learning

 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding BPS and Distance Learning

1. What is Distance Learning

Distance Learning is defined as a form of education in which instruction is delivered via the internet, or other forms of digital technologies. 

2. Who can I contact for questions about the shared learning activities? 

Please contact your student’s teacher.

3. Who can I contact if I need technology support?

For hardware support with district-provided Chromebooks, please see the Chromebook information on www.bloomfieldschools.org

You will see general information, including a form for submitting a request to have someone contact you.

4. How should I prepare the home environment for school?

We strongly suggest designating a space in the home as a learning area for your child. Consider using a learning schedule so there is a structure to your child’s day. Make sure your child is engaging in the assignments.

5. Are there any internet providers offering free or discounted service during this health crisis?


Yes, here are the company names and contact information:

In addition to the temporary connectivity provisions offered by providers through the Keep Americans Connected Pledge (details and list of providers here), families can continue to connect through the Lifeline program (program details here).

On April 28, 2020, the FCC released an order introducing flexibilities for applicants to prove their income level for Lifeline eligibility. These changes come out of the urgent need to get families — and their school-age children — online for learning, work, and general citizenry. These changes are helpful to be aware of as you assist families in connecting to the Internet and dispelling sometimes mixed messages they receive from Internet service providers. Details follow regarding these changes in proving eligibility:

 

Through June 30, 2020, consumers who do not have three consecutive months of income documentation may provide an official document that confirms their current income information.

This may include a notice of unemployment benefit payments or a notice of a successfully submitted application for unemployment benefits.

To prove a consumer's current household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, as an alternative to acceptable documentation already allowed by the rules, consumers may submit an official document that, at a minimum, includes:

  • The consumer's name, or the name of consumer's benefit qualifying person (BQP);
  • The current income information; and
  • A date within the last 3 months.

 

Program Integrity, Recertification, and Reverification Waiver Extended

Additionally, the Order further extends the temporary program changes to Program Integrity efforts, general de-enrollments, non-usage de-enrollments, recertification, and reverification requirements. The Order notes that all temporary changes to the program will remain in effect through Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

This means that from now until June 30:

  • Temporary changes broaden the way that a consumer can demonstrate income eligibility.
  • Involuntary de-enrollments of existing subscribers should not occur. 
  • There will be no new Lifeline Program Integrity reviews announced. 
  • Recertification is now on hold for the anniversary dates between April 14, 2020 and September 28, 2020. 
  • All reverification activity is on hold. 
  • Consumers will not have to confirm usage of their Lifeline service.

 

No additional changes were made to the implementation of the Representative Accountability Database (RAD).

Anyone needing assistance with the Lifeline program can call (800) 234-9473 or email LifelineProgram@usac.org.

6. Will my student participate in video-conference learning?

No, unless the student has an Individual Education Plan that requires it.

7. How much time should I expect my student to engage in each distance learning day

It will vary, depending on the nature of assignments that need to be completed.( Please review your school’s Distance Learning plan on www.bloomfieldschools.org under Coronavirus Updates)

8. How will juniors take ACT or SAT tests? Are colleges relaxing that requirement?

Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for all federal standardized tests, including the Smarter Balanced and SAT, this year.

9. How does my child get a Chromebook?

You can contact your child’s teacher or principal and request to borrow a Chromebook. Please

note, if your child has a laptop computer, desktop or tablet he/she will not need a Chromebook.








Food Resources for Bloomfield Families

Bloomfield Congregational Church

Community Kitchen

10 Wintonbury Avenue – Bloomfield, CT

(860) 242-0776

Serving Hot Meals To Go Every Saturday from 11:30 am – 12:45 pm

First Come, First Served

All Are Welcome!


Bloomfield Public Schools

Free Grab ‘n’ Go Bagged Breakfast & Lunch For All Youth!

Pick-Up Location: Carmen Arace Middle School – 390 Park Avenue, Bloomfield

Mondays thru Fridays 8:00 am – 9:00 am or 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Both meals can be picked up at the same time


Bloomfield Senior Services

330 Park Avenue – (860) 243-8361

FOODSHARE Distribution Scheduled for Tuesday, 4/7/20 & 4/21/20

Numbers will be distributed at 12:15 pm

FoodShare Truck arrives at 12:45 pm

New procedure is “Grab-n-Go” because no one may enter the building. When

you arrive, you will receive a paper number and be asked to wait within earshot

until your number is called. Please wait in your car.


Meals On Wheels

Senior Services will continue to deliver meals to those enrolled in the program

Bloomfield Social & Youth Services


The Bloomfield Food Bank

330 Park Avenue - (860) 242-1895

The Bloomfield Food Bank will provide Grab-n-Go for “curbside” pick-up for

Bloomfield residents in need.

Wednesdays, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm or Fridays, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

First Come, First Served


Friday food donations are provided by:

Bloomfield Backpack Food Distribution Program

This program is sponsored by: Bloomfield Congregational Church,

First Cathedral and Rehoboth Church of God Flyer


Social and Emotional Supports

State of Connecticut COVID-19 Resources for Families and Educators

A Message from the Department of Children and Families

New “Talk It Out Line”, which is a Department of Children and Families’ initiative created to provide support and services to help parents and caretakers with the stress and increased needs resulting from caring for their children during the COVID-19 crisis.  Parents and caregivers are invited to call 833-258-5011 and/or visitwww.talkitoutct.com to speak with trained professionals (in both English and Spanish) who will listen and discuss their concerns and, if additional help is needed, refer them to responsive services. The "Talk It Out Line" is available Monday-Friday from 8am to 8pm; and on weekends from 1 pm to 8 pm.



Free Webinar for Parents / TIps for How to approach Homeschooling During COVID-19

https://www.revolutionprep.com/webinars/homeschooling-during-covid-19/


National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus) A Parent Resource

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering 2 months free to new Internet Essentials customers in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here for more details.

Announcement from the Governor for families with no Internet access.

Families experiencing a current housing crisis should dial 2-1-1 to get connected to supports that may be available statewide. Connecticut 2-1-1 can also help connect people with other services such as food, clothing, household goods, healthcare, and more. 



Support Services Advisory

Dear Families,  

I hope this communication finds all well and in good health. The district will commence the Distance Learning Plan for all students on March 30, 2020. Although though this new form of instruction will come as a challenge to our staff, we will move forward with the provision of all services to the greatest extent possible.  
The steps taken to coordinate the delivery of 504 and IEP services can be viewed in our Bloomfield Public Schools Distance Learning Plan. While implementing these new modes of instruction we strive to maintain the confidentiality of all personally identifiable information for all students. Bloomfield will use platforms that are compliant with student data privacy rights. However, it is not possible to avoid viewing the names or faces of other participants in many of these platforms as they are also members of the class.  
For this reason, we have to request your help in keeping all student information confidential. You can help us by providing your child a private quiet space in your home when accessing these sites so no other members of your household will have access to information about your child’s peers when participating in service instruction. Please remember that in some of these platforms your child may be viewable to others who are participating. So please encourage school ready attire before participating.  
Our central focus at this time is to become fully functional with the implementation of these new methods of instruction. For this reason, we will need to continue to delay the scheduling of 504/ Parent Placement Team Meetings. We will reconvene these meetings as soon as we are feeling confident that they can be conducted in a meaningful manner with full participation from all required team members. We thank you for your patience and understanding.  
We are sensitive to the extraordinary stress and life change that all families must endure. We will do our very best to accommodate your needs. We will continue to provide useful information for families and supports on our website -- www.bloomfieldschools.org under Coronavirus Updates. We are here to support should you have questions or concerns. Please do not hesitate to reach out. 
Wishing all good health and peace, 
Wendy Shepard-Bannish
Director of Student Support Services
wshepard-bannish @ blmfld.org

Student Breakfast and Lunch

The Bloomfield Public Schools will be offering free cold bagged breakfasts and lunches Monday through Friday to Bloomfield children.

Students or guardians can pick up breakfast from 8:00-9:00 and lunch from noon-1:00 at Carmen Arace.

Please use the doors near the cafeteria hallway. Meals are pre-bagged and need to be consumed elsewhere.

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