Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus Updates
Posted on 03/27/2020
Bloomfield Schools logo

Dear 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 March 27, 2020:

 

New Development --Families can now view our comprehensive Bloomfield Public Schools Distance Learning Plan. It is also available on our website --  www.bloomfieldschools.org under Coronavirus Updates.

 

This Distance Learning plan, to be implemented Monday, March 30, outlines what you and your families can expect with this 21st Century-method of instruction.

 

Distance Learning is defined as a form of education in which instruction is delivered via the internet, or other forms of digital technologies. In developing this plan, school leaders have been in daily collaboration with district leaders - and have engaged teachers and staff.

 

Here is what to expect:

 

  • Teachers will create and email weekly assignments.
  • Students are expected to keep in contact with their teachers via email or Google Classroom - and complete assignments on time.
  • Students will be graded on the quality of their completed assignment and if the assignment was turned in by the due date. High school students will receive course credit, based on their engagement and successful completion of assignments.
  • Parents and guardians play an important role. We strongly suggest you designate a space in the home as a learning area for your child.Please consider using a learning schedule so there is a structure to your child’s day. Please make sure your child is engaging in the assignments.

 

Over the last two days, Chromebooks have been handed out to families identified as needing technology assistance. That determination was made through the use of surveys to families. If you did not receive a survey and believe your child has a technology need, please contact your principal immediately. If your child has a laptop computer, desktop or tablet he/she will not need a Chromebook.

The Good Friday holiday, April 10, will be observed. Spring recess remains April 13-17.

 

Grab & Go Free Meals Program

 

New Development - More than 4,000 meals have been distributed by our Grab & Go program.

 

The district has expanded the hours of pick-up. ALL students 18 and under are eligible. Meals can be picked up – in one stop – at Carmen Arace Middle School Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

On Fridays, you can pick up two breakfasts and two lunches for the weekend. Please remember that food and proper nutrition are important elements for learning.

 

New Development - A group of town churches collaborated and gave out 100 bags of free groceries today (Friday, March 27) at the town’s Social & Youth Services Department, on Park Avenue.

 

Status of Schools

 

Schools are closed indefinitely. Board of Education meetings – along with Town Council meetings – have been cancelled, until further notice. The last day of school for our district will be June 15. 2020. Gov. Lamont has waived the 180-day requirement for schools to be open.

 

Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for all federal standardized tests, including the Smarter Balanced and SAT, this year. We are in daily contact with the local health department and regular contact with state education and government leaders. We will alert you and your families when schools prepare to open again. No decisions have been made as yet in regard to graduation ceremonies.

 

Facilities

 

New Development - Six of seven schools have been fully sanitized. The remaining school will be sanitized next week.

 

District employees, for the most part, are working remotely. The district is no longer receiving visitors at the Board of Education office on Blue Hills Avenue. Most questions you may have are likely answered on the district’s website – http://www.bloomfieldschools.org/ – under Coronavirus Update.

 

Self-care hygiene reminder – The health department has confirmed that Bloomfield has its first confirmed case of a person who has contracted COVID-19.

 

Please continue to encourage family members to wash their hands with soap often; cover coughs and sneezes; refrain from handshakes -- and contact a medical professional immediately if experiencing flu-like symptoms and a fever.

 

We will update you again Monday, March 30, 2020.

 

Dr. James Thompson

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.

 

District March 11 Update

Dear Bloomfield Families and Staff,

 

In an effort to keep students, staff, and visitors safe, Bloomfield Public Schools is making several changes in response to the spreading of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The district Crisis Team has been actively working with school leaders and staff to address the challenges presented by this rapidly evolving situation. The district-wide planning is in coordination and alignment with state and regional health officials, and the CT State Department of Education.

 

Protocols

• Hygiene practices have been intensified at all schools (including instructions on washing hands, proper coughing techniques, and avoiding shaking hands, etc.).

• Expanded cleaning and disinfecting in high use areas. Disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and soap have been ordered and distributed among the schools.

 

Academics/Distance Learning

• As a contingency, in the event a school needs to be closed staff will plan two weeks of instructional review materials on the afternoons of March 18, 19, and 20. Distance learning may include hard copies of materials which will also be available online, along with Google Classroom and access to online learning platforms including NewsELA, Reflex Math, Khan Academy, and RaZKids. Look for an invitation to complete a survey about internet access and computer equipment in your home.

• Parent-Teacher conferences have been cancelled for March. Schools will be mailing home report cards. In place of Parent-Teacher conferences we welcome families to schedule phone conferences, as needed.

• Extended day programs are suspended. The last day is March 11, 2020.

Field Trips and Extracurricular Activities

• All field trips have been cancelled, with the exception of two intra-district field trips.

• The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has cancelled all remaining winter tournament games.

 

Communications

• Families will receive communication via School Messenger robo call and email. Please be sure your child’s school has your most current email and contact information.

• Information and updates will be available to families via the district’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Information will also be provided to the Hartford Courant, Bloomfield Messenger, WKND-Radio, and Bloomfield Access Television.

• April vacation will not be cancelled. If necessary, Bloomfield Public Schools may extend the school year through June 30.

 

This is a very fluid situation. For information and updates, please visit our website: http://www.bloomfieldschools.org/.

Sincerely,

 

Dr. James Thompson, Jr.

 

District March 4 Update

Dear Bloomfield Families,

In an effort to keep our community informed, we are monitoring all information and updates being provided by the Department of Public Health, West Hartford-Bloomfield Public Health, and the Center for Disease Control on guidance regarding the Coronavirus (CoVid-19). We believe that it is best to take proactive measures as we are actively planning for every contingence. Our school communities are keeping a watchful eye on the situation to allow for minimal disruptions to teaching and learning.

We are encouraging families to be proactive by following the practices of standard universal precautions. 

CDC recommends individuals and families follow these everyday preventive measures:

  • Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick.  If you have a fever greater than 100 degrees, remain home until at least 24 hours fever free without fever reducing medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin.”   At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to CoVid-19-related virus.
  • Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Routine use of these measures by individuals and their families will increase community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak. Our school communities are also following these procedures diligently.

We will keep you apprised as new information becomes available to us. If you would like further information on this matter, please visit the following websites:

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

Handwashing Videos:

 

Middle/High School- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZw4Ga3jg3E

 

Elementary School https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJG72sycQB8


Useful Links 

West Hartford- Bloomfield Health District-https://www.westhartfordct.gov/gov/departments/health_district/default.asp

CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) info- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Connecticut Department of Health- https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Public-Health-Preparedness/Main-Page/2019-Novel-Coronavirus

American Academy of Pediatrics- https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

World Health Organization- https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

 

SICK CHILDREN……….STAY AT HOME GUIDELINES

Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be a difficult decision for parents to make. When trying to decide, use the guidelines below and seek the advice of your health care provider.  Please do not send your ill or injured child to school and ask the nurse to “check him/her out”.  If you think your child needs assessment, contact their health care provider,

1.            If your child has a temperature of 100  or greater he/she must stay home. Your child cannot return to school until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours.

2.            If your child has diarrhea, he/she should stay home.

3.            If your child vomited during the night, he/she should stay home until there is no vomiting for 24 hours.

4.            If your child woke up with one or both eyes red, sealed with discharge, and/or is itchy or painful, he/she should stay home and be seen by their health care provider.  If prescribed an antibiotic eye drop, he/she may return after 24 hours of use.

5.            If your child is complaining of severe sore throat they should stay home and be seen by their health care provider.  If an antibiotic is prescribed, he/she may return after 24 hours of use.


Information You Can Use

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 Bloomfield Families,


RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As you know in an effort to keep all Bloomfield community members safe, Bloomfield Public Schools will be closing all schools indefinitely on Monday, March 16, in response to the spreading of 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.

During this trying time the district is making every effort to ensure we are continuing to we provide meaningful learning to our students.   This week our Student Support Service Staff worked diligently to send our students home with supplemental learning packets and on-line resources that were aligned to the goals and objectives found in their IEPs or accommodations within each student’s 504 plan.   If students were absent on March 13th and missed the opportunity to be sent home with their learning packet we will do our very best to get one out in the mail to you.

 

The IDEA, Section 504, and Title II of the ADA do not specifically address a situation in which elementary and secondary schools are closed for an extended period of time (generally more than 10 consecutive days) because of exceptional circumstances, such as an outbreak of a particular disease.   So we are embarking on new territory together here.    While we will not be holding PPTs /504 meetings during this absence period, we will most certainly ensure that we are doing our best to get immediately back on track when we return and re-schedule all expected annual, triennial and progress reviews when we return. 

These are extraordinary and stressful times for families.   All the media coverage surrounding this event can be confusing for children and as a parent I have struggled with finding the right words to say to my own children.  Attached please find guidance that can help support you in explaining these events to children that will help ease stress and anxiety while also providing accurate information on the facts.   I hope provides some help and comfort.  

As always I am 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 Student Support Services

Bloomfield Public Schools

Office 860-769-4263

Guide to Helping Families Cope.pdf

Talking to Children COVID-19.pdf

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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