BCS Coronavirus Information

Monday, April 27, 2020

Dear BCS Parents, Staff, and Students-

Thank you for your responses to our survey requests. The information has proven to be very valuable and the participation was exceptional. We feel like we have a very clear understanding of the concerns of our school community going forward. There were three primary responses consistently communicated from all stakeholders. The first was that we prioritize the safety of students and staff in all decision making. The second was that we work to find closure for all students; however, specifically to honor and celebrate our seniors. Lastly, that parents and students are grateful for the efforts of BCS staff members related to the BCS Remote Learning Environment, and that our families trust and support decisions made and the related outcomes as we move forward. We greatly appreciate your feedback and are humbled by the support.

Numerous discussions were held by BCS administrators considering all the responses we received, as well as the guidelines set forth by Governor Bullock and the Montana Catholic Bishops. We believe it is in the best interest of our students and staff and their families to continue in the Remote Learning Environment through the end of the 19-20 school year. We believe it is better to err on the side of caution, and do not feel any potential health risk for members of our BCS family is worth the reward of returning. We believe that the Remote Learning Environment implemented by our staff and students ensures that actual learning is taking place, and that the last quarter of school will still be beneficial to all. Also, because the shelter-in-place rule will be relaxed, we will have some opportunities to assist any students who are struggling at an individual level.

BCCHS:

We will focus on providing a sense of closure for the Class of 2020 and finding ways to celebrate our seniors both for them and for their families. If student and staff safety can be maintained, this may include some time on campus prior to graduation for the senior class and senior teachers only. All these details will be outlined in the days to come. Below is a general explanation of our plan going forward.

Students who have been unengaged in remote learning will be expected to spend time on campus to make up for time lost and concepts not mastered. BCCHS administration will be in contact with those students who meet these criteria.

BCCHS graduation will be on campus on May 24th at 6pm. At this point, our tentative plan is to host the graduation as in past years in the BCCHS gymnasium, practicing social distancing and limiting attendance. Attendance will be limited to the graduate plus four guests, with the exception being families whose immediate family, parents and siblings, is greater than four. All immediate family members of larger families will be allowed. We will encourage at-risk individuals to stay at home. The event will also be lived-streamed for outside guests. Please understand that this plan is tentative and is subject to change. If we must reduce the number of allowed guests or make other changes because of a spike in infected cases in our community, we will. We have alternative plans in place to honor the graduates should this happen. BCCHS will be sending a separate email to manage and create a guest list.

Graduation will incorporate many of the aspects of the multiple events traditionally held at the end of the year for seniors. Aspects of the celebration will encompass faith, celebration of individual and all-class accomplishments, class co-presidents and valedictorian addresses to the class, presentation of diplomas, and a trip across the stage for graduates. BCCHS will send more specific details in the weeks to come but expect a celebration that will focus on health and safety, as well as faith, family spirit and excellence.

BCCHS will work with the senior class and senior class leadership to determine ways to help the students find closure and celebrate the end of the year in a safe and appropriate manner. These decisions will be made and communicated as soon as possible.

The final day of school for seniors will be May 15, with the hope that the following week will allow an opportunity to gather and bid farewell to the school. For grades 9-11 the final day will be May 29. A week by week schedule will be communicated as soon as possible. During the week of June 1–June 5, iPads will be collected, lockers cleaned out, loose ends tied, and the school prepared for summer closure. That week will also be utilized to provide staff members with support and professional development for the upcoming 2020-21 school year, as we prepare for potential ongoing uncertainty in future school years.

SFC:

K-7th grade students will follow the schedule outlined below:

Maintain current remote learning schedule through Friday, May 22nd

Week of May 26th– 29th Staff members will schedule student assessments, and students will participate in school and locker check-out. The end of the year will be finalized by grade level. Specific details will follow.

Final day of school for K-7th will be Friday, May 29th

8th grade students will follow the schedule outlined below:

Maintain current remote learning schedule through Thursday, May 21st

Friday, May 22nd Students will participate in checking out of school and a class meeting. Specific details will follow.

Wednesday, May 27th 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony. Specific details will follow, but plan on limited guest attendance and the utilization of social distancing practices during the ceremony.

As students enter the school for assessments, wrap up, 8th Grade Promotion and other aspects of ending the school year, social distancing will be practiced, appropriate cleaning protocols utilized, and interaction limited. We know and respect that some parents will not want students to visit the school in person. Accommodations will be made as needed.

The week of June 1-5 will be utilized to provide staff members with support and professional development for the upcoming 2020-21 school year, as we prepare for potential ongoing uncertainty in future school years.

ECE:

Childcare will reopen on Monday, May 4th with specific protocols on class size, social distancing, cleaning, and hygiene in place. Preschool will NOT reopen.

A very detailed letter will be sent to all parents who register for childcare outlining these protocols.

Please contact SFC ECE Director Michelle Trafton directly to make arrangements if you intend to utilize SFC childcare going forward at mtrafton@billingscatholicschools.org.

The SFC ECE Summer Program will continue as scheduled, also following specific protocols on social distancing. The program will begin June 1, as school is ending a week earlier than previously planned.

BCS will continue to be diligent and timely in all related communication to staff, students and parents.  Our website will have a section dedicated to end of the year information and updates. As we all have come to learn during this historic and uncertain time, everything is subject to change. BCS will continue to find new and efficient ways to provide an exceptional education to our students founded in faith, family spirit and academic excellence regardless of what the coming months throw our way. Our primary focus will always be the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff. Please know how grateful we are for your support and patience during this unsettling time. The love and support you have shown to our educators and students have made all of this possible. Please continue to pray for us, as we continue to pray for you, our community, and our world community.

The BCS Admin Leadership Team

Bishop Warfel Communication April 27

The Remote Learning Recovery Day will be used as an academic and emotional/mental recovery day for parents, students and staff for organization, planning, support, collaboration, and homework completion.

Remote Learning Student Expectations

BCS STAFF DIRECTORIES

SFC Early Childhood Education Center
Saint Francis Catholic
Billings Central Catholic High School
BCS Administration

HELPFUL RESOURCES

CDC Talking to Children about Coronavirus

HealthyChildren.org on Coronavirus

CDC Five Points on Coronavirus Video