Back to School at Bethany

Greetings,
 
In a little over a month, school will start up again for students. I’d like to update you on plans we are developing for the 2020-21 school year.

Our goal continues to be having students physically present for classes at the start of the school year. This approach is consistent with the Indiana Department of Education reopening guidelines as well as the The American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) which notes that “the importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020.” (AAP, COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Reentry) We will of course remain flexible as new information becomes available and guidance shifts; it is possible that we will continue modifying school plans right up to the first day of classes.
 
To make the necessary accommodations that will keep students and staff safe while we continue our high-quality academic program, we have added time at the beginning of the school year for teacher preparation. As a result, we have modified the school calendar a bit, shifting the first day for students to Monday, August 10. The last day of school for 2020-21 will be May 28. Principal Hank Willems will send detailed calendar information later this week, along with information on safety measures we are putting in place. Look for an additional communication from Athletic Director Gary Chupp and me regarding high school athletics and the start of other extracurricular activities on July 6.
 
Parent feedback is important as we continue to develop plans for the 2020-21 school year. We invite you to come to one of two community meetings to hear more about our tentative reopening plan and to ask questions on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00 pm or Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 pm. We will meet outdoors in and around the pavilion on the east side of the school. Please wear a mask and bring your own chairs. Principal Willems and I will give a brief overview, then open the floor for your questions and comments. In case of inclement weather, we will reschedule and communicate that via Facebook.
 
All the best as you continue to enjoy the summer break,
Tim Lehman, Ed.D
Head of Schools
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