November 25, 2020
RE: Maintaining 25% Hybrid & New PDE Regulations
Dear BCTHS Students, Parents, Staff, and Community:
Happy Thanksgiving! I realize this Thanksgiving may be VERY different for most of you, but I am thankful that BCTHS can remain open in its 25% hybrid model. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this historic time we are all living in!
As you probably know, COVID cases continue to increase in Bucks County, and BCTHS is beginning to see an increase in its cases (see the BCTHS COVID Dashboard). Given the skyrocketing COVID cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the PA Department of Health have revised their recommendations for school health and safety protocols. In addition, BCTHS has also revised its Health and Safety Plan to align with the new PDE guidance.
Therefore, effective November 30, 2020, BCTHS will be displaying daily COVID cases in order to track rolling 14-day periods to determine increased health and safety actions. Per the latest PDE recommendations, if the school has six (6) or more cases during any rolling 14-day period, BCTHS will need to move to 100% remote/virtual learning until the school can take all of the following actions listed below. Please note that the 14-day count only includes those persons that were potentially in the building with COVID. For example, a student on an academic rotation may have COVID but would not count towards the 14-day totals since that student was not physically present in the building. Below are the actions BCTHS must take:
- Complete case investigations; and,
- Contact trace in coordination with the Bucks County Department of Health; and,
- Clean and disinfect rooms/areas impacted.
In most instances, BCTHS, in collaboration with the Bucks County Health Department, should be able to complete all of these steps BEFORE the next school day in order to remain open for in-person learning. But, there may be times when the school cannot complete all of the necessary steps and will move to 100% remote/virtual learning. If the school must move to 100% remote learning for a brief period, BCTHS students, families, and staff will be notified via an email message, the school’s website, and social media. If necessary, the school may use the automated call system. But, it is the intent of BCTHS to complete all of the necessary steps BEFORE the next school day in order to maintain the in-person hybrid model that is currently in place.
Since BCTHS has completed all of the steps necessary to maintain in-person learning for any COVID case prior to November 30, the new PDE recommendations could impact the school as early as December 1. In other words, the school could have enough COVID cases in one day that qualify as part of a 14-day count to trigger the new actions described above.
Please look at the BCTHS COVID Dashboard to view the daily cases, the 14-day count, and the overall total cases. Unfortunately, the new PDE recommendations may create a “start and stop” model of learning for the students, but BCTHS must follow PDE and the Department of Health regulations.
On the Eve of Thanksgiving, please do the best you can to relax, be thankful, and of course, stay safe.
Leon Poeske, Ed.D.
PDF Version of Dr. Poeske's Letter - November 25, 2020
Summary of New PDE Regulations - November 23, 2020