Dear BTU Family,
We hope everyone was able to practice some self-care this weekend. There have been some significant announcements and changes in the last few hours. Here are some key updates that have emerged:
- The Governor has announced that starting Tuesday, all schools in Massachusetts will be closed to students for three weeks.
- All Boston Public Schools were previously slated to be closed on Tuesday through April 27, 2020, which remains the case.
- A key change is that BTU members who work in schools are no longer expected to proactively show up in person Wednesday – Friday of this week in advance of the long-term closure.
- The take-home packets for students that will be distributed on Monday are being assembled by the school district and will be disseminated from central office.
- They will be available at food distribution sites that you can find here. Please check the website for specific hours that the food distribution sites will be open.
- We suggest continuing to think through how your students may receive educational supports during this time. However, there is no formal expectation or guidance at the moment for how those supports will be delivered, and the district is still formulating, with our input, what that will look like in terms of both platforms, resources, and access. IEP meetings will be done remotely, and we are still working out the specifics of special education services.
- Schools will still be open tomorrow, Monday, March 15, for families to come by; to get information and work; to pick up medications, belongings and work; and to say goodbye and have a little closure before the extended break. If you are unable to be at work in-person on Monday, a sick day or personal day does still need to be used.
- For Monday, please remember to follow guidelines of frequent handwashing, practicing as much social distancing as possible, and frequently disinfecting surfaces that are commonly used. For more on social distancing, please see this helpful article.
- All three McKinley Schools campuses have been closed for tomorrow out of an abundance of caution for an unconfirmed case.
- We are advocating with the school district to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for MCAS to be cancelled for this year.
- The City is working to get laptops and internet access to all families in need.
Meanwhile, more than 300 of you have signed up to be part of the BTU Volunteer Corps that will potentially be providing assistance to our communities in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you so much for this incredible showing of support and volunteerism. We will have more details on the BTU Volunteers Corps program soon, along with opportunities to support our city and our neighborhoods during school closures. You can sign up by clicking here.
Volunteer needs may include providing childcare to the families of first responders, home care workers, and others; delivering meals to senior residents; small group tutoring or chaperoning and other such public service functions that will be needed in the days and weeks ahead.
We are still working on the answers to many more questions, and will provide more details as they become available including on the topics addressed above, but wanted to ensure you received this interim update as these very active and ongoing conversations continue.
Thank you, take care, and be safe!