Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates
Update to Families – June 5
I hope that throughout this week you have found peace, comfort, and continued good health. We want to continue to be there for you and your family. Please reach out if we can help you in any way.
I continue to reflect on the events of last weekend, the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and the essential discussions happening regarding racism, inclusion, systemic oppression, and the Black Lives Matter movement. We know that we have work to do and must continue to devote the District’s focus to supporting the work of the Diversity and Equity Committee and a variety of other District initiatives related to equity, inclusion, bias, and cultural responsiveness.
Over the past week, I have been asked several times to describe actions that match the words I have shared with you. Please click here to view a document that shares the work that has been done. I am including this list simply as a reference for those who would like to know more about this ongoing work. Let me be clear, I am proud of the ways that our staff and school community have approached this work and made meaningful change. Let me be just as clear, the work is not complete and it must be continued. Martin Luther King III‘s words describe it the best, “The task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can and we must do more.” Thank you in advance for helping us grow and learn by supporting the work or by engaging in discussions of how we can be better.
I also wanted to provide you with the latest information about voting in Tuesday’s budget vote and board of education election. In order to give all Brighton Central School District residents the opportunity to participate, ballots may now be picked up in person and/or dropped off at the Administration Building, 2035 Monroe Ave.
Qualified voters are asked to drop off completed ballots in the secure dropbox in the reception area. The reception area will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, June 8, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. Ballots will not be accepted after the 5 p.m. voting deadline on Tuesday, June 9, per Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order.
Residents who have not yet received ballots via U.S. mail can pick up a ballot in person during those same hours. Again, ALL ballots must be completed and received either via U.S. mail or the ballot dropbox by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 9.
Thanks to so many for joining the virtual town hall with our special guests this past week and sharing your thoughts in an exchange. A summary of the thoughts shared, with answers to each question posed, can be found here. The next Virtual Town Hall will be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 on the District Facebook page.
Have a great weekend!
…every child, every day, every way
Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Frequently Asked Questions
Brighton will continue to keep families updated as the situation develops. Stay tuned to email, our website, and social media. You can also stay up-to-date on the latest information on COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
- Please note that per the Governor's announcement, we will not be returning to school this school year.
- Schools being closed for students also means student activities are canceled, including athletics and extracurricular activities.
- Click here for information on food service and online learning.
- Click here for important information from the National Association of School Psychologists about how to talk to children about COVID-19 and other health related materials.
The good news is, we feel that we have the technology and infrastructure to support a continuation of learning with significant modifications.
Our students all have accounts in Schoology and SeeSaw. We need to make sure that you have accounts set up in these online environments as well, so that you can also access the lessons they are being asked to complete. We realize that this will be different for every child, but we are committed to making sure you have the necessary knowledge and skill to do this.
Instructions for SeeSaw accounts for students in grades K-5 were sent home with children on Friday. They can also be accessed here: https://www.bcsd.org/Page/15685
Instructions for Schoology parent accounts can be found at: https://www.bcsd.org/Page/15182.
If you need your child's parent access account code, this information is located in the Schooltool Parent Portal in the User Defined Tab. If you are having difficulty getting set up please call 242-5200 ext. 5555.
We are going to begin offering bagged breakfast and lunch for children and adults on Wednesday, March 18. This will continue Monday-Friday until June 30. Meals are free for students.
We will have pick-up available at BHS Door 23. Pick-up is from 9 to 11 a.m. If transportation is an issue, please call us and we’ll get food to you. More details are available at this link.
We have been informed that our regular summer school program at BHS, for students who need credit recovery or to retake a course, will need to be a virtual experience. We are in the process of developing that program and will provide details as they become available.
We have also received word that most, if not all, summer programming will not be able to be offered in person. We will announce additional cancellations as these details are confirmed but did want you to know that it is unlikely that we will be hosting any in person programming here this summer.
We will be offering additional food programming throughout the summer and helping families of first responders locate child care opportunities.
Qualified residents of the Brighton Central School District will vote on the next year’s school budget along with other items on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 via absentee ballot, only, in accordance with Executive Order.
The budget proposition would authorize the appropriation of $82,943,949 to meet estimated school district expenditures for the 2020-21 school year. This represents an increase of 3.01% compared to the 2019-20 Adopted Budget. Of this, 1% results from operations and 2.01% is directly related to debt related to the capital project approved by the voters in May of 2017.
This would result in a tax levy increase of 3.83%. This tax increase does not exceed the New York State Tax Cap. All districts have a different cap number and this proposal is within our cap.
Voters will elect three members to the Board of Education. There are six candidates and their names will appear on the ballot in the following order: Laurence Davis, Sue Gasparino, Julene Gilbert, Daniel Kolodny, Claire McLauchlin, and Eleanor Oi. More information on the candidates is available here.
There will also be two additional propositions on the ballot. Voters will be asked to authorize the withdrawal of funds from voter-approved capital reserve accounts to pay for capital expenditures for which the fund was specifically established.
Proposition #1 Capital Reserve Fund (General) Withdrawal of $2,000,000: Paying additional costs associated with the District’s capital improvement project approved by the qualified voters of the District at a proposition held on May 16, 2017, that relate to alterations, renovations and improvements to each of the District's existing school buildings and facilities, including in each case, site improvements for various school purposes, the reconstruction of and improvements to outdoor athletic facilities and playgrounds, and other appurtenant and related improvements and the acquisition and installation in and around the foregoing improvements of original furnishings, equipment, machinery, and apparatus. Approval of this proposition would not increase the proposed budget or tax levy.
Proposition #2 Capital Reserve Fund (Technology) Withdrawal of $300,000: Transfer to the General Fund to expend for computer-related equipment and technology-related infrastructure. Approval of this proposition would not increase the proposed tax levy.
Should the Budget proposal not receive the simple majority approval, the Board of Education is legally required to adopt a contingent budget. Under a contingent budget, no new taxes are allowed to be levied and therefore the Board of Education will decide on an additional $2,047,160 of reductions to spending. As part of this process, the Board of Education must determine what constitutes ordinary contingent expenditures. Emphasis will be placed on those expenditures considered essential to maintain an educational program, preserve property, and assure the health and safety of students and staff.
In order to vote, a person must be a resident of the Brighton Central School District for at least 30 days immediately preceding the vote, must be at least 18 years of age, and a citizen of the United States. In accordance with Executive Order 202.26, absentee ballots will be mailed by the District. One (1) absentee ballot will be provided per household. If a household requires additional absentee ballots, please send your name and mailing address to email@example.com by June 5 and we will mail them to you. Please send the names of all individuals needing additional ballots. If you don’t have internet access call 242-5200 x5502. Ballots can be returned in a dropbox at 2035 Monroe Ave., between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Ballots must be received by the District by 5 p.m. June 9.
Visit www.bcsd.org/budget for more information on the budget.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to severe diseases such as MERS, SARS, and can lead to pneumonia in some patients. In December 2019, a new coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China, and in February, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed an official name for the disease: COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a different strain than other respiratory viruses and information about it is evolving.
The vast majority of patients with COVID-19 will have mild respiratory illness, with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe complications can include pneumonia. If you have any of these symptoms, please stay home from school and contact your primary care physician or seek medical attention if you have these symptoms. We will be flexible with attendance policies while this virus is a concern.
The virus spreads most easily when an infected person has symptoms. But some spread might be possible before symptoms start. It can take 2–14 days after someone is exposed to the virus for symptoms to show up.
We have been informed that 3-8 testing and Regents exams have been canceled for this year. We have received word from the College Board on arrangements that are being made to allow for refunds OR provide remote testing opportunities. Here is a link to all of the information: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update?fbclid=IwAR1kMKEwy1XMbcYFdJRTkFWOPH4KETgP5w1R9gHqLDyN7pIuVPhM1M65MTk. We’re working on processing this with our staff and expect that BHS administrators and teachers will be addressing this directly with students.
- We have also decided to postpone or cancel a variety of upcoming events.
- Please click here to review a list of events and to check their status.This table will be regularly updated.
- Specific follow-up for certain events and trips will be sent by individual coaches, advisors, teachers or administrators.
- We will wait until we absolutely have to before canceling events, trips, and activities. We are considering alternatives and our ability to reschedule. We really don’t want students to miss out on once in a lifetime opportunities.
Public health professionals recommend the following practices:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid large crowds and keep at least 3 feet from other people when outdoors or when someone nearby is visibly sick.
- Stay home when you are sick
Questions and Concerns
If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s teacher, counselor, assistant principal or principal or feel free to contact Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan.