- Meeting Street Elementary@Burns
20-21 SCHOOL START UPDATES
Dear Meeting Street Elementary @Burns Families,
August is one of our favorite months of the year. You know why? It means “Back to School” for our students, families, faculty and staff. Our faculty and staff spend three weeks together learning in Professional Development how we can be better teachers and leaders for your children. We then reunite with families at our Back to School BBQ, in the heart of the Waylyn at Waylyn Park, which brings everyone on the team so much deep satisfaction and happiness. Please know that - no matter the format - we intend to continue to bring the joy and build on our partnership with each of you and your child.
Our top priority in starting school this August is keeping everyone in our MSE@Burns Family safe, healthy and learning. Because of this, Meeting Street Elementary @Burns will start the school year virtually for all students until at least September 8th. By August 25th, we will reassess the advice of medical professionals, local government, and education officials to determine if we need to remain virtual only or if we will bring students back for in-person instruction.
We will schedule individual family conferences for all students during the week of August 10th. Full time virtual learning will begin for all students on Monday, August 17th.
In making these decisions about how to reopen school, we rely on the guidance of medical experts (see more here: CDC, SCDHEC, and AAP) and of local educational institutions (see more here: SC Dept of Ed and CCSD). SCDHEC currently categorizes Charleston as having a “high incidence rate” of new cases of COVID-19 over the last two weeks.
Our goal is to have students physically present in school, a position strongly advocated for by the American Academy of Pediatrics. We know that schools play a fundamental role not only in the academic growth of children, but also in their social-emotional development and physical and mental health. When we are able to bring students back for in-person instruction, we will implement strict precautions and safety measures to limit the risk of spread and to keep our kids, their families, and our staff safe. Some of those strategies include:
- Healthy Behaviors – masks for staff, promoting healthy hygiene habits (handwashing), supplies for hand sanitizer, signage in the school, etc.
- Physical Distancing – placing K-5 student desks 6 ft apart and facing the same direction, having PreK kids nap 6 ft apart and head to toe (following other CDC guidelines for PreK), limiting the contact that students have with other students and adults outside their class, eating breakfast/lunch in the classrooms, staggering recess times, limiting access to the building for parents, volunteers, visitors, etc.
- Healthy Environment – increased cleaning and disinfecting practices including high-touch areas, limiting items that students share, not drinking from water fountains, etc.
- Monitoring Health – encouraging kids and staff to stay home when sick, establishing protocols for how we will respond when a child or staff member becomes sick or tests positive for COVID-19 following CDC and SCDHEC guidelines, etc.
We are prepared to offer a virtual instructional option hosted by Meeting Street Schools for the entire 2020-2021 school year for families who choose to have their child learn virtually only, even when we are able to have in-person classes. Please note that we will have different teachers leading the virtual classes than the in-person classes.
For us to effectively plan for the school year, please complete THIS IMPORTANT SURVEY indicating whether you want this option for your child to complete virtual only classes or if you want your child to have in-person classes when we can safely do so. By indicating your preference, you are committing to that choice for the entire first semester.
- Please make sure you have ordered uniforms, returned any technology you received last school year, and completed re-enrollment. This is important to do whether you plan for your child to attend school in person or virtually as students will be asked to wear uniforms whether they are in person or virtual.
- As mentioned in the newsletter a few weeks ago, we are excited to partner with the Boys & Girls Club for extended day this coming year. If you’re interested in your Kinder-5th Grade student participating, please apply here.
Thanks, everyone! We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon. Don’t forget to complete the survey. Stay safe and healthy!