Back to School 2020-2021 - Updated April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021:

Bensalem Families:

Is your child learning remotely? Are you interested in 4-day in-person instruction beginning on Thursday, April 15? 

To make a change to your child’s instruction, please contact your child’s principal (guidance counselor for BHS students) by Tuesday, April 13.

215-750-2800

Belmont Hills: Ms. McGowan - kmcgowan@bensalemsd.org Ext. 1100

Cornwells: Dr. Mark - smark@bensalemsd.org Ext. 1200

Faust: Ms. Sauers - jsauers@bensalemsd.org Ext. 1300

Rush: Mrs. Richey - jrichey@bensalemsd.org Ext. 1400

Struble: Mrs. Judy - ljudy@bensalemsd.org Ext. 1500

Valley: Mr. Pratt - spratt@bensalemsd.org or Mr. Thierjung - jthierjung@bensalemsd.org - Ext. 1600

Shafer: Mr. Stock - mstock@bensalemsd.org Ext. 2200

Snyder: Dr. Evert - tevert@bensalemsd.org Ext. 2300

Bensalem High School Counselors by student’s last name:

Mr. Kern: A-Desh – fkern@bensalemsd.org Ext. 3012

Mrs. Heslin: Desi-Joh – pheslin@bensalemsd.org Ext. 3011

Ms. Gallagher: Joi-Mz – egallagher@bensalemsd.org Ext. 3014

Mr. Szczepaniak: N-Sal – jszczepaniak@bensalemsd.org Ext. 3013

Mrs. Smith: Sam-Z  msmith01@bensalemsd.org Ext. 3015

 ___________________________________________  

BTSD COVID-19 Dashboard

 
 
 
 
 
 

 ___________________________________________  

March 19, 2021:

Dear Bensalem Community,

I hope this letter finds you well and looking forward to spring.

We are delighted to welcome our students back to school for 4-day in-person instruction beginning on Monday, March 22, 2021.  Students whose families chose the 4-day in-person instruction will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Wednesdays will continue to be a full remote day for all students.

In order to accommodate more students in person, our Health & Safety Plan was revised, reducing social distancing from a minimum of 6' distance to a range of 3'-6' while wearing a face covering.  Knowing the importance of social distancing, our principals have worked tirelessly to measure learning areas and cafeteria spaces.  We will make every effort to maintain the 6’ distancing, although there will be times when that is not possible.  Students that are inside 6’ and unmasked while eating will have a divider between them. 

Please know that the success of keeping our students and staff in school is dependent on the continued partnership between home and school. We hope that all of our families will continue to do their part to ensure that we all adhere to social distancing and wearing masks outside of school, as well as in our schools.  

All staff, students and essential visitors MUST screen themselves PRIOR to entering any Bensalem Township School District building.  Click here to view COVID-19 Self Screening Questionnaire 

Students and staff are asked to stay home when they are not feeling well. If your child has been in close contact with any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, please keep your child home from school and contact your principal or school nurse.  Also, if a family member has COVID-19, your child must stay home.  Click here for information on Free COVID-19 testing available to students in Bucks County.

Thank you for your continued support. Let’s continue to work together to make the last few months of this school year great!

Sincerely,
 
Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent

___________________________________________ 

March 9, 2021:

Dear Bensalem Community:

We are pleased to share that Bensalem Township School District has secured vaccines for staff members through separate sources, with the goal to vaccinate all staff in the coming weeks.

The below scheduling changes are necessary at our secondary schools to assist with this process.

  • Thursday, March 11: All Shafer and Snyder Middle School students will have an asynchronous virtual learning day (No live instruction)
  • Friday, March 12: All Bensalem High School students will have an asynchronous virtual learning day (No live instruction)
  • Grab & Go Meals: Middle and high school students can pick up meals at any of our elementary schools from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
We thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.
 
Sincerely,
 
Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent
 __________________________________________ 

March 8, 2021:

BTSD Families: Please log in to Community Web Portal - CWP (link below) to make sure your child's commitment choice is correct.
 
Go to CWP, Log In, Click Student Information, Look for "Team"
If it is not correct, please contact your child's principal.
 

___________________________________________ 

February 26, 2021:

Please complete one form for each child no later than March 7th. 

English: https://forms.gle/ZSk9N8p6QxLfc2hv7

Spanish: https://forms.gle/j9MnCFS5L3nuvPHV8

Gujarati: https://forms.gle/4LFqUSi8SJhSd2kJ8

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Is this a firm commitment?

Yes. Your commitment will last from March 22 to April 13 (end of 3rd marking period).  If you want to make a change for the 4th marking period beginning on April 14, please contact your child’s principal by April 7.

What happens if I do not complete the commitment form?

Failure to choose one of the options by March 7th will result in your child being placed on full remote instruction until at least April 13, 2021 (end of the 3rd marking period).

If I choose 4 day in-person instruction, what days will my child attend?

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

NOTE: Wednesday will remain a full remote instruction day for all students 

If I choose 4 days for my child, can I switch them to full remote?

Yes.  Your child can move to full remote, but they will be required to commit to that decision until the end of the 3rd marking period (April 13).  The only exception would be sickness, quarantine or an excused absence.

If I choose remote, can I send my child to school?

No. You will have an option to change from remote to 4 day in-person instruction at the start of the 4th marking period (April 14).

Why was the social distancing recommendation changed from a minimum of 6 feet distance to a range of 3-6 feet?

The reduction in distancing allows us to bring more students back to the classroom. We will maintain the maximum distance, wherever possible, up to 6 feet. The 3-6 foot range is supported by the Bucks County Health Department.  

Will students be 6 feet apart while eating?

Depending on building space we will strive for 6 feet distancing during meal time, when possible. Distancing will never be less than 3 feet. When masks are off while eating, physical barriers and/or partitions will be used in areas where students are not 6 feet apart.

Can a student attending 4 days in-person zoom from home if they are not feeling well or are required to quarantine?

Yes, students should stay home if they are ill or required to quarantine. Students may zoom from home if they are well enough to participate in class and should then return to the 4 day, in-person option. NOTE: If a student participates on zoom, they will be marked present.  If they are unable to participate on zoom, they will be marked absent. 

How do I report an absence if my child is ill and cannot attend in-person or on Zoom?

Email your child’s attendance office. See below:

Belmont: belmontattendance@bensalemsd.org

Cornwells: cornwellsattendance@bensalemsd.org

Faust: faustattendance@bensalemsd.org

Rush: rushattendance@bensalemsd.org

Struble: strubleattendance@bensalemsd.org

Valley: valleyattendance@bensalemsd.org

Shafer: shaferattendance@bensalemsd.org

Snyder: snyderattendance@bensalemsd.org

BHS: bhsattendance@bensalemsd.org

I have a question that is not listed. Who can I contact?

Please contact your child’s principal.

_________________________________________ 

February 25, 2021:

At last evening's school board meeting, our Health & Safety Plan  was revised, reducing social distancing from a minimum of 6' distance to a range of 3'-6'.

A Commitment Form will be shared tomorrow (Friday).  Families will need to commit to one of two instructional choices:

Choice 1: Your child will return to school in-person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday beginning Monday, March 22, 2021.

Choice 2: Your child will be full remote.

NOTE: Wednesdays will continue to be a full remote day for all students.

___________________________________________ 

February 22, 2021:

District Administration recommends 4 day in-person and full remote concurrently, with modification to the current Health & Safety Plan. (Adjust current social distancing requirements to between 3' and 6') School Board to vote on Wednesday, February 24.  Action meeting begins at 7:30 pm.

Increased In-Person Instructional Options Planning Meeting Presentation - February 22

___________________________________________

February 22, 2021: Virtual School Board Meeting to discuss Increased In-Person Instructional Options.

NOTE: This is not an Action Meeting. No vote will take place.

Click Here to watch the meeting on the District's Livestream 

The meeting WILL NOT be available on our Education Channel, Comcast 28/Verizon 32.

___________________________________________ 

February 3, 2020: Request for Information - IMPORTANT

 
 
 

District Return to School “Request for Information” FAQ’s

A number of parents/guardians have contacted the District with questions regarding the “Request for Information” form that was shared on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. 

Below are the most frequent questions we received, along with their answers.  If you have additional questions about how to respond to the survey, please contact your child’s school.  Please complete the survey no later than Wednesday, February 10, 2021.  We cannot plan properly without knowing the demand for the various models. 

Thank you,

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent

Q:  Is my answer to this survey a commitment or will I be asked again when there is a final plan?  If so, when will an actual commitment be required?

A:  At this time the survey answers are not a commitment.  However, we need the answers in order to estimate expansion requests and determine what is viable.  At the end of February we will ask for a firm commitment. 

Q:  The PowerPoint presentation said that hybrid would not be an option once students start returning to four days in school during Phase 1, but the survey lists it as an option.  Will hybrid still be an option for some students when others return to four days in school? 

A:  It is not clear at this time.  We are collecting the information in the survey in order to make that determination.                

Q:  My answer to the survey could change depending on the weather. When would any changes take place?

A:  This is informational only at this time for planning purposes.  A final answer will be requested at the end of February with changes to possibly start in March, on a date to be determined.               

Q:  My answer to the survey could change once I know the final distancing between desks in the classroom and at lunch.  When will that information be available?

A:  Based on the survey responses, we hope to have that information for the February 24, 2021 School Board Regular Action Meeting.  If distancing is to change, the Board would be required to vote to amend our current Health and Safety Plan.               

Q:  Currently under hybrid we are permitted to move in and out of the building and virtual with a few days notice.  The survey says that if I choose all remote I am locked in for a period of time.  Will hybrid remain the same, allowing me to move in and out of the models?

A:  Depending on the survey information, we will determine which options we can offer.  If we keep a two-day hybrid option it will require a commitment, as would four-day and remote options.  All students would be making a commitment for the remainder of the marking period.          

Q:  How does this survey relate to the proposed plan and phases?  My child does not fall into the Phase 1 categories so how will my answer be used?

A:  The phases would only come into play if a vast majority of our students opt for all in-person instruction (four days).  In that case we will have to pick categories and phases to limit numbers in the building.  Otherwise, it could be that any child wanting to come in four days could do so, regardless of grade designation.  Please respond to the survey now so that we can anticipate the demand for four-day instruction in the buildings, two-day hybrid instruction in the buildings, or full remote instruction. 

Q:  The survey says that hybrid will no longer be an option when four days attendance becomes an option and that only grades K-3 and 12, Owls and EL students will be allowed into the four day option during Phase 1. Will children who are currently attending hybrid be allowed to remain in school even if they are in grades 4-11?. Will they go two days or four days?

A:  The intention is not to take any child out of the building who is currently attending school in the two-day hybrid model.  However, depending on demand and the models chosen, it is not clear in what capacity they can attend. 

Q:  Is there any chance that a different group of children will be chosen to be allowed to attend four days, in grades 4 to 11 or by other criteria? (For example, one grade per day at the middle schools and high school, students who are in danger of failing and not being promoted to the next grade at BHS, etc.)

A:  Yes, that is possible depending on the data from this survey.

Q:  What happens if I do not complete a survey? What will be the default choice for me?

A:  At this time, the survey is for planning purposes so that we can determine demand for each model.  Once a choice is asked around the end of February, the default choice for people not responding will be determined and clearly conveyed when commitments are requested.

___________________________________________

January 29, 2021:

Effective February 1st, Bucks County COVID-19 Testing Sites will provide testing for children who have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 24 hours. Click below link for information.

Free COVID-19 Testing for Bucks County School Employees and Children Who Have Exhibited Symptoms of COVID-19 for at Least 24 Hours

____________________________________________

 January 28, 2021:

At last evening's School Board Action meeting, there were questions regarding the ionizers used in our schools. The district purchased 220 Vollara Air & Surface Pro Plus room ionizers. 

Click Here for Information

____________________________________________ 

January 8, 2021:

REMINDER:  Hybrid learning resumes next week. We are eager to welcome our students back to school.

Owls Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, January 11

Blue Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, January 11

Gray Cohort returns to the classroom on Thursday, January 14

As part of the Health and Safety Plan, it is important that all parents/guardians check their child/children for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 daily.  We ask that you conduct a routine, daily health check prior to sending your child to school. This health check should include the following:

  • Temperature check
  • Symptom screening

Refer to the Bensalem Township School District’s Health Screening Questionnaire/Symptom Screening Tool when you complete the morning health check with your child/children.

If your child received a COVID test, please keep him/her at home pending the test results.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • Travelers = Traveling outside the Commonwealth for more than 24 hours. Travelers over age 11 entering Pennsylvania from locations outside the Commonwealth, including Pennsylvanians who are returning home from locations outside the Commonwealth, to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in quarantine for 10 days without testing or a 7-day quarantine with a negative test on or after day 5 of quarantine.  Click here for more information
  • If a member of your household has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, prompt contact tracing is pivotal to controlling spread in our school community.  Please contact your child’s school nurse.
___________________________________________
 
January 3, 2021 - Happy New Year!
 

All Remote Learning: January 4 - January 8

 

Owls Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, January 11

Blue Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, January 11

Gray Cohort returns to the classroom on Thursday, January 14

_____________________________________________

 
December 23, 2020
 
Bensalem Schools and Offices will be closed from December 24, 2020 through January 3, 2021.
Happy Holidays and a safe, healthy, Happy New Year!
_____________________________________________
 
December 9, 2020

Dear Bensalem Families,

I wanted to share information with you as we return to in-person instruction tomorrow Thursday, December 10, 2020. Our students will return to our buildings under the hybrid models that were in place prior to the most recent closure:

  • Grades K-12 will attend full days on Monday/Tuesday (Blue Cohort) OR Thursday/Friday (Gray Cohort) with remote instruction on Wednesdays.
  • Special education students in the Owls Cohort returned to their specific schedule that was in place prior to the most recent return to remote.

It is our hope that we will be able to continue in-person instruction under our hybrid models until it is safe for all students and staff to return to in-person instruction full time. To that end, we have submitted the "Attestation" form that the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) required as of November 23, 2020. An explanation of what the attestation entails is below. What is most important to note is that while we hope to continue in-person instruction, there may be circumstances under which individual schools, or the District as a whole, will have to return – possibly with very short notice – to a fully remote model. This could be the result of case counts or due to operational challenges, such as a lack of available staff.

TRANSMISSION RATES IN BUCKS COUNTY
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) reports COVID-19 transmission rates (low, moderate, substantial) by county that are linked to recommended instructional models. As of the week ending December 4, Bucks County has experienced five consecutive weeks of substantial transmission.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • Travelers = Traveling outside the Commonwealth for more than 24 hours. Travelers over age 11 entering Pennsylvania from locations outside the Commonwealth, including Pennsylvanians who are returning home from locations outside the Commonwealth, to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in quarantine for 10 days without testing or a 7-day quarantine with a negative test on or after day 5 of quarantine.  Click here for more information
  • If a member of your household has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, prompt contact tracing is pivotal to controlling spread in our school community.  Please contact your child’s school nurse.
  • Winter Break - December 24, 2020 – January 1, 2021.
  • Bensalem will move to full remote instruction for Blue/Gray (K to 12) and the Owls Cohort from Monday, January 4 through Friday, January 8.  On Monday, January 11, the District will resume our hybrid model that was in effect from December 7 - 23.  
  • Food Service: No Cost “Grab and Go” meals will be available for all students. Click here for more information.
  • Chromebook Questions/Repairs: Click Here
  • The Bensalem Township School District recently attested to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) that it would honor expectations governing how the district handles COVID related positive cases and enforces face coverings.  Signing this attestation allowed BTSD to continue providing in-person instruction to students.  The expectations that govern school closures indicate that for a school in a county considered Substantial (which Bucks County is considered to be) with less than 500 students (Struble, Rush, Snyder) 2-4 positive cases (of students or staff) within a 14-day period, would result in a closure of 3-7 days.  In schools with 500-900 students (Belmont Hills, Cornwells, Faust, Valley, and Shafer) 4-6 positive cases, and in schools with 900 + students 6-10 positive cases would result in a closure. See charts in presentation for more information. The PDE expectations also indicate that the closure can be shortened or eliminated completely as long as three important things take place:
    • Case Investigations of all positive cases:  This is the work the district conducts upon learning that a student or staff member has tested positive.  Bensalem staff conduct interviews and collect data to determine with whom the positive individual may have had close contact.  Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a positive individual for at least 15 consecutive minutes.  The district team then alerts all impacted parties, including close contacts, health departments, and the larger school community. 
    • Cleaning of any impacted area:  The Bensalem Township School District regularly cleans and disinfects.  Additional cleaning and disinfecting occurs in any area where an individual who tests positive may have spent time. 
    • Contact Tracing:  This is the work the Bucks County Department of Health (BCDOH), led by Dr. David Damsker, conducts as our County Municipal Health Authority to officially determine who may be required to quarantine as a result of close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.  In addition to the information provided by the district as part of our case investigation of close contacts in the school or work environment, the BCDOH also includes case investigation and contact tracing in environments beyond work and/or school.  The BCDOH issues formal isolation orders to the individual who has tested positive, as well as quarantine orders to any individuals determined to be close contacts. 

Again, if all three expectations listed above are met (case investigation, cleaning/disinfecting, and contact tracing), a school may resume in-person instruction sooner than the minimum number of days indicated by PDE.  Once the district receives official confirmation from the BCDOH that all official contact tracing activities are complete for cases, per the PDE guidelines, the district will expect to resume in-person instruction. 

It is imperative that we remain vigilant in our efforts to follow our Health and Safety plans to protect our students and staff.  These plans remain our primary tool in responding to new cases as they appear.  If you are sick or symptomatic, stay home and seek medical attention.  To help prevent the spread, we must practice social distancing, wash/sanitize your hands often, and wear a face covering over your nose and mouth. 

Sincerely,

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent

____________________________________________
 
December 7, 2020

Students will return to the Hybrid Learning Model as follows: 

Owls Cohort returned to the classroom on Monday, December 7.

Gray Cohort returns to the classroom on Thursday, December 10.

Blue Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, December 14. 

 

Winter Break: December 24 - January 1

 

All Remote Learning: January 4 - January 8

 

Owls Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, January 11

Blue Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, January 11

Gray Cohort returns to the classroom on Thursday, January 14

 

December 7, 2020 Board Meeting Presentation - School Reopening Update

_____________________________________________
 
December 4, 2020
 
_____________________________________________
 
November 25, 2020

Dear Bensalem Families and Staff:

As we head toward Thanksgiving, we have entered a period in the pandemic that was unfortunately predictable.

Our Health and Safety plan has been executed in the interest of safe, in-person instruction, but since last week COVID-19 numbers have increased in Bensalem and Bucks County significantly.  

We are now in our third week in the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s substantial risk category.  Just in the last few days, 5 students have been revealed to be COVID-19 +, 7 since November 16.  Additionally, 7 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since November 16.  Currently, there are 10 virtual students that have tested positive, and approximately 30 students are quarantining.

Again, to date, we have no definitive evidence that any of these positive cases were contracted in our schools, however it stands to reason that the increasing number of cases could compromise any organization’s ability to contact trace.  For that I have concern.

The increasing volume of cases in our community, county and country, and the upcoming holiday season and associated travel possibilities in congregate settings exacerbates that concern.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education shared additional guidance on November 23 for school districts related to instructional modalities, and the previously issued guidance of low, moderate, and substantial risk counties. Our Health and Safety Plan has been updated to include this guidance.

For the aforementioned reasons and our experience, I am recommending that we return to synchronous remote instruction on Monday, November 30 through Wednesday, December 9, with the exception of our "Special Learners" in the Owls Cohort.  We want to Return to hybrid on Thursday, December 10, 2 weeks beyond Thanksgiving.

Students will return to the Hybrid Learning Model as follows: 

Owl Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, December 7.

Gray Cohort returns to the classroom on Thursday, December 10.

Blue Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, December 14. 

There were other options considered, including a return to synchronous remote instruction until mid- January.  

It is imperative that we not just respect our Health and Safety Plan, but we execute it faithfully and with fidelity, always and every day. That is the only way to keep our kids in school, where we know it provides the best opportunity and possibilities for them.  I can’t stress it enough.

We meet again on Monday, December 7 for our annual School Board Reorganization meeting and will re-evaluate the situation.  The re-evaluation process is by no means a static process. It is something we talk about and we look at every day.  We share information and data not just amongst ourselves, but with our community through our website, through communication related to COVID-19, among other things, including through and with other districts every day in concert and collaboration with our Bucks County Intermediate Unit, the Bucks County Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Our Health and Safety plan is paramount, as is its execution and vigilance related to it. It’s the only way we keep our kids in school. It’s the best opportunity. It’s what our kids need and it’s what our kids deserve. It’s what our community deserves!

Additionally, "Grab and Go" No Cost Meals will be available from November 30 to December 9, Monday to Friday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in front of all school buildings. Also, we are resuming bus runs with free food. Please see below schedule.

I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent

_____________________________________________

November 24, 2020:

We are returning to Fully Remote Synchronous Learning for all students beginning on Monday, November 30.  

Students will return to the Hybrid Learning Model as follows: 

Owl Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, December 7.

Gray Cohort returns to the classroom on Thursday, December 10.

Blue Cohort returns to the classroom on Monday, December 14. 

_____________________________________________
 
Please check this section regularly for updates.
_____________________________________________
 
November 13, 2020:

We look forward to welcoming our students who chose Hybrid Learning (mix of in-person and remote learning) back to the classroom next week. 

Blue Cohort attends on Monday and Tuesday.  Gray Cohort attends on Thursday and Friday.  Owl Cohort attends on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Look for a letter from your child's school, along with an automated message from your principal.  

Please be sure you and your child(ren) are familiar with the Hybrid & Remote Learning Guides above.

BTSD Self-Screening Questionnaire and Health & Safety Reopening Plan:
Please review the BTSD Health & Safety Reopening Plan to learn more about the steps we are taking to keep your child safe. Each morning, all parents are required to screen their children before sending them to school. Please refer to the self-screening questionnaire.
 
Students are required to come to school each day with a mask/face covering.
 
Also, all students are expected to bring a charged Chromebook with them to school each day. 
 
_____________________________________________
 
Orientation Schedule

Shafer and Snyder (7th and 8th grade)

Monday, November 9 (Blue Cohort): 8:05am to 1:30pm

Tuesday, November 10 (Gray Cohort): 8:05am to 1:30pm

 

BHS - (9th Grade Only)

Thursday, November 12 (Blue Cohort): 7:15am to 2:29pm

Friday, November 13 (Gray Cohort): 7:15am to 2:29pm

Transportation will be provided.

_____________________________________________
 
November 5, 2020: Transportation information is available in Community Web Portal (CWP)
 
Log in to CWP and choose Student Information

https://bensalemsd-sapphire.k12system.com/CommunityWebPortal/Welcome.cfm

If you are not yet signed up for CWP, use your child’s log in to access the information.

 

To sign up for a parent account on CWP, follow the instructions in the below link.

https://www.bensalemsd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1880619&type=d&pREC_ID=2029965

 _____________________________________________

 
November 3, 2020

 

Dear Staff, Parents, and Guardians,

 

As we begin November, I wanted to provide you with an update regarding our plans for the re-opening of in-person instruction in our schools. We have been closely monitoring continued updates from the Bucks County Department of Health on the coronavirus incidence and positivity rates in our area.

 

Our current planning calls for opening our schools in a hybrid model (mix of in-person and remote learning) on Monday, November 16, at the start of the 2nd marking period. Students have been divided into two cohorts: blue and gray. The blue cohort will be in school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the gray cohort will attend on Thursdays and Fridays. We created this schedule with coordination across buildings, so that siblings can come to school on the same days. This means that our teachers will be teaching with half the class sitting in front of them in school, while the other half of the class is live streaming in from home. The schedule will be different for our students with complex learning needs. They will now be on the Owls schedule, attending in person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday with remote learning on Wednesday.

 

The reason for this hybrid schedule is that we simply cannot safely social distance students a minimum of 6 feet apart from themselves and from their teacher unless classes are divided in half. This option, just like virtual instruction, has limitations. It is not an ideal environment for our students, and it is not an ideal teaching situation for teachers who are working with students in front of them, as well as those at home. However, we do not have enough space in the entire district to spread students out sufficiently unless we only bring in half the number of students each day.

 

Further, the logistics of planning for re-entry are complicated. Every aspect and minute of the day must be carefully designed so that students do not walk or gather together as they typically do in groups, whether on the bus, as they walk into or out of school, in the hallways, or sitting in the cafeteria. Principals have devised plans that replicate the schedules that students are on now so as not to disrupt those existing schedules.

 

In an effort to accommodate all students during the COVID-19 pandemic and remain within social distancing guidelines instructional activities will be recorded and/or livestreamed through secure communications applications. These recordings or livestreams could include your child’s voice and/or image.  The livestream or recording is to support the student’s ability to access educational information.  Any such recordings will be destroyed when it is no longer necessary for that purpose.  Recordings shall not be maintained by or otherwise considered educational records of the district for any purpose.

 

I also wish to make everyone aware that the success of re-opening is dependent on the continued partnership between home and school. So far, our student athletes and special learners have done a remarkable job keeping safe and adhering to everything that we have asked of them, and we have not had any instance of intra-school transmission or virus as a result. We hope that all of our families will continue to do their part to ensure that we all adhere to social distancing and wearing masks outside of school, as well as in our schools. We are all in this together, and while we are weary of the restrictions placed on us, we are all well aware of the stories that we have heard about schools that have opened, and have had to shut down again because of positive cases. We do not want that to happen, and we must safeguard the health of every single student and staff member entrusted to us.   

All staff, students and essential visitors MUST screen themselves PRIOR to entering any Bensalem Township School District building.  Click here to view COVID-19 Self Screening Questionnaire

 

Hybrid and Remote Learning Guides for Students & Families

Elementary Grades K – 6

English: https://tinyurl.com/y5ewvgjj

Spanish: https://tinyurl.com/y4cnqq3a

Secondary Grades 7 – 12

English: https://tinyurl.com/btsdhybridsecondaryfamily

Spanish: https://tinyurl.com/btsdhybridsecondaryspanish

Click Here to View 2020-2021 Return to School Brochure

If you have specific questions regarding any aspect of our re-opening plans, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR BUILDING PRINCIPAL.  

 

Thank you for your continued support. We value your thoughts, suggestions, and sentiments, and remain committed to providing the best possible experience for our students during these unusual times.


Sincerely,

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent

Please check this section regularly for updates.

_____________________________________________
 
October 29, 2020
Last evening, the Board of School Director's approved the revised Health & Safety Plan.
- Blended reopening that balances in-person learning (hybrid) and remote learning for all students beginning on Monday, November 16.
 
- Learning will be synchronous for both in-person and remote learners.
 
 
- Orientation for Middle School students (Grades 7 & 8) will take place as follows: 
November 9 - Blue Cohort
November 10 - Gray Cohort
 
- Orientation for High School students in Grade 9 will take place as follows: 
November 12 - Blue Cohort
November 13 - Gray Cohort
 
- Detailed information will be shared with families next week. 
 
Please check this section regularly for updates.
_____________________________________
 
October 21, 2020: Message to Bensalem Families
In preparation for our proposed hybrid opening on November 16, parents/guardians can now confirm their hybrid choice for all students, grades K-12.
 
Preliminary information from our recent "Request for Information" has been recorded. Parents/guardians are able to request changes by contacting their building principal.
 
Hybrid choices are:
In-person - 2 days, Remote - 3 days
 
OR
 
Full Remote
 
 
NOTE: When using a cell phone, once logged in, click your child's photo, then profile settings.
 
For students who are full remote, you can view your hybrid team (Blue or Gray) by logging into CWP.
 
 
_____________________________________