2021-2022 School Year - Updated 03/03/2022

March 3, 2022

 

Dear Bensalem Families, Staff and Community:

 

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the guidance specific to masking on public transportation vehicles, including school vehicles. 

 

Therefore, students and drivers are no longer required to wear masks on buses, vans and any other school transportation. Click Here for Updated Guidance

 

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we focus on continuity of education, community, and public health.

 

Sincerely,

 

Samuel Lee, Ed. D.

District Superintendent

 
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January 25, 2022

 

Dear Bensalem Families and Staff:

 

The District’s revised Health & Safety Plan was approved this evening.  Listed below are the changes:

 

The plan will continually be monitored along with updated guidance provided by the CDC, PADoH and PDE.  Such guidance will be reviewed and may be implemented in consultation with the Bucks County Health Department (BCHD).

 

Changes Effective 1/26/2022

  • Masking remains optional, except on District transportation.
  • We will no longer contact trace, unless requested by the BCHD.
  • Only COVID-19 positive students or staff will be excluded from school.

 

COVID-19 Positive

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for at least 5 days.
  • In order to return (Day 6 or after), the individual must be asymptomatic or have improved or resolving symptoms and be fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
  • Masking recommended for five (5) calendar days after returning.
  • It is recommended that asymptomatic individuals with an on-going household exposure to COVID-19 wear a mask for a minimum of one week from the symptom onset of the household member.
  • The CDC, PADoH and BCHD encourage eligible individuals to complete the primary vaccination series. 

Diagnostic/Screening

  • Individuals who are sick should remain home.
  • School nurses will evaluate individuals who present symptoms consistent with Policy 203 and recommendations from BCHD.
  • Emergency contact information must be kept up to date. 

Notification

  • Students and staff should report positive cases of COVID-19 to their building nurse.
  • BTSD will inform parents/guardians of positive cases within their child(ren)’s classrooms.
  • Community notifications of positive cases will be posted on the individual school’s website. 

Thank you for your continued support as we focus on continuity of education, community, and public health.

 

Sincerely,

 

Samuel Lee, Ed. D.

District Superintendent

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Friday, January 7, 2022 - Schools & Offices Closed

Due to the impending inclement weather, Friday, January 7 will be an asynchronous learning day. Schools and offices will be closed. All activities are cancelled. See link below for Asynchronous Learning Guide.

2021-2022 Asynchronous Learning Guide for Families 

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Please click the below links for more information.  Check back often for updates.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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January 6, 2022 - 2:40 pm

The below Asynchronous Learning Guide is being shared to prepare our families in the event an asynchronous learning day is needed. (NOTE: THERE HAS NOT BEEN A DECISION MADE REGARDING TOMORROW)

2021-2022 Asynchronous Learning Guide for Families

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January 1, 2022 

Dear Bensalem School District Community,

 

Happy New Year to you and your family.  I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday break and are looking forward to the reopening of school on January 3, 2022. 

 

On December 27, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced some changes that reduce the isolation period for individuals who tested positive for COVID-19.  As a reminder, this change is as follows:

 

“People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days (not 10 days) and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.”  More details can be found here.

 

What does this “5-day change” mean to students and faculty regarding returning to school on January 3?

  • This means that “Day 0” is the date a COVID-19 test was administered or symptoms began.  If an individual does not have symptoms, they can attend school on Day 6. CDC Isolation Period can be found here.

 

What if I traveled over the holiday?

 

Since CDC guidelines are in the midst of revisions (the most recent one dated December 30, 2021), please consult with their website regarding travel here.

 

Who should NOT return to school on January 3?  Individuals who:

  • Are symptomatic on January 3, 2022
  • Are still awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test
  • Tested positive for COVID-19 on or since December 30, 2021

 

The Bensalem Township School District will continue to be “mask optional,” except on school district transportation.  The federal directive requires all passengers and drivers to wear a mask on school buses, including on district buses.

 

If I am feeling symptomatic, where can I get a COVID-19 test?

 

If you have COVID symptoms and have not been able to access a COVID-19 test, Bucks County is making several testing site options available.  Please access them and schedule your test accordingly here.

 

Best wishes for happiness and health in the New Year!

 

Sincerely,

 

Samuel Lee, Ed. D.

District Superintendent

 

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December 12, 2021

 

Dear Bensalem Community:

 

On Friday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Order of Commonwealth Court which vacated the Face Covering Order issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in August. Therefore, effective immediately, the mask mandate is vacated.  We are now “mask optional” according to our Health and Safety Plan.

 

Please note that this decision does not impact the federal directive requiring all passengers and drivers to wear a mask on school buses, including on District buses. This federal mandate does remain in effect.

 

According to the CDC, masking in school settings can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, particularly in settings where individuals and students are not vaccinated, and allows for reduced quarantining to keep individual students and staff in school.

 

Finally, the elimination of the statewide PreK-12 school mask requirement does not change how schools respond to COVID-19 cases in schools, address outbreaks, or report data to the Bucks County Department of Health. The student exception to the quarantine requirements for a close contact is allowable if the individual is fully vaccinated or was wearing a mask. Student exposure or close contact designation for unmasked or unvaccinated students may result in exclusion from school for up to ten days.

 

We remain committed to making our schools fantastic places for students to learn and grow. Thank you for your support as we focus on continuity of education, community, and public health. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

 

Sincerely,

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.

District Superintendent

 

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November 11, 2021

 

Dear Bensalem Families and Staff:

 

Yesterday, the Commonwealth Court issued a ruling voiding Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam’s school mask order.  However, the state Department of Health has filed an appeal of that ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  This appeal automatically stays the Commonwealth Court’s decision, which means that the state mask order remains in effect. 

 

The Bensalem Township School District must therefore continue to observe the school masking order unless and until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court directs otherwise.

 

Earlier this week, Governor Tom Wolf announced that on January 17, 2022, it is anticipated that the Commonwealth’s K-12 school mask requirement will return to local control.  Upon the expiration of the statewide mandate, districts can employ mitigation plans based on their local policy and CDC guidance.

 

We remain committed to making our schools fantastic places for students to learn and grow. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and support as we focus on continuity of education, community, and public health.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.

District Superintendent

 

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September 23, 2021

 

Dear Bensalem Families:
In order to continue with live in-person instruction, please remember that if your child recently had a COVID-19 test and are waiting for results, he/she may not come to school until you receive a negative test result.


Also, if your child had close contact* with a COVID-19 confirmed positive person or if you have a COVID-19 positive household member and are unsure if your child should come to school, please contact your school nurse.


*within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes

 
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September 3, 2021

 

Dear Bensalem Families and Staff,

 

On August 31, 2021, pursuant to Pennsylvania's Disease Prevention and Control Law, an Order was issued by Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam directing face coverings for all schools and pre-schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, both public and private, effective September 7, 2021. 

When school resumes on Thursday, September 9, 2021, in accordance with the Secretary's Order, masks will be required for all Bensalem Township School District students, staff, and visitors to our schools and those traveling on district transportation, regardless of vaccination status.  The Secretary's Order super cedes Section 3a of the District’s Health and Safety Plan regarding masking.  Please click here for a copy of the Order, a set of related FAQs, a press release, and a message to school leaders from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Exceptions to the face covering requirements are described in Section 3 of the Order. Requests for exceptions can be made by completing and returning this form to your child’s principal.

 

We know that 5 day in-person instruction is vital to positive student experiences and success and remains a priority.  Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and support as we focus on continuity of education, community, and public health.

 

Sincerely,

  

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.

District Superintendent

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August 27, 2021
 
Dear Bensalem Families:
 
Welcome to the 2021-22 school year. As indicated in my July 27th letter, the 2021-22 school year will begin with full day in-person education five days per week, including regular lunch and academic bell schedules, extracurricular activities, and sports.
 
Monday, August 30th: First day of school for students in Grades 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 12. These students do not attend on Tuesday.
 
Tuesday, August 31st: First day of school for students in Grades Kindergarten, 1, 7 and 9.
 
Wednesday, September 1st: All students K-12 report to school.
 
Our health and safety plan describes mitigation efforts for this school year.  Masking is optional, except on school buses.
 
We acknowledge the decisions surrounding the opening of school on August 30, 2021 impact each of you.  We remain committed to the health and safety of our students and staff, as well as setting the conditions for academic and interpersonal growth.  We will continue working to mitigate the risks of spread while simultaneously restoring the quality and continuity of education our students and families deserve.
 
We look forward to welcoming your children on August 30 and 31 and wish everyone a great year!
 
Sincerely,
 
Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent

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August 23, 2021

Transportation information is now available on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP. Kindergarten families will receive an e-mail with transportation information and class assignments. 

NOTE: If you cannot access SCP, please contact the office at your child's school.

Elementary class assignments are available now on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP.

Shafer and Snyder Middle School students can now view their schedule on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP. They will receive a printed schedule on the first day of school. 

Bensalem High School students can view their schedule on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP beginning August 2nd. If you do not have access to SCP, please e-mail your guidance counselor.

Counselor                Student Last Name begins with




Frank Kern A - Cok
Pina Heslin Col - Go
Eileen Gallagher Gp - Lin
Dayna Harrison Lio - Pas
Jeff Szczepaniak Pat - Sb
Maryann Smith Sc - Z
Shannon Brady Counseling Secretary

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August 12, 2021

  • Monday, August 30th: First day of school for students in Grades 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 12. These students do not attend on Tuesday.
  • Tuesday, August 31st: First day of school for students in Grades Kindergarten, 1, 7 and 9.
  • Wednesday, September 1st: All students K-12 report to school.

SCHOOL HOURS:

High School 7:15 am to 2:29 pm

Middle Schools 8:05 am to 3:10 pm

Elementary Schools 8:50 am to 3:50 pm

View Transportation information on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP the week of August 23. Kindergarten families will receive an e-mail with transportation information and class assignments. 

Transportation letters will be mailed to Bensalem students who attend private schools beginning the week of August 16th.  School Lane families will receive bus information from School Lane.

View Elementary class assignments on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP beginning on August 23 at 1PM.

Shafer and Snyder Middle School students can view their schedule on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP beginning on August 23 at 1PM. They will receive a printed schedule on the first day of school. 

Bensalem High School students can view their schedule on Sapphire Community Portal (SCP) formerly CWP beginning August 2nd. If you do not have access to SCP, please e-mail your guidance counselor.

Counselor                Student Last Name begins with

Frank Kern A - Cok
Pina Heslin Col - Go
Eileen Gallagher Gp - Lin
Dayna Harrison Lio - Pas
Jeff Szczepaniak Pat - Sb
Maryann Smith Sc - Z
Shannon Brady Counseling Secretary

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August 4, 2021

CWP is now Sapphire Community Portal (SCP)

Exciting changes have been made to the Sapphire Community Portal (SCP), formerly known as the (CWP) Community Web Portal! The redesigned SCP has updated logos, colors, and illustrations and is built to be used on almost any internet-connected device - computer, tablet, or phone. It is easier to navigate and upload documents.  In addition, users no longer need a PIN to log on. User accounts are automatically converted.

Click here for more information

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We pledge to:
- Identify and support academic gaps in student learning.
- Support the health and well-being of our students and staff as they return to in-person instruction, some for the first time in 18 months.
- Proper sanitization and screening protocols in our facilities will be in effect.
- Follow social distancing and PPE guidelines as determined by the state and our local health department (Bucks County Department of Health - BCDOH).
 
Please click the below links for more information.  Check back often for updates.
 
 
 
 
 
 
July 27, 2021 

Dear Bensalem Families,

I hope this letter finds you well and safe.  As indicated prior to the close of school in June, our intention is to open the 2021-22 school year with full day in-person education five days per week, including regular lunch and academic bell schedules, extracurricular activities, and sports, as was the case prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The first day of school for students in grades 2-6, 8, and 10-12 is Monday, August 30. These students do not attend school on Tuesday, August 31.  The first day of school for students in grades K, 1, 7, and 9 is August 31.  All students attend on September 1.

To satisfy mandates from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the district must submit a draft health and safety plan for the 2021-22 school year by July 30, 2021.  Although the DOH and PDE will not be releasing separate state guidance or recommendations for the start of the 2021-22 school year, both the DOH and PDE continue to advise school entities to follow the revised guidance for K-12 schools released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking into consideration local levels of community transmission, vaccination coverage, and policies and regulations when creating and implementing mitigation strategies.

Following this guidance, the Bensalem Township School District’s draft health and safety plan for the 2021-22 school year, developed in consultation with the Bucks County Health Department is available for your review. Masking will be optional, and the district is not requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination.  The draft plan will be presented to the School Board for consideration at the August 11, 2021 school board meeting.   

We acknowledge the decisions surrounding the opening of school on August 30, 2021 impact each of you and may engender a wide variety of responses. We remain committed to the health and safety of our students and staff as well as setting the conditions for academic and interpersonal growth. We will continue working to mitigate the risks of spread while simultaneously restoring the quality and continuity of education our students and families deserve.

While no one can predict what the future holds, please know our district is prepared to address any challenge, and we remain committed to making our schools fantastic places for students to learn and grow. Thank you, and may you continue to enjoy a restful summer.

Sincerely,

Samuel Lee, Ed.D.
District Superintendent