Classes resume on August 17
We all want students back in school, there is no disagreement there, but we must do so through exercising an abundance of caution. With that said, the Benicia Unified School District will begin the school year in an all-virtual learning model. To remain responsive, we will review the status of our virtual learning model at each Board meeting throughout the first quarter. We are also reviewing the status of our childcare program to determine if we can safely expand capacity to support more of our families. Below is our plan for reopening Benicia schools.
Vision: BUSD – Where all students achieve at their highest potential in an engaging, inspiring and challenging learning environment.
Key Drivers and Guiding Principles
- Safety and wellness for all students, staff and families
- Student voice and choice
- Authentic and meaningful learning opportunities
- Quality instruction that is individualized as appropriate, flexible and innovative
- Commitment to equity
Because of social distancing, every child cannot be on campus at the same time. To ensure continuity of learning within a high-quality instructional program for all students, BUSD has outlined a phased-in approach that describes four instructional models. The timeline of BUSD moving between phases will be determined in conjunction with the Department of Public Health, California Department of Education and Solano Office of Education directives at that time. The following models are the examples of potential instructional options with social distancing measures in place.
Model 1 – Virtual Learning: Virtual learning occurs when the learner and instructor are separated by time and distance and, therefore, cannot meet in a traditional physical classroom setting.
Model 2A & 2B – Hybrid Learning: Hybrid learning occurs both in the classroom and via virtual learning. There are two parts to this phase. Model 2A is where small groups of students (less than 10) can be together at one time. This is the 25% model. Model 2B is where the District is able to safely bring back 50% of the students at one time.
Examples of the 2B 50% Models for each level are:
- Elementary Schools: Students would attend an AM or PM in-person session with their teacher Monday-Thursday. They would have additional independent work to practice and further their learning for the out of school time.
- Benicia Middle School: Students would attend either M/W or T/TH for a full day. They would have additional independent work to practice and further their learning for the out of school time.
- Benicia High School: Students would have Virtual Classes twice a week and opportunities to attend small group sessions for each of their classes up to twice a week. Depending on a student’s four classes/teachers, they may have some of their online instruction on M/W and some on T/TH, with the alternating days being used for in-person instruction. Students will schedule to be on campus up to four days a week depending on how they learn best, their families’ schedule or transportation needs, and other considerations.
- Liberty High School: Each student will be given an individualized learning plan that will consist of both online and in-person learning. Students would attend either in-person AM/PM two days a week and then attend virtual learning sessions with teachers during the other days.
Model 3 & 4 – In-School Learning: The teacher and the student meet physically in a set place for a set time for small group classroom lessons with social distancing and health and safety measures in place. In-school learning expands in Phase 4 to include large group events and field trips.
Virtual Academy: BUSD will offer an ongoing Virtual Academy for students who cannot, for whatever reason, return to school. This Academy will be in addition to the phased-in model described above.
BUSD is continuing to plan for all four Models in this phased-in approach. The phases are intended to be fluid to provide flexibility. Depending on the status of COVID-19 and guidance from state and local officials, there may be times the District can open more fully and times when learning virtually with no to little contact is the safest option. The District will be sending out day and time preference surveys to all families later this month. Anyone interested in learning more about the details of reopening is encouraged to visit the BUSD website at https://beniciaunified.org/f/ncov/.