July 16, 2020
Dear Bellevue Families,
Over the last two weeks, our re-opening task force has worked diligently to determine the best course of action for Bellevue Independent Schools. Questions of classroom management, meal service, sanitation processes, and other topics were addressed through a new lens of uncertainty. Governmental guidelines, recommendations, and data were considered in every step of the decision-making process to create the safest possible blueprint for a successful reopening. I can’t emphasize enough my appreciation for the time and attention spent on finding solutions to unsolvable problems. And while I truly believe that our task force has lived up to the challenge laid before them, there is no decision that could properly address every concern on the table.
Given the current guidelines set by the Kentucky Department of Education and multiple health agencies, it is clear that our schools face too many physical, financial, and personnel constraints to enforce said guidelines with confidence. Additionally, there is no way to begin the impending school year with a primary focus on instruction when so much energy will be directed at masking, sanitizing, and social distancing. As eager as I am to see our students fill these halls again, that vision is not worth the risk it poses to our students, our staff, and our entire Bellevue family. Therefore, the decision has been made to begin the 2020-2021 school year with remote, non-traditional instruction for the entire district.
Over the next few weeks, our team will create a robust framework for NTI learning with a set of standards that will reflect the mission and vision of our district. You will see innovative new approaches to NTI, and a commitment to individualized learning opportunities. Any new information will be distributed via our website and social media channels as soon as it is made available. As always, the input of our families plays a vital role in our decision-making process. If you have questions or feedback, please feel free to complete our NTI input form at https://bit.ly/2WnzUey, and a BISD team member will respond as soon as possible. Your voice matters- do not hesitate to reach out if you need answers or assistance.
We will continue to monitor guidelines recommended by the CDC and the Kentucky DOE. As more promising data becomes available and guidelines are safely lifted, we will begin a phased transition back into the classroom using the choice-based plans we have been working on. And though I cannot tell you when that transition will begin, I can assure you that we will not reopen our buildings until we are confident that we will be welcoming students back into a healthy school environment, focused on learning.
In my last correspondence, I spoke of our commitment to offering a choice of educational options to our families. While we worked with that goal as our primary focus, it was clear that every solution presented a new set of challenges. I am also aware of the challenges that our families face with this decision, and I want to assure you that we are here to help you find a solution. I know there are many questions right now, and we will answer those questions as new information comes available and the COVID situation (hopefully) improves. Thank you for your support of Bellevue Independent Schools and for trusting us with your children. This is a responsibility we take seriously and one that ultimately led us to this conclusion. I am proud to be the superintendent of a district that cares so deeply about the community and families.
Dr. Robb Smith – Superintendent