Dear BHRSD Families and Staff,

I’m writing with an update on our plans for learning.

As you may imagine, these decisions are nearly impossible. I gather data, review it, speak with colleagues and health care professionals, read research and opinion pieces, and try to come up with plans that work for students, families and staff.

For some students remote learning is fine and for others it is really inadequate.

I had hoped that the broader data trends we have been seeing would continue.

From a county wide perspective they have. The three indicators of daily rate, infection, and positivity are all down — the infection rate at .77 is one of the lowest levels over the past year.

The town data and the state reports is more mixed with Stockbridge and West Stockbridge in the grey, or good, and Great Barrington in the red.

As can sometimes be the case, the Great Barrington numbers in aggregate don’t tell the whole story. Several cases at long-term care facilities, most with residents and not staff, skew the numbers. They represent about 70% of the cases last week in Great Barrington and 50% of the cases this week in Great Barrington. While I have deep concerns for those residents’ health, their impact on the school community is limited. The staff impact from those facilities is greater.

The school based cases are very low with 1 case in each school. Those numbers do go up and down.

Local Covid-19 Data 1.28.2021
Clusters and cases by building (infectious and in school vs. out of school) and school specific concerns in other areas.

Site
Last 14 days In School 
Last 14 days Out of School 
Current In School 
Current Out of School 
Muddy Brook
0
0
0
1
Du Bois
0
1
0
1
Monument Mountain
0
0
0
1
District Office
0
0
0
0

 

In turn, I am announcing a differentiated plan for learning.

What that will look like will be different at each building.

In addition to watching the data, we are also constrained by our ability to fully staff all the schools, as some of our colleagues have documented and approved medical needs which keep them working remotely.

While you will receive additional updates from your principals, here’s the basic plan.

  • Muddy Brook — four days a week in person
  • Du Bois — remote model in 5th and 6th grades and hybrid in 7th and 8th grades
    (At this time we cannot bring back 5th and 6th grade students in person though we hope to to do so in the near future.)
  • Monument Mountain — hybrid model in all grades

Principals will reach out about a limited number of students who will be in school four days a week at the middle and high school.

Some of you will be overjoyed with this news and some very upset. I encourage you to reach out to me to share your concerns.

Parents have the option to have their children stay fully remote. If you intend to do so, please contact your child’s principal.

We will continue to monitor the data and make shifts as needed. Thanks again for your patience and understanding.

Peter

________________________________

Peter Dillon, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Berkshire Hills Regional School District / Richmond Consolidated School
50 Main Street
P.O. Box 617
Stockbridge, MA 01262
413-298-4017, Ext. 719 (note new extension)

http://www.bhrsd.org

peter.dillon@bhrsd.org