Report by Paula Antolini, November 15, 2021, 3:44PM EDT
Message from Dr. Christine Carver, Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools:
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
On November 15, 2021, at 6:00 PM at Bethel High School, we will be hosting a Community Forum
that is open to the general public. We will discuss our enrollment patterns, the impact of the pandemic on our student’s academic and social- emotional well-being, and impacts on budget, including the use of Federal grant monies. We hope that you consider attending this informative session.
We received the official guidance from the Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Department of
Education regarding the Screen and Stay Program. The Bethel Public Schools has opted into that program. We sent a communication on Thursday, November 4, 2021, about the program. The only detail I will add now is that the program only requires parents (of students who have been identified as direct contacts) to complete the attestation form (that they will monitor their child’s daily COVID symptoms daily for 14 days) once. We know that this new program will greatly reduce the number of unvaccinated students who will have to quarantine. Please remember, there are some exceptions to the program. Those exceptions are outlined in the communication.
With the approval of vaccinations for children ages, 5-11, the Department of Public Health has asked school districts to provide information on vaccine availability for that age group. Vaccination appointments can be made at a number of pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid) and CT has a vaccine portal to find appointments. We strongly recommend that you speak to your child’s medical advisor when considering this vaccine. The district is hosting a voluntary clinic through DPH and Griffin Hospital this Sunday and next Tuesday. The clinic filled up in a matter of hours. We will consider hosting additional clinics if there continues to be a need, but there is widespread availability of appointments. I have been asked whether or not the availability of vaccines for this new age group might remove the mask mandate for schools. The answer is, I have no idea. As you are aware, the Connecticut mask mandate in public schools is NOT a local decision. The current mandate is through an Executive Order, which expires in February. At a press conference introducing the Screen and Stay program, the Governor indicated that he would relook at the policy after the holiday. If I hear any more on the topic, I will communicate it immediately.
OTHER UPDATES IN SCHEDULES:
The Board, at its last meeting, approved changes that were needed for the 2021-2022 School Calendar that only affect BHS. The SAT must be given on March 23rd. Therefore, we needed to revise the calendar as follows:
- March 16th will be a full day for BHS only. No parent/teacher conferences. Grades K-8 would remain on an early
dismissal schedule for parent/teacher conferences.
- March 23rd will be an early dismissal for BHS only to give the SAT/PSAT & Professional Learning.
The revised school calendar can be viewed on our website or click on the link: 2021-2022 Revised School Calendar