COVID-19/School Closure Updates

4/3/20

Dear BRCPS Families,

I hope you are all doing well and trying to stay safe and healthy during these challenging times. I know you have received information from your children’s teachers, providers, and directors, but I also wanted to reach out to share some updated information related to special education and related services.

As Boston Renaissance continues to ensure that each student is receiving appropriate educational services through remote learning, the Unified Student Services Department is committed to continually providing equitable services and support for our students with disabilities and English language learners. We would like to communicate with you how we will be offering remote learning services to our students and maintain communication with families and students during these challenging times. We will aim to provide these services through a variety of modes in order to support our students’ needs.

These could include but are not limited to:

  • Online and downloadable resources provided through online platforms (Lower School Remote Learning Hub, Google classrooms for Upper School students)
  • Links to WGBH lessons on TV, YouTube channels, apps, etc.)
  • Pre-Scheduled online interactive lessons and meetings
  • Pre-recorded lessons
  • Telephone check-ins from staff

Academic Services for Students with Disabilities: 

As the general education teachers continue to provide remote educational services for students, BRCPS’s Special Education Teachers will continue to provide and share resources for students who require these modifications and/or accommodations. The work provided would be modified according to the student’s needs, so they can access virtual learning and resources that are appropriate for their individual learning needs. Please consult the Lower School Remote Learning Sites for grades K-2 and Google Classroom sections for Grades 3-6. In addition, the teachers will be available via email and will establish scheduled office hours so that they can provide support remotely for students with IEP/504 services. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s Special Education teacher and/or direct service provider for additional support.

Related Services for Students with IEPs/504:

BRCPS’s related service providers (Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists), and Mental Health providers (Counseling team) will be providing IEP/504 services to students at least once a week via the online remote mediums established by BRCPS. These services may be delivered in the following formats: step-by-step recorded videos of activities, movement opportunities through video resources, and/or telephone or virtual calls with students. We are tracking the provision of these services in order to ensure that students are supported to the best of our abilities while school is closed.

Although it will be challenging to provide the same level of support as they do at school, service providers will be available through established office hours to provide you with guidance on how you can support your child in these areas. They will also establish a weekly time to communicate with your child about what they can do at home to practice specific skills. Be reminded that these services may appear in the above-mentioned formats.

While upholding and maintaining confidentiality our related service providers (Speech, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, the Mental Health Team) are creating and sharing resources to benefit students needs through our remote learning platforms. Access to all related service resources is available via the Lower school remote learning Hub and the Upper school Google classroom platform.

Academic Services for English Language Learners: 

As the general education and special education teachers continue to provide remote educational services for students, BRCPS’s English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers will continue to provide and share resources for all English Language learners as well. These services will be provided through collaborations with the students’ homeroom teachers utilizing the established online platforms. These platforms may look different for your child who is in Lower School and/or Upper School. Please consult the Lower School Remote Learning hub for grades K-2 and Google Classroom sections for Grades 3-6. In addition, ESL teachers will be available via email and will establish office hours in order to provide support remotely for English Language Learners. Please feel free to reach out to your child’s ESL teacher for additional support.

Virtual IEP meetings:

IEP Teams are not required to meet while schools are closed. However, parents/guardians, and IEP team members may agree to conduct IEP meetings through alternate means, including videoconferencing or conference telephone calls. 34 C.F.R. §300.328.

The Special Education Department at BRCPS will be moving forward with holding IEP annual review meetings and 3 year re-evaluation meetings for those student’s whose evaluations were completed prior to the closer of school. If the evaluation was not completed and requires a face-to-face assessment or observation, the evaluation would need to be delayed until school reopens and any previously scheduled meetings will need to be cancelled and rescheduled.

With parent/guardian consent, evaluations and reevaluations that do not require face-to-face assessments or observations will take place while schools are closed.

BRCPS Special Education Team Facilitator and 504 coordinator will be reaching out to families who are impacted by this and we are working to set up phone or video conferences in order to maintain regular IEP timelines to the best of our ability

While we continue to check each week for updated information and guidance from DESE and the US DOE. Here are some additional specifics:

What happens if my child’s IEP expires while school is closed?

Current IEPs will remain in effect until a new IEP is developed, irrespective of the expired date reflected in the IEP forms.

 

What do I do if I have an IEP meeting schedule while school is closed?

IEP Teams are not required to meet while schools are closed.  However, parents/guardians, and IEP team members may agree to conduct IEP meetings through alternate means, including videoconferencing or conference telephone calls. 34 C.F.R. §300.328.

 

What happens if my child was being evaluated before school closed?

DESE recognizes that school closures may impact the ability of school districts to meet the 30-day timeline for conduct evaluations in addition to the 45 school working day timeline to develop an IEP after receipt of a parent’s written consent to evaluation or reevaluation. (603 CMR 28.04(2) and 603 CMR 28.05(1).)

Therefore if the evaluation was completed before BRCPS closed, the team has been asked to complete the write up of the reports.

If the evaluation was not completed and requires a face-to-face assessment or observation, the evaluation would need to be delayed until school reopens and any previously scheduled meetings will need to be cancelled and rescheduled.

Please see the following documents that provide further information and guidance for schools:

As a school community, and Special Education Department, we will continue to re-examine our practices and adjust our approaches to our remote learning, as well as continuously communicate with families to directly impact student learning and growth. We appreciate your patience and support during these challenging times. If you have additional or specific questions, please reach out to me.

Stay safe and Healthy,

Stacia Copeland 

Director Unified Student Services 

Boston Renaissance Charter Public School

scopeland@brcps.school

Office hours Monday-Friday 9am-4pm

 

Here is a copy of this letter in PDF format:

SWD_ELs COVID-19 Service update letter

 

4/1/20

REMOTE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES NOTIFICATION AND GUIDANCE

Dear Renaissance families,

As you know, our school has closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period of school closure, the school will be providing students with remote learning opportunities, which may include analog materials, telephone calls, video conferencing, pre-recorded lessons, and other online services. Students are expected to participate in these services if possible. Please reach out to us as soon as possible if you anticipate or become aware of any issues with your child accessing the remote opportunities provided by the school.

In accordance with state and federal laws, including the Massachusetts Wiretapping Act and FERPA, parents and students must refrain from recording any and all remote lessons.  Exceptions may be made on an individual basis due to special circumstances, and only with the consent of everyone involved in the lesson. In addition, while parents/ guardians are permitted to observe online instruction in a non-disruptive manner, to the extent that remote learning opportunities provide access to confidential student information, all participants agree, by participating in this remote learning opportunity, to refrain from disseminating any confidential student information about other student participants with any and all third parties. By participating in the remote learning opportunities, consent to this request is hereby provided.

Similarly, we ask everyone in our school community to recognize that video conferences and other online services will be taking place in the homes of the educators and students who participate in the calls, and to be mindful of everyone’s right to privacy. To that end, we remind our students to dress appropriately and choose an appropriate location in their home from which to participate in any and all remote learning opportunities, particularly those with a video component. Parents/ guardians should take all precautions to safeguard personal or private information that they do not wish to be disclosed.

Students will be expected to behave in accordance with school rules of conduct while participating in remote instruction. Cyber-bullying, harassment, discrimination, and abuse of the remote learning process will not be tolerated and may result in suspension from remote learning, as well as additional consequences when school resumes. The school also encourages its staff and students alike to limit disruptions to remote lessons to the extent feasible (while also recognizing that sometimes pets, small children, and technical difficulties cannot be prevented from disrupting a lesson that happens at home).

Special education teachers, ESL/ SEI teachers, and individual service providers will be in contact with parents/ guardians of students with specialized learning needs regarding  necessary modifications to the remote instruction opportunities offered to other members of an individual student’s class, as well as to discuss direct and group service provision.

The following online services are available to all students as part of the District’s remote learning opportunities:

By accessing these services, the school recognizes that you and your child consent to access online instruction and agree to fully comply with the requirements of this letter.

We appreciate your time and attention to this notice.

 

Sincerely,

Ms. Buckmire

Head of School

 

 

3/30/20

BRCPS Families,

The Commissioner of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has sent out the following letter to all K-12 parents and guardians in the state.

DESE Letter to Families_COVID19 3.30.20

DESE Spanish Letter to Families_COVID19 3.30.20

 

3/26/20

Dear Renaissance families,

I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy during this challenging time.

Yesterday, Governor Baker announced the closure of all schools in the state until May 4, 2020. We received some guidance from the Commissioner of Education this afternoon about what remote learning might look like during this extended period of time. Our leadership team and teachers are going through the guidance this week and early next week and will make any needed adjustments to the remote learning that your children have been engaged in since our closure. We will communicate any changes to you next week.

We have been so excited to see so many of our students logging into Google Classroom and class websites and engaged in learning. If you are having any difficulties accessing education materials please reach out to your classroom teacher HERE or Mrs. Lueken (klueken@brcps.school), Lower School Director (grades K1 – 2) or Ms. Assiraj (fassiraj@brcps.school), Upper School Director (grades 3-6).

Any family that is in need of a chromebook, and has not previously contacted your child’s teacher, please complete this form.

These are challenging times for sure and we want to assure you that we are here to support not only your children but you as well. You can contact Mrs. Monique Taylor, Family and Partnerships Coordinator, at mtaylor@brcps.school if you have any needs. You can also email me anytime.

We will be in touch next week with our long term remote learning plans.

Be well,

Ms. Buckmire

Head of School

abuckmire@brcps.school

 

3/23/20

Dear Renaissance Families,

We have purchased chromebooks for all BRCPS students. The chromebooks & chargers will be loaned to each BRCPS student and must be returned to the school the day we reopen. All families will need to sign a loan agreement for each student to receive a chromebook. We are awaiting the delivery of those chromebooks. As soon as they are delivered we will notify families with the plan for distribution. If you have a need for a laptop and have not previously contacted your child’s teacher please complete this form.

Thank you,

Ms. Buckmire

Head of School

 

3/19/20

A reminder to Boston Renaissance Families:

BRCPS is providing breakfast and lunch to all families of current BRPCS students.  Meals are provided to go, with curbside pickup in the school’s parent pickup lane, each week, Monday through Friday, 11:00am-1:00pm.  In addition, families picking up meals on Fridays will also receive breakfast and lunch for Saturday and Sunday.

 

3/15/20

Dear Renaissance Families,

Mayor Walsh announced Friday evening that Boston Public Schools (BPS) will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17th until Monday, April 27th. We will follow the closure timeline of BPS (except we are closed tomorrow, Monday, March 16th) and reopen when they reopen. BPS has stated that they could open sooner and we will closely follow their plan and communicate any changes immediately.

Although we won’t be able to learn together in the same space, we expect that students will exercise their brains at home. Our teachers put together schoolwork packets and online resources that were handed out or mailed Friday. Please continue to check our website for updates to our Learning Resources link at the top of the page as well as for other updates.

I know this has been a challenging and uncertain time. Please know that although our doors are physically closed we are all here to support each other. Please feel free to reach out to me or to your teachers at any time. This difficult time will pass, and we will continue to thrive as a community….a family!

Sincerely,

Alexandra Buckmire

Head of School

abuckmire@brcps.school

 

3/13/20

Dear BRCPS Families,

Out of an abundance of caution, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. Students have been sent home with resources for home learning today, Friday, March 13. For any students who were not in attendance today, packets will be mailed home. If this closure extends beyond March 27th, we will notify our community via email and on our website.

We recognize that many of our students, families, and staff are increasingly concerned about the COVID-19 situation. Our Leadership Team is working diligently to ensure we have a thoughtful response. We want to do our part to ensure we are protecting the public and mitigating community spread of infectious disease.

We currently do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 that have directly affected the BRCPS community. We are making this difficult decision in order to prioritize the health and safety of our community. We recommend that all students, families, and staff follow all public health guidelines from the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Health, and the CDC.

During this closure we will provide bagged lunch for any family who wishes to come to the school. This will begin on Tuesday, March 17th and continue for the duration of the closure. It will occur weekdays between the hours of 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Pick up will be curbside in the parent pick up lane.

Please reach out to your classroom teacher via email for any educational support needs. We will do our best to facilitate learning remotely.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly. You can also contact our Lower School Director (grades K1 – 2) Kendra Lueken at klueken@brcps.school or our Upper School Director, (grades 3 – 6) Farah Assiraj at fassiraj@brcps.school.

We will continue to share updates on this webpage.

Sincerely,

Alexandra Buckmire

Head of School

abuckmire@brcps.school

 

UPDATES & NEWS REGARDING SCHOOL EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

3/15/20 Letter to Families

BRCPS announces extended closure up to April 27th, following closure dates announced by Mayor Walsh for Boston Public Schools. Full letter here:

BRCPS School Closure update March 15

 

3/13/20 Letter to Families

BRCPS announces two-week school closure.  Letter from Head of School attached:

BRCPS Two week Closure Letter 3.13.20

 

3/12/20  Message to Families

BRCPS – Student Lead Conferences

Dear Families,

In our continued efforts to keep our families and staff safe, Renaissance, airing on the side of caution, has decided to cancel the student led conference scheduled for Thursday, March 26th. Teachers will schedule phone conferences with families.

Teachers will be emailing parents to schedule a time for a phone conference between, March 30 – April 3.
Please be on the lookout for an email from your child’s teacher(s). If you have any question on conferences, please email the teacher or school director.

Lower School (K1 – Grade 2) Kendra Lueken at klueken@brcps.school

Upper School (Grade 3 – Grade 6) Farah Assiraj at fassiraj@brcps.school

 

3/12/20  Message to Families

Due to the precautionary measures being taken in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and recommendations by public officials not to convene large groups of people, Boston Renaissance will cancel the following events:

  • Saturday March 21st Parent Workshops on Internet Safety and How to Talk to Kids About Sex
  • Wednesday, March 25th Parent Meeting
  • Friday, March 27th Family Movie Night

BRCPS does not want to alarm our families but rather be sensitive to what is happening at this time. The Renaissance will continue to review information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control as they monitor the situation closely. We will continue to share information with you as it is share with the school.

 

3/3/20 Letter to Families

BRCPS announces coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety measures: BRCPS COVID_19 March 3rd 2020

 

Public Resources & Information

To help keep your family safe, please refer to official information and recommendations from the MA Department of Public Health (DPH), City of Boston Public Health Commission, national Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Association School Nurses.

CDC Coronavirus Updates

CDC Prevention & Treatment Guidance

MA DPH Coronavirus Updates

Boston Public Health Commission Fact Sheet (English)

Boston Public Health Commission Fact Sheet (Spanish)

Talking to Children About COVID19_NASN