Letter from Superintendent Dr. McGrath; Aug. 19 Forum Postponed

Hello Parents/Guardians-

I have a few important updates I wanted to pass along.

We made a minor adjustment to the formatting of our mitigation protocol plan to clear up some confusion expressed in emails I have been receiving. It seems that some people interpreted the plan as proposing that we move from level to level based simply on the CDC determined “county color”.  This is not the case. The levels on our mitigation chart are independent of any one specific metric. The levels are designed to provide us with a range of options for response based upon the best expert recommendations at the time.

In many ways, the chart is a communications tool. The CDC guidelines have changed multiple times just since school closed in June and they will likely change again before too long. We don’t want to have a forum and community-wide debate every time the CDC issues new recommendations. We want a document that will clearly lay out the protocol at that time. To clear up the confusion, I removed the colors from the chart and labelled the columns Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4.  The contents of the various levels have not changed.

Yesterday the soon-to-be NY Governor Kathy Hochul indicated that she may be issuing mandates related to opening schools when she takes office next week. We don’t have any details about those mandates or how they will affect our opening plan. BH-BL Board President Dave Versocki and I decided that it would be best to postpone this evening’s Q&A session. We will definitely conduct a forum in the near future when we have more information about possible mandates, but we believe it will cause confusion if we answer questions tonight based on our current plan only to find it may be changed by the governor next week.

Finally, although our plan will not be official until the Board approves it on August 25, Level 4 protocols will be followed for the opening of athletics next week. More details for athletes and coaches will follow from the athletic department.

We will continue to stay connected and keep you up to date as we prepare for the opening of school in a couple of weeks!