School Reopening Committee Work Underway

BH-BL, along with districts across the country, has been working on plans in preparation for reopening schools in the fall. A large Reopening Committee, made up of teachers, students, parents and administration, was established in late May to discuss various reopening scenarios and what they would mean for the BH-BL community. The three potential reopening paths being explored are:

  1. Traditional school environment with precautions in place (i.e., potentially masks at points in the day, daily disinfecting/cleaning protocols, temperature screening, etc.)
  2. Remote Learning environment where buildings are closed but virtual learning takes place through Google Meet, Google Classrooms, etc., or
  3. A Hybrid learning environment which is a combination of the first two scenarios. For example, certain groups/grades are in physical classrooms while others are virtually learning or alternating virtual learning with in-school learning. The hybrid model could take many forms and details of this possibility are still being investigated.

Throughout the month of June, multiple subcommittees focused on taking a deeper look at each scenario from the point of view of different district departments, such as transportation, special services, curriculum, athletics, technology, and food service. Each subcommittee generated a variety of ideas for implementation and potential concerns associated with each reopening scenario.

During the summer months, our building councils and standing committees will further plan for each of the potential reopening scenarios, taking into consideration the ideas and concerns generated by the subcommittees discussed above. While state guidance around reopening is not yet available, district staff will continue to share and research their reopening ideas, strategies, and potential obstacles, in order to be ready for the fall. Given the nature of the COVID-19 situation, however, this will be a fluid process and direction is based on the latest available information and state and federal guidance.

It’s important to know that no decisions about how school will reopen in the fall have been made. At this time, there has been no change to the school calendar for 2020-21, which includes the teacher year beginning on September 2 and instruction beginning on September 9.

“Our hope is that we will be able to welcome back all of our students, faculty and staff in September,” says Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGrath. “And while we continue to stay informed of the COVID-19 situation and its impact on schools, it’s crucial that we have a plan in place for each of the different reopening possibilities.”

Stay Updated via Website, SNN, and Google Meet Forums

As BH-BL’s reopening scenarios are being developed and state guidelines are being set, we want to make sure that the BH-BL community remains informed. There will be a page on the district’s website dedicated to reopening information (much like the Remote Learning pages) where community members can learn about the Committees recommendations and other details about reopening schools, there will also be a Frequently Asked Questions section, and other related information.

The district will also host two virtual Reopening Forums, Wednesday, July 15 and 29 at 6 p.m.  [Google Meet link for July 15]  [Google Meet link for July 29] The forums will begin with an update about any new information from NYS and details about the committee’s progress pertaining to the three reopening scenarios. Each forum will also feature a Question & Answer session in which district leaders look forward to dialogue with the community about reopening plans. Further information about these Reopening Forums, including links to the sessions, will be available at as the dates approach.

Additionally, we will use our School News Notifier (SNN)  system to send updates via e-mail, as needed through the summer. (If you do not receive SNNs from the district, please consider signing up today.)

Related Story: Reopening School Virtual Forums

Committee Members

  • Superintendent Dr. Patrick McGrath
  • Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Dr. Christopher Abdoo
  • Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction David Collins
  • Student Representatives: Micaela Choi & OIivia Tassone
  • Parent Representatives: Jessica Friaoli, Mary Lawrence, Laurie Pollard, Nicole Schermerhorn, and Tiffany Tassone
  • Principals: Tim Brunson, Jill Bonancio, Rick Evans, Tim Sinnenberg and Colleen Wolff
  • Department Chairpersons/Directors: Stephanie Andrejcak (Business Education), Nicola Boehm (Food Service), Deputy Sheriff Zach Cicardi (Security) Joe Czub (Transportation), Dan Diggins (Buildings & Grounds), Tracy Falvo (Technology), Peter Giroux (Fine Arts), Bill McQuay (Math), Sharon McTygue (Special Education), Jessica Moore (Science), Mike Nickson (Human Resources), Suzanne Rayome (World Languages), Matt Sargen (Custodial), Joe Scalise (Athletics) and Russ Weinlein (HS Guidance)
  • Faculty & Staff/Member of Building Leadership Teams: Laura Barry, Rachel Bodenstab, Dacey Bonney, Heidi Brower, Gary Bynon, Doug Carlton, Donna Fredericks, Tracy Hay, Karen Kersch, Tara LaMalfa, Dan LeClaire, Tracy McCarthy, Aimee Miller, Tara Mitchell, Mike Mosall, Peg Ostrom, Dave Somoza and Sara Verga
  • Board Members: Don Marshall and Patrick Ziegler