BSM's COVID-19 Education Plan

The following information outlines BSM’s COVID-19 Education Plan for the 2020-2021 academic year and supplies a list of helpful resources. We continue to monitor and review relevant information provided by governmental agencies and make decisions accordingly. We will continue to keep our community informed as updates become available. 

Watch for additional notifications on this page.

Quick Links: 

 

Learn more about BSM's COVID-19 Education Plan to understand the operational model, important responsibilities, and expectations of our Red Knight community for the 2020-2021 school year.

 

Watch BSM's 2020-2021 Education Model Webinar that was held on August 10, 2020. The focus of the webinar was to provide an overview of BSM's COVID-19 Education Plan and answer questions from the community.

 

Calendars

2020-2021 Academic Calendar

2020-2021 Bell Schedule

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is BSM using the cohort model (students on campus every other day) for grades 10-12?

Ideally, all students would be on-site, socially distanced, and in the classroom every day. Unfortunately, the building cannot daily accommodate the entire student body and simultaneously allow the school to implement essential mitigation procedures. Students in grades 7-9 require more adult and peer engagement to help them build academic skills and grow emotionally and socially. Developmentally, students in grades 10-12 have the academic habits and maturity to navigate more intensive virtual learning. Under the cohort model, BSM complies with Hennepin County guidelines for school reopenings and can more safely administer a quality classroom experience.

How are cohorts determined?

Cohorts are assigned randomly using an Excel spreadsheet that accounts for a balance of grade levels and allows for siblings to be in the same cohort. While BSM acknowledges that social connections are important, we will not take special requests to be in the same cohort. We will do our best to put carpools that ride together every day in the same cohort; we will not take requests for carpools that do not ride together every day. Parents are asked to register their student’s carpool by clicking here.

What days will cohorts be on campus?

Cohorts in the hybrid model will be on campus every other day, excluding weekends and no-school days. Click Here to see the Academic Calendar that shows the days each cohort will be on campus.

Can my carpool be in the same cohort?

We will do our best to assign carpools to the same cohort. CLICK HERE to register your carpool.

When will class schedules and cohort assignments be released?

Class schedules will be released in the coming days. Cohort assignments will be distributed as we get closer to the first day of school.

Can families switch from virtual to in-class learning models?

Yes, students interested in changing learning models may do so at any point in the year. To switch from virtual to in-person learning, students should contact each teacher directly via email within two weeks of returning to class. This is to allow the teacher time to adjust the seating chart and class rotation. To transition from in-person to virtual learning, students can simply inform the appropriate principal of their decision, and proceed to virtual classes.

In-person students who are not feeling well are asked to stay home and attend classes virtually. Parents are asked to call the JH or SH attendance line to report that their child will be attending class virtually that particular day.

 

What happens when a student or staff member tests positive or is symptomatic? What happens if you have been in contact with them?

If someone at BSM tests positive for COVID-19: People with positive tests should seek medical attention, and they cannot be permitted to return to campus until they have been cleared by their healthcare provider and the Minnesota Department of Health, who will also be informed of the positive diagnosis. Communications will be sent to all student families, faculty, and staff, which will indicate that someone in the school community has tested positive. These communications will not identify who has tested positive.

 

If you have been in contact with a symptomatic person with an unknown diagnosis: Anybody who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 cannot come to campus. If you have been within six feet of a symptomatic person for more than fifteen minutes, BSM asks that you quarantine and participate only in virtual classes until the symptomatic person has been tested.

 

If you have come in contact with a student or faculty member who tests positive for COVID-19: When a member of the BSM community tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing will be initiated. Staff and students will be interviewed, and classroom seating assignments will be evaluated to determine who was in close contact with the person who tested positive. This group, who has been within six feet of the infected person for more than fifteen minutes, will receive separate communications that notify of potential exposure. Recipients of this letter will be required to move to virtual classes and quarantine for fourteen days.

 

How will BSM ensure a quality educational experience for virtual students? How has online learning improved since last year?

Teachers have designed their lesson plans with virtual students in mind and have had extensive professional development around online platforms like Zoom. To ensure that virtual students have the best possible streaming experience, conference cameras have been placed in all classrooms, and the school has invested in a more powerful internet system.

Moreover, under the block schedule (in which students have three or four, rather than eight, classes per quarter), instructors are responsible for significantly fewer students per quarter and are thus able to devote more individualized attention to virtual students. The school is committed to ensuring that support for virtual students is accessible and effective.

 

Can virtual learning students participate in on-site after school activities and sports?

Yes. Students participating in the all-virtual learning environment can physically come to campus to participate in after-school activities and sports.

Can I add a class in place of my BSM Hour?

No. The BSM academic program for grades 10 through 12 consists of seven courses and one BSM Hour. The BSM Hour provides students with time during the school day to access a variety of resources, including time to meet with Guidance & College Counselors, opportunities for peer tutoring, being a TA for a teacher, time for quiet study, time to make up a test or to meet with a teacher as available. Because we are on the Quarter Block, the BSM Hour only shows up in a student’s schedule for one of the quarters per semester. This will require some flexibility when the student does not have his/her BSM Hour during a particular quarter. We are not able to accommodate student requests to put a class in place of the BSM Hour because our academic program, which includes staffing and room assignments, is built on seven academic courses, and we would be unable to meet the demand to expand our program to eight academic courses. In a Quarter Block system, three academic courses is considered a full load.

Which classes meet first quarter and which meet second quarter?

Periods one, three, five and seven meet during the first quarter. Periods two, four, six and eight meeting during the second quarter.

Given the COVID-19 guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus, what will choir be like?

This year, Choir will take an exciting turn and split the focus between several elements. For in-person classes, we will be focusing on modeling vocal technique with single students, developing music literacy such as sight-singing, and implementing the exciting world music drumming curriculum. Because we are following guidelines to mitigate the transmission of the virus, we will not be singing in groups. The drumming curriculum will include vocal/rhythmic elements and also be an active way to continue to develop our teamwork, musical creativity, and cultural knowledge.

Do I still need to do my summer assignment if the class doesn’t meet until the second quarter?

Yes. For odd period classes the summer assignment is due when school starts in September. For even period classes, the summer assignment is at the start of the second quarter, which is November 11. Note - summer assignments are not given to junior high students.

Why is the 10th-12th grade Wellness requirement waived this year?

The Wellness 10-12 graduation requirement is waived this year in order to implement physical distancing guidelines and keep students safer when it comes to the transmission of the virus. Student wellness has never been more important. Living in the current realities of the pandemic can take a toll on a students’ physical and mental health. The BSM Hour will be used at various times during the year to provide students with mental and physical health resources that can be accessed on an individual basis.  

Note: The ACT Prep class is not considered a Wellness class and will continue to be part of the graduation requirements. Music (Band, Orchestra and Choir) taken as a .5 option is still available, but is not required, since the Wellness class is waived this year.

How do I change my schedule?

Senior high schedules will be published two weeks prior to the start of school. The courses on a student’s schedule reflect the choices selected last spring, or when the student registered. Counselors have gone through schedules to check for a manageable balance between the two quarters as well as checking for any mistakes. Students are asked to review schedules once they are published, and if there is a mistake, please contact the appropriate Guidance Counselor. Elective changes, while not necessarily impossible, will be very difficult given the current reality of having to balance classes in the Quarter Block system. Once school starts, it will be very difficult to change a schedule.

How will AP teachers prepare students for the test in May given the Quarter Block schedule?

Depending on which quarter the AP class meets, there may be a time gap between the end of the course and when the student sits for the AP exam. Depending on the course and the quarters the class meets, teachers may give an assignment (or set of assignments) during the “off quarter” to help ensure a smoother transition to the quarter that the class meets. For example, if the AP class meets the second and fourth quarter, the teacher may give an assignment during the first and third quarter. Each teacher will communicate directly with students regarding the expectations for work done outside of the quarter a class meets.

How much time should a student expect to work on homework with the Quarter Block schedule?

Senior high students should expect to do between 1.5 to 2 total hours of homework each night depending on the student’s course of study. Students in AP courses will most likely spend more time while students with more general electives will spend less time each night. Students are advised to use a calendar or planner to keep track of project deadlines, upcoming assessments, and other important deadlines.