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Update from Dr. Baker about planning for the fall

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Dear BCCS Community:

We are at the midway point of summer and I wanted to provide an update to our community about preparing for our return to school this fall.

Guidance from federal agencies and organizations is changing daily because of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control announced that it recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. 

Yesterday, we received guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health about best practices and COVID-19 mitigations strategies for a safe return to school. The guidance included updates on:

  • Added information on offering and promoting COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Emphasized the importance of layering prevention strategies, as informed by regular monitoring of community transmission levels, vaccination coverage levels, screening testing results, and the occurrence of outbreaks.
  • Aligned masking guidance to reflect the federal recommendation of universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Updated physical distancing guidance to reflect national recommendations to implement distancing to the extent possible, without excluding students, to maintain a minimum distance requirement.
  • Updated the close contact definition to reflect a new exception in national guidance that excludes students in an indoor classroom from quarantine when both the case and close contact were wearing a well-fitting mask.

BCCS leaders are currently working through these recommendations and the implications for our school district. We will plan to update our community as soon as decisions are made. Please know, we are committed to adhering to the evolving guidance from the CDC and MDH. Our decision making will be driven by keeping our youngest Centaurs, who are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, safe from the virus. We will continue to offer opportunities this summer and fall for our community members ages 12 and up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as this is the best strategy we have to keep our youngest learners safe.

While we continue to finalize plans, I want to make sure a few key dates are on your calendar to help prepare for the fall. 

Open Houses

We will be holding open house events for families to meet with their children’s teachers at all of our sites on the following dates and times:

  • Monday, August 30: 1-8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 31: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Families that aren’t comfortable with in-person events can schedule a call with their teacher(s). More information about back to school connections and open houses will be shared in the next few weeks.

First Days of School

  • Tuesday, September 7: Orientation Days for grades Pre-K, K, 6 and 9
  • Wednesday, September 8: First day of school for grades 1-5, 7-8 and 10-12

This shift in our first few days of school will allow our youngest learners and students in a key transition year to get acclimated in their new routine and environment. 

Superintendent Dr. Baker’s Leave of Absence

Finally, I wanted to make sure our community was aware that I will be taking a 10-week leave of absence to welcome my first child. My leave will begin on Monday, August 2 and I will return on Monday, October 25. Former Superintendent Mark Bonine will be the interim superintendent during this time. 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work to plan a safe return to school this fall. I look forward to returning to our community in October!


Dr. Carly Baker, Superintendent