Return to School & Coronavirus

Dear BCSD Learning Community, 

The Bakersfield City School District received new guidance this afternoon altering previously communicated plans to resume in-person instruction in March.  We begin by reiterating our focus to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff.  We also acknowledge our commitment to welcome students back to campus during the 2020-2021 school year.  It is important to note, BCSD will only resume in-person instruction if the county case rate allows. We will continue to monitor local health updates, including the COVID-19 positive case rate, and will act accordingly.  The case rate must be below 25 per 100,000 residents per state guidelines in order for schools to welcome students back to campus. The following information pertains to the District’s tentative return to in-person instruction plan for elementary school students and teachers only


The state offered school districts the opportunity to return to October 2020 guidance, which allows BCSD to declare elementary schools open. In order to be permitted to reopen, the District must go through a Safety Review from the California Department of Public Health. If approved, schools may open in the “purple tier” if local case rates fall below 25 cases per 100,000 for five consecutive days.


As the District anticipates an improvement in county health per local guidance, we encourage all staff and members of our community to revisit our Return to School Roadmap documents below, which provide detailed information regarding the health and safety measures in place across our District. Furthermore, as guidance is updated at the state level, District staff will continue to update BCSD protocols to ensure we meet all state directed health and safety protocols. As we continue to work towards the reopening of schools, we share the below return to school dates with you for planning purposes.  


Tentative & Targeted Return Dates:


  • Tuesday, April 6, 2021:    All Self-Contained Special Education and PK-2 teachers return to worksite*
  • Thursday, April 8, 2021:  In-person instruction begins for grades Special Education and PK-2*

  Additionally, all 3-6 teachers return to worksite*

  • Monday, April 12, 2021:  In-person instruction begins for grades 3-6 at elementary sites only**

       *BCSD will only return to in-person instruction if the county case rate allows.

      **Per state guidance, Jr. High and Middle Schools are unable to open until the county moves into the      

      “red tier.” Jr. High and Middle School students grades 6-8 will continue to participate in distance learning.

  

Distance learning options are available if you do not want your child to return to campus.  To effectively and smoothly transition staff and students back into the classroom, we ask parents and guardians of BCSD elementary students to complete the BCSD Return to In-Person School Parent Survey below.  We emphasize, this survey is only for parents and guardians of BCSD elementary students.  Per state guidance, Jr. High and Middle Schools are unable to open until the county moves into the “red tier” and students will continue to participate in distance learning.  Please contact your school site if you have trouble accessing the survey.  Additional information from your school site is forthcoming.

BCSD Return to In-Person School Parent Survey: https://go.bcsd.com/gze

Upon the return to campus, we expect students and staff to adhere to established health and safety protocols, including but not limited to, wearing a facial covering at all times while maintaining physical distance of at least six feet.  The COVID-19 Classroom & School Site Accomodations document below details additional health and safety measures enacted on campus in the interest of students and staff.  Please know that we value our learning community and are prioritizing the health and safety of our students, staff, and families with every decision we make.  We share our sincerest appreciation for your support and understanding.  Please reach out to your school site or immediate supervisor if you have any questions or concerns. 

 

The Bakersfield City School District continues to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff. In March 2020, little was known about the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result and in the interest of health and safety, BCSD suspended in-person learning and distance learning became our new reality.  BCSD was commended by educators, school districts, and politicians across the state for being one of the first districts to rise to the challenges of the pandemic. The praise was appropriately directed to our steadfast and resilient staff who continued the work of the District to educate and support our students during the coronavirus crisis.  We are humbled and amazed at the dedication and determination of our staff.  

 

The District remains committed to welcoming students back to campus during the 2020-2021 school year, but only when it is safe to do so. At the end of last week, the state offered school districts the opportunity to return to October 2020 guidance, which allows BCSD to declare schools open. In order to be permitted to reopen, the District must go through a Safety Review from the California Department of Public Health. If approved, schools may open in the “purple tier” if local case rates fall below 25 cases per 100,000 for five consecutive days. Kern County Department of Public Health reported an adjusted case rate of 26.8 for the past seven days, suggesting improvement and decline in the future. As the District anticipates an improvement in county health per local guidance, our goal is to further develop our Return to School Plan so we can effectively and smoothly transition our staff and students back into the classroom. As we continue to work towards the reopening of schools, we share the below return to school dates with you for planning purposes.


  • Monday, March 15, 2021 - In-person instruction begins for self-contained special education*
  • Monday, March 22, 2021 - In-person instruction begins for grades PK-2*
  • Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - In-person instruction begins for  grades 3-6*
  • Grades 7-8 are unable to open until the county moves into “Red” Tier.  Students will continue to participate in distance learning.  

*BCSD will only return to in-person instruction if the county case rate allows


It is important to note, BCSD will only resume in-person instruction if the county case rate allows. We will continue to monitor local health updates, including the COVID-19 positive case rate, and will act accordingly.  The case rate must be below 25 per 100,000 per state guidelines. Please know that we value our learning community and are prioritizing the health and safety of our students, staff, and families with every decision we make.  We share our sincerest appreciation for your support and understanding.  Please reach out to your school site if you have any questions or concerns.

 
 

The Bakersfield City School District Administrative team has worked tirelessly to address your concerns related to COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus.  The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority.  Each decision and course of action has not come lightly.  With thoughtful consideration, all District schools were closed effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

The 2020-2021 school year began in a virtual learning format.  During the Board of Education Study Session on October 8, 2020, BCSD Board members voted to initiate a return to in-person instruction plan.  The plan follows state guidance and allows for a return of 25 percent of the BCSD student population, focusing on students with the highest needs first.  We ask for your patience and support as we work to gradually welcome students back to a healthy and safe learning environment.

The District has identified a four phase plan, beginning with the return of our targeted student groups as identified by the state.  

 

  • Phase 1:  Special Education Students
    • Return to School:  October 19, 2020
  • Phase 2:  Foster Youth and Homeless Students
    • Return to School:  November 2, 2020
  • Phase 3:  English Learners
    • Return to School:  January 4, 2021
  • Phase 4:  All Other Students as part of a Cohort A/B Model
    • Return to School:  Contingent upon local health conditions as mandated by the state.

 

Additional information regarding individual phases will be communicated with the parents/guardians of students included within each state defined group. The District will continue to evaluate the local environment to determine Phase 4 implementation and will continue to update all community stakeholders on progress.  Please await further communication from the District.  

BCSD established the C.A.R.E Team as a resource for the BCSD learning community.  C.A.R.E. stands for COVID-19, Action, Response, and Enforcement.  The C.A.R.E. Team is a dedicated team of professionals who focus solely on COVID-19 related business for all BCSD staff and students. 


If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. Employees notify your supervisor. Parents notify your child’s school. Then, complete the appropriate intake form on the CARE Resources website to share important information with our CARE team. 

You are encouraged to access the CARE Resources page if you have any questions about COVID-19 or need to report any important information to the CARE team.  To access the site, click on the following link: https://go.bcsd.com/gjw

 

Current information on the Coronavirus may be found on the CDC website at:

 

Additional information may be found at the Kern County Department of Public Health Services website, California Department of Public Health, and World Health Organization at the following links: