COVID-19 Updates

March 20, 2020

Dear Bentley Bulldogs,

This past week has been topsy-turvy for everybody. And topsy-turvy is challenging. What makes this situation even more so is the unknowns—we just don’t know what to expect next. What I know is that each of us will continue to make the best choices with what we know at any given point. That is certainly true for all of us here in the Bentley School District. Even as we take precautions to keep ourselves and others healthy, we are strategizing how best to meet our students’ emotional, social, intellectual, and physical needs. Our kids need all of us, now more than ever, to see us respond with calm assurance that whatever comes our way, we will figure it out. We need not have all the answers. We just need to be confident that we are resourceful and together we can figure out our problems, one at a time, as they come.

Our teachers are reaching out to students electronically. If there is a particular adult in our Bentley family with whom your child has a special connection and your child hasn’t heard from that person, please email the teacher, the principal, or me to let us know. We can’t solve a problem we don’t know about. The Bentley staff genuinely care very much about your children and you, their families.

While we cannot predict the future, there are some future events that I would like to address. First and foremost, prom and commencement are not being canceled. They may be postponed, but they will happen . . . perhaps at a different time and place, but I am committed to ensuring these momentous and celebratory events take place.

The May 5th election for the zero dollar ($0) tax increase bond is still slated to occur. However, voting will only be absentee; in other words, all votes will have to be cast by mail. So, the City of Burton Clerk, Ms. Racheal Boggs, or Secretary of State will be sending every registered voter an application to vote absentee with return postage paid so that you may request an absentee ballot. Once you send in the request to vote absentee, they will send you a ballot. You can also log into Michigan Voter Information Center website to track the status of your absentee ballot. This election is very important to the school district. Please go to the Bentley website and select Bond 2020 to get more information. And, don’t forget the Census—You count, so please be counted!

We will continue to make breakfasts and lunches available for our students, although we may move to a twice a week distribution schedule where we provide several days’ worth of food at one time. I will be sure to communicate that to you when that happens.

During this time, my hope is that you see the rainbows each day—that you find something to celebrate. That is so important, for you, for our students, for our staff, for everybody. Know that I wish each of you well and always welcome questions or suggestions. We will get through this!


Warmly,

Kristy Spann

Superintendent




March 13, 2020

Greetings Bentley Bulldogs!

The administrative team met today to contemplate opportunities and challenges we are facing as a result of COVID19 and the mandated school closing by Governor Whitmer. There are many details that we are trying to work through. The following are updates that I wanted to get out to you today. I will send updates as appropriate.

MEALS

One of the most important issues currently is ensuring that our students, who rely on us for breakfast and lunch, still have access to those meals. We are planning to provide a breakfast and lunch each day for each Bulldog up to the age of 18 and up to the age of 26 for those who have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). We are planning to start this on Monday, March 16 and make these meals available Mondays through Fridays for at least the next two weeks.

These two meals will be given out together each day as a package, and the meals do not need to be eaten on campus. We are working to have the meals distributed in two ways: 1) available for pick-up on campus and 2) to be brought to bus-stops in the district at a scheduled time for families/students to come and get them. The details for how these meals will be made available are being finalized; we expect to share those details tomorrow.

 BUILDING ACCESS

Per Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order on March 13, 2020:

“Beginning on March 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm, and continuing through April 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm, all assemblages of 250 people in a single shared space and all events of more than 250 people are prohibited in this state, except for assemblages for the purpose of: industrial or manufacturing work; mass transit; or the purchase of groceries or consumer goods. A single shared space includes but is not limited to a room, hall, cafeteria, auditorium, theater, or gallery. This prohibition does not abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution under these emergency circumstances.” 

“Beginning on March 16th, 2020, all elementary school buildings and secondary school buildings in this state must close to students for educational purposes through April 5th, 2020. This requirement includes all public, nonpublic, and boarding schools in the state. This requirement does not apply to residential facilities at schools and childcare providers at schools” [Emphasis added].”

“Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order shall constitute a misdemeanor.”

 With this order in mind, Bentley schools will be open this Monday, March 16th between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. so that students may stop by to pick up any personal items they left behind and would like to get. We will allow up to 20 people at a time to come in and get their belongings and promptly leave.

 CANCELED UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday, March 16th: The bond steering committee is canceled.

Wednesday, March 17th: The Parent Partnership Event is canceled.

Thursday, March 26th: The Middle School EDP Dinner is canceled.

Per MHSAA, all athletics (practices and events) are suspended through April 5th.

INSTRUCTION

There will be no official grading until April 5, 2020.

There will be no required coursework over the next three weeks.

Know that I wish you well,

 Kristy Spann, PhD

Superintendent




Dear Bentley Families,

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is new viral infection that has become a concern for many. So, although our typical influenza has certainly proven to be more dangerous at this point, this is nevertheless concerning. There have been no confirmed cases of this virus in Michigan or Genesee County to date of this letter. However, there are actions that can be taken at home and in our schools as we work to keep our community healthy from this and all viruses.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (about the length of time it takes to sing the ABC's). They suggest individuals avoid touching their face with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available is also effective.

If your child presents with a fever or any of the common symptoms (https://bit.ly/2PKgyNd) associated with COVID-19, please keep them home and contact your family physician for guidance. These symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The best way to prevent the spread of any illness—including even the common cold—is to keep sick children home.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is estimated to be between 2 and 14 days. Currently, there is no vaccine to protect or cure against COVID-19. The Genesee County Health Department recommends students, parents, and staff take preventative actions to stop the spread of germs, which can help prevent a number of illnesses. Such actions include:  

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

  • Stay home when sick. CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; if that isn’t available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

  • Get a flu shot every year. It is not too late to get your flu shot.

At Bentley, we are vigilant about keeping our facilities and buses as clean as possible. The custodians regularly clean desks, door handles, light switches, etc. We also have increased the availability of cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer dispensers as well as hand washing reminders for everyone. We have also added resources to our website under “Coronavirus Resources.”

As always, if you have questions, please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Kristy Spann, Superintendent