BRSU announces closure plans

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SUNDERLAND — Following the announcement Sunday by Gov. Phil Scott that all schools in the state would need to close by Wednesday, the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union announced its immediate plans.

In a message posted on its website Sunday, BRSU Superintendent Jackie Wilson said Monday will be a teachers-only day following by a normal school day Tuesday with schools closed Wednesday through at least April 6.

According to the letter, Monday will be a non-student day as teachers work on short-term plans for the closure. No students will attend school Monday.

On Tuesday, Students will have a full-day of school.

Parents have the option of keeping their child home Tuesday and Wilson said the school will work with the parent on a learning packet and Chromebook.

Tuesday, students will receive a two-week learning packet from teachers that will include practice activities, reading recomendations and resource links.

Students should bring a bag or extra backpack to help clean out the locker or cubby.

Over the next two weeks, teachers will work with administration to develop a more comprehensive approach in case school remains closed for an extended period.

"We anticipate that there will be weekly on-line experiences, and we also plan on delivering learning packets and activities to students," Wilson said in the letter.

If school remains closed for an extended period, schools will resort to online learning. An internet access survey will be sent to determine student needs.

Chromebooks will be assigned to all students in first grade through eighth grade, which will be distributed Tuesday.

"Our younger children have not experienced taking a school device home for their personal use so we will be providing some use guidance," Wilson said.

Outside of education, the BRSU will provide meals at no cost for families during the time school is out.

A survey will ask about interest in the program.

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"We are currently in the process of working out details regarding daily delivery and pick-up," the letter reads.

Wilson said teachers will be accessible by phone and internet, and students can expect a call from their teacher at least once a week.

"We know how important it is to keep the lines of communication open and we want to provide as much assurance and support to our children as we can," Wilson said in the letter. "Teachers will also provide remote teaching and learning support but these plans won't be ready for full implementation until the week of March 23."

"This is a challenging time and the learning curve is steep for all of us," Wilson wrote. "Please know that we are doing our best to support all your children and we will try to make this unusual school closure experience a positive one."


The Arlington School District posted a Facebook message Sunday recognizing Scott's directive.

The message said the attendance Monday and Tuesday would be a family decision and the school attendance requirements waived.

"No student will be penalized for not attending," the message said.

The district will be working on a plan and said school will be secondary.

"To be clear, our primary areas of focus include the well-being of our students, families and employees," according to the message.

The district asked for patience and flexibility.

"You can expect regular communication from our district so that we are keeping you informed," the message read. "We are doing all we can to make sure these priorities are taken care of to the best of our abilities."


In Dorset, Long Trail School, which announced it was closing for at least two weeks on Friday, extended their planned closure based on Scott's announcement Sunday. LTS, which was expected to be closed through at least March 16, has changed that to at least April 3 to match the governor's directive.

Burr and Burton Academy has not announced its intentions yet.


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