Dear parents, guardians and community members:
We are in unprecedented times and it seems as though we are faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis currently. I know that many of you are still trying to determine the best enrollment option for your student when schools reopen in August and I know there are no “right” or “easy” answers.
I am pleased to let you know, however, that earlier today, the Bay District School Board approved my recommendation to:
As we let you know last week, we heard your requests for a way for students to complete their classes online while still being linked to their “brick and mortar” school and that’s exactly what BayLink will allow them to do. BayLink students who are learning from home will be taught by teachers from their schools, will participate in the same curriculum and learning activities as their peers who are attending brick and mortar schools and will still be a part of their schools.
We’ve already let you know about your options to choose Bay Virtual School or home school and now we’re pleased to add BayLink to the options for students choosing to stay with our brick and mortar schools.
We know these are challenging decisions but now we have two choices for those students who would like to still remain part of their brick and mortar schools:
Students have the option to attend “brick and mortar” school in person five days a week. Students attending brick and mortar five days a week still have the option to switch to BayLink for digital learning through Canvas if/when the need arises (quarantine, self-isolation, illness). Parents/guardians must notify the teacher and/or school when a student needs to transition to BayLink. In order to return to brick and mortar school, students must have a return to school note from a primary care provider or the Bay County Department of Health.
Students have the option to choose BayLink for digital learning five days a week assigned to their teacher of record/scheduled classes. This option provides opportunities for students to continue to learn at home while remaining registered at their enrolled school. This model is designed for families who don’t feel comfortable sending their children back to school but ultimately plan to rejoin their enrolled school in the future. Students may transition back to brick and mortar schools on the first school day of each month. Notification must be provided to the school principal.
As you can imagine, rebuilding class schedules to include BayLink options, and ensuring the right number of staff members are available at brick and mortar school, Bay Virtual School and BayLink is a challenging and complex process. To make sure we’re where you need us to be, we need your help.
Please carefully read the instructions below and reach out to your school if you have questions or need assistance.
• If you previously enrolled in Bay Virtual School and do not intend to change that decision, you do not need to do anything. Bay Virtual School will be in touch with you about next steps and they will take care of withdrawing your child from his/her current school.
• If you previously chose Bay Virtual and would like to return to brick and mortar or BayLink, please log into your Parent Portal account. If you have trouble logging in, there are graphics at the end of this letter that can help you. Choose the option that best suits your child (we will automatically take care of withdrawal from BVS and re-enrollment at the brick and mortar school your child most recently attended/is zoned for).
• If you were planning to return your child to brick and mortar but want to select BayLink instead, please log into your Parent Portal account. Please choose the BayLink option for online instruction five days a week.
We would sincerely appreciate it if you can make your selection no later than Thursday at midnight. If you need additional time, have questions, or require assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s school. It’s important that all parents take a minute to make a selection so we can appropriately prepare for the number of students returning to brick and mortar and the number of students who will begin the year learning remotely from home via BayLink. Please be reminded that none of this applies to area charter schools or private schools since those schools run independently.
We know that you probably have questions and we’ve attempted to answer them with detailed FAQs on our Facebook page and website. You can find FAQs about Bay Virtual, home school and BayLink on our website at http://www.bay.k12.fl.us/school-reopening. That same site contains more detailed information about our reopening plans. You can also call 767-HELP if you need help. Press “1” for technical assistance with your Parent Portal account or stay on the line to connect with someone who will try to answer your questions. We do encourage you to continue to check the FAQs on the website as they will be updated frequently.
These are very trying times for everyone and we appreciate all of the kind words of support and encouragement that you have been sharing with our principals, our teachers and our support staff. We are committed to opening school as directed by the Florida Department of Education and equally committed to doing so safely, careful and cautiously. The safety of our students and staff will always be our primary focus and we’re honored to be your educational partners.
William V. Husfelt