Thank you for everything you have done to make this school year as successful as possible. We’re almost half way through and I am so grateful that we’ve been able to open our brick and mortar schools and help our students resume a semblance of “normal.” This year, however, hasn’t been without challenges but it seems that we manage to work together to overcome almost every obstacle placed in our way and I am so grateful for your continued support.
Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran held a press conference to discuss school options for the second semester (which begins here on January 19th, 2021) and to note the dramatic difference between the academic achievement of those learning in brick and mortar schools and those learning remotely. We have seen the same disparity here and have been working hard to alert parents of remote learning students who are failing or are in danger of failing. That’s not to say that all remote learning students are unsuccessful but the reality is that the vast majority of them are not making the same academic progress they did while attending brick and mortar school despite their best efforts and the ongoing support of our hard-working teachers and administrators.
Currently, more than 83 percent of our students are back in our brick and mortar schools and we’re very grateful for the trust placed in us by them and their parents. While we have had some Covid-19 cases at schools, we still are not aware of any transmission from student to adult taking place on our campuses and we believe that’s due, in large part, to our strict and continued adherence to the CDC guidelines and protocols from our trusted partners at the Florida Department of Health in Bay County.
With that in mind, we want to make you aware of an adjustment we’re making for the second semester so you have time to ensure you’ve made the right selection for your student(s). Second semester enrollment options (explained more fully in the graphic attached to this letter) are:
- Enrollment in brick and mortar school (no action needed if that’s where your child currently attends). All BayLink students will be automatically returned to the active rosters at their brick and mortar schools … no action needed if your child is BayLink and will be attending brick and mortar).
- Enrollment in Bay Virtual School (no action needed if that’s where your child currently attends … enrollment information attached if you are interested in applying for spot for the second semester).
- Enrollment in a home school program of your choosing (information attached).
Essentially, the BayLink program is being discontinued at this time but all other options remain the same. BayLink was never intended to take the place of brick and mortar school attendance and we simply don’t have the resources to continue to run a school within a school at each of our campuses. The data shows us, additionally, that many our BayLink students are struggling and we need to return them to school for interventions as the Governor and Commissioner Corcoran outlined last week.
I will be eternally grateful to our teachers, administrators and other school staff who have worked tirelessly to make the BayLink option work for as many students as possible. The reality is, however, that effort is unsustainable going forward and, as the data clearly shows, BayLink is not a great substitute for brick and mortar attendance for many students.
Some online-based remote learning options will still be available for students who are identified as close contacts for a Covid-19 case and need to quarantine during the school year. Using the Canvas platform, those students will be able to access lessons online but will no longer be required to log in for live instruction as that option will no longer be available.
There are no easy solutions during this pandemic and we know there’s no “one-size-fits-all” school answer for our students. We hope that the options you do have, however, will help you make the best decision for your student and we’re pleased to still be able to offer a virtual option in the form of enrollment at either Bay Virtual School or Florida Virtual School.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and the graphic attached. If you have questions, or need more information, we encourage you to visit the “Second Semester Options” page on our website at www.bay.k12.fl.us , email us at BDSComm@bay.k12.fl.us or call 767-HELP (4357).
We appreciate your continued support during these difficult times and we hope you, and your family members, stay safe and well during the upcoming holidays and beyond.
Superintendent of Schools
Bay District Schools
Second Semester Enrollment Options - Video Presentation
Reopening Plan - Bay District Schools
2020-2021 Second Semester Learning Options
(January 19 - May 28)
OPTION 1: BRICK AND MORTAR
Students attend their regular school to participate in face-to-face instruction with teachers.
• Students in Baylink are expected to report to school for face-to-face instruction on January 19th, if not
enrolled in another option
• Students who are currently enrolled in Bay Virtual School and wish to return to brick and mortar should
notify the school by January 8th
• Students who need to quarantine will utilize Canvas to complete instructional tasks and turn in assignments
• Research shows face-to-face instruction best meets the needs of students
OPTION 2: BAY VIRTUAL SCHOOL
Students, if qualified, will participate online utilizing the Bay Virtual School curriculum.
• Application deadline January 8th, Apply at http://www.bayvirtualschool.com
• Requires a full semester commitment
• Requires parent/quardian support, monitoring, and oversight
• Students are required to meet weekly pacing requirements
• Homes must have reliable internet service and students must have access to computers or laptops
(BVS cirriculum is not supported on phones or tablets)
• Bay Virtual School diploma is awarded to senior who meet graduation requirements
• Students failing must return to brick and mortar or comply with FDOE Emergency Order No. 2020-E0-07
• Questions about BVS? Call 850-767-4377
OPTION 3: HOMESCHOOL
Students participate at home with curriculum chosen by parent/guardian.
• Parent/Guardian is responsible for all learning support
• Parent/Guardian must maintain a student work portfolio
• Virtual courses are available through FLVS FLEX, https://www.flvs.net/flex
• Questions about homeschool? Call 850-767-4122
Click here to view the Bay Virtual School and Homeschool FAQ
Questions about the best option for your student?
Call 850-767-HELP or BDScomm@bay.k12.fl.us