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ENd of Year Update

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting mandate to end all face-to-face instruction in the Barrow County School System has had a profound impact on the daily lives of our students, families, and employees. In these uncertain times, we know that many of you have questions about plans for the remainder of the school year. We continue to deliberately work through each issue, but decisions have been made regarding a number of school-related topics. We want to share those below. More information will be sent as other decisions are made and plans are finalized.

Last Day of Teaching & Learning

BCCS will continue Learning from Home through May 20, the last day of school. Students and staff are not in a traditional school setting, but teaching and learning is continuing every school day through digital content that is aligned to Georgia standards.

Final Date to Assign New Content:
Seniors: May 7, 2020
Students K-11th: May 14, 2020

Final Date to Submit Work:
All students: May 20, 2020

Report Cards:
Electronic report cards will be available by 5 p.m. on May 22, 2020

Four-Day Week for New Assignments

Beginning the week of March 16, BCSS implemented a flexible schedule every Friday through May 15. Students will receive no new assignments on Fridays. Instead, the day can be used to review material taught, make up work, redo assignments, or participate in student activities (such as book clubs, creative offerings, extracurricular offerings, etc.).

Help for Students who are Struggling

Although our classrooms look different these days, teachers continue to provide interventions and supplemental support to students who are struggling. It is more important than ever that parents help students stay connected with teachers in order to take advantage of their help.

Students may experience emotional upheaval or social challenges during this trying time, too. BCSS counselors continue to work with students in need. If a parent has concerns about his or her child, they can reach out to the teacher, counselor, or school to request support.

Assessments

Assessment is a critical element of teaching and learning that also has been impacted by COVID-19. Barrow County teachers assess how students are doing through daily assignments, projects and quizzes, as well as tests that measure students’ growth and learning throughout a class. Here’s an assessment overview to answer some of the questions you might have.

All state-required spring and summer testing has been canceled. This includes GKIDS, Georgia Alternate Assessments, Georgia Milestones End of Grade (EOG) and End of Course (EOC) tests.

There will be no final exams, per guidance of State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

A teacher may decide to assign a culminating project that covers material from January-March 12th. Projects will be developed by teachers and course teams.

College Board has announced that AP testing will take place online. Students will take a 45-minute exam online at home for each AP course exam for which they are registered. The exam questions will be designed and administered in a way to protect the integrity of the exam, incorporating a range of digital security tools.

SAT

If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, College Board will provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.

ACT

When ACT postponed the April 4 test date, registered students received an email from ACT providing instructions for rescheduling on a future ACT test date at no charge. The next test dates are June 13 and July 18.

Grading

Teachers continue to teach the Georgia Standards of Excellence, and follow the district’s curriculum maps to prevent gaps in learning. Teachers continue to grade student work and provide feedback to ensure that student grades are not negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19. Student work completed during learning from home can only be used to positively impact a student's final grade. We encourage parents to review their student’s progress regularly through the Parent Portal in Infinite Campus.

Standards-based grading and/or feedback will continue with a focus on students mastering their grade level standards. Teachers will use a student’s performance level earned as of March 13, 2020 and may also use student work completed during digital learning to positively impact a student’s final performance level on their report card.

Students who have not submitted assignments for the fourth quarter, will receive the grade earned as of March 13, 2020. Students may continue to submit assignments to improve their average until May 20, 2020. Teachers have the discretion to work with students who may need additional time for grade improvement.

The aforementioned grading practices will be the same for special education students. Additionally, grading practices for special education students will be administered in accordance with IEP compliance, to include classroom assessment accommodations and modifications. Progress on IEP goals will be reported in accordance with IEP compliance rules and regulations.

Dual Enrollment Institutions will communicate their requirements to students and families separately.

Promotion

BCSS wants to be sure that the move to learning from home does not have a negative impact on students. Therefore, we will use the following promotion criteria:

K-8

BCSS will base promotion on a student’s understanding and mastery of the curriculum for his or her grade level. If grade-level retention was being considered for a student before March 13, 2020, a continuation of that discussion may proceed.

Grades continue to be important in determining students’ understanding and mastery of the curriculum. High school teachers will continue to grade assignments and tests, and students must pass their courses to earn Carnegie units to meet Georgia graduation requirements.

Promotion/retention and placement decisions are made by Individual Education Program (IEP) teams for special education students on an individual basis. The IEP team takes into consideration a wide variety of information (grades, assessments, accessibility, modifications and accommodations, etc.) when making decisions about the most appropriate placement of students with IEPs.

Attendance

Teachers are not taking attendance each day; however, they are monitoring which students are participating in digital learning and are reaching out to students who are not completing assignments. All student and staff attendance incentives for this school year were suspended on March 12.

Access and Devices

During the first weeks of Learning from Home in Barrow, BCSS students participated in online learning. Still some families did not have reliable access to devices (computer, tablet, smart phone, etc.) or high-speed internet. Prior to Spring Break, schools began checking out Chromebooks to students whose low participation in digital learning indicated a lack of access to a usable device. The checkout program was designed to assist families identified as having the most need first.

Provision and Distribution of Meals

BCSS has provided meals for students since learning from home started. Our ability to keep this service going is something we must continually assess. Considerations include staff safety, availability of staff and supplies, etc. The district currently is providing both breakfast and lunch, at no cost to the individual, through the federal School Nutrition Program. For complete details on drive-thru and delivery meal options, visit our web page.

End-of-Year Activities

Cap and Gown Distribution—Both high schools will distribute senior items on May 13. See details.

High schools have postponed Prom until a later date possibly in July. As details become available, they will be shared by your local school.

For the Class of 2020, the scheduled graduation ceremonies are not able to be held in a traditional manner. Both high schools are working together to celebrate seniors in some manner on their original graduation dates. We are not planning a virtual graduation at this time. However, the district will make plans to hold traditional ceremonies in July if conditions allow. As details become available, they will be shared by your local school.

Students should request transcripts through gafutures.org, which will process the request and send the document to colleges electronically. Any questions should be directed to the student’s high school.

Retrieving or Returning Belongings

Schools are working on updating their end-of-year processes and will communicate to families when students will be allowed access to the building to pick up personal belongings or return books or other items to the school.

Refunds

If your child has a School Bucks Lunch account balance, that balance will roll over to next year. To request a refund on that balance, parents need to submit a refund request form and return it to Lesa Wilson at lesa.wilson@barrow.k12.ga.us. Please allow up at least two weeks for refund checks to be processed and mailed. Since our school buildings are closed, we have limited access to processing checks on a daily basis at this time.
 
For students who paid for future school events before March 12th, schools are currently working through the various situations to determine if and when refunds might be possible. You should receive communication from your school in the next few weeks.

Registration

We are currently updating our registration process to accept required documents digitally. Once this is finalized, we will provide updates and timelines for both Kindergarten registration and Pre-K Lottery applications. We will share more information once it is available.

Returning to School Next Year

At this time, BCSS looks forward to students returning for the first day of school as scheduled on Tuesday, August 4th. However, we will follow the guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Governor, and Georgia Department of Education as the situation continues to evolve.

Concern or question?

Please let us know.

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Additional resources

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention