Though statistics show individuals are safer from the risk of COVID inside our schools where protocols are strict, we could soon reach a tipping point where the number of employee absences would make it impossible for us to safely supervise students. This would result in a temporary return to eLearning.
· The community can help us stay on track by following recommended precautions outside of school: wear a mask when in public, avoid large gatherings, frequently wash or sanitize hands and high-touch surfaces, stay home and away from others when sick, and seek medical advice when running a fever, developing a new or worsening cough, experiencing shortness of breath, or losing the sense of taste or smell.
· Do NOT send students to school who are symptomatic of any contagious disease and follow DHEC instructions on COVID isolations and quarantines.
As COVID cases in Greenville County and the State of South Carolina continue to rise, Greenville County Schools is asking students, parents, and the greater community to help ensure the return to in-person school in the district is not derailed by rising numbers. GCS is asking all citizens to follow DHEC guidelines to help reverse the current increase: wear a mask when in public, avoid large gatherings, frequently wash or sanitize hands and high-touch surfaces, stay home and away from others when sick, and seek medical advice when running a fever, developing a new or worsening cough, experiencing shortness of breath, or losing the sense of taste or smell.
Thanks to the cooperation of employees and students, who have complied with established COVID-19 protocols while at school, the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 remains lower in our schools than in the community as a whole. In fact, based on statistical analyses using DHEC community spread data and internal GCS reporting, the risk of getting COVID-19 for those who attend or work at a public school in Greenville County is about half the rate of the community as a whole. Still, the Superintendent cautioned today that even if schools continue to be a less risky environment than the surrounding community, there is a point at which the district could be forced to return to 100% eLearning if the number of employees and substitutes available to work was insufficient for the proper supervision and instruction of students.
“In addition to normal employee absences, we are currently averaging over 150 vacancies each day as a result of isolation due to a positive COVID diagnosis (avg. 40) or quarantining due to direct exposure or possible symptoms (avg. 110),” said Superintendent Burke Royster. “By comparison, 29 employees were in isolation and 66 in quarantine on November 1. We want to keep schools open for in-person instruction, move forward with our plan to return middle school students to full-time face-to-face, and increase high school in-person attendance, but we need the cooperation of the community.”
Teachers who quarantine or experience only mild COVID symptoms can teach remotely from home, but schools must still have a responsible adult in each classroom to provide supervision and ensure students stay on task. With a significant number of substitutes who have refused all offered assignments this year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fill in for absent teachers. Media specialists, school counselors, instructional coaches, and administrators are all being called on to help supervise classes, but at the expense of their usual duties and responsibilities.
Earlier this week, principals were instructed to have teachers prepare eLearning lessons in case a spike in cases over the upcoming holidays required GCS to revert temporarily to 100% eLearning. “We are not planning to go backwards on our Roadmap, nor do we wish to do so,” said Royster, “but it would be irresponsible of us not to prepare for that possibility, given the current trend.”
Attention parents of Virtual 1st-2nd Grade Students:
Under SC Act 142, your child is required to take a pre and post MAP formative assessment at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the 2020 calendar year. In order to take the MAP ELA and MAP MATH assessment, your child must be on site at Bryson Elementary for test administration. Please be aware, that your child will need to attend both dates noted on the Signup below. Day 1 of testing will consist of the MAP ELA assessment, while Day 2 of testing will consist of the MAP MATH assessment. Your child should bring their own Chromebook to Bryson on their testing days. If you are unable to attend the dates on the signup for your child, please be sure to contact our school's testing coordinator, Kristen Jenkins at (864)355-3626, in order to make other arrangements.
On Friday, December 11, 2020, from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m., GCS Virtual Program students in Grades 3-8 are invited to take the SC ACT-142 TE21 Post-assessments at their home-based schools. Virtual students who participated in the SC ACT-142 Pre-assessments during LEAP Week (August 17-21) are encouraged to contact their home-based schools and RSVP to take the post-assessments on December 11th. Virtual students who participate in the post-assessments at their home-based schools on December 11th will not be counted absent from their virtual classes that day. On December 11th, virtual students must bring their Chromebooks and provide their own transportation to and from the home-based school location. Please plan to drop students off and pick them up in the front carline. Drop off will occur between 7:45 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., and pick up will begin at 10:45 a.m. Please contact Kristen Jenkins with any questions at (864)355-3626.
The Bryson Elementary Boulder is a great way to share a special message for a Bryson Bear student or staff member! Anything from Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Good Luck, or to Thank a Teacher, etc..
For this event, patrons will need to mention BES for the sale to qualify.
Starting today, Tuesday, November 17th through December 1st all sales with Just Your Look by Crystal Corr will go towards our Bears!
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|Despite school looking very different this year, BES PTA still needs YOU to be able to succeed!
Whether your Bear is attending in-person or enrolled in the Virtual Program, we're here to support our families. We can only accept online payments for membership at this time through MemberHub (link below.) There is a small fee for paying online and the price per member is $5.
The great thing about the PTA is ANYONE can join - grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors - anyone who wants to support BES and our Bears are welcome to join! We appreciate your support!
We are so proud of all of our Bears for persevering this week! Way to go! Thank you to all of our staff for everything they do daily to make sure our Bears excel and succeed!
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Link to sign up for our PTA: https://brysonelementarypta.memberhub.store/
Box Tops for Education: https://www.boxtops4education.com/
Publix Partner Information: Link for BES: https://corporate.publix.com/community/corporate-campaigns/publix-partners/SC/888033600
Link to make an account or sign in to register account with BES: https://www.publix.com/myaccount/register
Link to BES PTA's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/brysonelempta/
If you haven't "liked" our page or don't follow us already, please do so as we share information here often.
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USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through The End of the 2020-2021 School Year
Due to a recent USDA summer foodservice waiver extension, Greenville County Schools has been approved by the SC State Department of Education to provide free meals to all students until the end of the school year. This extension allows all students in our district to receive free meals regardless of their meal status during this time. This applies to meals served to students when they are attending school in person, meals provided to students for days they are participating in eLearning and not in attendance, and meals served to students attending the Virtual Program. A link to the USDA announcement can be found here.
This waiver extension also allows us to provide free meals to all children 18 years and younger in our community, even if they are not a Greenville County Schools student. On Mondays from 4-5 pm, Greenville County Schools will be providing free meals to children 18 years and younger from the 15 district locations currently providing meals to students attending the Virtual Program. Five days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches will be provided.
Meals may be distributed to adults when children are not present if the adult is able to demonstrate proof of the child’s identity. Valid forms of identification may include, but are not limited to the GCS Backpack FANS Meal Card, school identification card, school report card, child’s passport, birth certificate, government-issued child identification card, or any document proving parent/guardian identity and relationship to the child, such as an adoption decree, doctor, clinic, or hospital record, religious record, or daycare center record. A listing of the 15 district locations is below.
1. AJ Whittenberg Elementary
2. Berea Elementary
3. Blue Ridge Middle
4. Bryson Middle
5. Fisher Middle
6. Fountain Inn Elementary
7. Greer Middle School
8. Grove Elementary
9. Mauldin Elementary
10. Northwest Middle
11. Northwood Middle
12. Sevier Middle
13. Sterling School
14. Sue Cleveland Elementary
15. Welcome Elementary
5K and 1st Grade Registration for 2021-2022 - 5K and first grade registration will be held December 1 - 4, 2020. Parents will have two ways to enroll their child this year, online via BackPack or at the school. Elementary schools may begin entering students in PowerSchool for the 2021-22 school year on December 1, 2020. The 2021-22 School Year PowerSchool enrollment for newly registered students should be complete by Friday, January 8, 2021. Specific instructions for PowerSchool entry will be disseminated via the listserv. NOTE: students who are currently enrolled in a GCS 4K or 5K program do not need to register. (English; Spanish) Click here for the district Kindergarten and First Grade Registration link.
Also, the GCS Virtual Program will be available for grades 5K-12 in 2021-2022. An application will be posted on the GCS website in early spring of 2021. Students must be registered or enrolled in Greenville County Schools to apply for the Virtual Program.
We have a new Attendance Website! Find answers to any questions you may have regarding your child's attendance. You can also submit a parent note online, or upload a doctor's note. This link can also be found under the Parent Tab on the Parents Home Page.