Staff Information (COVID-19)

 April 3, 2020

Staff, 
Early this week all the superintendents in the state met with the Governor on a conference call and he informed us that he should be letting us know if we will be extending our school closures after the 10th of April by early next week.  
As you all know many of us are in uncharted territory and are learning just as much as some of our students at this point.  Again, I want to thank you all for everything you do for our district, staff, students and each other.  I am excited to hear all the virtual meetings going forward in our district.  Thank you for your support and patience with yourselves, each other and our administration as we forge through the rest of the school year.
We will continue to be cognizant of your safety and the safety of our community by taking all precautions that we can. Please be safe and healthy. 
Corrina L. Guardipee-Hall ED.S.
Browning Public Schools
Superintendent

 April 1, 2020
Staff,
Thank you to all administrators and directors who have worked so hard putting in the time for our district staff and students to provide the services needed for us to continue operating. Thank you principals for working with your staff to help them move to paper packets and online educational opportunities. I am so impressed in all your planning, and virtual options that you and your staff are working on. 
Thank you also to the certified staff for providing the paper packets, online options and contacting your students to let them know you care.  Thank you to all classified staff that are volunteering to help in our essential areas, wow!
Thank you ALL for helping us create safe, clean buildings, for working diligently to feed and provide our children in the community the education and necessities they so desperately deserve; from the Food Service, Maintenance, FIT team, Finance, Human Resource, Curriculum, Assessment, Security, Counseling and Prevention, Blackfeet Language and Transportation departments!
Thank you also to the School Board for guiding us and wanting us all to be protected and provided for; all staff and students.
You are all the greatest, I am so blessed to work with such amazing people! Please be safe!
Corrina Guardipee-Hall ED.S.
Superintendent 

STAFF NOTICE March 23, 2020

1) Payroll will be this Friday, March 27, 2020, if you have a paper check they will be available at the admin office from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Only one person will be allowed in at a time, (this might be a good time to do direct deposit).

2) The principals met this morning (in shifts) and have had professional development on Virtual Meetings through google meetings.  They will be contacting you this week to set up those meetings, i.e. grade level, department, component, starr, SLT, DLT, committees, etc.  You will then have the capability of meeting virtually with them and also with your students.

3) Facebook groups for your classrooms - If you have a group messenger for your classrooms, please only provide information as a whole class. Do not send information about individual students or allow your parents to ask you questions about their child.  All information about individual students should only be shared with that student and/or their parents/guardians.  Your building principal will give you guidelines to follow for communication with your parents.  You may be required to communicate with them by email, mail and by phone. When using your personal phone please put in *67 before calling and your number will come up private.  

Remember if you have internet or phone issues that the district does have jet packs that you can purchase via payroll deduction for $30 for the jet pack and $40 dollars a month to help you with the internet, this is your responsibility to set up. If you are needing this service please access the helpdesk@bps.k12.mt.us and Mr. Everett Holm will respond to you. 

4) Please look at the attached MOU with both Classified and Certified unions and your responsibility as a BPS District #9 employee.  Remember Classified staff, this is a good week to volunteer, you will receive annual leave hour per hour for the time you volunteer, not to exceed 40 hours.

5) Certified Staff if you are sending out online options for your elementary students, please provide a step by step guide for parents...please do not just send websites and expect our parents to know what you are asking them to do.

6) Each school will be sending out notices for their building to both parents and staff on 3:00 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday, March 26, 2020.  

7) The next email will be March 15, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

Corrina L. Guardipee-Hall ED.S.
Browning Public Schools
Superintendent
"In the course of making decisions, ask yourself what is best for kids!"

 

March 21, 2020 

Browning Public School Staff:

Good afternoon and thank you for being patient with our messaging and information regarding our response to COVID-19.  I understand that everyone is anxious right now. We will do our best to continue to provide current and relevant information.  

We are going to shift to a more predictable system of updates

As we all get adjusted to our new normal with schools closed, we want to help you plan on a communications schedule so you know when you will get updated information. 

  • District level communications will come out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by 3 p.m.
  • School level communications will come out on Tuesdays and Thursdays by 3 p.m. 

  • We will be sharing this schedule with parents in our next email update on Friday 3/26/20 as well.

All Classified Staff March 23-27: 

We will operate the same way we did this past week, all staff do not need to work, if you volunteer you will be given additional annual leave: Custodians - will work in custodian field this must be taken seriously to deep clean ALL buildings.  Cooks - will work in the kitchens, Maintenance in their areas, Essential staff at admin and Head secretaries in their field, all other classified staff will work helping prepare food, making packets, copying and/or delivering. Subs can still be utilized in areas of food service, custodial department, and security.

Your BPS Google/Email Account is your first essential school supply 

We are sending this email to staff today because we need you to check to make sure you can log into your bps.k12.mt.us google account now.

If you don’t know how to log into your bps.k12.mt.us google account contact the help desk at helpdesk@bps.k12.mt.us

We anticipate that you may need to participate in a variety of virtual meetings: virtual staff meetings, virtual PLC or grade level meetings, virtual professional learning, and possibly even virtual IEP meetings.  Please get your google account set up if you have not already done so. Virtual meeting requests through google will show up on your google calendar. Please make sure you are able to navigate the basics of your District google account. If you need assistance with this, please email the help desk at helpdesk@bps.k12.mt.us

Social Distancing

The best advice for all of us is to stay at home, unless absolutely necessary. The new guidelines for who may be considered a close contact of a COVID-19 case are someone who was within 6 feet for 10 minutes. If you choose to go to school to retrieve things, please limit your time in the building and limit your time interacting with peers in the building.

If you are feeling sick, please do not access any of our schools or office buildings at this time. Please ask a colleague to pick up your essential belongings and drop them on your doorstep.

Expectations for the week of 3/23/20

SCHEDULE for Monday 3/23/20 OPTIONAL pick up for staff if you need anything.

By Wednesday we will have a schedule out for families to pick up/or deliving packets Thursday and Friday. Please make packets that will be for the week of the 30th also just in case.

We may be providing staff and families the option to come in and get their students’ personal belongings and their packets/IPADs and or Chromebooks on Thursday with staggered times: each Principal will have their own plan. 

Principals please work with staff to help prepare packets and get everything ready for on-line learning opportunities. 

What am I expected to do the week of 3/23/20?

Your main objective on Monday 3/23/20 is to get yourself setup for virtual work in your own home. This includes:

  • Ensure you have a phone, tablet, or laptop that can connect to a virtual meeting

  • Ensure you have access to your Google (@bps.k12.mt.us) Account to attend virtual meetings

  • Read your email for messages from your principal and department leader about schedules for virtual meetings next week.

  • During the week of March 23-27, consider connecting virtually with your students, just to keep them engaged. This may be done in a variety of ways: an email, a google form where you collect their thoughts or a shared google doc.  The intention of this connection is NOT to provide any instruction nor assessment. It is a quick check-in so that students know that we are thinking about them and you are establishing a virtual connection.

    During the week of March 23-27, the Curriculum Department will have some basic and general learning activities posted on our website for all parents to access for all grades PreK-12.  These activities will be designed to keep students engaged in learning by reviewing concepts and content that students have already been exposed to; they are not intended to replace what they may be missing in your classroom.  During this week, we would not expect to introduce new content and would not expect any assignments to be graded, rather we expect you to use the time to plan, prep, PD, and PLC for possible continued on-line learning. Details on those expectations and opportunities will come to you Monday.

Support for students on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan

Special education teachers, related service providers, will work to gather materials and develop support activities to allow students to maintain skills with regard to IEP goals. These materials will be in addition to any educational materials that are already provided by general education teachers and will be sent to parents by 3-27-20.

We will not be holding any IEP or 504 meetings during the week of March 23-27.  If you have meetings scheduled, please connect with parents to reschedule those meetings.  We will need to consider virtual meetings for any rescheduled or future meetings. 

Our Special Education Director will work with Special Education staff and the Curriculum Director to put together possible student learning resources.  You will be able to add other ideas/links for resources. The focus areas will include Reading, Writing, Math, Self-Help/Independence, Social/Emotional/ Behavioral. Again, please watch for additional expectations.  

Meals for youth - open to ANY youth under 18 (even private school or homeschool students, or students from other school districts)

This is the information we will share with families tomorrow afternoon via email and we will be placing it on posters on the front entrance of every school.

  • During this school closure period, our school lunch and breakfast program is open to all youth for FREE.  When possible the student needs to be at the bus for meal pickup per USDA regulations (subject to change as waivers received).

  • The following sites will have meals Breakfast 8:30-10:00 Lunch 11:00-12:30.


    • Elderly Homes and surrounding Areas: 

      • North Flat Iron

      • South Flat Iron

      • North Country Estates

      • South Country Estates

      • 6000 Block

    • Post Office and surrounding Areas:

      • North west Browning

      • North East Browning

      • Tele Tubby

    • Teacher Trailer Courts

    • Easter egg Homes and surrounding Areas

      • Flintstone

      • Tri Co Homes

    • Knots Landing and surrounding areas:


      • Knots Landing

      • Depot Coulee

    • BlackFoot

    • Babb

    • Fema

    • Starr School

    • Bear Paw

    • Last Starr

    • Skate Park and the surrounding areas:


      • North Glacier Homes

      • South Glacier Homes

      • College Homes

      • Vet Homes

    • Treatment Center and the surrounding areas:


      • Hospital Housing

      • Mountain View

      • Death Row

      • Horse Shoe Loop

      • Nurse Creek Road

    • Swimming Pool and the surrounding areas:


      • Moccasin Flat

      • 700 Block

      • 600 Block

    • Browning Middle School Bus lineup and surrounding areas:

    • China Town

    • 1200,1300,1400

 When picking up meals at a school site or a bus stop, please maintain a 6 foot distance from others waiting in line for meals.

Food Allergies: Parents or guardians, please examine the food  for those students who have food allergies. We will identify lunches that have peanuts, but we recognize that there are other food allergies.  If your student has known food allergies, please check over the food that has been delivered for any potential problems. If you have questions about how the food was prepared or specific ingredients, please contact our food service department at 338-7952  lynnek@bps.k12.mt.us

Staff members who are not getting our District communications

If you are not getting the emails we are sending to staff or you have colleagues that have stated they are not getting the messages, there are a few options:

  1. Check your Junk and Spam folders and make sure you have not previously marked a district email as spam. This could be impacting which email messages you see.

  2. Send an email to helpdesk@bps.k12.mt.us with a short description of what you are not receiving and we will get you on your distribution groups.

Laptops 

If you did not bring your Macbook and/or iPad home - you will need to visit your building long enough to retrieve those items. Be sure to retrieve your charging cables as well.

We will continue and do our best to support you remotely. Continue utilizing helpdesk@bps.k12.mt.us to start the help response.

Internet

All certified staff will be expected to be online for conferencing, posting to Google Classroom, preparing packets and other duties in our new virtual world. All staff will be expected to have internet access at their own expense as you will have the option to be in your building as one of the options..

Options

  1. Use your existing internet connection. You are set.

  2. If you are in an area serviced by 3 Rivers, call 3 Rivers to establish service, let them know you are a teacher so they will give your installation priority.

  3. If you are in an area serviced by Charter/Spectrum (cable), contact them and tell them you are an educator to establish service.

  4. Verizon jetpack service - the district can provide you a jetpack at our cost. The jetpacks are unlimited data so you do not need to worry about overage charges.
    Verizon jetpack cost is:
      $30 for the JetPack device
      $40 per month for the service.
    The business office can arrange for payroll deduction for the duration of the closure.

  5. Come into your building. The routine would be for you to use your key card and code to gain entry, go to your classroom, perform your duties, use the internet, etc. and then exit the building when you are done. Social distancing will be maintained by you remaining in your classroom, walk the opposite side of the hall if you encounter another staff member. There will be minimal staff inside of the buildings throughout the closure period.

Masking your phone number when calling parents

If you need to return calls from parents and community members please don’t  share your personal cell phone number, follow this simple step:

  • Dial *67 and then dial the number you need to call 

  • This only works to mask cell phone calls

The person you are calling may see a message on their phone that says UNKNOWN, No Caller ID, or Blocked Caller. We will be letting parents know that they may see this on calls from our school staff because we cannot make calls from our school phones at this point. 

As we get ready for next week, please remember to take care of yourself first so that you can be present virtually for your students. There will certainly may be issues we encounter in our procedures and you will be a part of working out solutions for your building. Thank you in advance for your patience and being a positive member of our school community as we begin this process for students and each other.

 Thank you for reading,