IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Update Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Diya Slayton

Elementary School Principal | The Belair-Edison School

Tiffany Halsey

Middle School Principal | The Belair-Edison School

Tiffany Halsey, the principal of Afya Public Charter School, believes that a highly eff...

Sheila Adams

Principal | Tunbridge Public Charter School

Sheila Adams, principal of Tunbridge Public Charter School, is driven by the belief tha...

March 18, 2021

In-Person Learning Resumes 3/19/21: The Belair-Edison School | Brehms Campus

In-person learning resumes tomorrow Friday 3/19/21 at The Belair-Edison School | Brehms Campus for enrolled students in learning pods that have not been impacted by the positive COVID testing this week.

Families whose children are in learning pods that have been impacted by the positive COVID testing this week will not return to in-person learning until Monday 4/12/21. Their 14-day quarantine period ends on 3/30/21 during Spring Break, and the week after Spring Break is a virtual week for the entire school, as previously communicated. Each family that has a child in an impacted learning pod has been contacted. If you did not receive a phone call, then your pod does not have a positive COVID-19 individual.

If a child in an impacted pod has a sibling in another pod that is not impacted, the sibling does not need to quarantine.

The school has been cleaned per City Schools’ Standard Operating Procedure on cleaning and disinfecting school buildings. We will continue to follow all health and safety guidelines provided by City Schools. Asymptomatic pooled testing will take place again next Tuesday and every week. We know this is very hard, but we are doing our absolute best to provide our students with the best possible learning experience we can under very challenging circumstances.

March 17, 2021

The Belair-Edison School | Brehms Campus Closed 3/18/21

Baltimore City Public Schools is closing The Belair-Edison School | Brehms Campus tomorrow, Thursday 3/18/21, after individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in some of their learning pods.

March 10, 2021

Tunbridge | Reopening: Pre-K, 6th, 7th, 8th

March 10, 2021

Dear Tunbridge Families,

On March 1st we began optional in-person learning for our kindergarten, first and second grade students and we will welcome our third, fourth and fifth graders next Monday, March 15th. What a joy it has been to have small groups of students in our classrooms once again! As expected, Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) just announced its plans for their next phase of in-person learning opportunities. We are now excited to reach out with an update about in-person learning for our pre-kindergarten, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.

Tunbridge will welcome our pre-k and middle school students according to the following schedule, which differs from the City Schools schedule:

  • Pre-Kindergarten | Monday, April 12th 
  • 6th Grade | Monday, April 12th
  • 7th and 8th Grade | Monday, April 19th

It is important to note that in-person learning continues to be optional for families. Your family has two options. You may opt in to in-person learning four days per week or remain 100% virtual. Wednesdays will remain fully virtual for all students. For families who choose to remain 100% virtual there may need to be changes to students’ virtual learning day. Additionally, if we have more interest in in-person learning than we can safely accommodate, we may need to consider schedules other than four days of in-person learning for our seventh and eighth graders.

To help us prepare for reopening, we are asking that all our families let us know their choice by Wednesday, March 17th by completing the form linked here: Tunbridge In-Person Learning Intent Form

Our reopening plans will adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and City Schools guidance for safely reopening schools. This includes mandatory mask wearing, frequent handwashing, social distancing, proper ventilation, creating small cohorts of students, and health screening and testing. Doing so, we can safely accommodate in-person learning for approximately 40% of our students. City Schools has detailed health and safety information on their website. We are also attaching an updated ABI Health + Safety Information document

We will continue to provide you with more information over the next few weeks, and we will hold informational meetings related to in-person learning after Spring Break. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Have a safe and healthy evening,                    
 

Sheila Adams
Principal

March 10, 2021

The Belair-Edison School | Reopening: Pre-K, 6th, 7th, 8th

March 10, 2021

Dear BE Families,

On March 1st we began optional in-person learning for our kindergarten, first and second grade students at our Brehms Campus, and we will welcome our third, fourth and fifth graders next Monday, March 15th. What a joy it has been to have small groups of students in our classrooms once again! As expected, Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) just announced its plans for their next phase of in-person learning opportunities. We are now excited to reach out with an update about reopening the Brendan Campus | Middle School for our sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, as well as pre-k at the Brehms Campus | Elementary School.

The Belair-Edison School will welcome our pre-k and middle school students according to the following schedule, which differs from the City Schools schedule:

  • Pre-Kindergarten | Monday, April 19th 
  • 6th Grade | Monday, April 19th
  • 7th and 8th Grade | Monday, April 26th

It is important to note that in-person learning continues to be optional for families. Your family has two options. You many opt in to in-person learning four days per week or remain 100% virtual. Wednesdays will remain fully virtual for all students. For families who choose to remain 100% virtual there may need to be changes to students’ virtual learning day. Additionally, if we have more interest in in-person learning than we can safely accommodate, we may need to consider schedules other than four days of in-person learning for our sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

To help us prepare for reopening, we are asking that all our families let us know their choice by Friday, March 19th by completing the form linked here: The Belair-Edison School In-Person Learning Intent Form. (Pre-K families: please complete this form even if you completed a survey in January.)

Our reopening plans will adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and City Schools guidance for safely reopening schools. This includes mandatory mask wearing, frequent handwashing, social distancing, proper ventilation, creating small cohorts of students, and health screening and testing. Doing so, we can safely accommodate in-person learning for approximately 40% of our students. City Schools has detailed health and safety information on their website. We are also attaching an updated ABI Health + Safety Information document

We will continue to provide you with more information over the next few weeks, and we will hold informational meetings related to in-person learning after Spring Break, the week of April 5th. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Be Well,                

Tiffany Halsey
Principal
Middle School | Brendan Campus     

Diya Slayton
Principal
Elementary School | Brehms Campus

February 3, 2021

District Delayed Reopening

Earlier this morning, City Schools announced it was delaying its reopening of traditional school buildings for optional in-person learning from February 16th to March 1st. Students in traditional schools in grades K-2nd will start on March 1st and students in grades 3rd-5th will start on March 15th. 

We remain on track to follow our reopening schedule. In our January 14th letter to families, ABI’s schools—The Belair-Edison School and Tunbridge Public Charter School—announced that we would reopen on March 1st for students in grades K-2nd and then March 15th for students in grades 3rd-5th. 

Later this week, principals will share their initial plans for in-person and virtual learning that will go into effect March 1st. Principals will also be scheduling informational meetings for families in the coming days and weeks. 

Families should continue to expect updates on our reopening plans for Pre-K and middle school students in early March.

Please reach out to your school principal with any additional questions.

January 20, 2021

Health & Safety Information | Schools Reopening 2021

The Belair-Edison School and Tunbridge Public Charter School will open our doors to students whose families have chosen in-person learning four days per week (Wednesdays remain an asynchronous learning day at home) on the following schedule:

March 1, 2021: Grades K - 2nd  •  March 15, 2021: Grades 3rd - 5th 

Our schools will adhere to guidance provided by Baltimore City Public School System (City Schools) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) related to all health and safety issues. City Schools has provided an FAQ answering many questions families have about returning to in-person school. In addition, City Schools has published a Health & Safety Guide (Standard Operating Procedures or SOP) for in-person learning. You will see these items referenced below. These procedures are comprehensive and are regularly updated by Baltimore City School System. 

This ABI Health & Safety Information document highlights some of the key questions parents asked in our surveys related to health and safety and indicates where in the City Schools SOP parents can find answers. In some cases we have provided information specific to our school buildings. This information is meant to help families make better informed decisions about returning to school for in-person learning. Survey decisions are due Friday, January 22, 2021.  

In the coming days and weeks, we will update this document to include information about scheduling and programming, both in-person and virtual.

Health and Safety

Vaccinations

Maryland entered into Phase 1B, which includes “Education sector (K-12 teachers and support staff in schools)” on January 18th. There are different pathways available for staff to get vaccinated, including through the Maryland State Government and through partnerships City Schools has with Johns Hopkins Medicine. Please see the links in the column to the right.

Vaccination Schedule Baltimore City

City Schools Partnership with JHU

JHM to Provide COVID-19 Vaccines to BCPSS Employees

Safety Protocols

Our schools will follow guidelines from the CDC and the Health & Safety Guide / Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) from City Schools. Here are some highlights: 

  • Health screening including temperature check upon entry for all staff, students and visitors every day.
  • Mandatory mask wearing for all students, staff, and everyone in the buildings at all times.
  • Face shields and gloves for all staff.
  • Learning groups or classroom pods to allow for limited contact.
  • Classrooms set up with student work spaces 6 feet apart, allowing approximately 12-14 students in our elementary classrooms. Desk shields will be provided in some cases to support social distancing.
  • Students will have an individual set of school supplies that will remain in the building and will not be shared.
  • Social distancing will be practiced at all times including lunch and recess.
  • Classrooms will be stocked with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, and handwashing routines/schedules established. 
  • Entry to our buildings will be very limited and carefully monitored so staff, visitors, and students can be properly screened each day. 
  • We will be closed for in-person learning on Wednesdays while buildings are deep cleaned.
  • Clear signage upon entry and exit of the buildings, throughout the hallways, in bathrooms, in every classroom, and on floors/stairs will be installed to reinforce social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and other requirements.

Baltimore City Schools Standard Operating Procedures 

Baltimore City Public Schools Health Screening guidance

Air Quality

All classrooms used for instruction in our elementary schools will have Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA air purifiers. 

At The Belair-Edison School | Elementary/Brehms Campus, which has central heating and air conditioning, we’ve upgraded our filters to the CDC recommended MERV 13.

At Tunbridge Public Charter School, which does not have central heating and air conditioning, window unit air conditioner filters will be cleaned monthly. 

When possible, windows will be opened to allow for fresh air to circulate in all buildings. 

Baltimore City Schools SOP (See page 32)

Cleaning

The City Schools SOP has detailed guidelines about cleaning. Our schools will adhere to these guidelines and protocols. We are increasing custodial staffing to ensure there is increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch points/surfaces throughout the day. Crews will also clean each of our buildings at the end of each day, when staff is no longer present. On Wednesdays, all learning will be at-home so our buildings can be deep cleaned. 

Baltimore City Schools SOP (See page 29 and Appendix F) 

Health Screening, Tracing and Testing

We will adhere to guidance provided by City Schools related to health screening, tracing, and responding to a confirmed COVID-19 case or COVID-19-like-illness and COVID-19 testing.

Each of our buildings will have a Wellness Room. (See page 17 in SOP for specifics about Wellness Room.)

City Schools is piloting a COVID-19 testing program through a partnership with the State of Maryland, Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center, and the University of Maryland Pathology Associates. On-site testing will be conducted by expert medical staff and free of charge to eligible participants. Please see the link in the column to the right. (See page 16 for specifics about the partnership.)

Baltimore City Schools SOP (See Page 12-18)    

Guidance for Visitors

Please see the details in the City Schools SOP regarding visitors. See link in the column to the right. 

Baltimore City Schools SOP (See Page 25) 

School Tour

Interested families will have the opportunity to tour our schools in February. More information will be coming about dates and times for this visitation. We will also be posting pictures of our classroom setups in Classroom Parent communications. 

January 19, 2021

City Schools Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As ABI prepares to open our buildings on March 1st to students in K-5th that are opting in to in-person learning, we have received many questions about health and safety. For starters, please review the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from the City Schools website. School specific questions will be answered ASAP this week in an ABI FAQ, before the survey decision deadline on Friday, January 22nd. Please reach out to your principal directly with additional questions.

https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/safety-procedures

January 14, 2021

Reopening of Schools

Dear Families,

City Schools just announced its plans for reopening traditional schools for some students (K-5th, 9th, and 12th). Initially, they will open in two phases, one beginning on February 16th and the other beginning on March 1st. The Belair-Edison School and Tunbridge Public Charter School will reopen in the district’s phase two, beginning on March 1st. Our decision to reopen was made with input and guidance from City Schools, from our principals, and from the Afya Baltimore governing board and staff. 

City Schools made us aware of this reopening decision very recently, and we believe we need additional time to effectively communicate with our school communities and to plan and prepare for the reopening of our schools. Therefore, we have chosen to begin our reopening on March 1st, rather than February 16th. 

Several factors have informed this decision to reopen our schools. First and foremost, we have a high degree of confidence that we can open our schools for this group of our students and staff by March 1st in a way that is safe for everyone. We will be specifically outlining these safety plans over the coming days and weeks. The plans will adhere to CDC and district guidelines for safely reopening schools. Our schools will be ready to open, and they will be safe. 

On March 1st, we will open our doors to students in grades K - 2nd and on March 15th to students in grades 3rd - 5th. We can safely accommodate in-person learning for approximately 60% of students in these grade bands. Your family has two options. You many opt in to in-person learning four days per week or remain 100% virtual. For families who choose to remain 100% virtual there may need to be changes to their virtual learning day. Wednesdays will remain fully virtual for all students.

At this time, the district has not announced plans for bringing back students in grades 6th - 8th for in-person learning, though we believe this will be reviewed in March. Our schools will adhere to the district timeline for middle school grades. 

The decision to begin to reopen schools is also about the health and safety of our students and the impact virtual learning has had on them academically and socially/emotionally. We know many of our students are struggling. Tuesday’s Baltimore Sun article about reopening said, “For students in second grade through fifth grade, 55% failed at least one class compared with 30% in 2019. Nearly two in five students in primary grades had failed a subject. Most alarming, [Dr. Santelises] said, was that 68% of ninth graders failed a class.” 

We believe our schools have done an excellent job with our virtual learning programming. But we also know that our students are not engaging at high enough rates, are not attending often enough, and in many cases are truly struggling to keep up academically. The social/emotional impact is clear in the student survey results from prior to Winter Break. Across the three ABI campuses, 628 students in 3rd - 8th grade completed the survey with the following results:

  • 40 percent of students felt frustrated frequently or almost always.
  • 47 percent of students said going to school online feels hard.
  • 25 percent of students said going to school online feels “like a way I do not learn well.”
  • 85 percent of students miss school a lot or sometimes. (54 percent miss it a lot). 
  • 45 percent of students who miss school miss being with their friends the most. 

Over the days and weeks ahead, our principals will be regularly communicating with families with specific details about reopening. We will release an FAQ early next week with the most commonly asked questions and concerns to help with your decision making. We realize this is a challenging decision for our families. 

The FAQ will address, as best we can:

  • What the in-person school day will be like.
  • How the virtual school day will be impacted for those choosing to remain at home.
  • Our process for assigning seats for in-person learning should the interest in seats outnumber our ability to accommodate them. 

The district will hold a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, January 21st to further inform families. The first and most important piece of information we need from our families is which of you will send your  K - 5th grade children back to school, in person, on March 1st (K - 2nd) and March 15th (3rd - 5th). Please click on this link to take a brief survey which will inform our planning. Survey responses are due by Friday, January 22nd. Our principals will hold additional sessions the first week of February, after we process the results of the survey.

In every way, the last year has been full of turmoil. The social, political, and economic unrest has been relentless and unforgiving. Through it all, day after day, the pandemic has weighed down upon us, sickened us, killed hundreds of thousands, including some of our loved ones, isolated us, divided us. Slowly, surely, steadily we are beginning to emerge from all of this. Partially reopening our schools, in March, is but one small step in the work that our country and our community must take. We are looking forward to it. 

Sincerely, 

Will McKenna
Executive Director

Jeanine Hildreth
Board President

Sheila Adams
Principal, Tunbridge Public Charter School      

Tiffany Halsey
Middle School Principal, The Belair-Edison School      

Diya Slayton
Elementary School Principal, The Belair-Edison School


 


 

November 23, 2020

School Buildings Closed 11/30/20 - 12/4/20

Dear families, 

Please see the message below from Baltimore City Public Schools. In line with this message, the CDC, and Maryland State Department of Health recommendations, we will also be taking extra precautions after the Thanksgiving holiday to ensure our staff remains safe. Our buildings will be closed to the public from Monday, Nov. 30th through Friday, Dec. 4th. Staff will be available to assist students and families as needed either by phone or via Zoom. Please contact your school and leave a message if you need assistance.

_______________________________________ 

Dear City Schools community, 

Thank you for supporting student learning, both virtually and at more than 40 sites across Baltimore City. It has been wonderful to see students’ joyful return to school and hear from families and staff how important in-person learning is to so many students. 

As we all look forward to the Thanksgiving holiday, we know that, for some, the holiday may include travel for family and social gatherings. These gatherings pose transmission risks for students, families, and staff. Because of that risk, City Schools will briefly pause all in-person student learning programs and meal sites the week after Thanksgiving - Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 4. 

During that time, all students will participate in virtual learning. The district office will remain open. However, the Multilingual Enrollment and Support Center and Enrollment, Choice, and Transfer offices will only be supporting families virtually. 

In-person learning and meal sites will reopen on Monday, December 7. 

This step is safe, responsible, and prudent given the circumstances regarding COVID-19 and gatherings that may occur during Thanksgiving weekend. Caution is required, and this brief pause in in-person learning reflects the recommendations of health officials. We know the holidays are typically a time to gather with family and friends, but we encourage you to follow the recommendations of public health experts for this Thanksgiving holiday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maryland State Department of Health have provided guidelines for celebrating the holidays safely. 

Again, all students will participate in virtual learning ONLY during the week of November 30. We look forward to resuming all in-person learning and meal sites on Monday, December 7. Please visit the City Schools website - www.baltimorecityschools.org – and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@baltcityschools) for updates.

Please be safe and take care.

October 5, 2020

Internet Safety Message

Internet usage is regulated by federal and state governments. The law that most impacts schools is called the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the internet. CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools and libraries. 

In our school buildings at Tunbridge and The Belair-Edison School, we provide internet access to students and staff in a number of ways. In each case, a filter is in place to manage usage, ensure safety, and comply with CIPA while on our networks.

In late August of this school year, our schools began distributing new computers to families so students could better access virtual learning. A software program called GoGuardian is installed on each of these new devices. This software allows Afya Baltimore Inc. (ABI), as the operator of our schools, to remotely manage the safety and security of the computer. GoGuardian also allows us to filter and control internet usage, which puts us in compliance with CIPA requirements and ensures that students have a safe experience online. In cases where someone tries to access information via this computer that is inappropriate or unsafe, the filter will block access. Staff at the school will be notified. Families, in turn, will be notified of this occurrence.
 
It is likely that some families were given older devices this past spring and summer that are not yet protected by GoGuardian. In some cases this occurred in the rush to get families computers so they could access virtual learning or before we had this protocol in place. In the coming weeks, we will be transitioning these old computers to management under our GoGuardian system. This transition will take place remotely, but it will initially change how students access their online work. Support staff at each campus will be available to help with this transition.

We encourage families that are using personal devices not distributed by our schools to install similar protections or carefully monitor their child's internet usage to ensure safety.

Practicing safe usage on the internet is a life skill. In our schools, we are teaching students about how to be a good citizen in the digital world. The GoGuardian management system assists our school community in this work. But nothing is better than parents and guardians having conversations with their children about the importance of being safe while online or using social media. In the coming weeks, we'll provide additional information to families so they are better informed in this area. 

Will McKenna
Executive Director 
Afya Baltimore Inc. (ABI)

Safety is our priority!

Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please reach out to your school principal.

Additional resources

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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