Bertrand Community School listed under “directed Health Measures”

According to Dr. Dennis Shipp, superintendent of Bertrand Community School, as of April 1, the Two River’s Health Department has listed the school district under the “Directed Health Measures” edict. Because of this, only Bertrand School ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL will be allowed into the Bertrand Community School building.

In addition, a case of coronovirus in Buffalo county has been identified as community-transmitted, according to Two Rivers. This means that the health officials aren’t able to trace how or where the person was infected.

Directed Health Measure have now been put in place for all counties in the Two Rivers Public Health Department which includes: Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps counties.

This means for those counties, there will be forceable limits on public gatherings. It also requires restaurants and bars to close dining areas and move to take out service, delivery, and/or curbside services only until further notice. Schools can have staff in the buildings BUT NO STUDENTS. The measures do not apply to daycares.

Two Rivers Statement

Press Release from Dr. Dennis Shipp, Superintendent Bertrand Community School

Continuity of Learning Plan

March 30, 2020

Parents,

Recently, I was required to submit a Continuity of Learning Planfor Bertrand Community School.  This plan describes the temporary actions that support the continuation of teaching and learning for all students due to the interruption of normal school attendance operation.  This form was requested/expected by the Department of Education Commissioner’s Office. 

From listening to Commissioner Blomstedt, it has been apparent that the Department of Education EXPECTS education to continue even though we sent the students home.  Each district has its own unique plan, however, they will all include teaching and learning.  For high school students, the plan includes a “continuation” of their course work.  At this time the students in grades 7-12 are only being asked to meet 40% for each of their core classes (Math, Science, Social Science, Language Arts) and less than 40% for classes that are non-core classes (electives.)   Since the students will only be meeting 2 out of the 5 days per week the amount of work will also be 60% less than normal.   The students can communicate with their teachers through several digital methods to answer any questions they may have during the day.  The students in grades K-6 will also meet with students on an abbreviated schedule, but their teachers will still expect education to take place.   In a nutshell, all students are still in school…just not at our facility.

Thank you for understanding that continuing educational opportunities, during this difficult time, are required by the Nebraska Department of Education.  Our dedicated teachers are doing their very best to accommodate every family’s unique needs.  In fact, if any family doesn’t have wi-fi (and hasn’t visited with Mrs. Edgren or Mrs. High) please let the office know as soon as possible!  Several providers are willing to provide students with free Wi-Fi during this time-frame.

I hope this brief explanation will help alleviate any misunderstandings. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Dennis Shipp
Superintendent
Bertrand Community School  

Covid-19 Update

Dear Students, Parents, and Patrons,


COVID 19 has changed how the business of Education is conducted at Bertrand Community School. Our facility has been closed since March 17th• The current recommendation from the Commissioner of Education is for “schools NOT to return to normal operations this school year.” The Governor and Health officials are supportive of this recommendation. At this time, Bertrand Community School facilities will be closed “indefinitely.” As per the NSAA edict, all activities are suspended through May 1 st, This “indefinite” closure of facilities will be reviewed/re-evaluated AFTER April 15th. If there is not a statement from the Governor or Commissioner which indicates they recommend/direct re-opening, our facility will remain indefinitely closed. Please understand, our facility may be closed but the school year is not over and education is still taking place!


We understand that learning must continue to progress and will look different than ALL of us are accustomed to seeing. Our teachers are currently providing enrichment and review by using electronic methodology. This review and enrichment “only” will be very soon changing to a “continuity of learning plan.” We will be providing details of this plan very soon. This plan will include moving from enrichment/review to education and instruction of new material. The staff will be informed that new material may begin being taught beginning March 30th•


This COVID 19 situation is developing and changing rapidly, and conditions are changing daily, hourly, and sometimes by the minute. Please be assured that school administrators are closely monitoring official state and national guidelines from the Nebraska Department of Education, the Governor’s Office, State Health Officials, and the Center for Disease Control. We will continue to monitor this COVID 19 situation and treating safety as our main priority.


As I stated earlier, all school activities are cancelled during our indefinite closure time-frame. The Governor’s recommendation of allowing a maximum of 10 people in a room is being followed. We look forward to being given the “all clear” from State Officials.


Respectfully,
Dr. Dennis C. Shipp
Superintendent
Bertrand Community School

Bertrand JH Quiz Bowl Wins Big at Alma

The Bertrand Junior High Quiz Bowl team had a great day at the Alma Quiz Bowl Meet on Tuesday, March 12, 2020. The tournament began as pool play and then concluded with the top two teams from each pool participating in the championship rounds. Bertrand’s pool included Franklin, Southern Valley, and Wilcox-Hildreth.

They first faced off against Wilcox-Hildreth and won 60 to 15. Second, they won a very close match 30 to 25 against Franklin. In their final match of pool play, the opponent was Southern Valley. They dominated during this match with a final score of 95 to 15. They came out of pool play ranked first in the pool. The championship match was played against Alma. Bertrand tied the match up when the final toss-up question was answered correctly. The team was able to secure the win by answering the bonus correctly! It was definitely a very exciting day for the team. Many team members contributed to the success!

Bertrand Community School District Plan for Coronavirus Outbreak

Parents and Patrons of the Bertrand Community School District:

I want to update you on our district plan regarding the Coronavirus.  As with any contagious illness, we are working closely with Two Rivers Health Department and will follow their guidelines.  Based on those guidelines, staff will be in contact with all appropriate entities as the need arises.  After attending meetings at the NDE and Two Rivers Health level it is becoming obvious that there are no hard fast mandates or edicts coming from either organization that will inform our school when it must close and for how long.  Please bear with all of us as we attempt to navigate this situation.  I plan to communicate with you via One Call Now and other digital media outlets.

Also, many parents have already heard from some of our proactive teachers regarding instructing students, electronically, during the time they are out of school.  I have learned from our school attorney that this plan has legal issues…so any day where we are forced to be at home, instead of at school, due to pandemic conditions, will be considered a “day out of school educationally, whereby there will be no instruction.”  It may be required that these non-educational days be made up after the end of the academic calendar year.

If you suspect your student is ill, we are asking you to keep them home from school.

We encourage you to check out the following resources regarding Coronavirus from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:

Please read below some information and steps we are taking on the local school level:
Q: Who will make a decision to close schools?

A: If an outbreak occurs, and school closures are recommended or ordered, decisions will be made following discussion between the school district and Two Rivers Public Health Department.  We will also consider guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education.  The school district is unable to know if or when individuals are exposed to any illness, which is why we follow guidelines from expert agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our local public health department. Rather than recommending the cancellation of schools and public events, at this time, these agencies are asking people who may have been exposed to the virus to stay home.

Q: How are student absences being handled?

A: All student absences due to illness will be excused with parent confirmation that a child is ill.  The district will not require a doctor’s note to have a student absence excused for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.  We are also suspending all classroom and school-wide perfect attendance awards and incentives (if a school shutdown occurs.)  If your student is home ill, we ask that parents describe the symptoms the student is experiencing (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, etc.) Students are strictly prohibited from attending school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without temperature reducing medication.

District policies governing student absences for reasons other than student illness will continue to be enforced.

Q: Are there any plans to alter or cancel travel, field trips, school dances, etc… due to concerns?

A: There are no recommendations from public health officials at this time for the school district to cancel school events.  According to state and local health officials, students and staff should continue with normal daily activities and practice the same precautions you use during cold and flu seasons.  If a student falls ill during an activity trip, we will follow the same procedure as we would at school, in that we will isolate the student and contact the parent/guardian to pick up the student.

If public health officials recommend that the district cancel events or activities, the school district will comply with that recommendation.  We will use our regular communication systems to share that information with families if it becomes necessary.  Presently, avoiding large groups of people is a strategy barrier to the virus.

Q: Are additional sanitization procedures taking place at sites and in classrooms?

A: Our district is already implementing additional sanitation procedures.  We have hand sanitizer available in all classrooms.  Custodial staff is implementing increased cleaning procedures, including disinfecting high-traffic locations using state-recommended cleaning procedures.  All soap dispensers are being filled regularly.  We are also reminding students on how to properly wash hands, which is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of germs and respiratory illnesses according to health officials.

Q: Are alcohol-based hand sanitizers allowed in the school?

Yes.

Q: What if a student catches the virus?

A: Any time a student is confirmed to have a communicable disease, the District communicates with our local public health department for directives and guidance preventing the spread of the specific communicable disease. This not only applies to coronavirus but other health conditions as well (H1N1, tuberculosis, meningitis, etc.). The Public Health Department will notify the District of any known cases.

Q: What if someone in a student’s or staff member’s immediate family is diagnosed? Are all quarantined in that household?

A: If students or staff come in contact with someone confirmed to be an infected person they should stay home, contact their medical provider, and call the Two Rivers County Public Health Department at (888) 669-7154. If someone must quarantine or isolate, they will be notified by health department.

Q: What happens if a child is symptomatic with flu/cold symptoms?

A: If a child is symptomatic (fever, shortness of breath, cough, congestion), they should stay home and contact their physician further guidance. A child may return to school once he or she is fever free for 24 hours without medication. If they are at school, and begin to feel sick, they should check in with the health office and wait for their parent/guardian to pick them up. Remember that schools are not equipped to screen students or staff to identify cases of COVID-19.

Q: There’s so much information out there and I don’t know what’s true or not. Where can I go to find the most updated information about the coronavirus?

Be sure to always get your information from credible sources such as:

Thank you for your support and understanding. 

Dr. Dennis Shipp
Superintendent
Bertrand Community School

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