Principal's News Messages 2021-2022

Tue, 08/17/2021 - 8:37am

JANUARY 2022

January 4, 2022

Dear BBMS Families,

As COVID-19 positivity rates continue to climb in Howard County, we want to reassure you that we are making precautions at BBMS to keep our students and staff as safe and healty as possible. 

Please read these guidelines carefully:  https://news.hcpss.org/news-posts/2022/01/updated-covid-mitigation-efforts-in-hcpss-schools-jan-3-2022/#masks

Wearing masks properly, washing your hands, and having vaccines have shown to be the best ways to reduce the risk of being infected with COVID-19.  BBMS has plenty of masks on hand for students; and we expect to receive KN95 masks soon.  Here is a great video to show students about a way to improve the fit of a surgical mask:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TTg53aAP8Q  It is also a great way to keep your glasses from fogging up!

LUNCH / RECESS / OUTDOOR DINING
We've received a few questions about whether outdoor lunch will continue.  Yes, we will continue to allow outdoor lunch every day as long as temperatures and weather permits.  Right now, the blacktop area and grounds are snow covered, so students will not be able to go outside during lunch.  So, we set up tables in our hallways and cafeteria lobby to allow students to spread out and eat in a less congested way.  We also use our Media Center and extra classrooms for eating spaces when we have available staff to supervise students.  Plexiglass partitions are up in the cafeteria and will be used for all grades; not just 6th grade.  Please see what these areas look like:  Copy of BBMS Lunch Slides Jan21-22.pdf 

Hand sanitizing stations are located at each entrance to the school, by the gym and cafeteria.  Classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and spray bottles.  Students should use these throughout the day and consider wiping off their desk in each class to reduce risks by keeping areas disinfected.

Our custodial staff circulates throughout the building during the day to wipe down high use areas like door handles and bathrooms.  These efforts, along with consistent proper mask wearing and hand washing, will help everyone stay healthy.  Thank you for taking the time to read this carefully and for sharing it with your students.  Together, we are #ONEBBMS!

Sincerely,

Dr. Cockley, Principal 

January 2, 2022

Dear BBMS Families,

We hope you had a terrific winter break and that you were able to spend happy times with friends and family.  As we prepare to return to school tomorrow, we know that COVID-19 continues to weight heavily on our minds.  Over the break, there was communication from HCPSS and the Howard County Health Department regarding quarantine and safety measures that Bonnie Branch Middle School will follow.  These guidelines can be found here:  https://news.hcpss.org/news-posts/2021/12/returning-to-school-following-winter-break/

This includes how long students/staff need to quarantine (a minimum of 5 days), testing in schools, and home health checks.  Masks and vaccines continue to be the most effective method for minimizing one's risk of exposure.  BBMS has plenty of masks on hand, and we will be receiving KN95 masks in the near future. 

Additionally, all after school activities will remain on hold for now until we get more guidance about when it is safe to resume those.

If you ever have questions about how many cases are active at BBMS, you can visit the HCPSS COVID-19 Dashboard:  https://covid.hcpss.org/

We do get questions about outdoor lunch and recess from time to time, so please take a moment and review the following guidelines from HCPSS.  We will continue to offer students the choice to eat outside 

Lunch/Recess:  

Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to burn off excess energy. If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning.

Children are expected to wear clothing appropriate for forecasted conditions when participating in recess, outdoor lunch, or other outside activities. The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the administrator at individual schools. On rare occasions due to extreme weather, a decision may be made at the school system level.

The following factors are considered in determining if recess, outdoor eating, physical education, or any other outdoor activity is to be held outside:

  • Temperature and humidity
  • Wind chill
  • Heat index and air quality
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)
  • Thunder and lightning

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess, outdoor eating, physical education, and/or other outdoor activities when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit or the heat index reading is less than 95. 

Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely hot or cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary. During hot weather, teachers should provide students a water break before and after recess. Additionally, any student who shows signs of heat exhaustion or overheating should be allowed a water break during recess. 

As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions about school policies or if you have concerns about any procedures in place.  We are here to provide the safest possible environment for learning for everyone and appreciate your help and support in making this possible.

Go SHARKS!

Dr. Cockley, Principal

 

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