District Newsletter: February 10, 2021
Learning Model: 100% On-Site
Bondurant-Farrar will continue with 100% on-site learning, except for those currently enrolled in the virtual learning option. While adjustments to our learning model can still be made, the recent passage of Senate File 160 requires districts to obtain state authorization prior to doing so. If an outbreak occurs, it will be addressed at the lowest level possible, meaning by classroom or grade.
Bluejays: Mask Up!
Some of the restrictions established to reduce the spread of COVID-19 were recently lifted in Iowa, including the statewide mask mandate. At BFCSD, we will continue to implement the safety measures currently in place, including required face masks. Students, staff, and visitors will continue to be required to wear face masks while in our buildings and riding in a school bus or van. As determined by the Iowa Department of Public Health, if someone is in close contact with another person who has COVID-19, but both are wearing masks, the exposed individual will not have to quarantine unless they start showing symptoms. As our local data has demonstrated, masks help keep others safe and our schools open.
Board Resolution: School Vouchers
During the February 8 meeting, the Bondurant-Farrar Board of Education adopted a resolution opposing Senate File 159.
The Board’s perspective is:
- Use public dollars for public schools.
- Public funds require public accountability and transparency.
- A slippery slope toward a costly and expansive voucher program.
February 2021: Celebrating Black History
Black history is American history, and Black History Month provides our teachers the opportunity to incorporate more in depth activities and lessons in all subject areas. For example, students will read and engage with books, articles, and poems written by Black authors. Students will also learn about Black scientists whose contributions and inventions have played an important role in making our lives better. At the middle school and high school, library displays feature books written by famous Black Americans as well as books about Black Americans who have and impacted history.
As indicated in a previous communication, each year the Bondurant-Farrar Board of Education adopts and works towards a variety of district goals. This year, three new goals were added in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion:
- Develop a deeper understanding of district needs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Create an equitable, inclusive, and supportive school environment for all stakeholders.
- Begin developing a comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion plan.
To start this important work, a committee made up of board members, staff, and parent volunteers has been established and will meet for the first time on February 11.
Current Calendar: Snow Make-up Days
Last month, we emailed regarding the possibility of virtual learning in place of on-site learning during times of inclement weather. Since that email, the district has further developed plans for make-up days.
- If we use our one remaining built-in snow day and have a 5th snow day or cancellation prior to February 26, then 2/26 would become a virtual day.
- If we have an additional snow day or cancellation that occurs after February 26 and prior to April 23, then 4/23 would become a virtual day.
- Virtual learning would include pre-recorded lessons, materials would be sent home the day prior, and attendance would be based on work completed.
2020 Organization of the Year
On January 22, the Bondurant Chamber of Commerce presented the Bondurant-Farrar Community School District with the 2020 Organization of the Year award, an award the district is honored to share with the Bondurant Community Library. To accept this award on behalf of the district, representatives from the Bondurant-Farrar Board of Education were joined by staff from a variety of departments which is representative of the collective effort and dedication of all staff.
Recent Donation: Thank you, Amazon!
Through their Bondurant distribution center, Amazon recently donated $10,000 the Bondurant-Farrar Education Foundation to be used to purchase technology items for classrooms and show appreciation to district staff.
This donation helps us acquire technology that supports teaching and learning in this unique school environment. In addition, funding a staff grab-and-go lunch allows us to show appreciation to our employees who are working hard to overcome the challenges associated with COVID-19. We are excited to welcome Amazon to the Bondurant community and are grateful for their partnership.
Ostrem Named Principal of New Building
In January, the Bondurant-Farrar Board of Education approved the selection of Jeremiah Ostrem as principal of the new Bondurant-Farrar Junior High. Ostrem is currently serving as the assistant principal at the district’s high school and will assume full-time duties as principal of the new building in the summer of 2022. With the new building anticipated to open in the fall of 2022, Ostrem will lead planning efforts in the staffing and structure of the school to ensure a smooth transition.