Return 2 Learn » Superintendent Communication

Superintendent Communication

Dr. Michael Bregy
Dr. Michael Bregy
Superintendent of Schools

Dear BHUSD Community,

 

Please see below the registration links for our Zoom Coffees with the District and building staff for parents on Wednesday. I hope you will join us! 


Wednesday, August 12th at 8am - BVMS

This meeting will be recorded for those who are unable to join us.

Please register here:

***Available in email***

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

Wednesday, August 12th at 10:30am - Elementary 

This meeting will be recorded for those who are unable to join us.

Please register here:

***Available in email***

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

Wednesday, August 12th at 3pm - BHHS

This meeting will be recorded for those who are unable to join us.

Please register here:

***Available in email***

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Respectfully,

Dr. Bregy

Please see attached the revised 2020-2021 Calendar. 

Both the District and the Association agreed on the importance of providing time to plan, prepare and adjust to the changes needed for the 2020-2021 school year in order to provide teachers with the necessary resources, technology, and professional development. Therefore, the first day of school for students has changed from August 17, 2020, to August 18, 2020. To make up for this day of instruction, January 27, 2021, will change from a professional development day to an instructional day.

8/4/2020 - Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education and Beverly Hills Education Association Unanimously Approve Memorandum of Understanding

 

BHUSD Reaches Agreement with BHEA

 

Tonight the Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously (5-0) to approve the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Beverly Hills Education Association. Additionally, the BHEA Representative Council also unanimously voted to approve the MOU yesterday, 8/3/2020. 

 

As part of its critical role during COVID-19, the Board of Education approved the MOU, reiterating the importance of moving forward with unity, “as a community we must now look to the upcoming school year joining together in supporting our students, staff, parents and wider BHUSD family,” Board President, Isabel Hacker, said. 

 

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I offer our thanks to BHUSD, Superintendent, Dr. Bregy, the Cabinet, the BHEA Bargaining Team, and BHEA members for such exhaustive work together on this educationally robust agreement,” Board President Isabel Hacker continued. “As we enter the first school year in our history from a Distance Learning model, due to COVID-19, we recognize that we must preemptively mitigate obstructive impacts to ensure the best possible education is made available to our students. I am pleased to see an outcome that so closely mirrors the physical classroom which positively supports the entire District under very trying times. I know that we are ready for this challenge.” 

 

“This is a huge milestone for our community and I want to take a moment to thank the Beverly Hills Education Association bargaining team and BHEA Executive Board and our district bargaining team, including the District Leadership, California Teachers Association Regional UniServe Staff representative, Penny Sevoian, and Board President, Isabel Hacker, for their hours and hours of collaboration in creating an MOU with the common goal to achieve the highest quality outcome for our students in what can only be described as truly unprecedented circumstances,” said Superintendent, Dr. Bregy. 

Key Dates August

Dear BHUSD Community,

 

Can you believe it?! School begins in a couple of weeks and everyone is working around the clock to make sure we have a fantastic start to the upcoming school year. You have heard a lot of information over the last 7 days about our Reopening Plans, options, and recommendations from our expert Think Tank about Physical Reopening. 


I am reaching out with some significant updates about forthcoming dates, coffees with the principals, and the statement made earlier today. We announced with the Beverly Hills Education Association, that a Tentative Agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding has been reached today, August 1st, 2020. 


The Tentative Agreement Memorandum of Understanding is pending Board of Education and BHEA Representative Council approval. The full agreement is available at bhusd.org/mou/. On Wednesday, we will release academic class schedules which include start and stop times and further information about certainties. 


This is a huge milestone for our community and I want to take a moment to thank the Beverly Hills Education Association bargaining team and BHEA Executive Board and our district bargaining team, including the District Leadership, California Teachers Association Regional UniServe Staff representative, Penny Sevoian, and Board President, Isabel Hacker, for their hours and hours of collaboration in creating an MOU with the common goal to achieve the highest quality outcome for our students in what can only be described as truly unprecedented circumstances.


We understand you are eager to know as many details as possible.  We have created a few opportunities below for you to join us to learn more about the 2020 - 2021 school year.


On Tuesday, August 11th at 8am I would like to meet with all of our staff, from teachers to custodians to office support, anyone who works for BHUSD is invited to join me for a voluntary all staff meeting on Zoom. 


Parents, on Wednesday, August 12th our principals and some of our cabinet members will join me in hosting a parent meeting Zoom coffee. I hope you will join us. BVMS will start at 8am, Elementary will start at 10:30am and BHHS will start at 3pm. 


Although this MOU focuses on the change caused by COVID-19 from physical learning to distance education, it is the intent of the District and Association to return to a traditional educational program as soon as is feasible consistent with applicable state and local directives issued in response to this pandemic. It is anticipated that the return to a traditional program may occur in phases and may include remote and hybrid instructional and support models.


Before we share some highlights from this agreement, we want to take a moment to reinforce the importance of fundamental lessons we teach our students. Working together we can create positive, impactful change in this world. When we resort to unkind, divisive behavior, our ability to reach our potential is squandered. We encourage the BHUSD community to join us as teachers, administrators, staff, and parents in leading our students with behavior we expect from them. During a crisis, kindness is critical and we are grateful to be able to achieve unity and strength for both our students and one another through this MOU. 


After weeks of negotiating, now is the time to meet the moment we have all been waiting for, to come together and ensure our students are given the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve their personal success. 


For those of you who may not be familiar with an MOU, it is a Memorandum of Understanding, an agreement between, in this case, the Beverly Hills Education Association (our teachers and other unit members) and the District. There are many people in our community who make sure we can do the best job in delivering exemplary education however the people who create such a strong foundation as the bedrock of our District are our teachers. 


When things change, for example, a pandemic comes along, there is a change to the way our district works and that means we need to come up with a clear agreement to help everyone know what we need to follow to give our students the best possible education. 


The BHEA bargaining team has worked in a partnership with the District and Board of Education to fine-tune and reach an agreement today detailing exactly what the plan is so that we can start the school year with clear expectations for everyone. On Wednesday, we will share very specific schedules and expectations. Live@BHUSD will bring you the very best of Home Learning 2.0 and address what didn’t work so well.


The key elements of the MOU are outlined below:

  • Live@BHUSD will mimic what occurs in a physical classroom as closely as possible connecting in visual and auditory ways providing students, instruction, encouragement, and feedback.

  • Both the District and the Association agreed on the importance of providing time to plan, prepare and adjust to the changes needed for the 2020-2021 school year in order to provide teachers with the necessary resources, technology, and professional development. Therefore, the first day of school for students has changed from August 17, 2020, to August 18, 2020.  To make up for this day of instruction, January 27, 2021, will change from a professional development day to an instructional day.

  • BHEA unit members will have the opportunity to select their preferred worksite from District assigned locations or their determined remote location. 

  • Students will receive daily interaction in real-time. 

  • Students will receive live and synchronous instruction which engages students following the academic class schedule through direct instruction, guided practice, checking for understanding, progress monitoring, and setting the expectations for daily independent practice and homework assignments.

  • Live and synchronous instruction and support occurs when the BHEA member and students are meeting in the same virtual space at the same time using one or more of the audiovisual remote instructional platforms provided by the District.

  • Only students, members, and administrators shall have the right to be present in virtual spaces during synchronous and live instruction.

  • The District will clean and sanitize all necessary facilities and equipment remaining in full compliance with the LA County Department of Public Health Orders. 

  • In the event a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the District will make provisions to support a leave. 


Thank you for your support, your patience, your willingness to challenge us, and give us grace. Thank you for extending each other kindness in a time that can create endless frustration and upset. Thank you for setting the example to our students for how to respond in an ongoing crisis with respect, trust in leadership, and empathy. 


To summarize here are some key dates and times:

  • Wednesday, August 5th - Academic class schedules and start/stop times released

  • Tuesday, August 11th at 8am - All Staff District Wide Voluntary Meeting

  • Wednesday, August 12th

    • 8am BVMS District/School/Parent Zoom

    • 10:30am Elementary District/School/Parent Zoom

    • 3pm BHHS District/School/Parent Zoom 

  • Monday, August 17th - New Staff Professional Development Day 

  • Tuesday, August 18th - School Starts


This pandemic has created challenges for all of us but we are so excited to start the school year on August 18th! Please stay on the lookout for the specific schedules and expectations for your family on Wednesday afternoon. 


Have a great weekend, wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep smiling, we will get through this together! 


Respectfully, 

Dr. Bregy

BHUSD and BHEA Reach Tentative Agreement

Dear BHUSD Community,

 

Thank you for your ongoing patience. Please see here our BHUSD Reopening Plan. Please remember the deadline to apply for the ILC is on Monday at 8am. 


Just before spring break back in March, we were faced with an unprecedented pandemic that would forever change the face of education. We responded with swift action, physical closures, the installation of hand sanitizers district-wide, and immediate cleaning protocols in hopes of a short quarantine and quick return to school. Instead, we implemented Home Learning and then Home Learning 2.0. We ended our school year under stay at home orders with virtual graduations and ongoing meetings, site assessments, pandemic forums, parent surveys, establishing a Think Tank, an Options Committee, consistent board meetings, ever-changing guidelines, and finally a school-specific public health order and guidance from the Governor. All we know with absolute certainty is that school will commence on Monday, August, 17th, 2020. 


Last summer we thought it was a challenge with reconfiguration! We reconfigured four K-8 schools to two TK-5 schools - Horace Mann Elementary School and Hawthorne Elementary School, and one consolidated Middle School Grades 6-8 now known as Beverly Vista Middle School. El Rodeo School was taken off-line for construction. Beverly Hills High School continued construction and the plugging of abandoned oil wells. 


The reconfiguration plan was built on a long process that was rigorous, iterative, challenging, and courageous. Our COVID-19 plans are much the same. I commit wholeheartedly that we will navigate this challenge putting your best interests first. Our top two priorities have and always will be safety and education. I trust this document will help guide you through our intentions but please understand that this situation is changing daily. We are extremely fortunate to have finished our 1:1 device rollout prior to the onset of COVID-19, therefore equity of access to technology is not a problem BHUSD is facing. 


You can find updated information at bhusd.org/return2learn/. Additionally, a Physical Reopening Plan is forthcoming. 


Have a wonderful weekend,

Dr. Bregy

Next Steps for Fall Learning

Dear BHUSD Community,


Please click here to review the most recent Public Health Order released moments ago by the LA County Department of Public Health for schools.

I will be in touch with more information as it becomes available.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bregy 

Dear BHUSD Community,
 

As we promised, “as soon as we have more information we will share it with you”, this evening I have some more information to share. I understand that I cannot begin to know how each one of you is feeling at this moment. Each person, whether you are a student, staff member, or parent, has a different situation with different challenges. 

 

We had an unprecedented conclusion to the 2019-2020 school year and we will have an unprecedented beginning to the 2020-2021 school year. As a former mathematics teacher, we are solving an almost impossible equation with variables changing unpredictably. From the beginning of February, we have shared that current circumstances are developing and our direction is subject to change, grow, and evolve.

 

Priorities: 

 
  1. Health and Safety 

  2. Educational Rigor and Consistency  

  3. Social and Emotional Well-being 

  4. Childcare

 

For each of you, the list above is prioritized in a different order. For many of you, they all have the same level of importance. For some of you, one far outweighs the other. We do not take the responsibility of educating our community lightly.

 

We are facing a divide among demands.

Demands have been made to have all students return to the physical classroom in August.

Demands have been made to have a hybrid schedule that replicates the programs and courses that exist on each student’s schedule.

Demands have been made to assure the safety from COVID-19 for every student.

Demands have been made to assure that students will not remove masks, shields, or face coverings.

Demands have been made to assure students will always be kept 6 ft away from one another.

Demands have been made to provide consistent and rigorous instruction.

Demands have been made to………..

 

Let’s talk for a minute about what we know unequivocally. 

 
  • School will commence on Monday, August 17th, 2020. 

  • The risk of COVID-19 impacting our health as a community is no less today than when we physically closed down in March. In fact, it is higher. 

  • When our Options Committee designed the two options, the trend in COVID-19 cases in LA County was significantly different than today. 

  • We anticipated a higher application number for the ILC to bring down the number of physical bodies in each classroom. 

  • We do not have the updated Order from the LA County Department of Public Health but we have been advised that no restrictions from the current one will be lessened, 6ft distancing is mandatory. This is a mandate, not a guideline. Click Here to View.

  • Should we physically open we cannot offer consistency as education will be disrupted when inevitably a student or staff member tests positive with a confirmed case and the people they were in contact with will remain at home in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. (We are aware of multiple cases of COVID-19 in BHUSD since Spring Break)

  • Should we pursue the Hybrid Learning Option we will need to offer 3 cohorts (it was 2) for 4th-12th grades, a change since we announced the options. What changed? A detailed explanation is below. In short: 

    • 6ft distancing was mandated by many local and state officials

    • Our classrooms have been surveyed to measure how many students can fit with 6 ft distancing 

    • We can fit 10-12 students on average in each classroom

    • The ILC applications are lower than anticipated  

  • We have not made any decisions about which options will be changed at this time with the exception of the ILC. The ILC option will remain. 

 

Although we cannot replace the experience of being in a classroom, we are concerned about the social emotional well-being of our students attending school with necessary but intense (some have said, draconian) restrictions. Not being able to hang out or play with one another unless 6ft apart, or compete in sports or share in a game with equipment that touches more than one person or see each other's smiles and facial expressions due to mandatory mask wearing is daunting for students of all ages. Although through a screen, expression can be seen and connections can be made. We are privileged to be a 1:1 (student to device) district and will ensure that robust social emotional wellness programming is a part of whichever next step we take as a district. 

 

Well before COVID-19 it was established, per California Ed Code 46200, that for the 2020-2021 school year we are providing 180 instructional days. 

 

Semester 1 = 82 instructional days. 

Semester 2 = 98 instructional days. 

 

We are mandated to follow the LA County Department of Public Health Order which currently states that 6ft distancing must occur. Click Here to view this on page 13

 

“20. For purposes of this Order, the "Social (Physical) Distancing Protocol" that must be implemented and posted must demonstrate how the following infection control measures are being implemented and achieved, as applicable:


Limiting the number of people who may enter into the facility at any one time to ensure that people in the facility can easily maintain a minimum six (6) foot physical distance from others, at all times, except as required to complete a business activity or transaction. Members of a single household or living unit may stand or move together but must be separated from others by a physical distance of at least six (6) feet.“

 

Since we last connected we have more clarity on our ILC numbers which are lower than anticipated. We also surveyed our classrooms taking into consideration removing all non-essential furniture and can fit on average 10-12 students in each classroom. Some classrooms are bigger, some smaller, but the average is 10-12. 

 
  1. On average at the High School, there are 26-28 students in a class. 

 
  1. On average at the Middle School, there are 27-30 students in a class.

 
  1. On average at the Elementary School 4/5th Grades, there are 25-29 students in a class.

 
  1. On average at the Elementary School TK-3rd Grades, there are 19-23 students in a class.

 

Based purely on these averages the High School, Middle School, and Elementary School 4/5th Grade classes need 3 cohorts to ensure we are in compliance with the 6ft mandate. This would require each cohort to be physically on campus for 27.3 days in first semester and the rest of instruction would be provided remotely. 

 

In addition to the points raised above, should one single child or staff member be diagnosed with a case of COVID-19 we are obligated to quarantine every single person they have come in contact with (for more than 15 minutes) for 14 days. This further removes instructional consistency for our students. 

 

Or, we can continue to explore the possibility raised at the most recent Board Study Session and achieve both safety and educational consistency by offering the full 82 days of the first semester with the majority of teaching done remotely. There are endless nuances that will need to be worked out no matter which way we proceed but even with this simple data, it is clear that we are not offering consistent education or guaranteed safety if we return to the Hybrid Learning model at this stage. 

 

We have listened to you (parents and staff) and understand that many of you want more specialists and electives offered virtually. We acknowledge that COVID-19 is impacting our working parents in a very different way than other families. None of this is ideal and we are exploring child care solutions and the viability of what we can offer to those who need this support. 

 

The issues that we run into are continuous as we focus on answering the following questions:  

  • What is the safest environment possible for students and staff?

  • What is the most effective and consistent way to deliver instruction to students?

  • What is the smoothest way to transition back into the classroom when the Public Health Order begins to reduce restrictions?

 

Federal, State, and LA County officials can still provide direction and mandates that could change our plans and/or implementation. The risks are higher today than 4 months ago. School Districts across the country are preparing for the unknown. One thing is for certain, we will need to pivot our program quickly.

 

Please remember that we care about your opinion and if you have something to share you can always send it through our feedback form - bhusd.org/fall/

 

I want to be clear in communicating that we are working diligently on all possibilities and no formal decisions have been made. The Board Study Session offered direction and we are now exploring that guidance while also understanding that we must comply with state and local officials and any new orders that are announced. 

 

Respectfully,

Dr. Bregy

An Important Update Regarding Fall Learning
Dr. Bregy - BHUSD Fall Options Update July 6th
Return 2 Learn

Dear BHUSD Community,

I want to start by saying thank you. I am so grateful for your patience at this time of uncertainty. As you have seen over the last week, all local districts are unveiling very similar fall options. 

Although we wish that COVID-19 would cease to exist and we could return to school full time, we are not allowed to do that under the current order (mask requirement pg 2, social distancing requirement pg 13 - click here) from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH). We are waiting for the latest order which we have been informed will be published this week. I have been told that the new order will not have any less stringent regulations. 

We must also follow the guidelines from the California Department of Education (CDE) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Los Angeles County of Education (LACOE). 

I understand that this situation is extremely difficult for all parents, staff, and students and particularly impacts our working parents in a different way. 

As a District we have two priorities, they have and always will be in the following order. First, Safety. Second, Education. We are working day in and day out with experts and our own staff to make the best decisions for our community. 

We want to help you make the decision by July 15th between Option 1 - ILC and Option 2 - Hybrid Learning by providing as much information as we have. It is important to separate this by age group as it impacts everyone differently. In all actuality, both options will not compare to the experience we provide without a global pandemic. 

There are three main updates I can give you today:

  1. You will hear from me once a week with an update throughout the summer. 

  2. We will publish a BHUSD Frequently Asked Questions document this week. 

  3. Our Primary and Elementary students, being younger learners, have significantly different needs to our Middle and High school students. Therefore, this Friday, July 3rd at 10am for 90 minutes we will hold a virtual Coffee with the Principals of Hawthorne and Horace Mann together. Information about this will be forthcoming.

Please be aware that everything we share is contingent on information from the Department of Public Health, the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with our bargaining teams, and a litany of things that are out of our control. Nothing is concrete and we understand that we are asking you to make a concrete decision about the ILC- click here- by July 15th. 

Respectfully,

Dr. Bregy 

Dear BHUSD Community,

As the country assesses the best way to return to school in the fall BHUSD is proactively working with two critical committees 1. Instruction - Education Experts and 2. Think Tank - Community Experts. These are listed here.  

The Department of Public Health is publishing further restrictions we must follow including social distancing and following strict protocols for example mask-wearing when we return. These protocols are evolving and changing by the day. We must follow this mandate. We have collected your feedback from the fall survey and are intentionally waiting to survey our staff because we need to first have a solid understanding of where you as parents are at in your decision making about returning to school. 

After the BHUSD Study Session on June 17th, we will be able to offer two options for the fall of 2020 due to restrictions set forth from the Department of Public Health:

Option 1: The ILC (Independent Learning Center) - admission closes July 15th, one semester minimum commitment. We strongly encourage you to consider this option. Click here to learn more - www.ilc.bhusd.org/

Option 2: Hybrid Learning - All students are automatically placed in this option unless they apply for the ILC. Click here to learn more - www.bhusd.org/hybridlearning/

These options are contingent on direction from the Department of Public Health. 

You must already be enrolled in BHUSD to participate in these options. If you are not already, please go to bhusd.org to enroll. 

A friendly reminder that if you decide not to return to BHUSD to please notify Maria Fernandez by emailing mfernandezelvira@bhusd.org

Please remember, admissions for the ILC close on July 15th. 

Stay safe,

Dr. Bregy

Superintendent