It has been a challenging year!
We remain committed to “stay in school” barring COVID cases. We have closed individual classrooms based on COVID but fortunately have not needed to close the school. Many if not most of our staff were vaccinated in our clinics in January and February and with the ability to vaccinate children now from 5 and up, we are seeing more of our student body vaccinated. When we do quarantine, we move to virtual instruction. I am very proud of our school team who have become “experts” at virtual instruction. Currently we are investigating the opportunity for in- school testing funded by Pennsylvania Department of Education. I will keep you informed as to how this develops.
Grants have been a wonderful opportunity for us! We have received funding from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, the Childcare stabilization program, the Governor’s Emergency Education and Relief and Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools. This has allowed us to make numerous facilities improvements, provide funds for premium pay, recruitment and retention, Personal Protective Equipment, an Outdoor classroom, Smartboards, technology, and technology infrastructure.
Our collaborations have continued. In the General McClane School District we offer a therapeutic Elementary classroom, and an Autism Support classroom which has allowed their students to remain in district and receive intensive supports from BNI staff. Our Early Intervention Therapeutic Program is housed at Emerson Gridley and meeting the needs of three- to five-year-old children who have some intense therapeutic needs. We are consulting with the Titusville School District with their student who require multidisciplinary support and students with Autism. I hope to continue to expand our collaborations so that we can provide the expertise and intensive support from BNI staff within the neighborhood schools of school districts.
Family engagement has increased as we frequently have daily contact with families on Teams and are able to demonstrate skills during remote sessions and in person instruction. Families often “jump on” teams and interact with their children. As a parent expressed to me” This is the most wonderful experience. I can see what my child can do and what I need to do to help him learn.”
So, yes there have been struggles with COVID but I am proud of our staff, our students and our families who are meeting these challenges every day. 2022 will be a very good year!