Updated March 27, 2020
UPDATED MARCH 27, 2020: Under direction of Governor Wolf, all Pennsylvania schools are closed until early April or longer; however, we are committed to providing a meaningful educational experience for our students during this time.
For the past several weeks the BCTC administration has been working on a plan to deliver education online in a virtual environment with your child. This week we are working with our teachers to launch a virtual education experience for ALL of our daytime students beginning Monday, March 30th. Our instructors are embracing this new normal in the absence of access to our career and technical school environment. We are committed to making the best of the online educational experiences for our students in this unprecedented time in history.
The expectation is that our students WILL participate in daily online activities and attendance will be taken. Instruction will begin on Monday March 30th. All work for the 3rd quarter is to be complete and submitted by Friday April 3rd.
We are looking forward to reconnecting with our students on Monday. Our teachers will be reaching out to their students by the end of this week. If your child has not already heard from their instructor, please reach out to them beginning on Monday March 30th.
Thank you in advance for your support as we work together to provide an enriched, meaningful experience for all of our students!
UPDATED MARCH 18, 2020: Over the past several days, our custodians have been hard at work deep cleaning and sanitizing our buildings. As of late afternoon, they have completed the process following specific guidelines developed by the Department of Health. All of our buildings will be closed off to faculty, staff, students, and visitors until we are cleared to return. Our team stepped up their game and work tirelessly to complete the process. We are incredibly thankful to have such a hardworking group!
UPDATED MARCH 17, 2020: Due to the unfortunate impact of COVID-19, all CTSO State Conferences have been canceled. This included HOSA, SkillsUSA, and FCCLA. Your advisors will be in contact in the near future.
UPDATED MARCH 16, 2020: Our campuses currently closed through March 27th under orders from Governor Wolf due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We will provide regular updates to our website and social media accounts relating to our campuses and educational program.
This morning, our Administration met to strategize and plan the next steps in response to the COVID-19 school closure. Several topics discussed included distribution of meals (breakfast and lunch) while our schools are closed. In situations where assistance is needed please contact your sending districts.
March's JOC meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th has been canceled. All action required for March will be addressed at the April meeting.
UPDATED MARCH 13, 2020, 3:30p.m. : - A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Dr. James Kraft - This afternoon, Governor Wolf has closed all PA schools for a period of 10 business days to begin Monday, March 16th through and including Friday March 27th.
UPDATED MARCH 12, 2020, 6:15p.m. : - A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Dr. James Kraft - As of late this afternoon, several Berks County Schools have made the decision to close for a period of time. We have received telephone calls asking what this means for students from these districts who attend BCTC. Following our protocol for closures, BCTC students who attend a sending school district that is CLOSED is not to attend BCTC during the time of closure nor will BCTC provide bus transportation to and from those districts. We thank you for your patience and understanding. We will continue to keep our community informed of any changes that may occur to the BCTC schedule.
UPDATED MARCH 12, 2020: - A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Dr. James Kraft - This morning, at our West Campus, we conducted a Hold in Place procedure in order to investigate a health matter. After review of the situation we concluded in consultation with Berks County Emergency Management Services we were able to resume business as usual from that point forward.
We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
UPDATED MARCH 9, 2020: As the situation with the Coronavirus develops and new cases are being identified in Pennsylvania, we are taking precautions at the Berks Career and Technology Center to limit opportunities of exposure to the virus for our students and staff. In addition to increased cleaning and sanitizing practices, we will begin limiting folks who are not staff and students from entering our building. Therefore, until further notice we are closing our cosmetology clinics and the restaurants at both campuses to people outside of BCTC students and staff and those on official school business. During this time, students will have the opportunity to continue to provide authentic work experiences to and for BCTC staff and students.
We want to thank each of you who participate in these authentic learning experiences for our students and our hope is that this situation improves quickly and we can return to normal operations. We ask for your understanding as we take these steps to protect the health and welfare of our BCTC community.
In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact one of our campus administrators.
UPDATED MARCH 6, 2020: At Berks Career & Technology Center, the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. With the recently elevated discussion regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the news, we want to take a moment to reinforce preventive safety measures and reference our process and communications.
At this time, there have only been a small number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. As a career center, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Governor Tom Wolf, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Berks County Intermediate Unity. There is currently no recommendation to close schools in Berks County.
Precautionary measure we are taking to keep our school sanitized:
- Encouraging students to use hand sanitizer, placed in the entry way of the cafeteria and various locations throughout the building
- Disinfecting touch points throughout the building
- Disinfecting our buses
- Providing training on proper hand washing techniques
- Implement the use of Pandemic Illness Checklist, developed by the CDC
We all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a virus outbreak in our schools and community. We encourage everyone to practice good habits, including:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
- As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- If children are feeling sick, please keep them home from school. Allow them some time to feel better so that they do not risk infecting others.