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Burnet Middle School shifts to remote learning after principal’s death

Burnet Middle School will be fully remote Tuesday, Dec. 8, through Monday, Dec. 14, according to a Burnet Consolidated Independent School District email to parents sent Dec. 7.

The move came a day after the death of Burnet Middle School Principal Jeremy LeJeune, who passed away Dec. 6 from a rare blood vessel disorder. He tested positive for COVID-19 when he checked into the hospital over the weekend. LeJeune had been on campus Dec. 4, and district officials began contact tracing Monday morning.

BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett said in a separate email that “even though COVID safety protocols were followed, in working with the Burnet County Medical Advisor, and out of an abundance of caution, several administrators, teachers, and office staff at Burnet Middle School that spent significant lengths of time with Mr. LeJeune last Thursday and Friday have been deemed close contact and are being required to quarantine.”

Due to LeJeune’s death and recent staff quarantines, McBurnett said the middle school did not have adequate student supervision to operate safely.

In the Dec. 7 email, school officials acknowledged the burden remote instruction puts on parents and students, especially going into it so suddenly. 

“We know that our past experience with remote learning has taught us that students often struggle with instruction that is not ‘live’ with a teacher,” the letter stated. To help alleviate that, teachers will hold live Google Meets on their regular class schedule throughout the remote learning period.

In-person learning will resume Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Burnet Middle School personnel will provide instructions and links for students through their Google Classrooms. 

Unfortunately, not all families and students have access to home broadband internet, which hampers remote learning. Campus and district staff are asking students to still complete work and assignments through Google Classroom and notify their teachers when they have trouble accessing Google Meets.

The district also has a limited number of Wi-Fi hotspots that families can use during this remote-learning period. 

The campus and district are also working to ensure students and parents can readily contact staff and administration as well as counselors during this time.

“Going remote may cause additional stress on top of the tragic news of the past day, so please do not hesitate to reach out if your student needs to talk during this time of grief,” the letter stated. “The next five school days will be challenging for us all. The BMS community has a reputation for working together as a team time and time again. Please partner with us to provide the best possible instructional solutions as we navigate this difficult time. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your student’s assistant principal.”

All Burnet Middle School extracurricular activities are canceled during this remote-learning period.

editor@thepicayune.com

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