Since Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-35 last week closing school buildings and moving to "distance learning" we have received many questions. Below is a list of some of the frequently asked questions with my response.
When can my student(s) come get their stuff?
The public will not be allowed access to the school building until the "stay-at-home" order is lifted. The only exception will be if your student has prescription medicine in the buillding. If that is the case, please call to make arrangements.
Is the business office open?
Yes, although we are working remotely too. If you call and leave a voicemail someone will get back to you at our earliest convenience. Right now, you will get a much quicker response to your question by emailing the appropriate staff member. Offices are closed to the public accept in extreme circumstances. You must call first regardless.
Will you continue the food service program?
Yes, the meal program will continue through the scheduled end of the school year which is the week of June 1st.
What is "distance learning"?
Distance learning is school district's attempt to offer access to lessons, activities, projects, and resources so that students can continue to grow as learners until school is back in session next fall. There will be many different options for the purpose of distance learning. We will have online components as well as paper/pencil packets available to our students. We will work together to figure out which is best suited to your family.
For how long will we be utilizing "distance learning"?
Our distance learning program will be eight weeks long, beginning on Monday, April 13th. It will end when your student completes the work assigned the week of June 1st.
What if we do not have internet access at home?
As we begin this process, we will help your family determine the best way to receive the resources your student needs to learn during this time. We will offer packets for pickup during food pickup times as well as traditional mail service. We are preparing several "alternative" methods for student learning?
We have internet at home, can I enroll my student in pre-packaged online courses?
Yes, we have access to online courses (for grades 7-12) through a program called Edgenuity which many of our students are familiar with already. If you think this is best suited to your family, email Paula Davidson (email@example.com) to enroll in these courses. If you do have internet access and don't want to go this route, our teachers are busy right now putting together many lessons that will utilize digital resources such as Google Classroom.
Is "distance learning" mandatory?
Yes. We will be held accountable as a district for the delivery of instruction during this time period. Students must attempt to complete the work that they have access to to the best of their ability. We realize that every family has different circumstances right now, but we must work together to educate our students.
Are students being graded for their work in this program?
Yes...and no. We will be using a pass/incomplete model for awarding students credit in this program. Students will not receive traditional letter grades (think A-E) for the second semester of the 2019-20 school year. Instead, students will be awarded credit (CR) for completing this program during the second semester. This will not calculate as part of the student's cumulative grade point average. Except for extreme circumstances (at the agreement of the administration and the parent(s)), all students will be promoted to the next grade level in the fall for the 2020-21 school year.
If they aren't being graded, how do I hold my student accountable for assignments, activities, etc.?
You as the parent will sign off on the work completed by your student. If you believe that they have completed it to the best of their ability you will verify that on a weekly basis, if not don't sign off, hold them responsible. We will use several different methods to document this accountability piece. Choose the one that best suits your family.
My student has special needs, will the district still provide services and accomodations to him/her?
Yes. Our Special Education Department is working right now to make sure we are doing everything we can to meet the needs of all of our students. While students' Individualized Education Plans will likely need to be amended, we will still provide everything we can in a remote setting.
Do you have more information about this "Distance Learning" program?
Yes. I will be publishing our district's official distance learning guidelines on Friday, April 10th. This document will have more in-depth information about subjects including grading, suggestions for daily schedules, coursework, and contact and communication methods as well as other useful information. I will post this document on the school's website and social media pages.
I would like to thank everyone for their patience during this stressful time. I know that this method is not a perfect solution. Please do not stress out about it, "distance learning" will look different in every home I am sure. Right now, the most important thing is to be safe and stay healthy. The stress that this program may cause is part of the "healthy" equation. Please reach out to the appropriate staff member if you have questions or concerns. Access all of our contact information on the website.