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P-CCS Reentry Planning and Recommendation Communication to Staff & Families, July 25 2020

Post Date:07/25/2020 7:24 PM
  • School NameCommunications Office

Good afternoon P-CCS Staff & Families: I trust that you are all having a safe and healthy summer. Considering all we have been through during the past few months, I recognize the potential stress so much uncertainty may be causing as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year. One thing that is certain is that we are looking forward to reconnecting with our students soon.


Events have changed quickly during the past few weeks in the midst of this pandemic, and a lot has happened since we last checked in. Our Reentry Task Force has been working to develop plans and gather important feedback during input sessions held with our staff, families, and community stakeholders. In this communication, I want to provide some important updates from this work. 


On June 30, the State of Michigan released its ‘MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap’ for the 2020-21 school year, which provides requirements and recommendations for districts to both implement and consider when getting ready for the fall. These school guidelines are based around the phases for reopening, as defined by the ‘MI Safe Start Plan.’ 


The Roadmap makes clear that, if the state moves our region into Phases 1, 2, or 3, no in-person instruction is allowed. Phases 4 and 5 allow us to return to in-person learning in the fall with strict adherence to required health and safety protocols, as outlined in the Roadmap. Phase 6 represents normal schooling with no restrictions.


For the past few months, our Reentry Task Force has been working on various models to be considered for reentry in the fall. Recognizing how quickly things can change, we have put together thorough and robust plans for all scenarios to make sure we are ready to support learning in all options. The Roadmap requires the P-CCS Board of Education to approve the plan of how we will provide instruction in the fall. During the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education on July 28, the Reentry Task Force will discuss details for all suggested options and provide a recommendation to the Board. We encourage all to tune in to hear that discussion via the official P-CCS YouTube Channel


 All plans have to be approved and put into action by August 15; therefore, the P-CCS Board of Education is anticipated to take action no later than the August 11 Regular Meeting.


OPTIONS FOR THE P-CCS BOARD OF EDUCATION CONSIDERATION IN THE 2020-21 REENTRY PLAN

Phases 1, 2 or 3 -- P-CCS will adhere to the following model, as mandated by the Roadmap:

  • Fully virtual model for all students using P-CCS teachers and P-CCS curriculum. Unlike emergency remote learning, mandatory, regularly-scheduled, live and in real-time instruction, as well as instruction that would be recorded, viewed, and completed at any time will be implemented. Additional support will be provided to meet the needs of individual students (i.e. students with IEPs, 504s, English Learners, etc.).


Phase 4 -- The P-CCS Board of Education will be asked to consider: 

OPTION A: FAMILY CHOICE OF EITHER IN-PERSON or FULLY VIRTUAL

FAMILIES CAN CHOOSE:

  • Return to five days a week in-person instruction, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. This model would include all health and safety requirements and recommendations guided by the MI Safe Schools Roadmap. In order to best prepare for returning students to full in-person days, we are recommending a phased-in start to this model allowing us to begin with half-days in-person for the first few weeks of the school year (exact dates will be determined and communicated prior to final approval). The half-days will help us to acclimate students to some of the new requirements of in-person learning, such as wearing face coverings and getting adjusted to our new hygiene, health and safety routines.


OR FAMILIES CAN CHOOSE: 

  • A full five days per week virtual option during Phase 4. This model would be taught by P-CCS teachers utilizing P-CCS curriculum. Once the region moves into Phase 5, which has minimal restrictions and allows for more flexibility for face-to-face learning, the district would begin transitioning this virtual learning option into full five days in-person learning.



OPTION B: FULLY VIRTUAL FOR ALL STUDENTS

  • A full five days a week virtual learning model for all P-CCS students during Phase 4. Instruction in this model would be taught by P-CCS teachers utilizing P-CCS curriculum. Once the state moves our region into Phase 5, which has minimal restrictions and allows for more flexibility for face-to-face learning, the district would begin transitioning this virtual learning option into full five days of in-person learning. Parameters for screen time limits, live real-time instruction (synchronous), and the use of multiple learning activities will be incorporated into this distance learning model. P-CCS virtual learning will include support for all students, including those with IEPs, 504s, ELs, and other specialized services.



OPTION C: Combination Model (two days of in-person instruction; three days of remote virtual learning; NOT BEING RECOMMENDED FOR CONSIDERATION)

  • Based on the feedback from the Reentry Task Force and stakeholder input sessions, this model presented too many instructional and logistical challenges, and not enough choice for our families. Therefore, we will not be recommending it to the Board of Education for consideration. 


INDEPENDENT OF THE OPTIONS ABOVE, P-CCS WILL OFFER A VIRTUAL ACADEMY:

P-CCS VIRTUAL ACADEMY: (with minimum of one-semester commitment)

  • P-CCS will also offer a full virtual academy, available for the entire school year, for any student that chooses this option. This will be a unique opportunity separate from the above options that is an individual choice available to families. The academy will be staffed by P-CCS teachers utilizing P-CCS curriculum K-8, and P-CCS teachers utilizing Michigan Virtual curriculum at the high school level. More details about the virtual academy program will be shared as they are finalized. At this time, enrollment in the virtual academy at any level would require a minimum of a one-semester commitment (due to staffing constraints).



Phase 5 -- P-CCS will offer families a choice of the following models:

IN-PERSON

  • Full return to five days a week in-person instruction for all P-CCS students. This model would include minimal required health and safety protocols, guided by the MI Safe Schools Roadmap.


OR: 

P-CCS VIRTUAL ACADEMY

  • See description above.


NOTE FOR ALL OPTIONS: As we work to finalize details, some specialized courses, such as those in the IB Programme or CTE programs, may only have virtual offerings based on staffing as well as student interest and/or enrollment. 


HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS

As guided by the Roadmap, the task force has been engaged in detailed planning for the health and hygiene measures that will be utilized upon in-person reentry to our schools. While the Roadmap lists the wearing of face coverings as a strong recommendation for K-5 and a requirement for 6-12, face coverings will be a requirement for all staff and our students in elementary, middle, high, and post-secondary schools / programs unless the individual has a medical-based exception with a doctor’s note. This is consistent with the most recent recommendations from local, state, and national levels. We will also be providing hand sanitizer stations throughout school buildings, and dedicated times for hand washing will be routine and required during the school day.

Daily COVID-19 screenings will occur for all staff and students who will be entering school locations. During this time period, only essential visitors will be allowed into the school. 


Social distancing will be practiced wherever possible, and schools will include visual markings to help students with these expectations. Floors in common areas of the buildings will have markings on them, and our building principals and program leaders will lead the work within their individual facilities to  support processes for social distancing during the school day.


Planning for building and program cleanliness has been a key part of the work of the task force. We want to make sure that there is no compromise in the effort put forward for the daily cleanliness of our learning environments to best protect the health and students and staff. 


Some of the major parts of the comprehensive building cleaning plan include utilizing an increased fleet of Clorox 360 machines to handle the daily (after students and staff head home for day) sanitizing of every room within our school buildings. Deep cleaning protocols will be used in all classroom and building spaces. There are many more aspects of the cleanliness plan that will be discussed as our fully-detailed plans are presented during the July 28 meeting. 


The district has developed draft plans for all other required areas in the Roadmap, including extracurricular activities, communication, transportation, for anytime we are in an in-person learning environment. More details on these plans will be discussed during the Board Meeting on July 28. 

COMMUNITY & STAFF SURVEY

The Board welcomes your feedback and input as they work to approve the plan that best meets the needs of our school community. On Wednesday, July 29, the P-CCS Reentry Feedback Survey for Families and Staff, which will give the Board of Education important information from the school community regarding these options for reentry in the fall, will be launched. This survey will not require a commitment to any of the options under consideration, but will provide necessary data to help inform the board on the options being considered.


TASK FORCE INFORMATIONAL VIDEO

We are including an informational video to share some of the highlights of the work of the Reentry Task Force, and you can view it here via the official P-CCS YouTube Channel. This video is intended to help you to learn more about the details involved in our reentry plans. We also invite you to view the broadcast of the Regular Meeting of the P-CCS Board of Education on Tuesday, July 28 via the official P-CCS YouTube Channel to follow further discussion of the plans.


STAY CONNECTED IN COMING WEEKS

As plans are finalized, we will provide regular updates via the official P-CCS website, emails from the district, board meeting agendas, and any future surveys that we will be sending out for your feedback. We continue to be in this together, and all of our work will be guided by the priority of a safe and healthy return to learning this fall for our students and staff, no matter what model we utilize. Patience and flexibility remain key for all of us, and we continue to ask for your trust in us as plans are confirmed.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our great school district; together we remain P-CCS Strong. You will hear from us again soon. Until then, stay healthy and stay safe!

Monica L. Merritt
P-CCS Superintendent of Schools