|Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,
On June 30, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-142 that included the recommendations from her COVID-19 Task Force on the MI Safe Schools Roadmap. The executive order requires districts to develop three plans in preparation for the fall: 100% in person, 100% distance learning, and a hybrid combination of the two.
Based on stakeholder feedback, I am recommending that we start back to school 100% distance learning for the first marking period which goes until October 21. During that time, we will assess our decision and will be prepared for a potential in-person or hybrid return to school.
We are recommending an increase in the amount of synchronous teaching at both the elementary and secondary levels. We are in collaboration with the teachers’ union on specific details that will be presented at the Grand Rapids Board of Education’s Academic Achievement Committee on August 5. In conjunction with the Academic Achievement Committee, there will be a virtual town hall meeting on August 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The full Board is expected to vote on the plan on August 10.
In order to further strengthen and improve our distance learning, we will be launching one-to-one devices for all GRPS students. We will also be providing resources to ensure all students have reliable internet access.
Our distance learning plan also includes support and material packets for students with special needs where online learning is not the best option for our most vulnerable students.
We are planning to continue with athletics in accordance with the executive order and MHSAA guidelines. We are also planning to continue providing nutrition services. Please stay tuned for additional details that we will be sharing over the next few weeks.
In conclusion, we said that the health, safety, and well being of our students and staff would be our top priority in decision making. I believe starting with distance learning is the safest approach to the start of school.
Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and support.
Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools