Update on Return to School Plans
Fri, Aug 7 11:36pm

P-CCS Families:

Today, I want to share with you the most up-to-date information on our return to school plans for the 2020-21 school year. During the Regular Meeting on August 11, the P-CCS Board of Education will be asked to consider the approval of a recommendation to begin the school year in a fully remote learning model, which we have titled ‘Safe Start Remote Learning w/ P-CCS,’ with a plan to begin transitioning small-groups of students to in-person learning scenarios no later than the first week of October. The plan for consideration also includes an option for families to choose enrollment in the P-CCS Virtual Academy, as described below. This revised recommendation is being made with an abundance of caution after much discussion, feedback, and information gathering from our community, staff, and board members over the past few weeks.

 

We will continue to monitor health protocols and data around COVID-19 transmission in our local area, as we develop new hybrid models to begin reintegrating students back to in-person learning using a thoughtful phased approach. We will develop a modified hybrid model that will allow for the recommended six feet of social distancing in classrooms that we were originally not able to achieve in all classrooms with our previous 50 percent hybrid model. All in-person models will have strict adherence to cleaning protocols and the use of appropriate face coverings for staff and students.

 

As educators, we know that learning in-person provides the best environment for teaching and learning. ‘Safe Start Remote Learning w/ P-CCS’ throughout September provides us with the safest way to begin this school year as we support the district’s goal of returning students to in-person learning. Students will begin the year with their assigned classroom teacher(s), who will provide daily, high-quality P-CCS instruction through a remote platform. Highlights of the ‘Safe Start’ plan include:

  • Real time (synchronous) and independent (asynchronous) opportunities for learning that will be available throughout the regularly-scheduled day.

    • We want to be clear that strict guidelines will be put in place to ensure appropriate ranges for screen time use throughout the school day. We will share more details on prototypes for schedules and expectations in the coming days.

  • A new Learning Management System, powered by Canvas,  will be implemented district-wide to allow a single-platform solution with a single access point for families. We will spend the needed time at the start of the school year to ready our staff and families to make sure they are proficient with this system.

  • The re-implementation of Zoom as the official video conferencing platform to be used district-wide.

  • Increased mandatory expectations for learning, including content that will be graded, the administration of formative and summative assessments, and attendance for students as required per State guidelines.

  • Although we will be beginning the school year in a remote environment, principals, teachers, and support staff will be working from their assigned school buildings and classrooms. This will help provide our students and staff with the resources they need for high-quality-learning, as well as ready us for a seamless transition back to an in-person learning environment.

Independent of the ‘Safe Start Remote Learning’ plan, all district families may choose to enroll in the P-CCS Virtual Academy, which provides a guaranteed virtual option for the entire 2020-21 school year (with a minimum commitment of one semester in secondary / trimester in elementary). Below is some important info about the P-CCS Virtual Academy option:

  • Instruction will be provided by P-CCS teachers at all levels.

    • Grades K-8 will feature P-CCS curriculum taught by P-CCS teachers. 

    • Grades 9-12 will feature Michigan Virtual curriculum resources supplemented by P-CCS resources, all taught by P-CCS teachers.

  • Instruction will include both synchronous (live and in real time) and asynchronous (not in real time) experiences. 

  • Scheduled real time support that mirrors our elementary, middle school, and high school virtual schedules. 

  • The enrollment window for the Virtual Academy will be open early next week with an online form available on the official district website

All students will need access to devices and connectivity to successfully engage in both the ‘Safe Start’ and P-CCS Virtual Academy options. We will make sure, with no exceptions, that students have what they need to begin the school year. A survey will be sent out to families on Monday (August 10) to identify how many students will need a device and/or internet access. Recognizing that our families without internet access may not be able to respond to the survey, we will also begin using phone communication to survey our families next week.

 

While we know that this school year will be like no other, nothing will take away from the excitement that we all have as educators to connect with our students once again. Our team is hard at work to make sure that all students' needs are met, we will be ready to welcome all students for high-quality and engaging learning this fall.

 

We continue to ask that you stay connected with P-CCS through news and updates via our district website, emails from the district, our board meeting agendas, and any future surveys that we will be sending out for your feedback. We are in this together, and remain committed to the number one priority of a safe and healthy return to learning this fall. Patience and flexibility remain key for all of us as we continue to navigate these challenging times.

 

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to P-CCS; together we remain P-CCS Strong. You will continue to hear from the district, as well as your building principals and program leaders, in the coming days and weeks. Stay healthy and stay safe!

 

Yours in learning,

 

Monica L. Merritt

P-CCS Superintendent of Schools