The following is the full text of Dr. Leadriane Roby’s statement regarding the districts plan for 100% online instruction to start the upcoming school year.
“A tremendous amount of time, energy, expertise, planning, stakeholder feedback, and collaboration with the union has gone into developing our COVID-10 Preparedness Response Plan.
We have relied on multiple sources for direction including, but not limited to:
On June 30, Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order that included the recommendations from her COVID-19 Task Force on the MI Safe Schools Roadmap.
The executive order requires all districts to develop three plans in preparation for the fall — 100% in person, 100% distance learning, and a hybrid combination of the two.
As part of our planning, we surveyed our parents and staff to get their feedback about our distance learning plan in the Spring and their thoughts and concerns about returning to school in the fall.
The KISD survey in June received nearly 4000 responses from GRPS parents. Specifically on the safety question…
After Governor Whitmer released her Executive Order and the Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap, we surveyed parents and staff again. The survey technically ended last week Thursday and the findings show the most support for starting back in distance learning.
We have repeatedly said the safety, health, and well-being of our students and staff are our top priority and will be the top priority in our decision making.
Based on the data, we are recommending that we start back to school 100% distance learning for the first marking period which goes until October 21.
During that 9 week period of time, we will continuously assess our decision and will be prepared for a potential in-person or hybrid return to school.
Of course, we will also follow any executive direction from the state and federal governments. In order to implement our virtual plan, we will need continued flexibility and support from Governor Whitmer and the state Legislature on our per pupil count, average daily attendance, and instructional days and hours.
We are recommending an increase in the amount of synchronous teaching at the elementary and secondary levels.
We are in collaboration with the teachers’ union and will be releasing specific details at the Board’s Academic Achievement Committee on August 5. In conjunction with the Academic Achievement Committee, we are planning a virtual town hall meeting on August 5 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.
In order to further strengthen and improve our distance learning plan, 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.
Parent University is in the process of developing a digital literacy training for parents and we will continue to provide technical support for students and parents.
We are establishing a “Family Helpdesk” for just-in-time support for families. The Family Helpdesk will be staffed to respond to general questions of all types including technology questions, student passwords, and more. Parents can call the main line at 616-819-2000 or email [email protected]
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 still planning to continue with athletics in accordance with the executive order and MHSAA guidelines.
We will follow all rules and regulations related to nutrition services.
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 practicing what we preach and is by far our safest approach to the start of school.”