All K-12 Schools are closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Get all the details including how schools are planning to teach.
In Person School Year is Over!
This morning (April 2), Governor Whitmer held a press conference and closed in-person school for the 2019-2020 school year (unless restrictions are lifted). Some key points:
- Schools will continue to provide learning opportunities
- Each school districts to decide what that looks like – online, handouts, a combination subject to approval by the ISD.
- The requirement to provide 180 days and 1098 hours of instruction is lifted for 2019-2020. Allowances are being made for some emergency days and transition to distance learning.
- Seniors will still have the opportunity to graduate even if they were still completing required classes
- K-11 students will also move up* to the next grade.
- All standardized testing is suspended for this school year (MSTEP & SAT)
- Current Juniors will be able to take the SAT in the fall at no cost to make up for losing the state funded testing date in March. Other high school students will be able to take the PSAT in the fall.
- The Third Grade reading law will not be enforced.
- School buildings will remain closed to the public. District employees can use the building to provide remote learning while maintaining social distancing.
- Schools will receive their full state funding allotment. Teachers and staff will be paid through June 30.
- Schools can adopt a balanced calendar for 2019/2020 which I assume means they can extend the school year if needed
- Schools can start 2020/2021 before Labor Day without needing a waiver (Washtenaw Intermediate School District had previously secured a waiver)
- Student Teachers can still receive a temporary teaching certificate and existing teachers can renew theirs even if they did not meet all of the requirements due to COVID-19
The state’s coronavirus website does not yet mention the school closure. Articles on both Click on Detroit and WXYZ included the full executive order in their article. The executive order is full of legalese, so I largely relied on their interpretation and am now watching the press conference.
The schools will be developing their distance learning plan which will be approved by the ISD or authorizer for charter schools.
Ann Arbor Public Schools has provided some more details on their plans moving forward with more information to come following spring break. I am glad to hear the students will be finishing the year.
Upcoming Sponsored Events
Different districts have different plans for learning. Ann Arbor Public Schools is providing enrichment activities online. They offered devices for families to pickup the first week off from school. See below for Internet Options if you do not already have home internet.
From what I see, many of my 8th grader’s classes are continuing with work. Some teachers sent assignments right away, others waited until after the district’s training the first week of the closure. Her school is taking spring break off.
From what I see, Comcast and AT&T are the two main home internet providers in the Ann Arbor area. Both companies are expanding their internet options for low income households during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Comcast Internet Essentials package at no cost for 2 months
- AT&T Access package at no cost for 2 months
Each program has restrictions that typically include service availability at your residence, income eligibility, and not being a current or recent customer.
If you live in an area without wired service, you will need to look at a satellite or cellular option which are considerably more expensive and slower.
- Satellite Packages
- Viasat packages start at $70 for unlimited data based on speed
- Hughesnet packages start at $40/month for 10GB of data.
- Mobile Hotspot Devices
- Check with your mobile provider to see what options they have for device cost and monthly fees.
Some districts, including Lincoln have been handing out enrichment packets with their food distribution program.
I would like to see a combination of online learning for those with access combined with packets and maybe DVD recordings for those without.
More COVID-19 Information
And join us on our Virtual Spring Break Travels.