Dr. Shultz January 8th Update

Finishing 1st Semester & Planning for 2nd Semester In-Person Changes
Posted on 01/08/2021
Update from the Superintendent, Dr. Carl Shultz

January 8, 2021
Dear Bedford Public Schools Parents/Guardians,

Yesterday, at the Board of Education Meeting, the Board unanimously approved the district’s return to our previously implemented in-person cohort style learning program beginning on Monday, January 11, 2021. The plan is for all students to return to the same learning environment that he/she was in on the last day of in-person learning on November 11, 2020. Students will have the opportunity to select a new learning program for the start of the 2nd semester beginning on February 1, 2021. Individual building level principals have already sent information to their families with additional details.

In addition, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced this afternoon that the State of Michigan has established revised guidance for K-12 schools and will no longer be following the formerly implemented MI Safe School Roadmap. Adopted in June of 2020, the Roadmap was used by all districts within the state to create our initial learning plans along with allowable timelines for learning plan transition. The revised guidance, formerly known as the State of Michigan Guidelines for Operating School Safely, is much more concise than the originally adopted MI Safe School Roadmap and places the responsibility to determine safe school operations and transition timelines on local districts and health departments. Many of the same health and safety mitigation strategies included in the Roadmap remain in the new guidance along with some additional tools and resources being made available to local districts. Governor Whitmer’s announcement also included a plan to ensure that all districts within the state return to offering an in-person learning opportunity to families who want their children in classrooms as soon as possible, but no later than March 1, 2021.

I can say that I am pleased with much of today’s information as it allows districts like Bedford to focus on our local students and what is happening in our community as opposed to following a regional approach where BPS was attached to districts as far as Oakland and Macomb counties. As stated during yesterday’s Board meeting, BPS leadership has already begun the process of reviewing our current in-person learning programs to better suit the needs of our students and staff members. The goal is to create an updated in-person learning program that will closely resemble what our highly successful traditional classroom learning looks like districtwide. The mandatory/necessary health and safety mitigation strategies will still be implemented districtwide making a return to our full traditional program impossible for this year. We can, however, make great strides for our next transition. A continuation of the recent data trends within our county and township could see implementation of this newly designed program as early as the start of the 2nd semester on February 1, 2021. THIS IS OUR GOAL IF DATA ALLOWS.

Finally, I understand that we will never be able to satisfy everyone’s immediate hopes and wishes as a district. I can only say that all decisions have and will continue to be made on what we feel is best for the community as a whole. Regardless of the in-person learning program in implementation, BPS will continue to maintain a full-virtual option for K-12 families who do not feel comfortable having their children inside physical classrooms for the remainder of the year. As I have stated numerous times this year, 2020-2021 will simply look different than any other year and the lessons that we learn will be a growth opportunity for all of us. Please be safe and know that we are all in this together. The absolute best way to ensure a long and successful return to in-person learning is for families, students, and district staff to follow all precautionary guidelines and practices. If you or a loved one are not feeling well, please remain at home and allow our buildings to remain safe. I look forward to seeing our students on Monday!

Carl Shultz, Ph.D
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

January 7, 2021 Return to Learn Presentation Link

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