20-21 Return to Learn

Call 517-925-5725 to report COVID information to the GLPS Health Hotline

 

Return to Learn

We will do our best to keep families, students, staff, and the community informed as Grand Ledge Public Schools responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information is often shared on social media, so please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

 

HELPDESK: Technology Support for Families

Technology Support for Families

If you have technology-related questions (ie. login issues, school device issues, ect.), please contact the building’s frontline technology support team below.  They will answer your questions or direct them to the appropriate people to get answered. 

Contact information below or as a pdf document.

Neff & Holbrook - Nola Cockroft
Phone: 517-925-5625
Email: cockroftn@glcomets.net
Neff’s Online Tech Help Desk

Beagle - Stephanie Morgan
Phone: 517-925-5486
Email: morgans@glcomets.net
Beagle’s Online Tech Help Desk

Delta Center - Carly Gee
Phone: 517-925-5567
Email: geec@glcomets.net
Delta Center’s Online Tech Help Desk

Wacousta - Michael Patrick
Phone: 517-925-5974
Email: patrickm@glcomets.net
Wacousta’s Online Tech Help Desk

WIllow Ridge - Marcia Pogoncheff
Phone: 517-925-5797
Email: pogoncheffm@glcomets.net
Willow Ridge’s Online Tech Help Desk

Hayes - Tammy Jordan-Thelen
Phone: 517-925-5686
Email: jordanthelent@glcomets.net
Hayes’ Online Tech Help Desk

High School - Michelle D'Alessandro
Phone: 517-925-5855
Email: GLHSTechSupport@glcomets.net

 

The Student Technology Request Form is at GLcomets.net/TechRequest.

 

 

 

 

Update from Superintendent Chapin -- Apr. 7, 2021


April 7, 2021

All GLPS Families:

We just finished our weekly meeting with the Barry-Eaton District Health Department a few hours ago and several relevant issues were reviewed with school administrators and health department officials to include:  1) rising positivity rates and new cases, 2) school planning across the region and state, 3) updated quarantine protocols from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), 4) Ingham County’s decision to move to virtual instruction in grades 6-12 the week of April 12-16, and other things.   

Although we continue to keep a keen eye on the rising rates, and share a significant concern regarding this recent spike in the data, we were able to report a positive start to our week in Grand Ledge.  Over 3,000 students participated in in-person instruction this week.  The positive reports from across the district far outweighed some of the glitches that surfaced.  We know the drop-off lines in front of the school on Monday were crazy long, but we all survived and improvements were made yesterday.   We appreciated the support from all – students, parents, teachers, staff and administrators – who worked together to create an admirable start to an upgraded in-person experience for a broad range of students.   And, a special shout out to our students who were very respectful of the mitigation strategies in place in every school. 

TRACKING THE DATA:  We are continuing to use the CDC Covid Tracker by State & County to track the Eaton County COVID numbers.  Last week we reported the valid data from March 28th.  Today’s numbers are dated April 3rd and indicate the positivity rate at 20.7% (UP from last week’s 16.35%) and the cumulative new cases over the past seven days at 578 (UP from last week’s 428).  The MI Safe Start Map used previously to trace the Eaton County data reveals a very similar trend to the CDC data.  The Eaton County vaccination doses as of April 5th total 58,523 up from 46,240 when last reported on March 24th. 

WEEK OF APRIL 12th:  Given the current levels of COVID-19 in Eaton County, and following the CDC Guidelines, GLPS will be in the RED phase the week of April 12th.  This is a continuation of the programming currently in place throughout the district.  Therefore,

Students enrolled in the in-person program in grades K-8 will meet Monday through Thursday in accord with the schedule communicated through the principal’s office.  Students enrolled in the in-person program in grades 9-12 will meet in the M/W, T/Th hybrid format with an optional Friday session in accord with the schedule communicated through the principal’s office.  All students will attend virtual instruction on Friday.

Students enrolled in the virtual program will meet Monday through Friday in accord with the schedule communicated through the principal’s office.

For those attending in-person, universal and correct use of masks is required and physical distancing (6 feet) shall be maximized to the extent possible.

14 DAY QUARANTINE, NOT 10:  Given the concern with the increasing presence of COVID-19 and the B117 variant, the health department confirmed this week the quarantine period will be 14 days, not 10 days as previously communicated.  Until we hear otherwise from the health department, a districtwide return to all-virtual instruction is not likely in the foreseeable future.  Instead, if necessary, contract tracing will occur when there is a positive COVID case and will precede quarantine instructions for those impacted.  It’s best to be aware of this possibility between now and the end of the school year.

RAPID TESTING:   Once again, drive-through rapid testing will be available free of charge on Wednesday (4/14) and Thursday (4/15) from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM in the Sawdon Parking Lot (220 Lamson St).  This event is open to all community members young and old.  Please feel free to take advantage of this opportunity.   Spread the word.  

16-YEAR-OLD & ABOVE VACCINATION:  From the BEDHD: "If you have a 16-17 year old child interested in being vaccinated, please fill out the interest form on our website with the child’s birthdate, name, information on health conditions or relevant employment, and the parent’s contact information. We will send you an invitation when we are able to schedule your child an appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine. A parent must be present at the vaccination appointment. We anticipate our Pfizer clinics to begin in mid-to-late April.”   Please find the interest form at https://consultinglhd.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bwLWUGoPTjDaMya.

Be well, take good care and I will write again on Wednesday, April 14th.

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Update from Superintendent Chapin -- Apr. 2, 2021


April 2, 2021

All GLPS Families:

Due to spring break, I was not planning on writing again until April 7th, but given the ever- changing conditions we are experiencing it seems appropriate to touch base before school begins anew on Monday. Really, I am writing to assure all parties we will be moving forward as planned on Monday, April 5th; that is, we will follow the current CDC guidelines for in-person instruction, as approved by the Board of Education on March 22nd, and continue the virtual program that families opted into earlier in March. Specific schedules were sent to families from the Office of the Principal at each school prior to spring break. I also want to assure you we have a keen eye on the COVID data (see below) and continue to work very closely with the Barry Eaton District Health Department in making decisions regarding in-person instruction.

TRACKING THE DATA: As noted last week we are now using the CDC Covid Tracker by State & County to track the Eaton County COVID #’s. Last week we reported the valid #’s from March 20th. Today’s #’s are dated March 28th and indicate the positivity rate at 16.35% (UP from last week’s 10.71%) and the cumulative new cases over the past seven days at 428 (UP from last week’s 258). Previously we were using the MI Safe Start Map to track the Eaton County data. Numbers from the MI Safe Start Map show a very similar trend to the CDC data.

ELEVATED #’s, WHY IN-PERSON? This is a decision we do not take lightly and one that has occupied time and energy during spring break. Here is what is influencing decisions today that is different from decisions made earlier this year and why we think it important to move forward as planned on Monday:

  • As I write, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with local health departments, continues to advocate for in-person instructional opportunities. This aligns, too, with the recently updated guidance for schools issued on March 19th from the Center for Disease Control. As noted in last week’s mailing, central to this advocacy is the lack of evidence that classroom instruction is a root cause of community transmission.
  • There were a wide range of positive student experiences shared in-house in GLPS after we began larger scale in-person instruction on March 1st. Stories and experiences – albeit anecdotally – that supported the social-emotional needs of students K through 12. These are good stories affirming the importance of peer relationships and student-teacher relationships.
  • Maintaining 60% capacity in our classrooms will enable us to better control the need for distancing between students and teachers for periods that exceed 15 minutes. In addition, we added staffing to support our school nurse as we trace individual contacts if and when a positive COVID case surfaces.
  • Updated, highly functional air quality filters are now installed in every building in the district.
  • Vaccination rates are ever-increasing across the county and state and clinical trials continue to validate their effectiveness.
  • Many, to include students, families and staff, are prepared and in anticipation of a broadening of in-person instruction beginning next week in GLPS. Those that opted for a continuation of online instruction – with their same teacher in the lower grades – are able to do so.
  • Observations from March show that students and staff are respectful of the very necessary mitigation strategies that will ensure success – masking, distancing and a high degree of caution and respect.

MOVING FORWARD: Although the MDHHS, BEDHD and CDC will not be recommending district- wide virtual learning, it is very possible we will need to make decision in GLPS that are classroom, school and/or event-specific. We believe we do contact tracing very well in GL. Be on the ready for a safety-induced quarantine that may impact student and family schedules. Hope not, but that is our current reality. Please use the GLPS Family Screener and use the GLPS COVID hotline (517-925-5725) to report cases that you know are valid. Let’s work together and beat this!

Take good care. I will write again on Wednesday, April 7th.

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Weekly Wednesday Message -- Mar. 24, 2021


March 24, 2021

All GLPS Families:

CDC GUIDANCE/BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVAL:  As noted throughout our correspondence in March, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was in the process of updating their information in recent months to include specific timely guidance for schools.  In turn, at Monday’s (3/22) Board of Education meeting the Board approved a recommendation from the administrative team to adopt CDC’s current guidance Current CDC Guidance for Schools as we move forward with increased opportunities for in-person learning; this, while also maintaining the online program currently in place.   If interested in the detail behind the recommendation and motion, please see Adm Recommendation to the BOE 3/22.

The CDC notes, “This operational strategy presents a pathway to reopen schools and help them remain open through consistent use of mitigation strategies, especially universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing.”

CHANGE IN CODING FOR LEVEL OF IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION:  When we adopted the GL Safe Return Guide in December, we began using RED, YELLOW and GREEN in communicating with all of you.  RED signaling less face-to-face instruction leading up to GREEN meaning full-time face-to-face instruction.  With the adoption of the new CDC guidance, beginning today we will use their code as follows:  HIGH TRANSMISSION RED, SUBSTANTIAL TRANSMISSION ORANGE, MODERATE TRANSMISSION YELLOW and LOW TRANSMISSION BLUE.  In all cases the color coding connects to the presence of the COVID virus in Eaton County as evidenced through the positivity rate and new cases data.  The higher rates lead to RED and less face-to-face; lower rates lead to BLUE and full-time face-to-face.   We will also begin using the CDC website to track down the #’s for Eaton County by going to CDC Covid Tracker by State & County.

TRACKING THE DATA:    Although we will now begin to use the CDC Covid Tracker, it makes sense one more time to share the newest (3/20) Eaton County data from the MI Safe Start Map.  It shows the 7-day average positivity rate at 10.6% (UP again considerably from last week’s 6.7%, and approaching the 12.2% from January 2nd), the new cases per million at 270 (UP again from last week’s 208, and approaching the 336 recorded on January 2nd).  However, the number of vaccinations in Eaton County continue to rise to 46,240 (UP at a quicker pace from 38,297 a week ago).   

Changing now to the Eaton County data from CDC, you will see similar #’s:    Please note, though, the CDC uses per 100,000 vs. Safe Start Map’s use of per million to level the #’s so that regions can be compared appropriately.  Same outcome, just a different equation.  Current Eaton County #’s from the CDC show a positivity rate of 10.71% and new cases/100,000 at 258.  All signs point to RED.  That said, the CDC provides guidelines within this phase for schools to successfully and safely offer opportunities for in-person instruction.  This is NOT a step back, rather a simple change to a different – CDC recommended – coding system. 

WEEK OF APRIL 5th:  Given the current levels of COVID-19 in Eaton County, GLPS will be in the RED phase the week of April 5th.  Therefore,

Students enrolled in the in-person program in grades K-8 will meet Monday through Thursday in accord with the schedule communicated through the principal’s office.  Students enrolled in the in-person program in grades 9-12 will meet in the M/W, T/Th hybrid format with an optional Friday session in accord with the schedule communicated through the principal’s office.  All students will attend virtual instruction on Friday.

Students enrolled in the virtual program will meet Monday through Friday in accord with the schedule communicated through the principal’s office.

For those attending in-person, universal and correct use of masks is required and physical distancing (6 feet) shall be maximized to the extent possible.

SPRING BREAK, TRAVEL SMART:   As the data above confirms, we all need to be careful and thoughtful in the weeks and months ahead.  If you are traveling during spring break, please travel smart.  The information from Barry-Eaton District Health Department BEDHD Returning from Travel accurately summarizes our position related to travel during spring break.   We trust our families to review the travel tips from BEDHD, travel safely and make use of the GLPS Home Screener upon return to school on April 5th.

MHSAA/MDHHS PARTNERSHIP:  We will continue to follow the guidelines from the Michigan High School Athletic Association as we move ahead to the spring sports season.  The athletic association and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are partnering on additional protocols that will be implemented on the flip side of spring break.  More as these details are finalized.

BOTTOM LINE:  I understand the changes as outlined above may be confusing and even conflicting in the minds of some.  Not the intent, for sure.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  We are trying to keep pace with relevant input that INCREASES opportunities for in-person instruction.  It’s true this nasty virus is still present and still limiting what we can do in schools.  However, in my meeting with the health department this morning, we talked through some of the reasons for the spike in the data.  Discussion centered on many things to include the gradual re-opening of the state, the arrival of the B117 variant in the state, and a gradual “letting down of the guard,” among other things.  Discussion did not center on classroom instruction as a root cause of the problem.  CDC supports a thoughtful widening of opportunities for in-person instruction and, furthermore, supports maintaining in-person plans that are already in place.  We will be thoughtful in GLPS until all students are able to opt in to full day, all day, in-person instruction in a safe GLPS environment.  

Be well, take good care and I will write again on Wednesday, April 7th.

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Post Spring Break Planning -- March 22, 2021

PDF DocumentPost Spring Break Planning -- March 22, 2021 (pdf)

This is the administration's presentation to the Board of Education at its meeting on March 22, 2021.

Post Spring Break Planning

 

 

Thursday -- Mar. 18, 2021


March 18, 2021

All GLPS Families:

There are a lot of twists and turns to this school year, as we ALL have experienced over the past 12 months.  Without going into a lot of detail, let me try to explain the latest twist.   On March 9th the legislature passed and the governor signed into law Public Act 3 of 2021.  PA 3 requires all schools across the state to offer a minimum of 20 hours /week of in-person instruction by March 22nd to be eligible to receive additional funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund.  Yes, a VERY tight timeline.   In a special meeting held yesterday (3/17) the Board of Education approved a motion to increase hours of in-person instruction each week in what I will now call the YELLOW-PLUS phase beginning Monday, March 22nd.  Today, each school reached out to families with students currently enrolled in the YELLOW phase seeking their interest in a modest increase of hours of in-person instruction each week.  This modification begins on Monday (3/22) and will continue for one week only.  We are seeking approval of a longer-term plan at the March 22nd meeting of the Board of Education that, if approved, will begin on April 5th.  

At first glance, it appears the number of students choosing the YELLOW-PLUS option will not alter numbers in classrooms and schools too much, allowing for a continuation of smaller cohorts and the ability to distance appropriately.   

TRACKING THE DATA:    The newest data from the MI Safe Start Map shows the Eaton County 7-day average positivity rate at 6.7% (UP quite a bit from last week’s 4.4%, but still DOWN significantly from 12.2% on January 2nd), the new cases per million at 208 (UP quite a bit from last week’s 103, but still DOWN from 336 on January 2nd) and the number of vaccinations in Eaton County continue to rise to 38,297 (UP from 32,580 a week ago).  

CDC GUIDANCE/NEW METRIC :  At the Monday, March 8th meeting of the Board of Education, we shared the New CDC Guidance for Schools.   Although the metric included in this new guidance is very similar to what we are currently using in our GL Safe Return Guide, it is updated and acutely related to school opening.  The CDC guidance will be part of the Return to Learn dialogue scheduled for the Monday, March 22nd Board of Education meeting.   

FOLLOW-UP TO MONDAY’S JOINT LETTER FROM GLPS and BEDHD RE: B117 VARIANT:  I want to reiterate some key points from Monday’s joint mailing.  Due to quality protocol in place (i.e., contact tracing, strong partnership with BEDHD, efficient communication, and follow-through with quarantining), the event from February 18th was managed consistent with our preparation and done so effectively.  The lapse in time between the event, detection of the variant and subsequent communication from the state lab to BEDHD and, in turn, GLPS is something beyond our control.  Because of the time lapse there was a question re: the helpfulness of communicating this three weeks later.  We have said often this year, we will err on the side of communicating too much, but not too little.  So, we did so on Monday, March 15th after hearing from BEDHD on Friday, March 12th (BEDHD heard from the state lab on March 11th).  We realize this caused some elevated concern in the region, but believe the decision to communicate this openly ASAP resulted in increased awareness leading, hopefully, to a declining presence of the virus in our region.  We stand by our protocol and our decision to communicate jointly with BEDHD.  x

SPRING BREAK:  In case you missed this from last week … the information from Barry-Eaton District Health Department BEDHD Returning from Travel accurately summarizes our position related to travel during spring break.   We trust our families to review the travel tips from BEDHD, travel safely and make use of the GLPS Home Screener upon return to school on April 5th.

WHAT LIES AHEAD:   There are questions re: the plan for GLPS in the spring, summer and at the beginning of the 21-22 school year.  While I am not in a position to speak for all, I can assure you members of the Board of Education and administrative team are working toward a goal of offering across-the-board in-person instruction for all students in grades K-12 spring, summer and fall.  In addition to in-person instruction, the virtual program will continue through the spring and likely beyond.   There is a lot we cannot control, but that is the goal. 

Take good care …

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

GLPS Planning - PA 3 and Post Spring Break -- March 17, 2021

PDF DocumentGLPS Planning - PA 3 and Post Spring Break -- March 17, 2021 (pdf)

This is the administration's presentation to the Board of Education at its special meeting on March 17, 2021.

GLPS Planning - HB 4048 and Post Spring Break

 

 

Cluster of Cases Thought to be B.1.1.7 Variant -- Mar. 15, 2021


BEDHD & GLPS letterhead

March 15, 2021

Dear Grand Ledge Public School Families,

As many of you know, there has been a cluster of COVID-19 cases recently involving GLPS students and staff. This cluster is thought to be the B.1.1.7. variant due to genetic sequencing completed on two individuals’ tests. Because this variant is more contagious, this a concern to the entire community.

Cases among GLPS students and staff are related to several school sports teams. As of 3/12, there are 47 cases linked to this outbreak. This includes 29 middle and high school students, coaches, and additional students and staff who were exposed to the initial cases. The additional cases are among close contacts of these individuals. Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) was notified of initial cases on 2/22 by GLPS and has been working in partnership with the district to conduct case investigation and contact tracing. The identification of the B.1.1.7. variant was reported to BEDHD on 3/11.

At this time, we are asking families to do the following:

  1. Keep ill and exposed students home from school for the entire quarantine or isolation period. The isolation period for ill individuals is 10 days, starting when symptoms begin. In asymptomatic individuals, the isolation period is also 10 days, starting the day the COVID-19 test was taken. Quarantine in cases where the B.1.1.7 variant is expected lasts a full 14 days, starting from the day of the most recent exposure.
  2. Quarantine for a full 14 days if a member of your household is sick with the B.1.1.7 variant. For most individuals, this includes staying home from work. This also includes avoiding: community gatherings, gatherings with other households, shopping, and other activities that require leaving the home.
  3. A FREE pop-up testing event open to all community members is scheduled for Tuesday, March 16th from 1:00-7:00 PM and Wednesday, March 17th from 10:30 AM until 4:30 PM in the Sawdon Administration Parking Lot located at 220 Lamson St. In Grand Ledge. Details can be found at Free GL Community Rapid Testing.
  4. Continue to social distance, wear masks, wash hands frequently, and get a vaccine when available to you, if eligible. Individuals currently under isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 should not attend any previously-scheduled COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

The B.1.1.7. variant originated in Great Britain and is thought to be more contagious than earlier strains. Available COVID-19 vaccines are thought to be effective against the B.1.1.7 variant.

We appreciate your cooperation to keep our students, families, and staff safe from COVID-19. If you have any questions, please contact the Barry-Eaton District Health Department @ 517-541-2675.

signatures

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Mar. 10, 2021


March 10, 2021

All GLPS Families:

As noted last week, we are continuing in the YELLOW phase up until spring break unless there is a significant need to communicate otherwise.  Students are wearing masks, parents are using the home screener on a regular basis, there is basic respect for social distancing in our schools, and custodians and others are staying on top of all issues associated with cleanliness throughout the schools.  This is the formula for success K through 12th grade.  We’re seeing it and appreciate everyone’s contributions to the early success of the YELLOW phase.

TRACKING THE DATA:    The newest data from the MI Safe Start Map shows the Eaton County 7-day average positivity rate at 4.4% (DOWN slightly from last week’s 4.5%, and DOWN significantly from 12.2% on January 2nd), the new cases per million at 103 (Moving DOWN again from last week’s 137 and still DOWN significantly from 336 on January 2nd) and the number of vaccinations in Eaton County continue to rise to 32,580 (UP from 27,907 a week ago).   

QUARANTINING:  As previously communicated to all families (2/28), “targeted quarantine will be part of the return … contact tracing and follow-up with families will be normal.”  Unfortunately, this is true in schools across the state and country, and is part of our return to in-person instruction in GLPS.  While we are generally encouraged by what we observed last week and early this week, we did send notices to the Delta Center and Beagle School communities on Sunday (3/7) communicating some limited quarantining measures in place for the week of March 8-12.  We will be vigilant and careful into the foreseeable future.  Thank you, in advance, for your understanding.

SPRING BREAK:  Some have inquired about our policy as it relates to travel during spring break.  The information from Barry-Eaton District Health Department BEDHD Returning from Travel accurately summarizes our position.  We trust our families to review the travel tips from BEDHD, travel safely and make use of the GLPS Home Screener upon return to school on April 5th. 

CDC GUIDANCE/NEW METRIC :  At the Monday, March 8th meeting of the Board of Education, we shared the New CDC Guidance for Schools.  This info is also posted on the district website.  Although the metric included in this new guidance is very similar to what we are currently using in our GL Safe Return Guide, it is updated and acutely related to school opening.  Look for it next Wednesday and beyond, as it comes before the Board of Education for action on March 22nd.

Take good care …

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Superintendent Update to Board of Education -- March 8, 2021

PDF DocumentSuperintendent Update to Board of Education -- March 8, 2021 (pdf)

The Superintendent gave an update to the Board of Education at its March 8, 2021 meeting, and it included lots of information.

Superintendent Update

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Mar. 3, 2021


March 3, 2021

All GLPS Families:

Through the middle of the third day in the YELLOW phase we are hearing positive vibes and seeing bright eyes throughout the school district.  All good at the moment.  As noted last week, unless there are significant spikes in the COVID data we anticipate staying in the YELLOW phase throughout the district through the month of March … so unless we communicate otherwise, please make family plans around the YELLOW phase up to spring break which begins at the end of the day on Thursday, March 25th.   Still, there’s more to communicate …

CURRENT DATA:  As noted over the last 2-3 months, we will continue to write each week to provide families and staff members with up-to-date information related to the presence of COVID in the region, necessary precautions and all things related to bringing this very unusual school year to a positive close.  This includes regular reporting of the Eaton County positivity rate, new cases and number of vaccinations.    The newest data shows the Eaton County 7-day average positivity rate at 4.5% (DOWN from last week’s 5.6%, and DOWN significantly from 12.2% on January 2nd), the new cases per million at 137 (UP slightly for the second week in a row and UP from 110 a week ago, but still DOWN significantly from 336 on January 2nd) and the number of vaccinations in Eaton County continue to rise to 27,907 (UP from 23,138 a week ago).   

CDC GUIDANCE:  The GL Safe Return Guide has been an excellent resource throughout the last 10-12 weeks and will continue to assist in the coming weeks and months.  However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) introduced an update on February 12th to their original guidance (9/15/20) which is widely referenced in our Safe Return Guide.  We will be reviewing the CDC update while recommending changes to our existing guide at the next regularly-scheduled Board meeting on March 8th.  In turn, we will follow-up with a motion for Board action on March 22nd.  This will also provide two additional opportunities for public comment as we frame the decision-making process to be used prior to making a decision to increase in-person opportunities after spring break.

QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE CURRENT SURVEY:  As you are aware, last Friday (3/26) you were sent a survey asking for your preference – in-person or virtual after spring break.  Some were able to respond fairly quickly.  In fact, as of mid-day yesterday (3/2) we had 57% of the surveys returned.  Others paused, and very fair questions surfaced.  It may be unrealistic, but it is our hope that 100% of our families can return the survey with some level of confidence in the district’s ability to make sound decisions going forward.  One of the most-asked questions centered on the use of a metric, or “is the district throwing out the metric and starting the GREEN phase without considering the presence of the virus in the region?”   I think we have a pretty good track record over the last 6 months confirming we care about the science, the data and the safety and welfare of our students and staff.  No changes there.  It is true, too, the end goal is a safe return to in-person instruction for all interested students (plus an under-development option for virtual learning in the long term). 

Furthermore, use of “Target date of April 12th, is just that.  It is a target, not an absolute.  It is possible, too, that increasing in-person options may not be as simple as moving the entire district from YELLOW on a Friday to GREEN on a Monday.  Some variation may take place as we consider all factors included in the guide (i.e. CORE and SECONDARY indicators), input from students, teachers and principals based on experiences in March and directives from higher authorities.   That said, significant value will continue to be placed on all factors directly related to the health and safety of our students and staff.  We hope we can make it to GREEN for all interested students, but we will be very careful in the lead-up to that decision.

CHANGES:  It is very difficult to forecast with clarity given the ever-changing – and dangerous – conditions within our current context.  We are trying our best to communicate effectively.  We anticipate most will understand the predicament facing all parties – at home and at school – as this “post spring break” decision is made.  Both households and schools like a good plan.  The survey language states, “It is likely the school district will not be accepting changes later, even if the district shifts from one in-person phase to another.”  However, we know from experience that unusual and extenuating circumstances occur (e.g. need to quarantine).  If a case is made to change, it will be based on the individual merits of the circumstances.

Hope this helps.  Can’t say “thank you” enough to ALL.  Thank you, thank you.  I had a colleague years ago that shared a thought with me that stuck through the years … “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken.”  That’s you, GLPS!

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Please Use the Family Screener Every Day -- Feb. 28, 2021


Sunday, February 28th

All GLPS Families:

A simple update this evening coupled with some reminders as we begin the YELLOW phase in all GLPS schools Monday morning.   We are definitely excited to see students in-person on a larger scale tomorrow.  We are pleased, too, students will be able to continue with their schooling in a virtual format if they chose to do so.   We might see some bumps this week, but we are confident we will all be able to work together to ensure a positive beginning to this next phase.  A few things …

PLEASE USE THE HOME SCREENER EVERY DAY:  We trust the home screener located on the district website www.glcomets.net will be part of the normal daily routine within each household.  Please don’t forget to return a signed copy to your child’s principal to ensure your understanding of the expectations in place between home and school.  The district website is chock full of additional, pertinent information related to the pandemic – to include a newly installed hot line for COVID reporting @ 517-925-5725.   A concerted effort by all will be necessary for our students – your children – to return to full scale in-person schooling.  If we work together, it will be sooner, rather than later.

TARGETED QUARANTINE WILL BE PART OF THE RETURN:  The health department reminds us we should anticipate an increase in quarantining as long as the virus is present in our community.  And, it is.  We begin next week with some secondary students in quarantine due to exposure and transmission stemming from a variety of different experiences in and around the community.  To dispel rumors, the transmission we have experienced in GLPS connects not only to athletic teams and events, but to students and families engaged in a wide range of activity.  It is simply not accurate to pinpoint one activity as problematic.  We all must be vigilant moving forward.  We are fortunate in GLPS to have a full-time health nurse and an excellent health department (BEDHD) to help us through these next critical steps.    Contact-tracing and follow-up with families will be normal.

NEW SURVEY OUT TO FAMILIES FOR “POST SPRING BREAK” OPTIONS:  If you have not seen the new survey sent on Friday to “All Families,” please visit  Return to Learn Survey posted on the district website.  The new survey provides each family with an in-person or virtual option after we return from spring break.  It is due on Friday, March 5th at noon.  Scheduling and planning will begin in earnest after the survey closes.  

I am incredibly appreciative of the planning and preparation that took place in classrooms and schools in the past few weeks leading up to tomorrow.  Thank you, all!

Please mask up, avoid large gatherings, keep hands sanitized, and let’s win this battle with the virus together!!

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Feb. 24, 2021


February 24, 2021

All GLPS Families:

We are looking forward to the beginning of the YELLOW phase that will begin on Monday, March 1st.  This means,  

  • Families that responded to the district survey in November communicating their desire to have their student scheduled into the in-person M/W or T/Th (1/2 day for K) hybrid program have received their assigned days (e.g M/W or T/Th) from their school and will begin on Monday or Tuesday of next week.  Students enrolled in the hybrid program will receive instruction virtually on those days they are not in their school for in-person instruction.
  • Special education students have been assigned to a M/W or T/Th schedule and will attend with their general education peers.  Special education students will receive their programming and services within their M/W or T/Th schedule. 
  • Families that communicated their preference to continue online in the YELLOW phase will continue with virtual instruction Monday through Friday.
  • Unless there are significant spikes in the COVID data, we anticipate staying in the YELLOW phase – at the district level - through the month of March.   
  • The district is scheduled to launch a new survey on Friday (2/26) enabling families to enroll students in the in-person option available, or continue online, after spring break (4/5).

While it is safe to say there is optimism and enthusiasm across the district as we approach March 1st, we still need to take a weekly look at the key data points that have helped to guide our decision-making to date.   The newest data shows the Eaton County 7-day average positivity rate at 5.6% (UP some from last week’s 4.9%, but DOWN significantly from 12.2% on January 2nd), the new cases per million at 110 (UP some from 83 last week, but DOWN significantly from 336 on January 2nd) and the number of vaccinations in Eaton County continue to rise to 23,138 (UP from 19,957 a week ago)   The GL Safe Return Guide has been an excellent resource throughout the last 10-12 weeks and will continue to assist in the coming weeks and months.  However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) introduced an update on February 12th to their original guidance (9/15/20) which was widely referenced in our Safe Return Guide.  In turn, we will be reviewing this update, and recommending revisions to our guide, with the Board of Education at the next regularly-scheduled meeting on March 8th.   The updated guidance from CDC does link our current Eaton County data to the YELLOW phase as noted: 

“Elementary, Middle and High Schools in hybrid learning mode or reduced attendance.  Physical distancing of 6 feet or more is required.”

Working together to keep classrooms, schools and households informed will be critical as we begin what we anticipate will be a successful return to in-person instruction.  For those enrolled in the hybrid program, please make sure you return a signed copy of the “Family COVID-19 Screener” to your school principal next week.  If you need to report a COVID case or concern, please use the GLPS Health Hotline for COVID Reporting (517-925-5725) as posted prominently on the District Website

IMPORTANT NOTE:  In our weekly meeting with the health department today, we were informed that 8 MHSAA-sanctioned athletic teams in 5 different Eaton County School Districts are presently quarantined and unable to practice and participate in games or meets.  Two of those teams are from GLPS, in spite of very tight compliance and thoughtful administration of these events here in Grand Ledge.  This serves as a reminder that on-site transmission is still a valid concern in-district and across-district.  Vigilant, careful and respectful still carry the day.

A tip of the hat to the maintenance staff for making sure the new filters leading to improved air quality in ALL schools were installed prior to March 1st.  And, appreciation is extended to the Board of Education for their investment in the filters and their foresight in approving this expenditure much earlier this school year.

I will keep communicating on Wednesdays.  I know, too, you are receiving important information from your schools in the lead-up to March 1st.  Looking forward to Monday …

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Feb. 17, 2021


February 17, 2021

All GLPS Families:

Thanks in large part to a sustained, community-wide effort to mitigate the presence of COVID in the GLPS area, the CORE INDICATORS continue to move downward in a positive direction.  So much so, that we are ready to MOVE FORWARD TO THE YELLOW PHASE ON MONDAY, MARCH 1ST.  The newest data shows the Eaton County 7-day average positivity rate at 4.9% (same as last week and DOWN from 12.2% on January 2nd), the new cases per million at 83 (DOWN from 107 last week and DOWN from 336 on January 2nd) and the number of vaccinations in Eaton County continue to rise to 19,957 (UP from 15,171 a week ago).  The GL Safe Return Guide continues to be an excellent resource as we examine the conditions from week to week.  The graph below further illustrates the improvement over time.  Let’s keep it going …

New Cases trend in Feb. 2021

The District Website will serve as a “go to” for information in the coming days as families and schools prepare for the transition to the YELLOW phase.  Of course, schools are already corresponding appropriately and this will continue on into the future. 

Consistent with previous communications, we will continue to communicate each week into the foreseeable future, but we DO NOT DESIRE to start and stop with in-person instruction.  As I write, we anticipate being in the YELLOW phase at least through the month of March.   That said, all will need to be vigilant in the coming weeks, so that we do not put our schools in jeopardy of starting and stopping.  Therefore, consistent with previous weekly updates,  

Through the week of March 1-5 all GLPS schools will be in the YELLOW phase, to mean:  The alternate day, full day, in-person instructional program (M/W, T/Th) begins for grades 1 through 12 and ½ day in-person instruction (M-Th) begins for kindergarten students.  All students will be learning in a virtual format on Friday as determined by teacher and grade level.  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines will continue.  In all cases, appropriate safety protocols will be in place in all schools, all classrooms, on school grounds and while riding the bus.  

PLEASE NOTE:  The health department continues to remind all school districts to remain vigilant and to be mindful of the possibilities of transmission if the virus is not properly respected.  Mitigation measures to include social distancing, avoiding large gatherings (indoors and outdoors), wearing a mask and keeping hands and face properly sanitized serve as the best approach to controlling transmission within the schools and greater community.  Thoughtful mitigation will be important throughout the balance of this school year and likely beyond.

Although our teachers, principals and staff are planning and thinking through many of the details necessary for a successful implementation of the YELLOW phase, this is uncharted waters for all of us.  We will likely do better in the 2nd week than the 1st week.  I trust we will all work together to ensure successful experiences for our students as we move this very unusual school year along. Be well.  Take good care, and stay warm …

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Feb. 10, 2021


February 10, 2021

All GLPS Families:

At the Monday, February 8th Board of Education meeting the Board approved the motion “… to begin larger scale in-person instruction as guided by the GL Safe Return Guide, WITH MARCH 1st 2021 AS THE TARGET DATE TO TRANSITION FROM RED TO YELLOW.”   

This action from the Board of Education supports a recommendation from the administrative team that cites a number of indicators from the Safe Return Guide leading to a transition from RED to YELLOW.  The most recent CORE INDICATORS continue to move in a positive direction.  As of February 6th, the 7-day average positivity rate in Eaton County is at 4.9% (DOWN from 8.2% a week ago, and DOWN from 12.2% on January 2nd) and the February 6th 7-day average of new cases/million in Eaton County is 107 (DOWN from 167 a week ago, and DOWN from 336 on January 2nd).  In addition, the number of Eaton County vaccinations continue to rise.  A week ago, we reported 11,857 doses administered.  Today, the number is 15,171.  All current data is posted on the District Website.

Earlier today I was interviewed by WILX and communicated that unless there are unusual and unforeseen circumstances, we are “all systems go” on March 1st for a transition from RED to YELLOW.   I repeated the same in a Town Hall meeting with our employees a few hours ago. 

We will stay in the RED phase from February 22nd through the 26th (see below), but I anticipate writing next on February 17th and confirming the transition to YELLOW on Monday March 1st.

Through the week of February 22-26 all GLPS schools will be in the RED phase, to mean:  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff), Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines may be permissible with appropriate safety protocols. 

While the data shows the presence of COVID in Eaton County is reduced from earlier reports, the health department continues to remind all school districts to remain vigilant and to be mindful of the possibilities of transmission if the virus is not properly respected.  Mitigation measures to include social distancing, avoiding large gatherings (indoors and outdoors), wearing a mask and keeping hands and face properly sanitized serve as the best approach to controlling transmission within the schools and greater community.  Thoughtful mitigation will be an important part of our return to larger-scale in-person instruction on March 1st. 

I plan on continuing to communicate with families and employees on Wednesdays into the foreseeable future.  The data still matters.  The conditions are ever-changing.  Communication is important.  I will stay in touch.  Thank you, all, for your managing these challenging conditions as well as you have.  We will see this through…

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Administration Presentation to School Board -- February 8, 2021

PDF DocumentAdministration Presentation to School Board -- February 8, 2021 (pdf)

The Administration gave a presentation to the Board of Education at its February 8, 2021 meeting, and it included lots of information.

Continuity of Learning Plan -- Feb 8, 2021

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Feb. 3, 2021


February 3, 2021

All GLPS Families:

Although the conditions and ever-changing context have escalated since the December 14th approval of the  GL Safe Return Guide, the guide continues to provide continuity and an excellent frame for our discussions as we assess the relevant factors impacting a safe return to larger-scale in-person instruction in GLPS.  Extracting themes from the guide, note the following …

  • The 7-day averages for the core indicators (test positivity rate and new cases/million) continue to trend downward in a healthy direction within Eaton County.  It seems like a good time to line up Eaton County data with comparative data from neighboring counties and the State of Michigan.  Yes, COVID-19 is still present and we all need to stay vigilant in a concerted effort to knock down this nasty virus.  But, the numbers below in comparison to the same data one month earlier are dramatically improved.  For example, the Eaton County #’s on January 2nd were 12.2% and 336.

    table

    I trust you will find this encouraging and helpful in validating the mitigation efforts in place throughout the region and state. 

  • Vaccination efforts throughout the region continue to gain momentum, albeit not as expeditiously as all stakeholders hoped.  It does appear a steady supply of vaccine will be available and is scheduled to be administered throughout February.   Two weeks ago Eaton county reported 3,150 doses administered to residents.  Last week the number was 8,393 and the current number is 11,857.  Still a long way to go, but there is evidence of steady progress within the county and within the GLPS employee group.   We continue to keep a sharp eye on the vaccination efforts that impact our community.
     
  • The concern regarding COVID cases among school age children is still valid.  Mitigation measures to include social distancing, avoiding large gatherings (Super Bowl weekend just around the corner – heads up!), wearing a mask, and keeping hands and face consistently sanitized serve as the best approach to controlling transmission among school-age children …. and, all others.

There is much more to talk about, but the reality is the salient issues point in the direction of moving from the current RED phase to larger-scale in-person instruction (ie. YELLOW) on or before March 1st.   Rather than continuing to write today, we will address the ever-changing conditions, current and relevant factors, and other things related to a safe transition from RED to YELLOW during the course of the Monday, February 8th Board of Education meeting, and make a recommendation accordingly to the Board for their action.

Although we are expanding our view of relevant factors, while still working within the frame established by the GL Safe Return Guide, the District Website is updated with current data connected directly to the CORE INDICATORS.   As of January 30th, the Eaton County 7-day average for percent of positive tests is 8.2%, - slightly DOWN from 8.5% a week ago.  The 7-day average for the number of new cases/million is 167 – DOWN from 209 a week ago (# adjusted to a “per million” people scale so that counties and regions can be compared), and the Eaton County risk level remains as “E.”  We will continue in the RED phase for at least another week.

Through the week of February 16-19 all GLPS schools will be in the RED phase, to mean:  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff), Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines may be permissible with appropriate safety protocols. 

As noted, we will continue to track the CORE and SECONDARY INDICATORS and additional relevant information very carefully and will notify all families next on February 10th with a determination that would impact the week of February 22-26. 

On a final note, GLPS is beginning to work on a comprehensive 2021 summer school program designed, in large part, to support in-person learning for students in grades K-12 subsequent to the very unusual 20-21 school year.  Much more detail to follow, but if you may be interested and are already thinking about family plans this summer, please consider this opportunity.  Again, this is still in the works, so detail will follow in the coming months.     

Please take good care ….

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Jan. 27, 2021


January 27, 2021

All GLPS Families:

Consistent with previous communications, the GL Safe Return Guide  continues to provide an excellent frame for our discussions as we assess the conditions impacting a safe return to larger-scale in-person instruction in GLPS.  Both CORE and SECONDARY indicators are factors in this ever-changing context.    Salient points for the week ….

  • The 7-day averages for the core indicators (test positivity rate and new cases/million) are fairly stable in comparing last week data to current week.  However, the trend line for both indicators in a larger context is still encouraging and heading in a positive direction.  
  • We are fortunate to have excellent partners in the healthcare field, especially the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) and the Sparrow System, who are managing challenging logistics associated with countywide vaccine administration.  We are making gains.  A week ago we reported 3,150 COVID vaccine doses were administered to Eaton County residents.  One week later the number is 8,393.  We expect this number will continue to increase significantly in the weeks ahead, and will include a growing number of GLPS employees as well. 
  • The number of COVID cases among school-age children remains a concern.  The number of new cases over the past three weeks remains steady, but is not declining.  BEDHD answered questions today around this concern, and critical to their observation is the presence of GATHERINGS of young people.   That said, we will all need to work together in the near and long term to inform our young people that they will play a key role in helping to reduce the transmission of the virus in the community.
  • On January 26th the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an up-to-date opinion CDC Report in Journal of American Medical Association regarding guidance to re-open schools safely.  In the last day or two this report has received widespread national attention.  We will use this guidance to help open the schools in GLPS in a thoughtful and safe manner.  Suffice it to say, mitigation is very important and will require high levels of collaboration between home and school.  Among other things, you will soon begin to see a “Family COVID 19 Screener” through your school’s weekly newsletter and/or the district website.  Other details will follow as we close in on the start of the YELLOW phase.  Count on additional information next week

I will address the conditions, the plans, the administrative recommendation and other things associated with transitioning from RED to YELLOW at the Monday, February 8th meeting of the Board of Education.    As noted last week, we are anticipating districtwide movement to larger-scale in-person instruction on or before March 1st. 

The District Website is updated with current data connected directly to the CORE INDICATORS.   As of January 23rd, the Eaton County 7-day average for percent of positive tests is 8.5%, - slightly UP from 8.0% a week ago.  The 7-day average for the number of new cases/million is 209 – slightly DOWN from 239 a week ago (# adjusted to a “per million” people scale so that counties and regions can be compared), and the Eaton County risk level is “E.”  Therefore, we will continue in the RED phase for at least another week.

Through the week of February 8-12 all GLPS schools will be in the RED phase, to mean:  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff), Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines may be permissible with appropriate safety protocols. 

As noted, we will continue to track the CORE and SECONDARY INDICATORS very carefully and will notify all families next on February 3rd with a determination that would impact the week of February 16-19. 

Again, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of the virtual learning in place and its relationship to in-person instruction once the transition begins.  Take good care, mask-up, avoid large gatherings … and, I will be in touch again on February 3rd. 

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Jan. 20, 2021


January 20, 2021

All GLPS Families:

As noted in previous weeks, the GL Safe Return Guide remains valid as decisions are made to increase in-person learning opportunities for the GLPS student body in a safe and orderly manner.   And, to repeat a critical statement from the guide, “All indicators will be considered as decisions are made and will likely vary in value over time given the ever-changing context during this pandemic.”  Updated salient points are …

  • 7-day averages for both core indicators are trending down in a favorable direction for the second consecutive week.
  • Although vaccination is still in its formative stages, Eaton County residents and GLPS employees are beginning to receive the vaccine.  The health department and health officials are working hard to deliver the vaccination as soon as it is available.  We expect expanded opportunities for the vaccine to be available in the coming weeks.
  • Given the trend lines in place, and assuming they continue, we are hopeful – even optimistic – we will be moving from the RED to the YELLOW phase by March 1st, if not earlier.  The goal of our administrative team is consistent with the goal stated previously through the Governor’s Office.
  • We are still keeping a close eye on the presence of active COVID cases among school-age children in Eaton County.  Once again, this very data point was a key topic of discussion in the weekly health department meeting earlier today.  The trend is not improving.  We continue to encourage active discussion on the home front, until we see better data within the county.   Count on seeing additional reporting on this issue next week.
  • Please see the RED phase language below specific to, “small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff).”  By design, we are encouraging some small group in-person support groups in various locations across the district.  We are piloting opportunities, looking to build an understanding of what works and doesn’t.  At present, these opportunities are not consistent across the district, but they are in place so we can have a consistent across-district safe return to larger-scale in-person instruction.

Although this past year has been incredibly hard on EVERYONE to include students, families, teachers, staff, administrators and Board of Education members, it is apparent we are going to see this through.   It just seems prudent to hang on for a few more weeks, until the presence of the virus is minimized and the presence of the vaccine is maximized resulting in safer conditions for students and staff.  We are almost there. 

The District Website is updated with current data connected directly to the CORE INDICATORS.   As of January 16th, the Eaton County 7-day average for percent of positive tests is 8.0%, - trending DOWN from 11.6% a week ago.  The 7-day average for the number of new cases/million is 239 – trending DOWN from 272 a week ago (# adjusted to a “per million” people scale so that counties and regions can be compared), and the Eaton County risk level is “E.”  Therefore,

Through the week of February 1-5 all GLPS schools will be in the RED phase, to mean:  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff), Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines may be permissible with appropriate safety protocols. 

As noted, we will continue to track the CORE and SECONDARY INDICATORS very carefully and will notify all families next on January 27th with a determination that would impact the week of February 8-15. 

It is important, in the interim, to continue to value the virtual learning in place and its relationship to in-person instruction once the transition begins.  We are staying optimistic.  While we wait, please mask-up, avoid large gatherings, keep a bottle of hand-sanitizer close by … and take good care. 

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Jan. 13, 2021


January 13, 2021

All GLPS Families:

Before reviewing the data from our weekly meeting with the health department, I want to address some specific issues that have been raised in recent days.  Fair questions and concerns have surfaced that are deserving of a response.  The GL Safe Return Guide is meant to be just that – a guide.  The large and dangerous presence of the virus continues to be a significant data point as we determine the best way to safely begin larger-scale in-person instruction.  We make no apologies for looking long and hard at the core indicator data.  However, the secondary indicators are equally important, too.  The guide includes specific language regarding the availability of a vaccine (which is up), acknowledging guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (same as the Governor’s March 1 goal), and noting a commitment to look at how the data is trending (currently moving down, in a positive direction).  All of this matters.   In fact, the guide clearly states:

All indicators will be considered as decisions are made and will likely vary in value over time given the ever-changing context during this pandemic.”

Some are led to believe the guide is in place to prevent students from returning to in-person instruction.  That is simply not true.  The guide was designed to ensure we have a reasonable path forward to bring students into schools safely.  And, I am hopeful, even optimistic, we will see that in Grand Ledge in the near term.  In fact, the RED phase does allow some limited small group in-person support groups to meet.  We are tracking these small groups closely, thinking this will move us closer to larger-scale instruction in the YELLOW phase. 

I want you to be aware, too, of an additional concerning data point that received attention in our meeting earlier today with the health department.  There is an elevated presence of active COVID cases with school-age children in Eaton County, more specifically with high school age students.  We will keep a close eye on this trend, including the location of the cases and reasons for this uptick.   Please use this information on the home front, as you deem appropriate.

Although we may change the reporting format in future weeks, this week we are continuing to use the same format we used previously.  You will notice the District Website is updated with current data connected directly to the CORE INDICATORS.   As of January 9th, the Eaton County 7-day average for percent of positive tests is 11.6%, - trending DOWN from 12.2% a week ago.  The 7-day average for the number of new cases/million is 272 – trending DOWN from 336 a week ago (# adjusted to a “per million” people scale so that counties and regions can be compared), and the Eaton County risk level is “E.”  Therefore,

Through the week of January 25-29 all GLPS schools will be in the RED phase, to mean:  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff), Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines may be permissible with appropriate safety protocols. 

We will continue to track the CORE and SECONDARY INDICATORS very carefully and will notify all families next on January 20th with a determination that would impact the week of February 1-5. 

Hope this helps.  Let me re-emphasize, we look forward to the day when our students are able to return to larger-scale in-person instruction.  Current, active discussion within the administrative team centers on that very issue.   It is important, in the interim, to continue to value the virtual learning in place and its relationship to in-person instruction once the imminent transition begins.  I’m staying optimistic.  While we wait, please mask-up, avoid large gatherings, keep a bottle of hand-sanitizer close by … and take good care. 

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Administration Presentation to School Board -- January 11, 2021

PDF DocumentAdministration Presentation to School Board -- January 11, 2021 (pdf)

The Administration gave a presentation to the Board of Education at its January 11, 2021 meeting, and it included lots of information.

Administration Presentation to School Board -- January 11, 2021

 

 

Answering a Few Questions -- Jan. 11, 2021


January 11, 2021

All GLPS Families:

It seems appropriate today to answer questions you may be asking related to recent events and news impacting the instructional plans for your children, our students.  Let’s get to it …

WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON GOVERNOR WHITMER’S STATEMENT ENCOURAGING A MARCH 1st GOAL FOR IN-PERSON SCHOOLING?  Although we have not had time to properly vet this announcement across the district, I think it reasonable to share some initial thoughts.  I anticipate others across the district and community will weigh in the coming days, and together – to the extent possible – we will find a solution that works. That said,  I think the Governor’s March 1st date is a reasonable goal and understand why the governor addressed the issue.  In Grand Ledge, we have our full day/alternate day (1/2 day for K) cohort instructional plan ready.  On the plus side, the vaccination for school personnel begins this week, there is speculation the COVID data will improve in the coming weeks and March 1st is seven weeks away.  On the side of caution, both doses for all school personnel will likely not be completed by March 1st, the Eaton County COVID data is still at the highest risk level and we are not sure what will happen in the next 7 weeks.  So, bottom line, we are hoping for the best and will continue to communicate with the community each week into the foreseeable future.  It is exciting to think we might be just weeks away from seeing larger scale in-person instruction.  We will work through this a week at a time, and work through it together.  A safe return for all continues to be at the fore of our decision-making.  Once students return to larger scale in-person instruction, we want to stay the course.    

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE VACCINATION ROLLOUT FOR SCHOOL PERSONNEL?  Late last week the district received information regarding vaccination for our employees from both the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) and the Ingham County Health Department.  In turn, employees signed-up for the vaccination as quickly as access to scheduling was provided.   Vaccination began today (1/11) at Sparrow-Eaton through BEDHD, yet has not started for our employees through the Ingham County Health Department.   At present we have approximately 130 of our employees scheduled, while the majority are  waiting to be scheduled.   This will take time.  We are encouraging all to be patient as health care facilities are trying their best to meet a demand that exceeds their current capability.  Based on my understanding, the vaccine will be available to all school personnel that are currently registered.  The timeline is still to be determined.   We are tracking things closely, with an appreciation for the pressure on our local health departments. 

WILL THE WEDNESDAY COMMUNICATION CONTINUE?  Yes, I plan on continuing to attend the BEDHD meetings on Wednesday mornings and follow-up with an “All Families” email communication with the district instructional plan for the next-in-line week (e.g. RED, YELLOW, GREEN).   Of interest, is a reminder that a key secondary indicator notes, “Is the vaccine readily available in the area.”  I will include an update on the availability of the vaccine administration to our district employees as part of future weekly communications.  Both core and secondary indicators, coupled with input from the Governor’s Office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), will continue to drive the decision-making in GLPS.

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

 

Wed. Notice of Instructional Plan -- Jan. 6, 2021


January 6, 2021

All GLPS Families:

Unfortunately, the presence of COVID-19 in our region is on the increase and not as we hoped it would be today.  We will continue to use the GL Safe Return Guide to drive decisions as we balance the merits of large-scale in-person instruction with the presence of the virus in our community.  You will notice the District Website is updated with current data connected directly to the CORE INDICATORS.  As of January 2nd, the Eaton County 7-day average for percent of positive tests is 12.2%, - UP from 7.3% a week ago.  The 7-day average for the number of new cases/million is 336 - UP from 215 a week ago (# adjusted to a “per million” people scale so that counties and regions can be compared), and the Eaton County risk level is “E.”  Therefore,

Through the week of January 19-22 all GLPS schools will be in the RED phase, to mean:  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff), Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines may be permissible with appropriate safety protocols. 

We are tracking the CORE and SECONDARY INDICATORS very carefully and will notify all families next on January 13th with a determination that would impact the week of January 25-29.  Before transitioning to the YELLOW phase (full day, alternate day and ½ day for K) the Eaton County 7-day averages for positivity rate will need to be below 7% and the new cases per million # will need to be below 70; that, in addition to reasonable answers to the questions posed as SECONDARY INDICATORS.

We are beginning to hear of the rollout plans for vaccine administration in our region specific to school personnel.  Many details will need to follow, but we are hopeful that widespread vaccination will be available in Eaton County within a reasonable time frame.  While we wait, please mask-up, avoid large gatherings, keep a bottle of hand-sanitizer close by … and take good care. 

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Wednesday Notice of Instructional Plan -- December 30, 2020


December 30, 2020

All GLPS Families:

Consistent with our message to you on December 17th, this communication begins an every-Wednesday notice to all families regarding the instructional plan across the district as we continue to balance the merits of large scale in-person instruction with the presence of the COVID-19 virus in our community.  These difficult decisions continue but, as agreed upon during the Board of Education meeting on December 14th, we will be using the GL Safe Return Guide to drive these decisions into the foreseeable future.  You will notice the District Website is updated with current data connected directly to the CORE INDICATORS.  At present the Eaton County 7-day average for percent of positive tests is 7.3%, the 7-day average for the numbers of new cases/million is 215 (# adjusted to a “per million” people scale so that counties and regions can be compared), and the Eaton County risk level is “E.”  Therefore,

Through the week of January 11-15 all GLPS schools will be in the RED phase, to mean:  The online instructional program in place throughout the school year continues.  In addition, small group special education programs, small group support (as determined by building principals in collaboration with teachers/staff), Little Comets, Adventure Club, HS CTE and HS & MS athletics per MHSAA guidelines may be permissible with appropriate safety protocols. 

We are tracking the CORE and SECONDARY INDICATORS very carefully and will notify all families next on January 6th with a determination that would impact the week of January 18-22.  Before transitioning to the YELLOW phase (full day, alternate day and ½ day for K) the Eaton County 7-day averages for positivity rate will need to be below 7% and the new cases per million # will need to be below 70; that, in addition to reasonable answers to the questions posed as SECONDARY INDICATORS.

There are some additional notes – consistent with our message to you on December 17th - that connect to the week of January 4th, as follows:

  • Online instruction for all students will begin again on Monday, January 4th. 
  • In school, in-person classroom support for all students grades K-12 is suspended until Monday, January 11th.  This includes special education classes, small group support, GSRP, Adventure Club and Little Comets.
  • Food service distribution will continue on Mondays beginning January 4th.  
  • CTE programs on the LCC campus will resume in their established format on Monday, January 4th.
  • HS and MS athletics will continue to follow the guidelines established by MHSAA that are allowed by MDHHS. 

Hope and trust all is well.  Here’s hoping 2021 proves that 2020 was an anomaly and brighter days are ahead.  Take good care.  We will stay in touch.

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Update on Returning to In-Person Instruction -- December 17, 2020


December 17, 2020

All Families:

I am writing three days removed from the December 14th meeting of the Board of Education and a day in advance of the upcoming winter vacation period.  There are a lot of moving pieces in GL, as well as across the State, and I think it important you continue to hear from the Superintendent’s Office in addition to your teachers and principals, who I know are communicating very effectively with all of you, too.  Let’s get to it.

WHAT IS THE UPDATE ON RETURNING TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION?  On Monday, the Board of Education acted on a recommendation from the administrative team to adopt the “GLPS COVID-19 Guide to Decision-Making – Safe Return to In-Person Instruction” GL Safe Return.  This action moves the district away from a specific start-up date for in-person instruction, and instead connects the start-up directly to the decision-making guide.   As you review the guide, you will see “Bottom Line” there are three phases – RED, YELLOW, GREEN - to the scale-up to full time, all-day in-person instruction, each connected directly to the core and secondary indicators.  The possibility of large scale in-person instruction increases as evidence of the virus decreases in the community. Or, in the words of the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

“In short, success in preventing the introduction and subsequent transmission of COVID-19 in schools is connected to and dependent upon preventing transmission in communities.”

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the guide and, if you have questions, please seek answers through Mr. Ellsworth, GLPS Communications Director at EllsworthJ@glcomets.net. The district website glcomets.net will be updated regularly with data and information related directly to returning students safely to in-person instruction.   Transparency and a united effort will be critical in the weeks and months ahead.  The guide will be in effect beginning January 11th. 

HOW WILL WE KNOW WHAT PHASE GLPS IS IN?  Every Wednesday morning, several from the GLPS team meet with the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) and other school leaders in the region to receive an update related to all things COVID.  Following the meeting the GLPS team will meet to evaluate the data in relationship to our Safe Return Guide, and will then make a determination – RED, YELLOW or GREEN.  In turn, we will communicate via email to all families every Wednesday afternoon.  If there is a change in status (e.g from RED to YELLOW), there will be several days for families and staff to adjust.  Depending on the school calendar, the adjustment period will be approximately 12 days.  For example, we will be communicating on Wednesday, December 30th.  If there is a change in status, it would begin on Monday, January 11th.  We will communicate again on Wednesday, January 6th.  If there is a change in status at that time it would begin on Monday, January 18th.  We will follow this pattern into the foreseeable future.  In addition, the same information will be posted on the district website. 

HOW DOES THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (MDHHS) DIRECTIVE IMPACT PLANNING IN GLPS?  As you are aware, MDHHS extended the statewide directive involving schools and other organizations and businesses through December 19th.  Of course, and as noted in the Safe Return Guide, the district will comply with any and all directives from MDHHS and the Governor’s Office going forward.   Upon hearing of the most recent directive, we did make some additional in-district decisions to include the following:

  • In school, in-person classroom instruction for all students grades K-12 is suspended until Monday, January 11th.  This includes special education classes, small group instruction, GSRP, Adventure Club and Little Comets.
  • Online instruction will continue through tomorrow (Friday, 12/18) and begin again on Monday, January 4th. 
  • Food service distribution will continue on Monday, December 21st, pause on December 28th and begin again on Monday, January 4th.   
  • CTE programs on the LCC campus will resume in their established format on Monday, January 4th.
  • Community recreation practices and events are postponed until January 11th
  • HS and MS athletics will continue to follow the guidelines established by MHSAA that are allowed by MDHHS. 
  • Unless there is additional direction from MDHHS and the Governor’s Office, the GLPS Safe Return Guide to the RED, YELLOW, GREEN phases will begin on January 11th. 

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE ALTERNATE DAY (1/2 DAY FOR K) INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM?  As we move forward the “Alternate Day In-Person (1/2 Day for K)” plan that was the centerpiece of the recent Step One and Two Outreach to families, know it is essentially the programming during the YELLOW phase.  That will begin approximately 12 days after you receive communication from the district that we are in the YELLOW.   We are currently scheduling approximately 2300 students that registered for this program.  The elementary schools, middle school and high school will have some autonomy in determining how best to use the instructional time during the week.  Makes sense.  What works best for our younger students may not work well for our high school students and vice versa.  I appreciate the quality input from parents and am grateful for capable principals, engaged teachers and support staff who have been instrumental in developing plans for the YELLOW phase.   Details will continue to be communicated to families at the school level.

For those opting to stay in the online program, be assured this option will continue to be available through the end of the school year … and likely beyond.

WHAT IS THE PROXIMITY OF THE VACCINE TO GLPS?  Not sure, is the answer.  However, we know on good authority that next week health care professionals in our region will have access to the vaccine and it will be administered as deemed appropriate.  In a meeting with the health department (BEDHD) earlier this week, school districts were asked to survey staff members to determine how many will be expecting to receive the vaccine.  We started on that today.  We are led to believe that school personnel will have some priority as the vaccine is administered in the region.  Still not sure how it will play out.

SO, WHAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE?  As I write today the district website shows us in the RED phase.  If that’s the case when we communicate on December 30th then the district will be working in the same capacity as we were September through November.  Details are on the website re: limited activities during this phase.  The good news is the data is improving.  We must continue to work together to minimize the presence of this nasty virus in our community.  So, please mask up, avoid large indoor social gatherings during the holidays and wash hands often.  We know it helps.

And, a shout out to all students, especially the Senior Class of 2021.  When it is safe, we want to see you in school, in person, working, laughing, talking, thinking, studying, engaging.  In person instruction is still the goal for all that want to be in school.  No one has lost sight of it! 

Be well.  Take good care and warm holiday wishes to all GLPS families…
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Administration Presentation to School Board -- December 14, 2020

PDF DocumentAdministration Presentation to School Board -- December 14, 2020 (pdf)

The Administration gave a presentation to the Board of Education at its December 14, 2020 meeting, and it included lots of information.

Administration Presentation to School Board -- December 14, 2020

 

 

Update from Dr. Chapin -- December 2, 2020


December 2, 2020

All GLPS Families:

Wishing you all well on the flip side of the Thanksgiving weekend.  Here’s hoping you were able to enjoy your weekend in the midst of these very unusual circumstances.  Earlier this week, I sent a communication to the GLPS staff and am now writing to you providing very similar information.  Given the volatility of this moment it seems wise to provide you with the same information in a continuing effort to keep all of us on the same page. 

THE VIRUS AND GLPS:  I’m sure you’ve been following the news over the past week and see this odd relationship emerging between optimism (i.e. vaccine) and pessimism (i.e. dangerous spikes in COVID cases).  Let’s start with the virus data impactful to those working and living in Eaton County.  At present the data is not good.  Using the Eaton County data (excluding correctional facilities) from the MI Start Map  https://www.mistartmap.info/?area=county%3Aeaton there are two relevant data points:  1) as of November 26th the 7-day average for those testing positive for COVID was 11.9%.  The Road Map notes the standard for “Level A” is 3-7%.   2) As of November 25th the 7-day average for COVID cases per million was 458 (this # is adjusted to a “per million” people scale so that counties and regions can be compared).  The standard for “Level A” is 7-20.  You’re aware, too, health professionals are anticipating an upward spike in this data several days from now thinking Thanksgiving travel and social gatherings will further the spread of the virus. The same is true for the upcoming Winter Break.  We simply want you to know we are paying keen attention to the data, listening to the health professionals and trying our best to make decisions for the school district that reflect good common sense.  We will use data points from the Road Map and other inputs as we develop a common metric to help guide in-person vs. virtual instruction decisions beginning in 2021.  We will make sure the metric is public and easy-to-understand.  

We would be remiss to discuss the virus only in terms of data points.  Simply not humane.  The virus has had a serious impact on several of our students, families and employees.  We know it is harmful, dangerous and very much alive in our region.  It is quite apparent the GLPS community is a very caring and thoughtful one and we know you hurt for those impacted.  We will continue to err on the side of caution, while remaining sensitive to the serious difficulties some families are experiencing. 

Yet, there is some level of optimism in the air given the recent reports of several successful vaccines that may well make their way to health care workers in our area as soon as late December.   It is important we keep a sharp eye on how best to return to in-person instruction and how soon we can make this happen safely.  We have not lost sight of the target.  You should know, too, we are thinking about differentiated programming during the summer months and on into the 21-22 school year as we assess the progress of our students after their return to in-person instruction.  Lots to think about.  Lots to do. 

STATUS OF THE 2nd STEP of the TWO-STEP OUTREACH:  I want to share the current status of the outreach to families that we’ve coined as the “2nd Step.”   Before doing so, I want to reiterate that we will only begin on January 11th if conditions are conducive to a safe return (please see above).  With that understanding, as I write, we have received responses on behalf of almost all of our current students.  The current # of registrations totals 4937 students, with about 51% (2,522) registering for the alternate day or (½ day for K).  About 49% (2,415) are opting to continue online.   The deadline for registration ended today, Wednesday, December 2nd , at noon.  If conditions allow, alternate day or ½ day in-person instruction will begin on Monday, January 11th.  

If we move these #’s forward, we have 2,522 students registered for the alternate day (or ½ day for K) in-person programming.  Then, dividing the 2,522 students into two cohorts – M/W or T/Th (AM or PM for K), that would place about 1,260 students across 7 schools each day.  More in the HS, much less at K, but that would place approximately 90 students at Neff, and 125 to 325 students per day in the other buildings.  While this will be a challenge, it appears these numbers will allow for manageable spacing, lunch periods, passing in hallways and all things important to successfully begin the scale up to in-person instruction.  

More on this in the weeks and days leading up to Winter Break and beyond.  Info only at this point.

WORKING FROM HOME AND NO IN-SCHOOL ACTIVITY STILL IN PLACE THROUGH DECEMBER 8TH:  Of course, online instruction began again on Monday.  However, in compliance with directions from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Governor’s Office, all employees are working from home through Tuesday, December 8th.  Buildings will be closed.  No in-person activity between staff and students will be allowed during this time.  In a few unique cases staff members may enter school buildings individually, but only after consulting with their principal or supervisor.  We will reassess these decisions as we get closer to December 8th. 

ON THE HORIZON, NOT LOST IN THE CURRENT CONDITIONS:  Remodeled schools and grade level transitions will be a key priority in the months ahead; the Board of Education Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC) is alive and well and positioned to have a positive impact on GLPS; and the Board of Education will be initiating the superintendent search in January and will be seeking staff and community input.  All this, plus all things teaching and learning.  A lot of moving pieces, but a strong commitment in-house to see positive movement on all fronts in the coming weeks and months.      

And, of note, a community-wide commitment to small social gatherings, wearing of masks when in public places and cleaning hands regularly will have a direct impact on the timeline for returning the GLPS students to in-person instruction.  Let’s get it done!

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Information from Dr. Chapin -- November 19, 2020


November 19, 2020

Info from my office to all of you …

PAUSE IN PROGRAMMING EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 8TH:  Given new direction from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Governor’s Office the “Pause in Programming” in GLPS is now extended through Tuesday, December 8th.  This means:

  • All school buildings will be closed and all in-school programming will be suspended through Tuesday, December 8th.  This includes small group instructional programs, HS and MS winter season athletic practices and events, and any additional extra-curricular programs.
  • Online instruction will continue through Friday, November 20th.  No online instruction is scheduled during Thanksgiving Week (November 23-27).  Online instruction will begin again on Monday, November 30th. 
  • School employees should work from home through December 8th, unless unique circumstances require access to a school.  If so, arrangements should be made in coordination with your principal or supervisor. 
  • Food service distribution will continue at Hayes Middle School on Mondays November 23rd and 30th and December 7th.
  • Community recreation practices and events are postponed until Monday, January 4th.
  • The district will review conditions related to the spread of COVID 19 in the days preceding December 8th and make additional adjustments, if necessary.  Of course, directives coming from MDHSS and the Governor’s Office will impact local decision-making, too.

“STATUS QUO” COMPREHENSIVE K-12 ONLINE INSTRUCTION CONTINUES THROUGH JANUARY 15th:   At Monday’s (11/16) Board of Education meeting, the Board acted on an administrative recommendation to extend the current “status quo” online instructional model through January 15th.   Previously, the Board acted to implement the current program through December 7th, so this is simply an extension of current practice.  This decision was independent from the “pause in programming” described above.  As conditions allow, planning is underway to resume small group activity, special education programming, extra-curricular activity, Adventure Club and Little Comets on December 9th.  More information will be available as we approach December 9th.    

STEP TWO OUTREACH TO GLPS FAMILIES:   Yesterday Communications Director, John Ellsworth, emailed all families asking for a specific commitment re: the alternate day, full day, in-person option (or, ½ day, 4 days/week for Kindergarten).  This next step is tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday, January 11th.  There are some who believe this may be too early to begin augmenting the limited in-person experiences currently in place.  Given the current COVID-related data, that’s a fair reaction.  However, please know the conditions, soon to be defined more objectively via a Board of Education-approved metric, will determine the beginning of the scale-up to all day in-person programming.  The safety and welfare of students, staff and the community remain at the fore of the decisions that lie in wait.  Of note, too, the online option will remain viable throughout the 2020-21 school year and likely beyond.  The “Step Two” commitments are due on Wednesday, December 2nd at noon.  Scheduling, staffing and other decisions will be finalized after the registration period is complete.   More to follow in December.   

THANK YOU:   As the Thanksgiving Week arrives, please know the entire GLPS family is well aware and most appreciative of the adjustments all households are making during this very unusual period in our lives.  Thank you for your understanding and for the support that is evident each and every day.  We long for a return to some sense of normalcy.   We know you do, too.  We hope and trust you will be able to unplug next week and re-energize in small groups with family and friends.  Take good care …
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

from Dr. David Chapin: Step Two - Registration -- November 18, 2020


November 18, 2020

All GLPS Families,

Here is Step Two - Registration… and we need you to complete this simple registration process.  Please read this carefully, and then follow the link listed at the end.

For the second trimester, this will be your only opportunity to register your child to attend in-person.  The goals of the in-person experience will be three-fold:
(1) Create opportunities for students who are not academically successful in the virtual environment to receive additional support with virtual learning.
(2) Create opportunities for students who are struggling with engagement or need additional social and emotional support to receive additional support.
(3) Create a transition period to move towards all day, everyday in-person learning.

Staffing decisions will be made after registration numbers are finalized.  We will work to minimize disruptions and maximize continuity, but it is possible that your child may be assigned to a new teacher.

Also, depending on numbers, students from multiple elementary buildings may be placed in the same online or physical classroom.  Secondary course offerings may have to be adjusted if both an online instructional option and an in-person instructional option are offered.  Again, we will work to minimize disruptions and maximize continuity for students and families. 

Increasing activity in our buildings requires students, families, and staff to agree to and follow our safety protocols.  For example, it will be mandatory that students and staff wear a mask while in the school building, on school property, or on a school bus.  All our proposed return to learn safety protocols are available at GLcomets.net/SafetyProtocols.  

Students will return to the school buildings no earlier than Jan. 11, and we hope to welcome more children back to our buildings once our district metrics support increased activity in our schools.  Decisions about in-person activities will be guided by our district’s metrics, which will include COVID-19 case rates, positivity rates, ability to test & speed of results, hospital capacity, school supply of personal protective equipment, district staffing capacity, and specific cases related to GLPS.  The metric is scheduled for Board of Education approval on December 14.

Please complete the registration process by visiting GLcomets.net/StepTwo.  Complete this registration process by noon on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact our Director of Communications John Ellsworth at EllsworthJ@GLcomets.net or 517-925-5414.  

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Administration Presentation to School Board -- November 16, 2020

PDF DocumentAdministration Presentation to School Board -- November 16, 2020 (pdf)

The Administration gave a presentation to the Board of Education at its November 16, 2020 meeting, and it included lots of information.

Administration Presentation to School Board on November 16, 2020

 

 

From Dr. David Chapin - Concerning News & GLPS Decisions -- November 12, 2020


November 12, 2020

All GLPS Families:

In light of concerning news out of the Barry-Eaton District Health Department related to the presence of COVID-19 within the school district, the Grand Ledge area and the greater Eaton County region the following decisions are in effect at the end of the business day tomorrow:

  • At the end of the business day tomorrow (Friday, November 13) all school buildings will be closed and all in-school programming will be suspended until Monday, November 30th.   This includes small group instructional programs, HS and MS winter season athletic practices and events, and any additional extra-curricular programs. 
  • Online instruction will continue through Friday, November 20.  The Thanksgiving break is scheduled to begin at the end of the day on Friday, November 20, so no regular online instruction is scheduled during the week of November 23-27.
  • Community recreation practices and events are postponed until Monday, January 4.  
  • School employees are being encouraged to work from home during this two-week period.
  • Food service distribution will continue at Hayes Middle School on Monday, November 16 and 23. 
  • The district will review conditions related to the spread of COVID 19 toward the end of the Thanksgiving vacation period and make additional adjustments, if necessary.    

On a related note, as required by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), we are reporting 2020-21 “School Associated Cases” on the district website  glcomets.net/coronavirus.   As I write, you will see a total of 18 cases (13 closed, 5 active) reported within GLPS within the last few weeks.  That number is expected to increase within the next few days.   

The Eaton County Superintendents and Barry-Eaton District Health Department released a statement seeking community support in heightening precautions associated with instructional and extra-curricular activities at area schools.  The message is relevant and timely.  

We look forward to the day when students and staff are able to safely return to their classrooms and schools.  We hope that day arrives sooner rather than later. 

Take good care. 

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Dr. David Chapin: - GLPS Step 1 - Seeking Family Input -- November 11, 2020


November 11, 2020

All GLPS Families:

As we move forward through this unique school year, we are reaching out to solicit information from every family within the school district.  We need your input, and our outreach to you will arrive in two steps.  

Step One:  Your response to the questions in this Step One - Family Input Google Form at GLcomets.net/StepOne will assist the district in making firm decisions in the coming weeks.  Interest levels and the number of students likely involved will impact what specific instructional options are created and offered.  Please submit the Step One - Family Input Google Form at GLcomets.net/StepOne – for each child individually – by noon, Monday, November 16th.  Thank you.

Step Two: Following an analysis of your responses to the Step One - Family Input Google Form, we will finalize what we offer as instructional options and determine what the plan is to phase-in in-person instruction.  If interest in the in-person, every-other-day instructional option is low, it is possible that option will only be available for students identified by the school as in need of additional in-person support -- resulting in fewer changes to student-teacher class schedules.  Conversely, if interest in the in-person, every-other-day instructional option is high, this would result in a higher number of changes to student-teacher class schedules.  Either way, we will follow-up with families to provide more detailed information and to ask you to commit to an instructional option for your child(ren).  

We hope to welcome more children back to our school buildings on Monday, January 11th -- that is, if the conditions allow related to COVID-19 in the Grand Ledge area, based on specific metrics that help guide our decisions (such as COVID-19 case rates, positivity rates, ability to test & speed of results, hospital capacity, school supply of personal protective equipment, district staffing capacity, and specific cases related to GLPS).  Increasing in-person instruction requires students, families, and staff to agree to and follow our safety protocols.  For example, it will be mandatory that students and staff wear a mask while in the school building, on school property, or on a school bus.  All our proposed return to learn safety protocols are available at GLcomets.net/SafetyProtocols.  

Changing our instructional options could have district-wide effects.  We will work to minimize disruptions and maximize continuity, but the reality is your child might be switched to a new teacher as we phase-in in-person instruction (no matter which instructional option you select).  Also, depending on numbers, students from multiple elementary buildings may be placed in the same online or physical classroom.  Secondary course offerings may have to be adjusted if both an online instructional option and an in-person instructional option are offered.  Again, we will work to minimize disruptions and maximize continuity for students and families. 

Thank you for taking an active part in your child’s education.  Remember, please submit the Step One - Family Input Google Form at GLcomets.net/StepOne – for each child individually – by noon, Monday, November 16th.  Thank you.

Respectfully,

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

 

 

Update from Interim Superintendent Dr. David Chapin -- October 30, 2020


October 30, 2020

All GLPS Families

As many of you are aware, due to the internet outage, the most recent Board of Education meeting was rescheduled from Monday to last night – Thursday, October 29th.   I often script my comments so I am able to deliver the same message from meeting to meeting, or event to event.  That was the case last night.   Thinking it wise to foreshadow the evolving decision-making across the district, I commented in detail – as did Dr. Gabriel and Dr. Barnes - regarding the planning taking place related to online and in-person instruction.  In the spirit of keeping this challenging conversation in front of all of you, I have included relevant excerpts for your information:

----------------
 

  • Thank you to students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators.  We understand many stakeholders are divided on what they want to hear next from the administrative team and the Board of Education.  So, let me say at the outset tonight … the last thing in the world we want to do is add to the division, the angst that many are experiencing at the moment.  We all prefer unity over division.  It may not be possible at the moment, but a plan that unifies GLPS is the goal.  No one has lost sight of that.
     
  • We spent considerable time in August and September with professional development for teachers, parent orientation meetings, distribution of devices, and a lot of one-on-one time with students, parents and teachers to ensure the GLPS students were able to connect to their teacher and with instruction as well as possible.  On October 1st we had the first meeting with a “Next Steps Advisory Group” composed of parents, teachers, administrators, our health nurse, deans from the HS and MS, administrative assistant, teaching assistant and a representative from the Board of Education to help formalize a series of ongoing informal conversations, email exchanges, committee meetings, student-parent-school interactions, school level meetings, a district-wide Town Hall-type all aimed at answering what are the next steps after December 4th? 
     
  • We are in close contact with the Barry-Eaton District Health Department re: community health issues related to the current pandemic.  We are well aware in recent days Eaton County - and specifically the Grand Ledge area - has experienced a noteworthy uptick in positive COVID tests - both in sheer numbers and as a percent of those being tested.  In addition, as noted in communications from the district just this past weekend, we reported positive cases impacting both our middle school and high school.  
     
  • Tonight we are going to update the Board of Education and, in turn, the public regarding the process in place prior to the administrative recommendation to the Board of Education scheduled for November 16th and foreshadow some of the decisions that are well in the works.  We are moving ahead on schedule with good process and are developing a plan to guide us through the end of the 20-21 school year, through June 2021.   Our goal, as it has always been, is to provide a safe environment for students to return to school in person, all day … this school year.  
     
  • That said, we have no plans to bring students back for full day instruction in December.     With the goal of returning to full day, all day in-person instruction, we are designing a plan to phase-in in-person learning as the next step.  Phase-in will include smaller groups in classrooms and, collectively, smaller groups in schools on any given day.  Alternating days or ½ day instruction will play a significant role in how the district moves through this intermediate phase.  Exact details will follow on November 16th.   The TARGET DATES at present are:  
    • Early to mid-January, 2021 begin phase-in, or intermediate plan, - with safety protocols in place -  leading to full day, all day instruction …
    • … to begin the 3rd trimester on March 12th for K-8 and March 19th for 9-12
    • Online instruction will continue as an option throughout the 20-21 school year.
    • Given the conditions, we think it unwise to begin shortly after the week long Thanksgiving break and before the two-week long Winter Vacation break.
  • We will be moving off of “as conditions allow” to a formal metric that is under development in-house and will be completed in collaboration with the Barry-Eaton District Health Department.  The metric will be posted on the website for easy access to all.  It will include COVID data relevant to GLPS and Eaton County and will guide decision-making related to in-person instruction.  This, too, will be part of our recommendation on November 16th.  
     
  • In addition, between now and November 16th we will be reaching out to parents and teachers soliciting key input regarding the instructional options available beginning in January.  The results of the outreach will help guide the recommendations presented on November 16th.
     
  • In closing, we are taking this virus very seriously.  The data and the input from health professionals will impact our decision-making.  Across the community:  Wearing masks, maintaining a healthy distance from one another, frequent use of hand sanitizers, appropriate testing and REPORTING OF TEST RESULTS AND SYMPTOMS TO THE SCHOOL and HEALTH DEPARTMENT will help ensure a safe return to in-person instruction. 

------------------

I think a critical point in these comments connect to an agreed upon metric that will guide district decision-making in both the near and long-term.  We will have a plan, but the status of the virus and its impact on GLPS will remain a prominent factor in how we move forward.  

Be well.  Take good care.  Hope and trust you are able to enjoy this Halloween weekend … 

Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Update from Interim Superintendent Dr. David Chapin -- October 22, 2020


October 22, 2020

TO:  All GLPS Families

School leaders and Board of Education members have tackled a number of difficult issues over time.  Closing schools, seeking community approval for a bond, changing school boundary lines, budget reductions, controversial literature all come to mind.  Lots of public comment, full meeting rooms, lots of passion.  It’s our nature.  However, none of the previous chapters compare to the decisions in front of school leaders and trustees at present when one has to weigh the physical and mental health of 4900 students, 3500 households, 750 staff members, and the continuing education of all students prior to making a decision.  The administrative team and others have been in pursuit of the best decision since the middle of March.  The sweet spot within this current dynamic is elusive.  And, just when we think there is something of a compromise solution on the horizon, the data shifts and the conditions change.  It is challenging for all - at home and at school - especially when we are all trying hard to do the right thing.   That’s where I know we have common agreement:  we are all trying to do the right thing for children, students and employees in the midst of a malaise no one has ever experienced before.  

Fair questions are surfacing regarding district decision-making related to in-person instruction and other things.  Here are a few of the more prominent: 

What is the process and timeline for making a decision?  The administrative team and others have been working diligently to create an instructional plan to carry us through 20-21 that works for students, parents, faculty and staff.   The discourse across the district intensified in October as the original Board-approved December 4th timeline for online learning draws near.  We think it is incumbent upon the administrative team to meet with various subgroups, consult with the Board of Education, be mindful of labor agreements, review emails, listen to public comment and capture the collective thinking in a manner that seems to make the most sense.  Last week we moved away from a wide range of disparate discussions to some succinct decision-making that addresses this very complex and fluid issue.  This week we are refining the plan as we share it with various subgroups across the district.  Then, we will bring forward a plan to the Board of Education and the general public at the Board meeting scheduled for Monday, October 26th (see below for details).   The Board will NOT be voting on Monday on the plan brought forward by the administrative team.  However, pending input from the Board on Monday the administrative team and various sub groups will refine the plan and bring it back to the Board for approval at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, November 16th. 

There are no plans to bring all students back for full day instruction as early as December.  Planning is centered on phasing-in in-person learning with a plan that has smaller groups of students in classrooms and, therefore, collectively a smaller group of students in the school on any given day.  Safety protocols will be clearly established and will include wearing masks, daily screening of students at home, parent/staff reporting of COVID testing to the school/health department, and other things.  As conditions allow, the plan includes language specific to returning to all-day, every day in-person instruction later in the 2nd half of the school year.  Furthermore, current planning includes the option to continue with an online program through the end of the school year.   

Even as I write today, conditions are shifting in schools and communities throughout the state.  It is important for all to know our best thinking and planning will be impacted by the conditions brought forward by the pandemic and our ability to control or not control the virus.  That is not lost on the Board of Education or the administrative team.   Nor, is it lost that some school districts have been successful in bringing students back to classrooms on partial day and full day schedules.  Every district is different, but I believe, as do many others, we will find the right path forward in Grand Ledge.

What role does the “Next Steps Advisory Group” play in the decision-making?  There appears to be a mystique regarding the role of this group in making decisions for the school district.  In fairness to the group and certainly out of respect for the time they have spent preparing and advising, I think it important to clarify their role.  This group was assembled fairly informally to simply broaden the set of voices beyond the walls of the administration center to include parents, teachers, principals, deans, health nurse, administrative assistant, teaching assistant, representative from the Board of Education and several central office administrators.  The purpose, "To advise recommendations made by the Superintendent's Office to the Board of Education related to the unique prevailing conditions impacting GLPS in 2020-21; while noting that final decisions are made by the Board of Education."  Other subgroups, to include employee groups, summer work teams, and the broader set of administrators, have also been involved in the overall discourse.   In addition, we receive a lot of feedback and opinions through email, in public comment at Board of Education meetings and in informal daily communication between students, parents, teachers and principals.  It all counts.  While the group has been very helpful, it would be inaccurate to attach responsibility solely on the shoulders of the “Next Steps Advisory Group” for any specific decision that evolves in the coming days and weeks.  

Will the next Board of Education meeting be in-person or virtual?   The legal community clarified the language associated with the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling as it relates to organizing public Board of Education meetings.  The meeting on Monday, October 26th will be held as a virtual meeting with public comment being allowed as it has been during the past several months.  The link to the meeting will be posted at www.glcomets.net, just as it has been in recent months. I anticipate we will continue with virtual meetings into the foreseeable future. 

Where can I find information regarding the current bond project?  Thank you to John Ellsworth, GLPS Director of Communication, the GLPS website is updated and will continue to be updated with information pertinent to the current bond project.  Info can be found at www.glcomets.net/bonds. Questions can be directed to Mike Johnson, Bond Supervisor at johnsonm@glcomets.net

What is the process for reporting GLPS-related COVID issues?    Until further notice, please make sure you are communicating all COVID-related illness, testing results, exposures and all related issues to Cindy Brummette, GLPS Health Nurse at  health@glcomets.net.  She will work with you, in confidence, and coordinate communication with the Eaton-Barry District Health Department.  In addition, please communicate accordingly with the appropriate building principal and/or supervisor.  Thank you.

Hope this helps.  Be well and take good care.

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Dr. Chapin: Option to Watch Tonight's Board of Education Meeting -- October 12, 2020


October 12, 2020

TO:  All GLPS Families

UPDATE RE: TONIGHT’S BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING:  As noted in my mailing to you on Friday, the Board of Education meeting scheduled for this evening at 6:00 PM will be held in-person in the GLHS auditorium.  Masks will be required and seating will be marked off so that all participants are able to be appropriately distanced from one another.  In my communication with you I noted there would not be a virtual live stream of the meeting.  After receiving several inquiries from the community we circled back to our legal counsel today and determined we could provide a live stream via Zoom and are doing so.  Please see the link below.  However, participation in the public comment section of the agenda will be limited to only those who are present, in-person, at the meeting.    You will be unable to participate in public comment through the Zoom format.

Join the Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84084408721
Meeting ID: 840 8440 8721
One-tap mobile:
  +19294362866,,84084408721#   US (New York)
  +13017158592,,84084408721#   US (Germantown)
Dial by your location:
  +1 929 436 2866   US (New York)
  +1 312 626 6799   US (Chicago)
More phone numbers at: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kpLqnmlVO

This issue, along with others at present, is very fluid.   There may be additional changes prior to the next regular Board of Education meeting scheduled for Monday, October 26.  If so, we will keep you apprized.

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

Quick Message from Superintendent to Keep You Updated -- October 9, 2020


October 9, 2020

TO:  All GLPS Families

A quick note today to bring you up-to-date on several issues …

MI SUPREME COURT RULING:  As many of you are aware, on October 2nd the Michigan Supreme Court held that, “the executive orders issues by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic lack any basis under Michigan law.”  That said, “the Court’s order does not affect the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders, which require organizations to have many of the same health and safety protocols in place as required by the Governor’s executive orders (Barry-Eaton District Health Department media release, 10/5/20).”  As you can imagine, this past week was chock full of legal interpretations for school districts across the state.  And, within those interpretations there is much commonality, but some discrepancies in what this means for local school districts.  As I write, the full impact on schools is still not entirely clear.  

So, moving away from the technicalities, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR GLPS IN THE NEAR TERM?  

  • Monday’s (10/12) Board of Education meeting will be held IN-PERSON in the high school auditorium.  There will NOT be a virtual meeting option (i.e. Zoom).  The meeting begins at 6:00 PM.  If interested in attending enter the auditorium from the back parking lot near the tennis courts.  MASKS ARE REQUIRED and seating will be marked off so that those attending will be seated six feet apart.   Future Board of Education meetings are also scheduled to be held in-person.   
  • Masks will continue to be required throughout the school district, as are social distancing practices, screening procedures as one enters a school building and encouraging hand-sanitizing throughout the day. 
  • The MI Supreme Court ruling does not impact the decision-making of a local Board of Education as it relates to in-person vs. online instructional plans.   The GLPS Extended COVID 19 Learning Plan as approved by both our Board of Education on 9/28 and the Eaton Regional Education Service Agency is still valid and represents the position of the school district. 

NEXT STEPS ADVISORY COMMITTEE UPDATE:  As noted in my communication with all of you last week, we have an active advisory committee taking a hard look at the online instructional program while also developing a plan for a safe, sustainable return to in-person instruction.  Parents, teachers, support staff, administrators and the Board of Education are all represented on this committee.  Safety of students and staff, importance of in-person instruction, reaching out to other school districts around the state and the timing of a safe, sustainable return are all front and center at present.  The advisory committee will report publicly to the Board of Education at their regularly-scheduled meeting on Monday, October 26th.  The timing of this report is consistent with the language in the GLPS Extended COVID 19 plan as noted above.   We are developing a plan to move our district forward.  It is thoughtful, measured and proactive. 

And, again, a sincere thank you to all in the Grand Ledge community who are working in different ways and through difficult circumstances to make things work for your family.  We understand GLPS plays a critical role in all of this.  I speak for many inside GLPS as I communicate my sincere appreciation to parents, teachers, principals and all others who are trying their very best during these very unusual times.  We will keep on communicating and keep on working as we all move along together in the weeks and months ahead.  

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

A Message from Interim Superintendent Chapin -- October 2, 2020


October 2, 2020

TO: GLPS Families

I am writing for several reasons, but most importantly, to simply say thank you for the many adjustments you have made to ensure your family has engaged with GLPS as we all move deeper into this historic and unorthodox school year. I am aware many students, parents, teachers, and administrators are working together to make the best of the unenviable position that surrounds us all.   There are certainly mixed reviews generating a wide range of real time quandaries – some with positive resolutions, while others are still a work in progress.  The challenges for both parents and teachers are real.   Yet, when all is said and done, I trust that calm, reason and grace will win the day in Grand Ledge.   I, and many others, believe it will.     

NEXT STEPS 20-21:  At the August 3rd Board of Education meeting the Board approved, "the offsite distance learning plan as presented by the administrative staff as the 2020-21 school year begins on September 8th through the end of the first trimester on December 4th."  That noted, we recently created an ad hoc advisory committee designed to assist in making districtwide decisions as we move deeper into this school year; that is, decisions related to online instruction, in-person instruction, health and safety, timing, format and other pertinent issues.  The group assembled represents a diverse set of parents, faculty/staff, administrators and a member of the Board of Education.  This is an advisory committee.  All final decisions are made by the Board of Education.  Challenging decisions lie in wait.  I am thankful to this group for giving of their time and expertise.   We met on October 1st for the first time.  Excellent dialogue, representing a wide range of opinions, carried the day.  Meetings will follow fairly rapidly in the days and weeks ahead.  

It is important to note here, and in future communications, the online instructional program that is currently active is very significant.  It is significant not only in the present as it relates to the quality of education our students are receiving in GLPS, but also in the future as it connects to the likelihood of credible online instruction beyond the duration of the pandemic and a return to in-person instruction.  Too many lessons learned.  Lots to build on as one looks to future programming.  

EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION COMMITTEE (EDIC):  This summer the Board of Education established a small working group of Board members to create a plan for addressing issues of systemic racism, equity, diversity and inclusion within GLPS.  This group quickly developed Board-approved language for all student handbooks prohibiting "racially intimidating messaging, images or symbols (e.g. swastika, Confederate flag. etc.)."  In addition, they contracted with Dr. Dorinda Carter, a respected consultant, to help lead the district in addressing these issues in a thoughtful, sustainable manner.  A standing EDIC committee is under development and will soon be approved by the Board of Education.  The subcommittee of the Board of Education meets next week to review the applications received for the EDIC.  Much more to follow.    

On a related note, I applaud the GL City Council-created Grand Ledge United Committee for their work on these very same issues.  Administrators and faculty members from GLPS are participating voluntarily in meetings with Grand Ledge United.  

COVID REPORTING:  The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) continues to be an excellent partner as we navigate these turbulent waters.  Several from GLPS participate in their weekly meetings where current data is presented regarding COVID cases, questions are fielded and conversation is encouraged.  All helpful for us in our planning.

Several days ago you received a communication, signed jointly by John Ellsworth and me, making note of a positive COVID case at the high school.  Due to excellent protocols in place at the HS to include a seating chart, mask use by all, taping on the floor to indicate 6 feet of separation, and complete cooperation by students and teacher, quarantining - as directed by BEDHD - was limited to the one student that tested positive.  Wearing of masks, 6 feet of separation, seating charts and full cooperation between home and school will be prominent in districtwide planning until we get rid of this nasty virus.  And, if in doubt re: home-school communication related to COVID, we will err on the side of too much communication, as opposed to too little communication.

Again, thank you very much for the many things you are doing day in and day out to ensure your child continues to connect to his/her education, teacher, school and GLPS.  We see it.  We appreciate it.   We thank you.  

Respectfully,
Dr. Chapin
Dr. David B. Chapin
Interim Superintendent of Schools

 

 

 

 

Student & Family Planning Guide, part 3 -- September 4, 2020


Grand Ledge Public School Families & Students,

As we head into the long weekend and prepare for a first day of school like no other in our lifetimes, we are excited to share the third part of the Student & Family Planning Guide at GLcomets.net/Guide3 with you.  It contains some resources for Buzz and talks about the first day of school, and it shares a message about our partnership with you as we navigate the realities of the new school year.

As you read through our document and take time to prepare over the weekend,  I invite you to remember that we are all learning together, and we are all here to support each other.  The collaboration between our school district, our families, and our community will help make this school year successful, especially if we all come from a place of grace and understanding.  

I hope you enjoy the long Labor Day weekend, and we are excited to embark on this new chapter of the GLPS learning journey along with you. As always, #proudtobeacomet

Bill Barnes, Ed.D.

 

Student & Family Planning Guide, part 3

 

 

 

 

Student & Family Planning Guide, part 2 -- August 28, 2020


Grand Ledge Public School Families & Students,

The first day of school -- September 8 -- keeps getting closer, and teachers and staff of GLPS are excited to begin working with our students.  Teachers are working hard doing professional development to get ready for this unique start to the school year, and school staff are making every effort to create a good experience for students and families.

As promised, we are sharing more today -- you can view the second part of the Student & Family Planning Guide at GLcomets.net/Guide2.  The guide is designed to provide a framework for the remote learning beginning this fall and to help students and families plan for the start of school.  It includes some information about consistent essential learning and the Buzz learning management system as well as the dates and times for informational webinars for families.  We expect many people to attend and will not be able to answer live questions. However, please submit questions ahead of time at GLcomets.net/Questions, and we will do our best to answer them in the informational webinars or follow up with you later. 

Again, I know that school starting remotely creates additional hardships on families, and the school district continues to look for solutions to help relieve as many as we can. We continue to work hard to provide the best educational experience possible under these circumstances.

Thank you for your attention, concern, and continued emphasis on helping us make the experience as meaningful as possible for our kids. As always, #proudtobeacomet.

Bill Barnes, Ed.D.


Student & Family Planning Guide, part 2

 

 

Student & Family Planning Guide, part 1 -- August 21, 2020


Grand Ledge Public School Families & Students,

The first day of school (Sep. 8) is only 18 days away, and the teachers and staff of GLPS are excited to welcome students back to school and learning!  

After weeks of work behind the scenes, we are now ready to share some more information about our off-site, distance learning start to the school year.  Today, we are sharing the first part of a Student & Family Planning Guide.  This guide is designed to provide a framework for the remote learning beginning this fall and to help students and families plan for the start of school.  You can view the first part of the Student & Family Planning Guide at GLcomets.net/Guide.

More information will be coming.  The second part of the Student & Family Planning Guide will include more details about Buzz -- the online learning management system that all students will be using as the starting point to their school day -- and other digital tools students will be using during distance learning.  It will also include an invitation to virtual parent information meetings about accessing these resources.  I will have the next part of the planning guide and the meeting invitation to you by next Friday, August 28.

I know that school starting remotely creates additional hardships on families, and the school district is looking for solutions to help relieve as many as we can.  District administrators, principals, teachers, and staff continue to problem-solve the concerns expressed in public comments made at the August 3rd school board meeting. I hope you see some of that flexibility built into the plan we are sharing today. I know it does not meet everyone’s needs, but we continue to work hard to provide the best educational experience possible under these circumstances.

So as you prepare for the start of school, be assured that the teachers and staff of Grand Ledge Public Schools are doing the same.  In the upcoming days, you will be hearing from your school building’s principal, teachers, and staff.  Thank you for your attention, concern, and continued emphasis on helping us make the experience as meaningful as possible for our kids. As always, #proudtobeacomet.

Bill Barnes, Ed.D.


Student & Family Planning Guide, part 1

 

 

Student Technology Request Form -- August 13, 2020


Link to Student Technology Request Form
If you are unable to complete this form online, please contact the Technology Office at 517-925-5444

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 8...  does your student need a device or high-speed internet access for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year? If so, please complete the Student Technology Request Form at GLcomets.net/TechRequest.  This form can be used to request technology devices for a specific student and/or Internet Access for the household. Please complete this form for each student who needs a device and one student per household for Internet Access.  If you are unable to complete the form online, please call the Technology Office at 517-925-5444.

Here are some important excerpts from the full Device Agreement located at:
https://www.glcomets.net/downloads/technology_services/2020-2021_device_agreement__handbook.pdf

...taking home a device, families agree to assume the risk of loss and damage to the device and related accessories. Parents/Guardians may be responsible for repair or replacement of the device in the event of loss or damage.

Chromebook replacement cost is approximately $225 and includes the Chromebook, charger, and case.

iPad replacement cost is approximately $450 and includes the iPad, charger, and case.

In the event of damage, the family will be responsible for up to $50 for the first incident, up to $100 for the second incident, and the full cost of repair or replacement whichever is less for additional incidents.

In the event of a loss (other than theft), the family will be responsible for the replacement cost. ...

Tentatively, devices will be distributed from August 31 to September 4.

 

 

2020-2021 COVID-19 Preparedness Plan -- August 10, 2020

PDF Document2020-2021 COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan (pdf)

Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-142 required the Board of Education of Grand Ledge Public Schools to approve a COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan, and it did so at its August 10, 2020 meeting.

 

 

Starting School Year with Off-site, Distance Learning -- August 7, 2020

PDF DocumentLetter to Community - Starting School Year with Off-site, Distance Learning -- August 7, 2020 (pdf)

 

 

Administration Presentation to School Board -- August 3, 2020

PDF DocumentAdministration Presentation to School Board -- August 3, 2020 (pdf)

The Board of Education voted to approve the recommended motion at its August 3, 2020 meeting, so Grand Ledge Public Schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year with off-site, distance learning

Administration Presentation to School Board on August 3, 2020

 

 

 

 

Email about Two Options Email -- July 16, 2020

PDF DocumentEmail about Two Options Email -- July 16, 2020 (pdf)

This plan to offer two options changed on August 3, 2020; Grand Ledge Public Schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year with off-site, distance learning.

Two Options Flyer -- July 16, 2020

PDF DocumentTwo Options Flyer -- July 16, 2020 (pdf)

This plan to offer two options changed on August 3, 2020; Grand Ledge Public Schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year with off-site, distance learning.

 

 

Letter to Community -- July 14, 2020

PDF DocumentLetter to Community from Interim Superintendent -- July 14, 2020 (pdf)

This plan to offer two options changed on August 3, 2020; Grand Ledge Public Schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year with off-site, distance learning.

interim superintendent letter

 

 

 

FAQ for Return to Learn Plan
FAQ for Return to Learn Plan

 

Link to Student Technology Request Form
If you are unable to complete this form online, please contact the Technology Office at 517-925-5444

Does your student need access to high-speed internet?  The GLPS Technology Department can help with access to the internet... please visit GLcomets.net/TechRequest if a student needs high-speed internet access.  This form can be used to request assistance with internet access for the household. If you are unable to complete the form online, please call the Technology Office at 517-925-5444.

Here are some important excerpts from the full Device Agreement located at:
https://www.glcomets.net/downloads/technology_services/2020-2021_device_agreement__handbook.pdf

...taking home a device, families agree to assume the risk of loss and damage to the device and related accessories. Parents/Guardians may be responsible for repair or replacement of the device in the event of loss or damage.

In the event of damage, the family will be responsible for up to $50 for the first incident, up to $100 for the second incident, and the full cost of repair or replacement whichever is less for additional incidents.

In the event of a loss (other than theft), the family will be responsible for the replacement cost. ...

Also, there is still FREE WiFi access in school parking lots -- Grand Ledge Public Schools has increased its WiFi capacity, and we are boosting the WIFI in parking lots at the High School, Delta Center Elementary, Wacousta Elementary, and Hayes Middle School, so that a student may be able to connect to our internet – while in a car, not exposed to any other students or adults.

More FREE WiFi Hotspot Access -- Xfinity WiFi hotspots in out-of-home locations will be available for FREE to anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity Internet customers, to keep our communities connected with their friends and family.  Xfinity WiFi hotspots located both indoors and outdoors in places like shopping districts, parks, businesses, and train stations will be open. Hotspots located in customers’ homes are not opened to the public. You can find the exact hotspot locations at xfinity.com/wifi/#find-a-hotspot.

The state of Michigan has information: Michigan Home Internet Options* for the Economically Disadvantaged.

EveryoneOn.org can help you find low-cost internet and affordable computers in your area.

 

 

Grand Ledge Public Schools is committed to providing:

  • iPads to each student in grades K-2
  • Chromebooks to each student in grades 3-12

Use the Student Technology Request Form at GLcomets.net/TechRequest to request a Chromebooks for a student at Beagle, Delta Center, Wacousta, or Willow Ridge.

Please reach out to the appropriate school contact below to request iPads for all schools and/or Chromebooks for Hayes Middle School and Grand Ledge High School.

  • Neff - Nola Cockroft, 517-925-5625, cockroftn@glcomets.net
  • Holbrook - Nola Cockroft, 517-925-5625, cockroftn@glcomets.net
  • Beagle - Stephanie Morgan, 517-925-5486, morgans@glcomets.net
  • Delta Center - Carly Gee, 517-925-5567, geec@glcomets.net
  • Wacousta - Michael Patrick, 517-925-5974, patrickm@glcomets.net
  • WIllow Ridge - Marcia Pogoncheff, 517-925-5797, pogoncheffm@glcomets.net
  • Hayes - Tammy Jordan-Thelen, 517-925-5686, jordanthelent@glcomets.net
  • High School - Sherry Kreiser-Crouch, Jen Ashley, Lisa Nelson, & Cindy Hoskins, 517-925-5855, GLHSTechSupport@glcomets.net

Here are some important excerpts from the full Device Agreement located at:
https://www.glcomets.net/downloads/technology_services/2020-2021_device_agreement__handbook.pdf

...taking home a device, families agree to assume the risk of loss and damage to the device and related accessories. Parents/Guardians may be responsible for repair or replacement of the device in the event of loss or damage.

Chromebook replacement cost is approximately $225 and includes the Chromebook, charger, and case.

iPad replacement cost is approximately $450 and includes the iPad, charger, and case.

In the event of damage, the family will be responsible for up to $50 for the first incident, up to $100 for the second incident, and the full cost of repair or replacement whichever is less for additional incidents.

In the event of a loss (other than theft), the family will be responsible for the replacement cost. ...