NW District News- Return to Learn
July 1, 2020
Greetings Mountie Nation,
We have been working diligently on how the 2020-21 school will look for our district. We are in unprecedented times where we must plan for unknown budget cuts, new health and safety procedures, and added expenses that the district will incur in order to return to school in the fall.
The MI Safe Schools Return to Learn Roadmap was released yesterday, June 30, 2020. The information that is being provided by the Return to School Advisory Council and the COVID-19 Task Force on Education will help us navigate the requirements and recommendations that will be considered to return to learn.
As a district, we are preparing three educational plans based on the Return to Learn Roadmap. The three plans include a full time virtual plan, a hybrid plan (virtual and face to face), and a complete face to face plan. At this time, we are unsure as to what plan will be fully implemented in the fall, as they are based on what MI Safe Start phase our region will be in at the start of school. Each plan comes with many variables and levels of funding needed to execute. Technology, PPE, and personal hygiene supplies, etc. are all examples of additional expenses that will be incurred while developing these return to learning plans.
We have already made changes in our district by implementing two mandatory and consistent virtual learning platforms that will be used in and out of the classroom for instruction. SeeSaw will be used for PK-2nd grade and Schoology will be used for 3-12th grades. Having these consistent learning management platforms will be essential in our district's success through these tough times.
Technology and internet access are barriers in our district. Lack of devices and lack of internet in our community is something that we will consider as we develop our plans. To start, we have purchased additional chromebooks for our district which will aid in making sure that devices are available for students. We have also installed WiFi access points at both of our campuses. These access points will extend our signal and allow the community to utilize the NW Wifi in our parking lots.
While the Return to Learn Roadmap offers many resources, there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the funding for the 2019-20 and the 2020-21 school year. We hope that in the coming weeks we will have more answers to these questions.
There are a lot of changes that we will be facing as a district, community, state, and nation in the coming weeks. Right now, it is very important to remember and believe in the foundation we have built based on our culture, core values, our mission, and our vision. These are what will guide us through challenging times!
Have a great holiday weekend!
Geoff Bontrager Ed.S.