Dear Northville Public Schools Families, Staff and Community,
Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to navigate unprecedented times and an evolving public health matter that has brought about significant change and a great deal of uncertainty in a matter of days. Parents were thrust into trying to navigate learning with their children while also managing their own jobs, and our students lost their daily connection to their peers, their teachers, their classroom communities. Our teachers and staff likewise are mourning this loss – while all of us grapple with the worry of COVID-19.
In spite of the many challenges, I first want to express heartfelt gratitude to our students, our teachers and staff, and our families for the many ways in which our community has come together in support of one another in the space of only one week. Our educators came together last Friday to identify and deploy several resources, beginning the work of supporting our students and families with access to learning materials. With Michigan Department of Education (MDE) support, we launched a Grab & Go school breakfast/lunch program available to all students, facilitated by our Food Services staff. Already, we’ve seen great examples of our students’ ingenuity, heard stories shared virtually by our principals, had teachers engage with their students in various forums, and were invited into our first digital PTA meeting. I am confident that we will continue to seek ways to connect and support one another as we face the challenges ahead.
We are also listening to the questions, concerns and feedback we are hearing from our parents, our students and our staff, as we continue to navigate uncharted territory. We added “Frequently Asked Questions
” to the district website last weekend, and we continue to update and add to the FAQ
on a daily basis. Please continue to forward your questions to principals, our Office of Instruction, Office of Special Services and/or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
School districts across our state (and country) continue to be challenged by the complexities of moving suddenly into a virtual forum, and addressing matters of equity and access for ALL students. The guidance from MDE and the United States Department of Education continues to evolve. As a result, distance learning strategies, as directed by the MDE, cannot be counted as student instructional time during the COVID-19 school closure. MDE has encouraged all districts to continue providing enrichment and supplemental learning opportunities for students, and our plan is set forth below. Guidance on recovering the learning that may be lost during an extended school closing period will come from the Michigan Department of Education.
Home Learning Support Framework
Our initial gathering and sharing of learning resources and support
was rolled out quickly to all of our families in an effort to ensure that our students had learning opportunities available by Monday, 3/16/20. One week into the process, we’ve heard your feedback that it has been challenging to navigate the many resources and that it would be more helpful to have specific suggested activities, a weekly plan and more connection with our teachers. Teachers have also reported wanting more specific guidance on the ways in which they could connect with students, and continue supporting their classroom communities.
In response to the need for more targeted resources and support for our students and families, our teachers, principals and instructional staff have convened this week to develop a more focused Home Learning Support Framework based on the following goals:
- Provide students with continued academic engagement that is focused on reinforcement and enrichment.
- Provide students with continued connection with staff.
- Maintain a sense of structure in the absence of a school day.
- Reduce the loss of learning and maintain academic perseverance during the disruption in core instruction.
On Monday, March 23, 2020, students and families will receive a more detailed communication on the NPS Home Learning Support Framework, including details on what you and your child can expect to see from NPS staff, what we are hoping our students will do, and what parents can do to support this Framework. The plan includes a weekly communication of a learning plan that provides reinforcement and enrichment opportunities. Please know that we will continue to build upon our learning supports throughout this period of closure. With the possibility of an extended closure, we are continuing to work on how our framework needs to adapt to further support our students and community.
Technology Device Available
As previously noted, technology devices are available for students who do not have access and need to borrow this technology from the district. Please complete this Technology Device Checkout Form
to request use of a device. The NPS technology department will follow up via email to give you a scheduled pick up time and location, coordinated with our food pickup options, once it is available. Please see our FAQ
for more information.
NPS Social Emotional Support Line
NPS has added a Social Emotional Support Line that families can access if their child(ren) or family are in need of food service resources and connections to available social emotional services. Please see our FAQ
for more information.
FREE Breakfast and Lunch Available
Breakfast and lunch meals, served under the Unanticipated School Closure SFSP program, are available to all children at no cost to anyone age (18) and under, or up to age (26) if they receive special education services. Please see the FAQ
for more information.
M-Step, SAT, AP and IB Testing Update
On 3/20/2020, the U.S. Department of Education issued a statement that allows states to request waivers that allow additional flexibility, including potential elimination of federally-mandated standardized tests this school year. While we have not received official notice from MDE, we fully anticipate the state will request and be granted a testing waiver in the days ahead. We will continue to monitor and provide you with updated information as it becomes available.
The College Board
made a determination this afternoon to continue with spring AP tests in an altered format. If this impacts your student, click here for additional information
. We anticipate more guidance from the International Baccalaureate (IB)
testing organization regarding Diploma Programme assessments. Information will be shared as soon as it is available.
At this point in time, we are still planning on returning to school on April, 13, 2020, after our scheduled Spring Break, while also preparing for the possibility of an extended closure. We will remain vigilant in monitoring the ongoing guidance provided by MDE, the Governor, and health officials, and will strive to share timely and accurate information to the extent possible. As always, we value our strong community partnership as we work together with our students, staff, families and community to promote the safety, health and well-being of all.
Mary Kay Gallagher