Michigan schools prepare for extended closure
After an overnight announcement from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer regarding the coronavirus outbreak, K-12 schools in Michigan had mere hours to prepare students and staff for a three-week closure.
"With all of the recent events, we started our preparation many days ago, even weeks ago," Monroe Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Julie Everly said.
Dr. Everly explained students had a pre-planned half-day on Friday, which already weakened attendance in regular circumstances. The day reported poorer numbers, but students who did attend received take-home workbooks from their teachers.
There will also be multiple lines of communication open for teachers, students, and parents throughout the process.
"It's a very blended option across more traditional work and some work with technology," Everly said.
As for students who depend on meals during school days throughout the district, there's a plan for that, too, one Everly said can begin as soon as next week.
"We are working with our food service and our transportation department to coordinate a routine to get students both their breakfast and lunch on a daily basis," Everly said.
For assignments which may require internet access, the Monroe County Public Library System is still open at all branches, but this may change in the coming days.
Summerfield Schools is another district working to keep students on track with their curriculum throughout this time.
Superintendent John Hewitt said some teachers are considering streaming classes online and hosting virtual office hours for students who have questions. The district also mentioned they can send home laptops for kids in need.
Hewitt said attendance was mandatory Friday to allow teachers to set up their individualized plans with their students.
The district said all employees will also be paid for the three weeks, regardless of being in the classroom. A plan is also in place for meal delivery, and food service directors across the state will be in communication with the government to find a solution.