Back to School Roadmap

Back to School Roadmap UPDATE

On June 20, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap, a comprehensive document to help districts create local plans for in-person learning in the fall. The Roadmap outlines a number of safety protocols for schools to implement in each phase of the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan. Lakeshore Public Schools continues to gather information and guidance from different sources to aid in the development of a comprehensive plan for educating our students in the fall.

Our planning for the return to school began in early May with the development of three committees: the Return to School Committee (R2S), the Pandemic Response Team (PRT), and the Wellness Committee (HMHL). The guidance received from the State in the Return to School Roadmap verified that we were already on the right track in building options that will ensure robust learning opportunities while ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff.

After careful review and extensive research and consultation with health officials, we have made the decision to offer two options for opening school in the fall. 

Options Available for Families:

Lakeshore Public Schools will offer families two learning options for the 2020-21 school year: 

  • In-person instruction (providing public health conditions allow it) - with a newly developed rigorous and robust remote learning plan that may be required if there is a resurgence of COVID-19. 
  • The newly created Lakeshore Virtual Academy (LCA) - a 100 percent online educational program for students in kindergarten through grade 12.

The  information linked below is provided to help families make informed decisions about what’s best for their students. We are still finalizing the details of both in-person/remote instruction and our fully virtual program, but we are getting close. Detailed information will be provided soon on both options including the enrollment process for the Lakeshore Virtual Academy.

While we have narrowed the options, there still is a great deal of work to do to finalize our preparation for the opening of school. Our three committees have been busy at work over the last several weeks to develop plans for the coming school year.

  1. Return to School Committee (R2S) - The Return to School Committee has worked to create the educational delivery models that will be offered to families for the 2020-2021 school year. The first option will be face-to-face instruction five days per week. This option will look much like a traditional model with safety protocols put in place. The second option is a 100% virtual option, the Lakeshore Virtual Academy (LVA). Lakeshore Public Schools will work in partnership with established virtual education providers to develop and offer a rigorous program led by Michigan-certified teachers who are highly qualified in their subject areas. 

The details of each of these plans are being hashed out and will be shared as soon as they are more fully completed.

  1. Pandemic Response Team (PRT) - The Pandemic Response Committee has been working hard to create the policies and protocols that will best ensure a return to a safe environment in the fall. Utilizing the Return to School Roadmap as guidance, plans for each of the Phases in the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan are being developed. The plans include the selection and purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), providing adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, increasing facility cleaning and disinfection to limit exposure to COVID-19, implementing protocols for screening students and staff, cohorting and movement of students to minimize exposure, and much more. A copy of the extensive requirements is linked below.

The PRT is also providing support in procuring technology resources for the implementation of our learning options and developing food service and transportation plans.

  1. Wellness Committee - The purpose of the Wellness Committee is to determine essential actions to keep staff and students safe and healthy. Included in this work will be an assessment of current resources and a determination of added resources necessary to support staff and student well-being, the development of assessment and outreach models for both staff and students.

Finally, there are questions swirling about whether schools will open for face-to-face instruction in the fall and when we might have an answer. The county superintendents are paying close attention to the  guidance provided by the State and working closely with the Berrien County Health Department to assure that the best decision will be made. In this ever-changing health crisis environment, we are concerned about making that decision too early. At the same time, we understand that, ultimately, a decision must be made. We are targeting the first week in August for making the call.