COVID-19 Related Information

Latest Updates

April 14, 2020

Parents/Guardians,

Harper Creek Community Schools has developed a student education plan for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. I have included a video with specific details explaining the Continuation of Learning Plan. Key points in the plan include weekly well checks with all families, student centered learning with an equity mindset, and ensuring families are not overwhelmed with work. The approved Continuation of Learning Plan in its entirety is posted on the www.harpercreek.net website.

Harper Creek will use a mixed media approach, which means students with access to technology will be given online work and students without access to technology will receive weekly hard copy packets delivered via our school buses. Each week, grade level/course learning packets will be posted on the district website. Students needing hard copies will receive them on Fridays, prior to the new school week, or on Mondays at the latest. Harper Creek Community Schools remains committed to getting devices and access to as many students as possible. Contact us if your family has technology needs.

Students will be graded on a credit/incomplete basis with the expectation that all students participate in learning plan for the remainder of the school year. High school and middle school students that receive an incomplete because of nonparticipation will have the opportunity to complete necessary credits at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. Elementary students who do not participate will be given a review as needed at the next grade level at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. Any retentions will be done on a case-by-case basis in partnership with the teacher, principal, and parents.

Seniors will receive credit in each course they were passing at the time of the closure. Therefore, many of our seniors will be done with high school. Teachers, graduation coaches, and counselors will reach out to students that were not passing and offer the opportunity to receive passing grades with the goal of graduation. All seniors will receive confirmation of their graduation status. Graduation has been rescheduled for July 31, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Harper Creek Stadium. Please watch the Continuation of Learning Plan video for further details.

Take good care,

Rob Ridgeway, Superintendent

 

 





April 10, 2020

Parents/Guardians,

I am sending an update in regards to your child’s continued learning.

Harper Creek Community Schools has submitted the required Continuation of Learning Plan to the Calhoun Intermediate School District for approval.

Next week our staff will be preparing and planning for distance learning.  You will be or have been contacted by your school if you have technology needs.  Families without access to technology will be given hard copies of instructional materials.

Distance learning will begin officially on Monday, April 20th.  Harper Creek will use a mixed media approach with online learning and hard copies of instructional materials for students without technology access.  Please continue to use the learning links that are found on the District’s website - www.harpercreek.net.

Further communications and details regarding the Continuation of Learning Plan will occur once the Plan has been approved by the Calhoun Intermediate School District and the State of Michigan.

I appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.

Take care,

 

Rob Ridgeway

Superintendent



 

 

Questions and Answers from the April 3, 2020, Special Board Meeting

Staff

What is the plan for loaning out the technology and getting it back?

Answer – The plan is to have parents/guardians pick-up technology from each building through a drive-up approach. Computers will be signed out and logged. Computers will be returned in a similar fashion with parents/guardians having select times to drop-off computers at the end of the school year. The district surveyed all parents/guardians regarding access to technology to determine needs for both devices and connectivity.

 

Has a plan been developed for allowing us back in the buildings to retrieve materials and/or check out our rooms for the year?

 

Answer – Teachers will be allowed back into buildings to retrieve materials. These plans will be created by each individual principal. The Executive Order allows staff to be in the building for the purpose of distance learning, which includes planning and/or using district technology if it is unavailable in a staff member’s home.

 

What is the plan for continued services for social work, speech, occupational therapy, etc.?

 

Answer – These are each unique services and will be provided via distance learning if possible. The individuals responsible for these services will work collectively with families to continue services that can be achieved remotely.

 

What is the plan for allowing students back in the building to clean out lockers and retrieve belongings?

 

Answer – Students will not be allowed back into buildings during the Stay Home, Stay Safe order. Parents/Guardians will be able to retrieve belongings. This will be done after the technology distribution for distance learning is complete. If there is a specific essential need to get belongings sooner – please email or call the principal of the specific building to arrange an appointment.

 

If a student was not passing at the end of the third marking period, what will that look like with “no student being held back?”

Answer – There is not a clear answer. A student has the opportunity to do work during the closure to show mastery of essential standards and could ‘pass’ the course. The current interpretation would be that the student would receive an incomplete rather than a ‘fail’. As per the Michigan Department of Education grades are a local school district decision, BUT the executive order also states no child shall fail because of lack of access.

Can we also include in the plan a way to get back school materials like textbooks?

Answer – Yes, getting materials to and from students will be a priority.

Can we roll out a schedule of the time their kiddos should be spending on their schoolwork each day?

Answer – Guidance from the State does include estimates of time students should be spending on school work based on grade and age.

What about high school students who are currently failing their classes?

Answer – Students with failing grades are encouraged to complete missing work and to show mastery of essential standards using distance learning to improve grades to passing. Students will also not receive failing grades they will be marked incomplete and have an opportunity during the first semester next year to show mastery to receive passing grades in classes interrupted by the State closure.

Is there a plan in the works for getting students online?

Answer – Yes, the first step is access to devices and internet. The next step will be to use Kahn Academy and IXL as online learning platforms. Helping families and students to login and understand how to use these platforms will also be a challenge. Teachers and students will continue to use Google Classroom.

How will administration make sure that students and parents know that they must do this online work in order to receive a passing grade?

Answer – Administration will encourage students, parents/guardians, and staff to work together communicate that students must show mastery of essential lessons to receive passing grades. By participating in remote learning the students will be better able to demonstrate mastery. Students who do not show mastery will receive an incomplete, which will be able to be made up the next school year for grade 9 -11 grade students. Seniors who did not have a passing grade on March 11, 2020 will be given the opportunity to show mastery of essential standards to have the opportunity to graduate.

Will paras be involved in the online learning plan to assist with students?

Answer – Yes, paraprofessionals will be an itegral part of the Continuation of Learning Plan and will help with all facets of students learning by using strengths of each individual. Paraprofessionals will be a key aspect of our two-way parent/guardian – school communication.

Can we use any remaining funds in our department/activities/school accounts?

Answer – At this time, the superintendent will approve all purchases. The Board of Education and district administrators feel next year’s budget will be very tight and we must only buy essential items at this time.

How could we monitor paper copies vs on line?

Answer – Guidance from the State is that paper copies could be monitored through email photos of work, mailed copies of work or through phone calls to parents. Online can be monitored using the software program reports.

What is the plan for final grade reports?

Answer – At this point there is not a definitive plan for grade reports. According to the Executive Order teachers must keep track of student participation and progress.

Will there be paper packets provided to any families?

Answer – Yes, The district will offer a mixture of online and paper options to support the age of the student as well as connectivity to technology.

Is there a plan to provide books to kids who are not in the lowest performing percentage?

Answer – The first priority was to provide books to children most in need. The district is currently considering options of how to provide books to all elementary students.

Will we be providing credit recovery throughout the summer for seniors at risk of not being able to graduate?

Answer – Credit recovery has always been an option in the summer for high school students and this will continue during the summer of 2020.

Are there older Chrome books housed in the district that could be distributed to elementary students?

Answer – The technology department is currently preparing Chromebooks for distribution to students and families that do not have access to a device at home. We will pass the idea of using the older Chromebooks for distribution to the technology department.

Can workbooks be delivered to families?

Answer – Yes, we are open to getting classroom workbooks to students and are working on a logistics plan for this idea.

Will there be technology support for families?

Answer – We are working on what technology support looks and feels like for families as well as who could provide ‘help-line’ type support.

Will devices be limited? Like one per family?

Answer – Devices will be distributed on a need basis and that could mean more than one device per family.

Do all three elementary buildings have IXL accounts so that students’ logins can be monitored?

Answer – The district will use IXL as a platform that can be used by all staff to monitor students. This is not widely used throughout the district

Is there flexibility in the Michigan Merit for graduating seniors, especially if they are completing classes this last term?

Answer – There is already some flexibility within the law regarding the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The Board of Education would need to act to change or offer flexibility to Harper Creek Community School’s graduation requirements that are above and beyond the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

I've seen some districts getting technology to MS and HS students, but doing more hands on or packets for elementary

Answer – Thank you for the comment. We are planning for a mixture of online and printed copy learning.

With the experiences students have had with hotspots, are they (the hotspots) reliable? Are they able to do the work that is asked?

Answer – Hotpots would not work in all homes due to signal strength issue. The District is preparing to offer a mixture of online learning and printed copy learning.

Is it possible to include books for families to borrow during the meal deliveries?

Answer – Yes, delivering books and learning materials during meal delivers will be part of our continuation of Learning Plan.

How would we manage making sure the students are doing workbook pages?

Answer – The State has offered guidance that work can be monitored through online means if available or by email photos of work, mailed copies of student work, or through phone conversations with parents/guardians.

How will we be able to support families in that learning?

Answer – The District and staff will need to have consistent two-way communication for families to be supported with learning, food needs, social-emotional needs, and basic family needs.

How will we have accountability for our students?

Answer – Students will be expected to participate and staff will track student participation. Students that do not participate can be given an incomplete.

What about bus drivers? We are not full time but should we expect pay?

Answer – Yes, all employees will receive their respective base pay for the reminder of the school year.

Can you speak about Special Education and IEP's?

Answer – the CISD is currently taking the lead on how IEP’s can be completed through distance means.

 

 

Parent Questions

 

Will lesson plans from teachers be provided?

Answer – The Continuation of Learning Plan will have daily lessons for all grades including kindergarten. The School district will take a more active daily role in the education of our students once the Plan is approved and implemented.

How are we receiving technology surveys? I have internet access but I do not have access to a computer.

Answer – Any students that did not have a survey for technology has or will receive a phone call to complete the survey with one of our secretaries.

Considering we will be doing school virtually, has there been any talk about extending the school year since they have already missed so much school?

Answer – At this point, the Governor has given options for districts to implement a balanced calendar either for the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school years. Harper Creek Community Schools will not be extending the 2019-20 school year and will consider calendar changes for 2020-21.

Is there online teaching plan post spring break?

Answer – Currently the district is writing the online learning plan with guidance released on Saturday, April 4, 2020 from the State. Our district online learning plan must then be approved by the Calhoun Intermediate School District.

How are IEP's going to be addressed?

Answer – The District is working with the Calhoun Intermediate School District and seeking legal guidance regarding how IEP’s are conducted using distance technology.

If workbooks are used, how will teachers or school know they are completed & who completed them?

Answer – This will be a combination of phone calls for two-way communication, emailed pictures of completed work, or the use of the food distribution system.

Will there be 'extra' lessons if parents want prepare their kids for next year in addition to ‘essential' lessons?

Answer – The Continuation of Learning Plan focuses on essential standards. Your question will be relayed to our curriculum department.

Has there been consideration how rural Harper families might be and Sprint is the worst for coverage in the county?

Answer – The District will use a combination of online learning and hard copy lessons for families that do not have access to technology.

Can you include security measures in plan regarding technology? There are people showing up into zoom meetings and exposing themselves… what can we do to make sure?

Answer – All of our District computers have filters to protect children from websites that are not appropriate. Platforms like Zoom are working to tighten up security so that children are protected. Security of our students is of the upmost importance and we will continue to protect them.

You addressed IEP kiddos, what about our 504 students?

Answer – 504 students will also be giving distance accommodating to ensure that they are supported. This will be similar to students with IEP’s.

Is it possible to have hotspots at schools where people can remain in their cars while using an internet connection?

Answer – Currently legal guidance is being sought if this idea is a possibility. This is a creative idea that we are considering.



Frequently Asked Questions

I need help logging into Google Classroom. The code does not work. 

Please contact your child’s teacher. 

Where can I pick-up food? 

Food may be picked-up between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM at one of the following locations:  high school auditorium lobby entrance on the south end of the school, Wattles Park cafeteria, Sonoma Elementary main entrance. Neighborhood sites added! Please call the Food Service-Hotline with any questions or concerns Monday - Friday  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 269-441-8543. 04/6/2020

Will there still be practice for sports? 

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-20 Winter and Spring sports seasons. 04/03/2020

What if we organize our own practices? 

We urge you to use the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control to best protect yourself from COVID-19. 

Will there still be board meetings? 

The Board of Education will continue to hold meetings remotely, as authorized by Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-15 . We are working on providing auditory access for the public.

We have done the whole packet. How do we get another? 

We recently learned from Michigan Department of Education that we cannot assign or grade work during the time of mandated closure, therefore, we are suspending providing packet work at this time and will continue to provide online learning links for practice and enrichment.  We are working diligently to identify families who do not have computers or internet access. If you have internet access, please go to our website to complete the access survey by March 25, 2020.

Who is donating the food that is being handed out? 

Daily food being handed out to kids is from the USDA school lunch program. Food is purchased from our regular distributors. It is not donated. 

The Friday Food Bags are donated by Love Thy Neighbor Ministries. Love Thy Neighbor has supported kids in Harper Creek for several years providing food for the weekend. More information can be found about LTN on their Facebook page


 

 


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