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1. Please describe the methods the district will use to provide alternative modes of instruction other than in-person instruction and a summary of materials each pupil and the pupil’s parents or guardians will need to access meaningfully the alternative modes of instruction included in the Plan. If the Plan relies on electronic instruction, the Plan must ensure to the extent feasible that pupils have access to a connected device capable of accessing the electronic instruction and must not penalize a pupil for the pupil’s inability to fully participate.

“Alternative modes of instruction” means modes of pupil instruction, other than in-person instruction, that may include, without limitation, partnerships with other districts or intermediate districts or community colleges or institutions of higher education, use of vendors, use of online learning, telephone communications, email, virtual instruction, videos, slideshows, project-based learning, use of instructional packets, or a hybrid of multiple modes of learning that still promote recommended practices for social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

District/ PSA Response:

At the elementary/intermediate level (grades K-6), VBPS is deploying existing Chromebooks currently stored in classrooms to support student learning through virtual means such as Google Classroom, Class Dojo, or Remind, in addition to creating packages of materials (books, worksheets, non-technology instructional activities) for students who need them. Each pupil and the pupil’s parents or guardians will need either the device provided and an Internet connection at home, or the package of materials provided.

At the secondary level (grades 7-12), VBPS will use the existing 1:1 take-home Chromebook program to support student learning through Google Classroom, in addition to creating packages of materials (books, worksheets, non-technology instructional activities) for students who need them. Each pupil and the pupil’s parents or guardians will need either the device provided and an Internet connection at home, or the package of materials provided.

Teacher teams are developing paper packets (books, worksheets, non-technology instructional activities) to distribute to identified families who require physical materials.

In addition to Chromebooks being distributed, all staff will be contacting families to identify if they have access to a computer/tablet and/or high-speed internet. VBPS has created a help-desk process (via phone, e-mail) for device repair and/or if they are in need of a new device or to replace a device.

Furthermore, all K-6 students will be mailed a physical copy of a Stretch Learning book. These books will provide an opportunity for students to practice Math and ELA skills on a weekly basis. Books that are returned due to an incorrect address will be mailed to our Central Office Building. Every effort will be made to contact these families and deliver/mail to their current address.

Lastly, VBPS is committed to ensuring that special educations students will have the same access to learning lessons and will do our best to meet the goals outlined in IEP's. 

2. Please describe the methods the district will use to keep pupils at the center of educational activities, including outreach to continue building relationships and maintain connections, and to help pupils feel safe and valued.

District/ PSA Response:

The priority for the VBPS Continuity of Learning Plan is student engagement. As part of this, all staff will partake in five days of professional learning during the week of April 13. Staff will have opportunities to receive professional learning that will help support their instruction of this plan as well as partake in planning to support instruction the following week.

At the elementary level (K-4), teachers will check in with students weekly, as needed, through two- way communication using a variety of options including: Zoom, Dojo, Google Meet, E-mail, Seesaw, Google Classroom, Remind, Google Voice, and Phone Calls. Teachers will log their contacts, and concerns or unsuccessful contacts will be referred to a team including principals, coaches, counselors, social workers, and secretarial staff.

At the intermediate and middle school level (5-8), teachers will check in with their current grade-level teams across content areas (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies). Each member of the team will check in with their designated group of students weekly, as needed, through two- way communication using a variety of options including: Phone Calls, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Google Voice, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and Google Meet., Remind, or Class Dojo. Teams will log their contacts, and concerns or unsuccessful contacts will be referred to a team including principals, coaches, counselors, social workers and secretarial staff.

At the high school level, teachers will check in with their students weekly, as needed, through two-way communication using a variety of options including Phone Calls, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Google Voice, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and Google Meet, Remind, or Class Dojo. Teachers will log their contacts, and concerns or unsuccessful contacts will be referred to a team including principals, coaches, counselors, social workers and secretarial staff.

VBPS is also supporting our students social-emotional needs.

3. Please describe the district’s plans to deliver content in multiple ways so that all pupils can access learning.

District/ PSA Response:

In addition to providing packages of materials for families that lack device and/or Internet access, VBPS has established plans to provide professional development to ensure that students have opportunities to learn through a variety of modalities.
Classroom teachers will differentiate their lessons by:
  1. Providing multiple modes to access information (ie both video and text, not just one or the other)
  2. Providing multiple modes to demonstrate learning (ie task that uses technology and task that does not require technology, etc.)
  3. Differentiate assignments, grading rubric/matrix for students with IEPs or 504s, as appropriate
  4. Providing links on the Van Buren website to age and grade-appropriate activities
Additionally:
At the elementary level, special education staff will directly contact students and families on their caseload and provide small group or paper-pencil activities based on IEP goals. Students with 504 plans will be offered accommodations as appropriate.
At the middle school level, special education staff will directly contact students and families on their caseload and provide small group or paper-pencil activities based on IEP goals. They will also work with general education teaching staff to facilitate differentiation. Students with 504 plans will be offered accommodations as appropriate.
At the high school level, special education staff will directly contact students and families on their caseload. Special education case coordinators will document supports offered to students on their caseload. Students with 504 plans will be offered accommodations as appropriate.

4. Please describe the district’s plans to manage and monitor learning by pupils.

District/ PSA Response:

At all levels, teachers will log their contacts with students, as needed, on a weekly basis. Teachers will log their contacts, and concerns or unsuccessful contacts will be referred to a team including principals, coaches, counselors, social workers, and secretarial staff.
For academic progress, teachers will use MiSTAR, communication platforms (i.e., Google Classroom, Dojo, etc.) and other methods of documentation to track participation with ungraded assignments, in addition to graded student work. 
Grading Policy: VBPS is ensuring that any student who is unable to participate will not be harmed by the inability to participate. Outlined below are the policies implemented.
Report cards will be sent home at the end of the year. Marks/grades will be determined from work completed during the second semester.
The elementary (K-4) grading scale will consist of “Adequate Progress, Needs Support and Not Evident” where pupils unable to fully participate will receive a “Not Evident'' mark without penalty, and will receive remediation and support based on need in the fall.
Owen and McBride (5-8) grading scale will consist of either a “Pass / No Mark” grade. Pupils unable to fully participate will receive a “No Mark” grade that does not count in GPA calculations and will receive remediation and support based on need in the fall.
For Belleville High School (9-12) there will be one marking period that includes all student work completed January 27 - March 12 and April 20 - June 12. If possible, same course colleagues will develop a common end of the semester assessment. This could take the form of an online assessment, essay, portfolio of work, or other demonstration of knowledge of essential standards.
  • Teachers will calculate two different marks for each student at the end of the term: (1) marking period average grade AND (2) end of semester assessment grade
  • Students will receive credit only (“G” grade) if they earn at least 60% . The student can opt to receive the earned grade instead for the semester.
  • Students who fail to participate or do not earn at least 60% for either mark do not earn a grade or credit for the semester. These students will earn the “U” grade, with no impact on grade point average. These students will receive remediation and support based on need in the fall.
  • McBride students taking high school level classes (Algebra and Spanish) will receive credit (“G” mark), meeting the high school requirement, providing they meet the above criteria.

5. Please attach a budget outline estimating additional expenditures associated with the Plan and sources of revenue to pay for those expenditures.

District/ PSA Response:

General Fund

Stretch Learning Books -$24,500

Chromebook Power Cords - $5,398

General Fund Total $29,898

6. Please describe the manner in which district administrators, board members, teachers, and any representatives of teachers collaborated in development of the Plan.

District/ PSA Response:

Two virtual learning committees (K-6 and 7-12) composed of teachers, administrators, IT and union representation were established and initially met on Wednesday, April 1. The purpose of the initial meeting was to create a working framework of the plan with the biggest portion dedicated to developing teacher expectations and how to provide support for teachers.

The following day, April 2, Governor Whitmer issued her executive order closing schools for the remainder of the year as well as providing additional guidance for the school closure.

On Tuesday, April 7, district administrators and union representation met to go over the updated plan.

On Wednesday, April 8, the plan was presented to the virtual learning committees for feedback and input.

Interspersed throughout these days were sub-committees that were working through additional parts of the plans including high school grading, how to provide emotional support for staff and students, and professional learning planning.

The document was reviewed at the April 13 Board meeting.  

7. Please describe the methods the district will use to notify pupils and parents or guardians of the Plan.

District/ PSA Response:

To communicate the Continuity of Learning Plan to pupils and parents or guardians, VBPS will utilize several communication channels, including:
  • The district and school websites, located at vanburenschools.net
  • Mass Emails and regular district and building communications to families
  • Mass phone calls, text messaging
  • Social Media
  • Videos
  • Direct teacher contacts with students, Teachers will log their contacts, and concerns or unsuccessful contacts will be referred to a team including principals, coaches, counselors, social workers, and secretarial staff.

8. Please provide an estimate of the date on which the district will begin implementation of the Plan, which must be no later than April 28, 2020.

District/ PSA Response:

VBPS plans to begin implementation of the Plan on Monday, April 13.

9. Please describe the assistance, to the extent feasible, to pupils enrolled in any postsecondary dual enrollment courses under Public Act 160 of 1996, as amended, MCL 388.511 to 388.524, and Career and Technical Preparation Act, 258 PA 2000, as amended, MCL 388.1901 to 388.1913, in completing the courses during the 2019-2020 school year.

District/ PSA Response:

VBPS continues to provide technology devices to pupils enrolled in any postsecondary dual enrollment courses through the VBPS 1:1 Chromebook program for high school students.

Students in our program utilizing Edgenuity to earn credits will continue to resume as normal.

10. Please describe how the district will continue to provide or arrange for continuation of food distribution to eligible pupils.

District/ PSA Response:

VBPS has provided food distribution directly through bi-weekly pick-ups of food kits and will continue to do so for the remainder of the school year.  The food distribution is located at Belleville High School.  Additional details of the distribution can be found at www.vanburenschools.net.

11. Please confirm that the district will continue to pay school employees while redeploying staff to provide meaningful work in the context of the Plan, subject to any applicable requirements of a collective bargaining agreement.

District/ PSA Response:

Employees have been notified by the Superintendent and Human Resources that they will continue to be compensated as planned on the 10th and 25th days of the month. The last pay provided for the 2019-2020 school year will occur on August 25th. The first pay for the 2020-2021 school year will occur on September 10th.
Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements with VBEST, VBAES, and Food Service, will be paid for the days and/or hours that they would have worked, as regularly scheduled, between April 10th and June 30th. Compensation will be issued as planned on the 10th and 25th days of the month.
  • If you elected 20 pays, the last pay provided for the 2019-2020 school year will occur on June 25th.
  • If you elected 24 pays, the last pay provided for the 2019-2020 school year will occur on August 25th.
The first pay for the 2020-2021 school year will occur on September 10th.
Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements with the VBEA, VBASA, and Non-Affiliated staff, will be paid for the days and/or hours that they would have worked, as regularly scheduled, between April 10th and June 30th. Compensation will be issued as planned on the 10th and 25th days of the month. The last pay provided for the 2019-2020 school year will occur on August 25th. The first pay for the 2020-2021 school year will occur on September 10th.
Contracted Third-Party Employees will be paid for the days and/or hours that they would have worked, as regularly scheduled, between April 10th and June 4th. Compensation will be issued as planned in accordance with the contract with the third- party employer
Substitutes serving the district on a day-to-day basis will not be paid during the mandated shut down.
Schedule B Assignments for spring will be paid, as regularly scheduled, on June 10th. Specific expectations regarding remote responsibilities during the school closure will come from the Athletic Director.
Benefits:
All employee benefits will be maintained for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

12. Provide describe how the district will evaluate the participation of pupils in the Plan.

District/ PSA Response:

The VBPS Continuity of Learning Plan has several measures to monitor and evaluate the participation in the Plan by pupils. Teachers will log contacts, , and concerns about students or unsuccessful contacts will be referred to a team including principals, coaches, counselors, social workers and secretarial staff.

If students do not participate for the remainder of the school year, a “Not Evident” or “No Mark” would be recorded on the final report card.

13. Please describe how the district will provide mental health support to pupils affected by a state of emergency or state of disaster prompted by COVID-19.

District/ PSA Response:

In addition to food, technology, and academic support for students, VBPS is providing mental health and social-emotional support for students through intentional focus on student contacts by teachers. Counselors and School Social Workers at all levels are also providing family and student resources and supports for mental health and social- emotional learning. The district is offering a community hotline for those who are in need of social emotional support.

Teacher contacts with students include a systematic referral process for students of concern to building teams including principals, coaches, counselors, social workers and secretarial staff.

Counselors, Ancillary staff, and special education staff are also providing targeted support to individual students based on individual learning needs.

14. Please describe how the district will support the efforts of the intermediate district in which the district is located to mobilize disaster relief child care centers as described in Executive Order 2020-16 or any executive order that follows it.

District/ PSA Response:

VBPS will offer any building or resources as necessary; if needed and requested from our intermediate educational entity, Wayne RESA.