April 9, 2020
Marion Public Schools Parents & Guardians:
On April 2, 2020, Governor Whitmer announced an executive order mandating all schools to remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We understand this announcement brings many feelings of uncertainty and disappointment. Please know that we, too, are experiencing a range of emotions and are working hard to make the best of this situation. We have included several important updates below as a result of this announcement. We will continue to update you as new information is made available.
Marion Public Schools will continue to use distance learning through June 4, 2020.
The Michigan Department of Education is mandating all districts create a “Continuity Learning Plan,” which is greatly predicated upon schools using distance learning for the remainder of the school year. We are so proud of the way our students, teachers, parents, and support staff have responded to this unique learning experience over the past three weeks. Our district plan is to send the first “supply” of schoolwork on April 16, 2020. This will include internet and virtual learning opportunities as well as traditional paper & pencil forms. Teachers will have a second set of instructional resources every two weeks thereafter. Parents can pick up work at any of our lunch distribution centers, or by arranging a time to come to campus. Upon request, one of our dedicated bus drivers can bring school deliveries to your driveway (sorry no door visitations will be allowed). Completed work can be shared with teachers electronically (Google Classroom, email, etc) or can be returned to a lunch drop off station or (upon request) submitted to a bus driver.
Now that we know we will be using this format for the remainder of the year, each K-12 teacher and paraprofessional will be creating a schedule in which he/she will be available (virtual meeting or by phone) for a dedicated and consistent amount of time per week. This schedule is not complete at this time. It will be made public knowledge soon.
Your teachers will keep students posted on expectations and additional guidance. There will be no Milestones, End-of-Course, End-of-Grade or MSTEP testing this year. In addition, AP tests will be delivered online.
Marion Public Schools is working with school leaders and relevant agencies to ensure students have sufficient internet connectivity. We are currently looking at grants to provide internet access and other creative solutions. We understand our district can’t control the current lack of internet for some of our families, but we are dedicated to helping provide the best possible solution for each student and family.
Marion Public Schools will still be providing breakfast and lunch for all children 0-18. You do not have to attend Marion Public Schools to receive this benefit. The buses are still transporting the meals to the various locations, the Winterfield Township Hall, Redding Township Hall, Middle Branch Township Hall, Dighton Store and the Elementary parking lot between the hours of 11:30 until 1 p.m.. We are asking adults to not vacate their vehicle when picking up meals. If you are able, please pull your vehicle up next to the bus and pop your trunk where the meals will be deposited.
Marion Public Schools will create plans to hold special milestone ceremonies and events, like graduation. The district must adhere to the Governor’s Executive Order, and we will be creative and enthusiastic rescheduling key events when circumstances allow. We do not have the ability to schedule at this time, so we will continue to update you along the way.
Stay Strong and Safe
So far, our district has provided a great service to our kids and community. There will definitely be significant challenges in terms of implementing our “Continuity Learning Plan.” There will be missteps and lessons learned along the way. During my time in Marion, I have learned how effective and committed this staff is! We definitely will need parent support at home to make sure our kids have a quality learning experience regardless of the current challenges.