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LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT ON "LEARN AT HOME" PLAN

April 3, 2020
Dear BPS Families,

As I shared with all of you yesterday in my brief email, Governor Whitmer’s signing of Michigan Executive Order 2020-35 immediately suspends face-to-face learning in all K-12 Schools for the remainder of the current school year. While this is an unprecedented event for our state, I believe that for the safety of our students and staff, it was needed for our district to be able to move forward. By signing this latest Executive Order, Governor Whitmer has also made it possible for Michigan Public Schools to transition from our traditional mode of in-classroom learning to a newly allowable and flexible “Learn at Home” instructional model. Bedford Public Schools will now have the opportunity to create and submit a continuity of education plan that will allow the district to continue providing educational services to our families for the remainder of the year. This plan, which must be approved by Monroe Intermediate School District (MISD) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), will outline our plan for at-home learning, continued food service programs, and the continuation of any additional services that we currently hope to offer. Once approved, BPS will be able to once again provide educational instruction for state-approved credit for all grade levels.

The submitted BPS Continuity of Education Plan will focus on engaging ALL students in their personalized learning and academic growth, providing families with consistent support and guidance, and offering flexibility for staff and students to overcome the inherent challenges of at-home learning. Student participation in the learn-at-home instructional program is mandatory for all students and failure to engage in the learning process can/will lead to a loss of academic credit toward graduation or grade-level progression. Myself, and the district leadership team fully understand that there will be an exorbitant amount of potential obstacles in seamlessly implementing any new plan. This means that timely communication to teaching staff and building administration will be key in helping our team to better understand your needs and challenges. BPS has been successfully engaged in utilizing state-of-the-art educational technology and digital learning resources for a number of years. Each grade-level will look different in our plan but there will be consistency and support to assist students and families along the way. The district began creating a version of our plan in the early stages of the current closure in case our state elected to move in this direction. We feel that based on initial feedback, our plan will be ready for initial submission based on the finalized Executive Order by the middle of next week. Once approved, our district goal would then be to begin plan implementation the following week (tentatively around April 16th). We will, of course, keep everyone up-to-date on our progress as we navigate through this approval process.

Finally, we are continuously working to keep our families informed throughout this process and have created a new FAQs based on the questions from last evening's District Zoom Update and Discussion as well as emails and other sources. If you do not see a topic that you are searching for answers on, please email building administration, department/program directors, or myself. As always, I am asking our families to rely on official district information channels to get accurate and timely answers to your questions.

Thank you and I wish all of you a safe and hopefully relaxing weekend.

Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools
734-850-6001 Office
Follow me on Twitter: Dr. Carl Shultz @BedfordSupt
Facebook: Carl Shultz

3rd GRADE CHROMEBOOK DISTRIBUTION

Third grade Chromebook distribution is being implemented. Parents should look at their email or schoology for further instructions and pick up schedule for their class. If you cannot make the time scheduled, please contact the helpdesk at 734-850-6095 or email helpdesk@mybedford.us to explain your situation, and we will do our best to make accommodations so you can schedule an alternate time.

Posted: April 3, 2020

All Bedford school district athletic facilities are closed until further notice.

All athletic fields, track, and stadiums are now closed for safety and health reasons due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Posted: April 3, 2020

UPDATE ON SCHOOL BUILDING CLOSURE FOR REMAINDER OF SCHOOL YEAR

April 2, 2020

BPS Families,

Please see the recently released State Executive Order that suspends in-person educational delivery for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The full order outlines the state's educational outlook, intermediate school district guidelines, and local district requirements. Having seen this order for the first time when it was released statewide, district leadership is working on our BPS response including what to expect as staff members, students, and parents. Please allow time for us to get this together. District leadership has been working on a learn at home plan for our staff and students for several weeks. This plan will need adjustment once we learn all additional information regarding state requirements that must be included for local districts.

I will be sending a district update letter to all families tomorrow with more information regarding learn at home timelines and and how BPS will continue to support our students and families throughout the remainder of the year and beyond. Please be patient and know that we are working to ensure an accurate, comprehensive, and sustainable plan for our district. We will not be ready to share the finalized plan until it has been reviewed/approved by both the Monroe Intermediate School District and the Michigan Department of Education. I will be hosting a Superintendent District Discussion via Zoom this evening at 6:00 pm.

I have held several Zoom Meetings but never one with more than 30 participants, so please be patient if you join me for the discussion as I have set the meeting up to accommodate up to 1,000 guests!

Thank you,

Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

 

UPDATE FROM SUPERINTENDENT: END OF 2nd WEEK OF CLOSURE

March 27, 2020
Dear BPS Families,

I hope that this update finds you well-rested and safe. As the second week of the mandatory BPS closure comes to an end, I want to thank all of your for your support and well wishes. While our students and staff may not be inside of our classrooms at this time, I can see from the digital engagement taking place that teaching and learning has not stopped. I can provide very few concrete updates as the leader of the district at this time. I have taken part in countless video and phone conferences over the past two weeks and I can tell you that state and local leadership have not stopped communicating and planning. I can also share that while it has been on many of our minds over the past two weeks, I did hear Governor Whitmer publicly say this morning for the first time that it is “very unlikely” that Michigan’s K-12 schools would reopen this school year.

I want to share my thoughts with our families regarding this potential (seemingly likely) scenario of not being back inside of our buildings for the remainder of the school year. As a parent, a teacher, and as a superintendent, I know that learning does not take place exclusively inside classrooms. While there are several hurdles that our state leadership will need to clear before we can begin a comprehensive learn-at-home instructional plan, I believe that we will get there through collaboration and level-headed decision making. The Department of Education and Governor have engaged leadership from educational groups from around the state to determine how to best move forward for the remainder of this year. I can assure you that whatever plan is placed before our district’s educators, BPS will implement it to the best of our abilities. The Governor indicated during her interview this morning that we should be hearing additional information next week on this topic.

I continue to receive questions regarding why other area districts have already or are soon to begin digital student learning programs. I will not speak for any other districts, but I can tell you that ALL K-12 Michigan Public Schools have received the same information that no digital learning completed at home through ANY means during this initial closure will be counted toward credit or school year completion. This message was reiterated in a received memo last week from the Michigan Department of Education. My review of this topic has shown that districts are starting to use online materials for enrichment. However, these programs are utilizing many of the same options that BPS Students have had access to for the past several years. BPS is and has been ahead of the curve in relation to online opportunities in the State of Michigan.

Additionally, I am proud to share that our district team worked this week to collect all of the classroom supplies (mostly Clorox-style wipes, hand sanitizer, and gloves) that remained inside of our buildings. These items were boxed up and delivered to local first responders throughout the area. Items such as these and other medical supplies continue to be in short supply and our Governor has asked all that can assist to do so. If you check out our district or my personal superintendent Facebook or Twitter accounts, you can see the images of the incredible amount of supplies that BPS and our community were able to share with those in need. Furthermore, BPS Food Service Staff handed out over 7,000 meals this week. These numbers are truly impressive and helped us to decide that we will maintain our current weekly pick-up schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the foreseeable future.

Finally, in an attempt to be able to engage in more of your questions, I will be hosting some Zoom Interactive Conversations throughout the next couple of weeks. Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter to find out when the meetings will take place and to get the Zoom digital link. Zoom is an interactive meeting platform that has become very popular over the past month due to the social distancing mandates because of its easy-to-use platform and set-up. I will send out dates, time, and an embedded link using my superintendent social media accounts that you can simply click to join. This will be a great way for students, staff, and community members to engage with myself and other district leaders on topics that you have on your mind.

Thank you all for your support and patience,

Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools
734-850-6001 Office
Follow me on Twitter: Dr. Carl Shultz @BedfordSupt
Facebook: Carl Shultz

 

UPDATE ON GOVERNOR'S "STAY HOME, STAY SAFE" EXECUTIVE ORDER

March 23, 2020
Dear BPS Families,

Good afternoon and I hope that this message finds you and your family safe and healthy. This morning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a State of Michigan Executive Order enforcing what she is calling the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Act. The measure places limits on where individuals may travel and also which businesses may continue to operate for a minimum of three weeks. The Executive Order details essential businesses and organizations that if possible, should maintain services to their communities.

Bedford Public Schools has worked extremely hard to continue vital services for our community throughout the COVID-19 Crisis. One of these vital services is the continuation of our food service program. In fact, through state and federal support, BPS has been able to enhance our program to provide free meals to any individual 18 years and under and student's with special needs through age 26. I am extremely proud of our food service department for maintaining our services through the vast number of changes caused by this extremely fluid situation. On Friday, March 20th, I sent an updated Food Service Plan which included the transition from five days per week to three days per week pick-up services to better meet our available resources. I am pleased that as of today, BPS will maintain this current schedule throughout this week as district food support programs have been designated as essential by Governor Whitmer.

District leadership will re-examine our current plan at the end of this week to determine how we can proceed in the upcoming days, weeks, and potentially months. The major challenges that we face in providing this service, is of course the health and safety of our trained district staff members handling the food each day, availability of food supplies, and any other potential shortcomings that may come down the road as we head into this prolonged closure process. BPS is dedicated to our students and our community today more than ever and we will do everything that we can to assist in this increasingly difficult time.

For your reference:

Copy of the Executive Order
Copy of 1-Page Summary of the Executive Order

Thank you for your support and patience,

Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools


Letter From Superintendent About MDE Decision Regarding Online Learning During Mandated Closure

March 20, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians,

I wanted to provide our BPS Families with a memo that the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released earlier this morning. The memo states that any instructional time completed during the school closure would not be counted toward 2019-2020 academic progress in accordance with State of Michigan Law. I want to reiterate that this is the reason that BPS has not required new instructional lessons and/or student assignments to be completed throughout the closure. However, this memo does not speak to the importance of students remaining engaged in their personal learning by practicing their previously learned skills. These activities can include logging into district-sponsored learning programs, reading age/grade-level appropriate materials, and practicing math, science, arts related skills.

MDE sent the memo in response to the many questions that they have been fielding related to districts being able to transition to online learn-at-home programs during the mandated closure. As superintendent, this memo or its content does not at all surprise me, as we were well aware that our state requires learning to take place inside of our classrooms for traditional K-12 Public Schools. However, please do not read anything into the memo in regards to the potential forgiveness of days missed due to the mandatory state closure. It is the Michigan Legislature and Governor that will need to take action to reduce or eliminate instructional time that has been lost due to our current crisis. The Legislature has already discussed potential action and will continue to do so as the crisis continues. As of today, the district does not have any final answers regarding the remainder of the school year outside of the current closure schedule, which would end for BPS on Monday, April 13th (due to scheduled spring break). Please be patient and know that we are working and fighting daily for our state to take appropriate action to keep our students, staff, and community safe.

Finally, I understand that our closure has placed many traditional events in jeopardy this spring. As a district, while we are fighting to continue to provide key services to our students and community, we have not lost sight of the additional things that matter for our families. As we progress through these troubling and unprecedented times, we will be working to brainstorm how we can make the remainder of this year special for our students that have earned it no matter what the adjusted calendar ends up being. Be safe, be productive, and most of all be kind, Mules!

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

 

INTERNET ACCESS SURVEY

District administrators have been working with Buckeye Broadband to ensure that qualifying families can receive free basic home internet service so that students can continue to be engaged in their learning.

As previously described in my most recent family update, the State of Michigan does not provide opportunities for districts to transition to learn at home instruction like some of our neighboring states in times of emergency/crisis. This means that while BPS and our teachers continue to share learning resources with our students/families, there are no mandatory assignments and or assessments taking place during the closure.

If the mandatory closure is extended by the state, there is a possibility that state law could be amended to allow for transition to home instruction.

The survey link below is for families that do not currently have home internet access and would like to see if they qualify for free basic service through Buckeye Broadband.

Please feel free to share the link with any BPS students that you know may require such service.

Survey Link: https://forms.gle/fYHWuxMQvDQDNBc66

Posted: March 19, 2020

 

Mental Health Resources for Coping with COVID-19 Crisis

The coronavirus has drastically changed life in so many ways over the last few weeks and that impact will be with us for some time to come. That can take a toll on our mental health, too.

Mr. Hurley used Schoology to share some information from our BJHS counselors to help support our families. Here are links to the resources they recommend:

FOR STUDENTS:
18 Coping Skills and Activities for Children and Teens

Self-care and Mental Health

FOR FAMILIES:
Supporting Kids During the COVID-19 Crisis

Coping During COVID-19: Resources for Parents

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

Helping Kids Who Are Worried About Coronavirus

Posted: March 19, 2020

 

Update from Superintendent on Common Closure Questions

March 17, 2020
Dear BPS Families,

Bedford Public Schools remains committed to ensuring that our families have the information and resources available to successfully manage this extraordinary and historic school closure. I would like to thank all of our family members that have reached out to offer support and volunteer service. As I have often stated, BPS employs some of the most dedicated and professional staff anywhere in this county. As of today, our district has the capacity to maintain our technology and food service programs that will continue supporting our community. If there becomes a need to seek volunteers to assist in our available programs, I will reach out to those that have contacted me and other district leaders.

Over the past week, I have received several inquiries regarding our district’s plan for not immediately beginning at-home learning while under mandatory state closure. There are several factors that come into play when considering the district’s learning plan in our current closure and any potential additional closures. The State of Michigan Public School Aid Act requires that all public schools within the state “shall provide at least 1,098 hours and 180 days of pupil instruction” each school year. This requirement does not have any variance for transitioning to online or virtual learning throughout the year based on emergency related cancellations. I understand that many of our families have relatives and friends in our neighboring state to our south. The State of Ohio does have a law whereby districts can utilize “web access type learning” whenever emergency cancellations are necessary. Many refer to this law as the “blizzard bag” or “backpack” law. There are many differences between our two states and the laws that govern our citizens and this just happens to be one of the laws that community members are not typically aware of. The other question that I have received over the past few days is concerning why other districts are sending homework and BPS is not. The truth is that the districts that are sending work home are predominately sending students practice activities and skill-building materials which our students already have access to through our web-based instructional programs.

While I cannot tell the future, I can share that our district leadership team is preparing for a worst-case scenario, which could have students at home for an extended period well beyond the initial three week closure. In the event that an extended closure is mandated, BPS will be ready to immediately transition to a web-based learning program if allowable by the state legislature and Michigan Department of Education. I can tell you that this will look different from what students and families are familiar with, but we believe that we can be effective in this mode of instruction. My incredible leadership team and I are keeping up-to-date with communication at both the local and state level and we will share information as it becomes available.

Thank you all for your patience and dedication to our community. Please be safe and know that we are here to support you in any way that we can.

Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools
734-850-6001


FOOD ASSISTANCE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE

ADJUSTMENTS TO "DRIVE THRU" FOOD PICKUP DAYS/TIMES

Note: This service will be available on Monday and Wednesday ONLY of our district’s scheduled Spring Break but NOT on Good Friday, April 10th.

Starting Monday, March 23rd, BPS will be reducing the number of days that we are offering "drive thru" service options for families who need continued food service support during this mandated closure. BPS is committed to continuing this service as long as supplies are available and our service staff members are able to safely continuing serving.

UPDATED DAYS/TIMES:
Monroe Road Elementary School (7979 Monroe Rd., Lambertville, MI 48144)
Near the Gym Entrance
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Bedford High School (8285 Jackman Rd., Temperance, MI 48182)
Behind the school at the kitchen doors near the Gym Entrance
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Northtowne Meadows Community (6255 Telegraph Rd., Erie MI 48133)
Look for the bus near the clubhouse/pool area.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 11:00 am - 11:30 am*
*Times are slightly different and reduced at this location to ensure proper food temperature maintenance

Updated: March 20, 2020

BEDFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS "DRIVE THRU"
FOOD ASSISTANCE OFFERED

Starting March 17th, we will have "drive thru" service options for families who need continued food service support during this mandated closure. All children 18 and under and special education students under the age of 26 are eligible for these free meals. Students do not need to be enrolled at Bedford Public Schools to receive these federally funded benefits. All meals are free of charge and students do not need to be present for pick-up by an adult.

Pickup locations:
Monroe Road Elementary School (7979 Monroe Rd., Lambertville, MI 48144)
Near the Gym Entrance
     Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm 
     Wednesdays: 4 pm - 6 pm
Bedford High School (8285 Jackman Rd., Temperance, MI 48182)
Behind the school at the kitchen doors near the Gym Entrance
     Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm 
     Wednesdays: 4 pm - 6 pm
Northtowne Meadows Community (6255 Telegraph Rd., Erie MI 48133)
Look for the bus near the clubhouse/pool area.
     Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: 11:00 am - 11:30 am*
     Wednesdays: 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm*
*Times are slightly different and reduced at this location to ensure proper food temperature maintenance

A free, boxed lunch will be provided along with breakfast for the next day. These will be cold meals consisting of:
Breakfast: Fruit, Whole Grain Item (such as cereal or muffin) & Milk
Lunch: Fruit, Vegetable, Milk, Whole Grain, and Meat/Meat Alternative

If alternate pick up times need to be arranged, please contact the Food Service department at 734-850-6127.

CONTINUING ASSISTANCE AFTER SCHOOL RESUMES

Coronavirus may cause some families to experience unanticipated financial hardships. Families can apply for Free and Reduced School Meals that cover both breakfast and lunch meals on school days. It takes about 10-12 days to process the application. You can apply during the closure so benefits are available for students to use as soon as school resumes.

Applications for free/reduced meals for 2019-2020 are available online at: https://www.lunchapp.com/
Or can be printed using this link: http://www.bedford.k12.mi.us/files/2019-20-Free_and_Reduced-price_application.pdf
Applications will also be available at the MRE and BHS "Drive Thru" pickups. Completed applications can also be returned at these locations as well.

Please call the Food Service Director, Meaghan Eckler, at 734-850-6127, with any questions about this program.

In addition to the BPS Food Service Program above, there are several food pantries that are available for assistance. Please see the list below:

MOBILE FOOD PANTRIES

Unless otherwise noted, mobile food pantries will:
-- not require you to register for the event.
-- give one food package to the first 250 households.*
-- require you to provide ID showing Monroe County residency for every household that wishes to receive a free food package.

Saturday, April 4, 2020
10 am - Noon
Oaks of Righteousness
924 E. 2nd St.
Monroe, MI 48161

Saturday, April 4, 2020
11 am - 1 pm
Lower Light Church
400 East Elm
Petersburg, MI 49270
(200 households)

Saturday, April 18, 2020
1 - 3 pm
Mall of Monroe
Northeast corner of mall
2121 N. Monroe St.
Monroe, MI 48162
(300 households)

LATEST UPDATE LETTER:

March 13, 2020

Good Afternoon BPS Families,

We have been working diligently throughout the day to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information in light of the closure of all school districts within the State of Michigan enacted by Governor Whitmer late last night.

While our district will not have a formal, instructor-led online learning requirement for students at this time, we encourage our students to continue to be engaged learners using their school devices at home to access the many digital educational resources available to them throughout the mandatory closure. Please know that our technology team will be hard at work throughout the closure ensuring that student accounts are up and performing effectively. For our youngest learners, active participation in already prescribed literacy and arithmetic skill building will serve as a great way to remain on track for student learning goals.

The remainder of this message is designed to allow families to easily scan and find the most relevant information.

BUILDING ACCESSIBILITY: All district buildings will be closed and off limits to students, staff, and visitors during this mandatory three-week closure except for those employees scheduled to be working at each site.

SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM: We recognize the need for some of our students to obtain breakfast and lunch through the National School Lunch Program. We are actively developing plans to address this need within our school community. BPS will be providing “pick-up and carry” meals throughout the closure. Additional information will be sent out soon.

REQUIRED STATE ASSESSMENTS: Many questions have been presented about required state assessments, such as MSTEP, PSAT, SAT, and ACT WorkKeys. The Governor has stated that she will be working with the Department of Education to develop plans and guidance on this topic, which we will share upon receipt.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Our special education administrators are working with the Michigan Department of Education to actively develop plans to address this need for our students. This plan will be shared with our special education families once we receive guidance and direction from the Michigan Department of Education.

SCHOOL EVENTS AND ATHLETICS: All district activities are canceled during the closure. This includes all athletics, clubs, performances, ceremonies, trainings, community education activities, etc. Additionally, any previously approved district facility rentals are also canceled through minimally April 6, 2020 (except for Love N Care housed at SRE).

SPRING BREAK: Spring Break is scheduled to be held April 6 through April 10. Monroe County superintendents have met and agree that any change in this schedule would be severely detrimental to our district’s families. Therefore, unless mandated by state officials, BPS will maintain our currently scheduled spring break and return to classes on April 13, 2020.

EVNETS AFTER APRIL 13th: We realize there will be questions about school and district events later in the year (5thGrade Camp, Washington DC Trip, Prom, Graduation, etc.) and we are working diligently to monitor this and as more information becomes available, we will communicate with our community.

At this time, we do not have any information regarding if the school year will be extended and are awaiting additional guidance by the State of Michigan.

District leaders will continue to provide updates as information becomes available throughout the closure. As we have already witnessed over the past forty-eight hours, information and plans change rapidly. If there is a need to make any adjustment to the information stated above, we will do so as soon as possible for planning purposes. Finally, please check out our district website for up to date COVID-19 updates and a district level FAQ. You can find this at http://www.mybedford.us/COVID-19.html.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent
Bedford Public Schools

SCHOOLS ORDERED TO CLOSE FROM MARCH 16 - APRIL 5

Governor Gretchen Whitmer just announced that in order to slow the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan, she is ordering the closure of all K-12 school buildings to students starting Monday, March 16th until Sunday, April 5th. School buildings are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6. Bedford Public Schools will follow this newly mandated closure. This means that BPS will be in session tomorrow, Friday, March 13th and then begin our mandatory closure on this coming Monday. Students that do not attend tomorrow out of concern will be excused without any attendance penalty. Additional information will be sent out in the coming days as it becomes available. Thank you, Dr. Carl Shultz

THE GOVERNOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2020
Contact: BrownT56@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer Announces Statewide Closure of All K-12 School Buildings

School building closures will last Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5

LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that in order to slow the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan, she is ordering the closure of all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, to students starting Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. School buildings are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6.

As of tonight, the number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan is 12.

“This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families, and our overall public health,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents, and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food. I know this will be a tough time, but we’re doing this
to keep the most people we can safe. I urge everyone to make smart choices during this time and to do everything they can to protect themselves and their families.”

“Closing our K-12 school buildings is the responsible choice that will minimize the risk of exposure for children, educators, and families and mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Michigan State Superintendent Michael Rice. “The Department of Education will continue to work closely with our partners in state government to help our students and educators in each school district get through this time. This is about protecting the most people in Michigan.”

Governors across the country, including Mike DeWine (R-OH), Andy Beshear (D-KY), and Larry Hogan (R-MD), have taken similar steps to close schools and ensure the protection of children and families in their states.

“Closing our school buildings is the smart thing and the right thing to do for the public’s health,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “These actions will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and our four COVID-19 task forces to ensure we protect our children, our families, and our communities.”

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
-- Fever
-- Cough
-- Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:
-- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
-- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
-- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
-- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Posted: March 13, 2020

 

Bedford Public Schools is moving from a Preventative Phase into a Mitigation Phase.

CDC mitigation strategies include recommendations for:

-- Limiting or canceling activities where more than one hundred individuals gather
-- Canceling or limiting spectator participation at athletic/arts events
-- Canceling or limiting group travel plans
-- Focusing educational activities to within the school day

Posted: March 12, 2020

SPECIAL NOTICE: JOINT MONROE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT LETTER REGARDING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

The superintendents of Monroe County have released the following special notice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Special Notice Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dear Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members:

Governor Whitmer and representatives from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services announced recommendations for keeping students and staff healthy while addressing the risks associated with the Coronavirus. We have been in close contact with the Monroe County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Education.

Our immediate plan for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our communities while advancing student learning is based on three factors:

1. Avoiding unnecessary exposure of our staff and students to illness.
2. Working to the best of our ability to ensure the continuity of teaching and learning in Monroe County.
3. Protecting the health and well-being of our multigenerational community, especially those who are most vulnerable to illness.

With this in mind, we will enact the following measures related to events and programs beginning immediately:

-- All field trips are suspended until further notice.
-- All school-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice.
-- All assemblies, performances and large-group gatherings in our schools are suspended until further notice.
-- All community meetings, community education programming (excluding before/after school childcare, preschool, and daycare programming), rentals, and gatherings scheduled to take place within our school facilities are suspended until further notice.
-- All district and county-level meetings, professional development, curriculum work and other gatherings as such, must be conducted in digital format. Smaller meetings, whenever possible, should also be conducted in this manner.
-- All athletic events will continue in accordance with guidance issued by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). Updates will be posted at www.mhsaa.com.
-- Any after-school activities that are extensions of the normal learning day (clubs, athletic practices, etc.) will continue as planned.
-- Visitor and volunteer access will be limited.
-- All tours of school facilities will be suspended until further notice.

As we prepare for all possible scenarios, we are asking you to develop a plan for your family in the event schools were to close for an extended period of time. The Governor has declared a state of emergency, we are taking COVID-19 very seriously and hope that with your help, we can mitigate the spread of this virus in Monroe County. Please follow the recommendations to wash your hands, stay home when you are sick, and practice good hygiene.

Governor Whitmer said, “Community mitigation strategies are designed to be implemented at the individual, organizational, and community levels. They apply to businesses, workplaces, schools, community organizations, health care institutions, and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and health profiles; everyone has an important role to play.”

We will continue to take any/all measures to keep our children, staff, and school community safe. The situation involving this health challenge is rapidly changing and we will update you as additional guidance is received. Please continue to check your email, social media and district website for further updates.

Thank you for your attention and support regarding this important topic as safety is our number one priority.

Signed by:
John Krimmel, Airport Community Schools
Carl Shultz, Ph.D., Bedford Public Schools
Edward Manuszak, Dundee Community Schools
Sandy Kreps, Ida Public Schools
Mike Petty, Jefferson Schools
Andrew Shaw, Mason Consolidated Schools
Stephen McNew, Ed.D., Monroe County ISD
Julie Everly, Ph.D., Monroe Public Schools
Jack Hewitt, Summerfield Schools
Val Orr, Whiteford Schools

Posted: March 12, 2020

 

MARCH 12-13 CANCELLATIONS

All field trips are suspended for 3/12/2020 - 3/13/2020.

All assemblies and performances in our schools involving participation by the general public are suspended for 3/12/2020 - 3/13/2020.

The MHSAA is suspending all winter sport tournaments indefinitely. No contests until further notice. Updates will be posted at www.mhsaa.com.

Thank you for being patient and for understanding the difficult work that goes into making these decisions. Any cancelled events can be rescheduled at a later date based on instructor and student availability.

A complete list of strategies will be distributed later this evening for activities beyond these dates.

Stay tuned for more guidance and be prepared for modfications to current practices and event cancellations. Preventative practices will continue.


DOCUMENT LINKS

MDE/MDHHS: COVID-19 Updated Guidance, March 11, 2020
CDC: What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
CDC: Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission
U of M Health: Flattening the Curve for COVID-19: What Does It Mean and How Can You Help?


LETTERS FROM SUPERINTENDENT ABOUT COVID-19

March 11, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Information regarding COVID-19 has continued to evolve and become more prevalent since my last communication. With confirmed cases of COVID-19 now in the State of Michigan as well as many other states around the nation, it is quickly becoming a reality that government officials, businesses, communities, families, and individuals must continue to remain informed and take precautionary measures to slow the spread of this virus. School districts must also continue to gather information and create multiple plans in order to flexibly respond in a way that supports the recommendations from national, state, and local health organizations and still maintains high levels of student learning. It is my hope that this letter will clarify where Bedford Public Schools is with current and future plans to keep everyone informed as we move forward.

As I mentioned before, much of our work as a district has been spent staying current in order to implement the latest precautionary measures. Our guidance has primarily come from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) until this evening when Governor Whitmer released recommended community mitigation strategies specific to school districts. These strategies that are taken directly from the CDC include recommendations for limiting or canceling activities where more than one hundred individuals gather, canceling or limiting spectator participation at athletic/arts events, canceling or limiting group travel plans, and focusing educational activities to within the school day. While these recommendations will absolutely affect the current district calendar of events including our scheduled academic and extra-curricular events, they are highly recommended by state and national health experts. Additionally, today, I met with representatives from the Monroe County Department of Health, Monroe County Community College, and my fellow Monroe County Superintendents to discuss a countywide approach to implementing some or all of these strategies.

When information about the spread of COVID-19 began increasing and the likelihood of its continued spread became more apparent, I assembled our district leadership team to address potential areas of impact such as athletics, transportation, custodial/maintenance, health services, and instructional services to name a few. It is our goal to make informed decisions and organized plans in order to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff. The team works continuously to prepare for the evolving and changing situation and will be working to incorporate recommended guidelines in the coming days.

Please know, at the initial onset of this year’s difficult cold and flu season, BPS began the process of systematically and routinely disinfecting and deep cleaning high traffic areas in each building such as door handles, bathrooms, cafeterias, and classrooms. To date, these measures represent our best resources in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious viruses. Please continue to reinforce preventative measures at home as well, especially hand washing and keeping children home if they are feeling sick or ill.

Below is a helpful reminder of ways to help prevent the spread of the virus:

-- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
-- Practice elbow bumps instead of handshakes
-- Stay home if you are sick and advise others to do the same.
-- Always cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
-- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
-- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if soap and warm water are not available.
-- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

As a school district, we will continue to monitor and implement the recommendations of the CDC and will work closely with Monroe County Health Department Officials to rely on updated information. In today’s day and age when rumors can spread even faster than infections viruses, it is absolutely imperative that you rely on official informational outlets. If you, or your students, have questions pertaining to BPS or our current progress in dealing with COVID-19 preparedness, please contact our district administration building directly or follow our official media platforms. My research has found that this virus is absolutely dangerous and can be spread rapidly, however the mass hysteria and rumors surrounding it seems to be equally as dangerous. Please rely on the experts I have referred to in this letter and my previous informational letter for accurate and up to date information. I will also continue to provide you with information and updates as they develop.

Thank you for your continued support of BPS, especially during this rapidly evolving time. By working together we can help support our students, staff, and community.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools
(734) 850-6001, Office

 

March 3, 2020

BPS Parents and Guardians,

Many of you have been following news from around the world and within our country regarding COVID-19 (formerly known as Novel Coronavirus 2019) and have thoughts, questions, and concerns about this virus’s impact on our community and your family. It is my goal to share the most current information we have regarding COVID-19 and provide resources for future information. As you are aware, the information on this virus is changing by the day and there is a lot of information being shared through many media sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) remain our best resources for accurate and up to date information.

While the CDC has not yet provided any formal guidance for schools to prepare for a potential community outbreak, MCHD and other local health departments have emergency preparedness systems ready to be activated if an outbreak occurs in Michigan. Current general recommendations from the CDC, MDHHS, and MCHD for reducing the risk of infection from cold and flu-like viruses include:

-- Thoroughly washing hands for at least 20 seconds
-- Using hand sanitizer to wash hands when soap and water are not available
-- Disinfecting surfaces
-- Covering noses and mouths with a tissue or cloth when sneezing
-- Staying away from sick people and staying home if you are sick

Bedford Public Schools has been taking extra cleaning measures in order to combat the spread of colds and flu, a practice we will continue as an extra layer of protection as we deal with the threat of this virus. Additional information is available on the MDHHS and CDC websites via the links below, including CDC fact sheets that are updated regularly.

     CDC COVID-19 Information

     CDC Fact Sheets

     MDHHS COVID-19 Information

The District will remain in close communication with the MCHD and MDHHS, and we will continue to monitor the CDC website and send necessary updates as they become available.

Thank you,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent
Bedford Public Schools
734-850-6001


HAVE A QUESTION?

Please email it to askbps@mybedford.us