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BEDFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
COVID-19 UPDATES



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CURRENT UPDATES

Thumbnail of COVID-19 Dashboard graphicBEDFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
COVID-19 DASHBOARD

Bedford Public Schools will share an updated
COVID-19 Dashboard graphic each school day.
Use the link above to view the most recent data.

 

BPS COVID-19 Data Summary Thumbnail ImageBPS COVID-19 WEEKLY DATA SUMMARY

This document is a collection of additional statistics that will be updated on a weekly basis. It includes data from our COVID-19 Dashboard as well as the additional charts on Cumulative Confirmed Cases in Bedford Township by Zip Codes (48182 and 48144) and that data is also tabulated in a Weekly Increase chart plus another one tracking the increase in cases each week for Monroe County as a whole. Positivity Rates, Average Number of New Cases and Average Number of Daily Tests for the week for Monroe County are also listed.

 

Probable or Confirmed COVID-19 Individuals On School Property Or At a School Function

Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-185 requires school districts, beginning on October 5, 2020, to publish information about cases of probable or confirmed COVID-19 individuals present on school property or at a school function during the period of infection.

Published information will include:
      -- The date the individual’s symptoms started;
      -- The date 48 hours prior to the date on which symptoms started;
      -- Dates the individual was present on district property starting from 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms;* and
      -- The specific district building(s) or property at which the individual was present during the dates listed above.*

The first two points are necessary for contact tracing pursuant to CDC guidance, and the second two points provide information to assist in narrowing the scope of individuals who might constitute close contacts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has provided guidance regarding contact tracing, which defines a “close contact” as “any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient is isolated.”

HIPAA and FERPA laws require Bedford Public Schools to keep all other medical information confidential. The Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) is the lead agency in COVID-19 related matters and will only disclose information on a need-to-know basis and they will notify anyone considered a close contact.

*We are including information on any individual cases of a staff or student that is listed on our COVID-19 Dashboard after October 5, 2020, even if that individual was not physically present on district property during the period of infection. Those cases will have N/A (Not Applicable) appearing in the fields for the date on the property and specific building/property.


SUPERINTENDENT 11-15 UPDATE; ATHLETICS & EXTRA CURRICULAR EVENTS SUSPENDED

November 15, 2020
Dear BPS Parents/Guardians,

This evening Governor Whitmer announced that in response to the escalating number of positive COVID-19 cases across our state, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a new Epidemic Order that has suspended all in-person learning for students in grades 9-12. The order calls for school districts to work directly with local health departments to make determinations locally regarding in-person learning for students in Pre-K through 8th grade. In addition, the order immediately suspends all athletic and extra-curricular events at all levels. This order will remain in effect until Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

As you are already aware, Bedford Public Schools has suspended all in-person learning programs Pre-K through 12th grade due to the number of local cases and the impact on our district’s ability to staff programs. Therefore, this new MDHHS Order has very little effect on our learning programs. However, the order does immediately pause all student athletic and extra-curricular events through its duration. District coaches and program coordinators will be sending out additional information within the next day or two for students and parents. Our district food service program will continue as scheduled with pick-up service available on Monday and Thursday at designated locations. Our MRE Latchkey program will also continue as long as we are able to staff the program adequately.

The order has additional mandates included that are outside of the K-12 educational setting. Restaurants and taverns will be closed for inside service and other businesses will have to suspend operation during this order. BPS and our students rely a great deal on these local business owners by asking for their constant support throughout the school year for fundraising, donations, and marketing opportunities. I can only speak on behalf of myself and my family when I ask that all community members do whatever you can to support these local restaurants and businesses throughout this time. Please consider purchasing gift cards, ordering carry-out, scheduling banquets for future events, purchasing clothing items representing their locations, and any other ideas you may have that will help carry these businesses through this challenging time. We all need one another more than ever if Bedford is going to emerge from this pandemic as strong as we entered it.

You can find additional information regarding the programs and businesses affected within this new MDHHS Order by clicking this link MDHHS Info Graphic. Thank you and be healthy and safe.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools


LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT: DISTRICT SUSPENSION OF ALL IN-PERSON LEARNING AND TRANSITION TO FULL VIRTUAL LEARNING

November 9, 2020
Dear BPS Parents/Guardians,

Bedford Public Schools leadership and staff have remained vigilant in our pursuit to maintain in-person learning options for students across all district grade-levels. This endeavor has been challenging for all members of our BPS family. The mitigation strategies that have been instituted have made it possible for nine full weeks of available in-person learning. I would like to personally thank all of our students, staff, and families for making the necessary sacrifices needed to make this opportunity possible. As we all have undoubtedly realized throughout 2020, the impacts and changes to our daily lives as a result of this pandemic are often determined by many more factors than our own personal preference and choices. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and desire to remain in-person, we have always known that the impact of COVID-19 on our community would determine our district’s ability to maintain our current in-person learning program options. Due to the significant increase of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and subsequent quarantining, Bedford Public Schools will be suspending all in-person learning options and transitioning all district classrooms to full-virtual learning programs beginning on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

This decision is both difficult and necessary to ensure our ability as a district to keep families safe and learning continuous. BPS is more than aware of the strain that this transition places on our families. We sincerely hope that we are able to share news that is more positive in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. This decision was made in coordination with our partnering experts at the Monroe County Health Department and was based on current and trending local data. In addition to health and safety factors, the most pressing challenges that have forced our transition is the significant number of staff and students who have been placed in quarantine following identified positive individual cases of the virus. These quarantines have made it impossible to adequately staff our in-district learning programs. These challenges are not limited to teaching staff and have affected our transportation, food service, and academic support staff as well.

There will be many extended decisions that will need to be made over the next few days and weeks regarding this transition. Academic program-related information will be shared through individual school building communications. Extra-curricular programs and events will be made on a case-by-case decision and will be facilitated by the individual program directors/leaders. The district will maintain as many of these programs as possible while learning remotely in an attempt to provide outlets for students when safe, feasible, and appropriate. District Food Service will be transitioning to a pick-up service model similar to how it operated during the spring closure. These details, along with more information, will be sent out to all families as it becomes available over the next few days.

Finally, to help our families and community better understand the current data driving this decision, we have created a one-page dashboard with current local, county, and state information. This dashboard can be found on the district website and by clicking on this dashboard link. District leadership will reevaluate the suspension of in-person learning programs based on these data sets during the first week of December. If you have any questions regarding symptoms or the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Monroe County Health Department website or contact them directly at (734) 240-7860. Thank you and I hope that everyone remains safe and well as we continue to fight this pandemic together.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools


LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT ON MRE CLASSROOM GOING TO FULL VIRTUAL LEARNING

November 5, 2020
Dear MRE Parents/Guardians,

Good afternoon, I am writing to share that Monroe Road Elementary has received notification of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case this afternoon. In addition, there are multiple identified close contacts to this case including some that are currently exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms. According to district protocol, we are working closely with the Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) to identify exposures and prevent further cases. At this time, all individuals identified as a “close contact” through use of the Monroe County Health Department’s contact tracing protocol have been notified separately and instructed to self-quarantine. For reference, an individual is deemed a close contact if they were less than six feet from a confirmed positive individual for at least fifteen minutes. Due to the number of identified close contacts in one of our classrooms, we will be converting the classroom to full virtual learning for the next 14 days as a precautionary measure. The students and parents of this classroom have been contacted separately as well with additional information.

This letter is informational only; no further action is required for your student at this time.

As a precaution, we will be completing additional disinfection of areas of the school building and applicable transportation equipment. This may include spraying classrooms, hallways, locker rooms, and common areas as needed with an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer, wiping down hard surface areas, and employing other methods to help ensure a safe learning environment.

The entire MRE staff and administration are dedicated to ensuring a safe and productive learning environment. If you have any questions regarding symptoms or the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Monroe County Health Department website or contact them directly at (734) 240-7860.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools


HIGH SCHOOL TO REOPEN FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2;
BEDFORD FOOD PICKUPS TO RESUME NOVEMBER 12

October 30, 2020
Dear Bedford Public Schools Parents/Guardians,

As we start Halloween weekend and the end of our eighth week of school, I would like to begin by thanking all of our staff members for working together and our parents and students for hanging in there over these past several weeks. On Wednesday evening, I communicated to our families and staff that we would need to temporarily transition our Bedford High School Learning Program to a full-virtual model for minimally the remainder of the school week. I am pleased to be able to share that BHS will be reopening for in-person cohort model learning on Monday, November 2, 2020.

As described in my recent email, BHS was forced to transition to full-virtual learning due to a positive staff related COVID-19 case. In addition to the positive case, eight additional staff members were placed in a 14-day quarantine resulting in the district’s inability to facilitate in-person learning under state and federal requirements. However, through flexibility and teamwork we have been able to successfully work out the details of a revised plan that will allow the building to once again be available for students that elect to learn onsite. I thank those individuals who have helped in this process.

Unfortunately, the district will not be able to hold our next three scheduled food service pick-up days. BPS Food Service pick-up for our virtual learners will resume on Thursday, November 12, 2020. To assist our families that are learning virtually with this need, BPS has partnered with some of our neighboring districts to welcome our families to participate in their programs until we are able to resume service. The dates and times for these available options will be posted on the BPS Website and our social media sites soon.

Thank you, and I hope that everyone has a safe and mindful holiday weekend.

Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools


LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT ON HIGH SCHOOL CLOSING FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING FOR REMAINDER OF WEEK AND SHIFT TO VIRTUAL LEARNING

October 28, 2020
Dear Bedford High School Parents/Guardians,

I hope that this message finds your family safe and well. Late this afternoon, district leadership received notification that one of our non-instructional BHS staff members has tested positive for COVID-19. The Monroe County Health Department and Bedford Public Schools Nursing staff have begun contact tracing protocols and hope to finish this process within the next 24 hours. The process has already identified several BHS ancillary staff members who will need to quarantine. We have already determined that the individual has not had any contact with district students.

Due to the number of staff members who are potentially affected in this COVID-19 related situation, Bedford High School will transition to full-virtual learning for all students for the remainder of this week. Once all contact tracing is complete, district leadership will work closely with the Monroe County Health Department to determine if a full two-week transition to virtual learning is needed. This decision will be shared with families and staff as soon as possible (most likely Friday evening or Saturday morning). This short-term closure of the building for in-person learning also means that tomorrow’s scheduled food service pick-up will be cancelled as well. District leaders are working with our neighboring local districts to identify opportunities for our families who require assistance with food service for Thursday through Sunday. We will share this information on our district website and social media accounts as soon as possible.

The Bedford Public Schools Secondary Level Learning Plan was designed for these types of situations. It allows for all students to maintain their normal course learning schedules. The only difference is that students who have been attending their homeroom lab daily will now need to work from home. The expectation is that all students continue with their scheduled classes over the next two days. This situation does not affect any current ongoing extra-curricular or athletic events.

While it is disappointing to temporarily have to suspend face-to-face instruction at BHS, it is understood that this will be a potential reality throughout this school year in order to take the precautions that help keep our community safe. The district will take this opportunity to thoroughly disinfect the entire BHS facility to ensure that students and staff return to a safe learning environment. If you have any questions or need additional information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) website. District leadership will continue to act responsibly to ensure that all possible mitigation strategies are implemented. We ask for your continued vigilance in helping to take all necessary steps to ensure that our students and families remain safe. Thank you for your partnership.

Respectfully,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools


SUPERINTENDENT LETTER ON TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF
FACE-TO-FACE PROGRAMS AT SMITH ROAD ELEMENTARY

October 21, 2020
Dear SRE Parents/Guardians,

This email is to inform you that Smith Road Elementary will be closed for face-to-face instruction starting Thursday, October 22, 2020 through Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Face-to-face instruction will resume on Thursday, November 5, 2020. The district received notification of a positive COVID-19 case within the building yesterday and immediately sent out a parent communication. Unfortunately, BPS has received additional positive case notifications at SRE today and despite support from the Monroe County Health Department (MCHD), Monroe County Intermediate School District (MCISD), and strong district contact tracing, we are not able to clearly isolate all potential close contacts. In addition, several close contacts from yesterday’s case are considered potential cases. The current total for positive cases within the building is three individuals, along with a fourth individual that has visited the building. Out of an abundance of caution, we believe that in order to best support the health and safety of our students and staff, we need to close the building down for two weeks to prevent further potential outbreaks.

While it is disappointing to temporarily have to suspend face-to-face instruction at SRE, it is understood that this will be a potential reality throughout this school year in order to take the precautions that help keep our community safe. The SRE Programs affected directly by this closure include Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Head Start, and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). Each individual program’s staff members will be communicating with their families independently to provide additional learning program details and to share learn-at-home resources throughout the temporary building closure.

At this time, MCHD health experts are working with leadership from both BPS and MCISD to continue to establish contact tracing protocol. If you are informed that your child has been in close contact (individuals within six feet apart for at least fifteen minutes) with a confirmed positive case, please follow the directions of the MCHD health expert that will be contacting you. If you do not receive any contact, then your child has not been identified as a close contact, but we ask that you please continue to monitor your child’s health for any new symptoms. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) directly.

I want to thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we continue to navigate learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. District leadership will continue to act responsibly to ensure that all possible mitigation strategies are implemented. The entire SRE Facility will be cleaned and sanitized immediately to ensure that students and staff return to a safe learning environment on November 5, 2020.

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


LETTERS FROM SUPERINTENDENT ON CHANGES TO MASK REQUIREMENTS

OCTOBER 6th UPDATE

October 6, 2020
Dear Bedford Public Schools Parents/Guardians,

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued two separate emergency orders utilizing the powers granted under Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 333.2253. The first of these orders signed on October 5, 2020 outlines Statewide Limits to In-person Gatherings and updates Mask Requirements for all Michigan residents (including students in grades K-12). The second order issued on October 6, 2020 (hours ago) requires school districts within the state to provide Public Notification for Probable or Confirmed Cases of COVID-19. While these two MDHHS Emergency Orders are newly issued, the content contained within the orders are extremely similar to that of the now invalidated Executive Orders previously ordered by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Based on consultation with our district’s legal firm and our partnering statewide educational groups, Bedford Public Schools will begin transitioning to meet the requirements outlined in the two separate MDHHS Emergency Orders. Beginning this week, students in grades Y5/K through fifth will be required to wear masks when inside the classroom. BPS staff began transitioning to this previously under Governor Whitmer’s former Executive Order. I want to once again reiterate that just as building staff has in higher grade levels, students will be given opportunities throughout the school day when they will be able to remove their masks for set breaks to ensure comfort. The district will also begin the transition to follow the newly updated public gathering limits. These increased gathering limits will allow for additional student activities and participation in more school activities.

The second of the MDHHS Emergency Orders relates to district communication and tracking of COVID-19 related data. The order states that “School districts and nonpublic schools must publish information about any cases of a probable or confirmed COVID-19 positive individual present on school property or at a school function during the period of infection.” As shared in previous updates, Bedford Public Schools has already created a comprehensive COVID-19 Dashboard for the purpose of sharing timely and accurate COVID-19 related data within all buildings. The district will continue to update this information daily as necessary. As a reminder, moving forward, I will not be sending out districtwide letters each time a building within the district experiences a positive case of COVID-19. The building principal will share information with his/her building families and the district dashboard will be updated.

Once again, I applaud all of our families and staff for your dedication, patience, and flexibility as we continue to navigate our way through this lengthy pandemic. As previously mentioned, BPS will be sending out the second Student Learning Option Commitment Form covering weeks 11-20 tomorrow. This will serve as the opportunity to select your student’s learning program (in-person or virtual) for the next quarter of the school year. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact me or your student’s principal.

Respectfully,
Carl Shultz, Ph.D
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

OCTOBER 4th UPDATE

October 4, 2020
Dear Bedford Public Schools Parents and Guardians,

I hope that this update finds you and your family healthy and safe. As you know, educational plans around the state of Michigan remain very fluid due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Districts such as Bedford Public Schools have continued to respond as changes in educational mandates occur based upon orders from Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Education, and the Michigan Legislature creating what can only be deemed as a constantly moving target. A clear example of these changes can be found in my September 29, 2020 Superintendent Update, which outlined Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s signed Michigan Executive Order No. 2020-185. This E.O. amended the Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap by requiring that all students in grades K-12 wear facial masks all day including inside the classroom. The update went on to describe how BPS would begin to implement these changes for grades K-5 in order to be in compliance.

Fast forward to late afternoon Friday, October 2nd, when the Michigan Supreme Court issued a decision that Governor Gretchen Whitmer did not possess authority under the Emergency Management Act to declare a state of emergency based on the COVID-19 pandemic after April 30, 2020. As a result, the Court concluded that "the executive orders issued by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic lack any basis under Michigan law." Soon after the decision was announced, Governor Whitmer issued a statement noting “that this ruling does not take effect for at least 21 days, and until then, my emergency declaration and orders retain the force of law.” It’s only natural to be asking what this news means for BPS operations since our district and state Return to Learning Plan is based on executive orders that were issued well after April 30th (many of the mandates within these orders have since been written into law by our state legislature).

It is our district stance that it is not fair to our parents and students who made their decision for in-person school or remote learning, based on those orders, to change the procedures based upon a newly revised executive order that was issued without authority according to Friday’s State of Michigan Supreme Court Ruling. Therefore, for the safety of our students and staff, and in an attempt to maintain some resemblance of consistency, Bedford Public Schools will not be altering the health and safety protocols as written in our approved district Return to Learning Plan, which is posted on our school district’s website. To be crystal clear, facial masks and all other student and staff health and safety mitigation activities will remain in effect exactly as they have been since the start of the school year without revision until further notice.

There will certainly be additional information coming from Lansing in the near future as our Legislature and Governor work to create what I hope will be new policy that maintains a safe, productive, and consistent learning environment for all moving forward.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work our way through this pandemic together.

Respectfully,
Carl Shultz, Ph.D
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

ORIGINAL LETTER

September 29, 2020
Dear Bedford Public Schools Parents/Guardians,

On Friday afternoon, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan Executive Order No. 2020-185 as an Amendment to the Provision of pre-K–12 education for the 2020–2021 school year order. This newly adopted executive order has two important changes that must be implemented by all Michigan school districts no later than Monday, October 5, 2020.

The first section of this newly adopted order expands the state-mandated requirement to wear a facial mask in the classroom to all students in grades kindergarten and up. Currently, Bedford Public Schools has been following our published Return to Learning Plan which requires all students in grades 6-12 to wear facial masks anytime the student is utilizing district transportation, inside of the school building hallways and gathering areas, and when in inside of the classroom learning environment. Students in grades K-5 have been wearing facial masks when utilizing district transportation and when inside of the school building hallways and gathering areas. However, following previous State of Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap criterion, elementary students are currently not mandated to wear a facial mask when inside of the classroom learning environment (although some students have maintained mask wearing at all times as a personal/family preference).

The second section of the executive order relates to district communication and tracking of COVID-19 related data. The EO states that “School districts and nonpublic schools must publish information about any cases of a probable or confirmed COVID-19 positive individual present on school property or at a school function during the period of infection.” As shared in last Friday’s Superintendent Update, Bedford Public Schools has already created a comprehensive COVID-19 Dashboard for the purpose of sharing timely and accurate COVID-19 related data within all buildings. The district will continue to update this information daily.

The district began planning for the 2020-2021 school year utilizing the theme of flexibility. It appears that this theme will be continuing throughout the remainder of year. District elementary schools will begin slowly transitioning to this newly mandated change in facial mask policy so that we don’t have an abrupt change on October 5th. Your child’s building principal will be releasing information regarding this transition in their next communication home. I can assure all parents that students in grades K-5 will have opportunities throughout each day to take mask breaks at appropriate times. If you have any questions regarding the updated facial mask requirements, please contact your child’s building principal.

Respectfully,
Carl Shultz, Ph.D
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

CLARIFICATION FOR YOUNG FIVES: Young 5s is considered kindergarten by the State of Michigan in regards to classification and therefore is included in this Executive Order. Our teaching staff and building principals will ensure that adequate breaks from wearing masks for all elementary level students are included throughout the day.

 

SUPERINTENDENT'S UPDATE

September 25, 2020
Dear BPS Parents/Guardians,

As our third week of the 2020-2021 school year draws to an end, I wanted to share some district updates and reminders with all of you. As you are aware based on my letter from last week, BPS experienced our first positive case of COVID-19 associated with in-person learning. District leadership received confirmation late yesterday evening that BPS has a second confirmed positive COVID-19 case (Bedford High School). Following district and Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) protocols, all necessary contact tracing and appropriate communications are complete. This is not a surprise to our partnering health department experts or myself as we clearly understand that even with the strongest possible mitigation strategies in place, COVID-19 cases will be inevitable. The district’s ability to quickly isolate these cases will be the difference between being able to maintain our current schedule and having to revert to a full virtual learning model. The district remains committed to maintaining the current available learning options as long as collected data and the MCHD agrees with our current program options. We are asking for our families’ full cooperation to ensure that we are able to do so.

In order to strengthen our school-to-home partnership, we have developed an easy to use at-home parent COVID-19 Screening Tool that should be used each morning before students leave the house. The tool is linked above and is available on our district’s website. In addition, Bedford Public Schools has created a new COVID-19 Dashboard for providing relevant COVID-19 case information within the district that will be updated as confirmed information is received. We will continue to share information districtwide as needed utilizing this dashboard as a primary method for sharing updated COVID-19 information instead of sending a letter home each time there is a positive case in one of our classrooms/buildings. Of course, individual students or staff who have been deemed a close contact through district and Monroe Health Department contact tracing will continue to be contacted immediately as necessary.

I know that COVID-19 seems to be the general topic coming out of my office these days; however, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how amazing our students and staff have performed over these first few weeks. Any challenges (and there have been many) laid before us have been met with positive attitudes and Kicking Mule tenacity. Moving forward, the district will be sending out our second student learning commitment survey during week five to ensure that building leadership and transportation have enough time to make necessary adjustments based upon student selections. This survey will be for the second quarter of learning (weeks 11-20). Please contact your child’s building principal if you have any questions once you have received the survey.

Thank you to everyone for demonstrating patience and kindness as we collectively move forward in this “different” yet successful school year!

Sincerely,
Carl Shultz, PhD
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools
(734) 850-6002

 

COVID-19 CASE NOTIFICATION

September 15, 2020
Dear Bedford Public Schools Parents/Guardians,

Bedford Public Schools commitment to timely and transparent communication is paramount to our goal of further strengthening our partnership between school and home. Therefore, I am writing today to share that our district’s first confirmed in-person case of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified at Bedford Junior High School. We are working closely with the Monroe County Health Department to identify exposures and prevent further cases. At this time, close contacts with this exposure have been notified separately, following local health department protocol, and instructed to self-quarantine.

This letter is informational only; no further action is required for your student at this time.

As a precaution, we will be completing additional disinfection of areas of the school building and applicable transportation equipment. This may include spraying classrooms, hallways, locker rooms, and common areas as needed with an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer, wiping down hard surface areas, and employing other methods to help ensure a safe learning environment.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are less than 6 feet from each other for at least 15 minutes. A person who is a close contact of someone who is infected with COVID-19 may experience COVID-19 symptoms typically within 2 to 14 days after a person is exposed.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. Symptoms can include:
Fever (>100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, runny or stuffy nose, loss of taste or smell, abdominal pain.

There are many things that can be done to keep our schools, homes, and communities “COVID-19 free” and protect ourselves and loved ones:

1. Children and adults should stay home when ill.
2. Washing hands often with soap and running warm water for at least 20 seconds.
3. If a hand washing station is not available, use hand sanitizer properly. Gels, rubs, and hand wipes must contain at least 60% alcohol. Dispose of wipes in the trash after use.
4. Practice Good Respiratory Etiquette (cover a cough with elbow versus hand).
5. Follow guidance for wearing a face covering and social distancing.

For more information regarding COVID-19, or you have questions, please contact the Monroe County Health Department at
(734) 240-7860.

Respectfully,
Dr. Carl Shultz,
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools


BPS Student Learning Option
Commitment Form Link

Please Complete Form
by Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Dear BPS Families,

It was nearly a month ago when I wrote to share the state's newly published MI Safe Schools Return to Schools Roadmap. At that time, I asked for your patience and offered the opportunity for community participation as our district leaders began to design our own local district plan. Fast forward to the August 6th Board of Education Meeting, I was blessed as your superintendent to be able to present the fruits of our collective labor in the form of the BPS Return to Learning Plan. The Return to Learning Task Force included input from students, parents, staff, administration, health care professionals, county health department leaders, and the Board of Education. Our district plan is truly a collaborative effort!

Please know how grateful Bedford Public Schools is that you have placed your trust in us to educate and care for your children. We do not take your trust for granted, nor do we take our obligation lightly. Thank you for your candid feedback over the past five months as it has helped to form our current and future direction through this unparalleled time in education.

The Bedford Return to Learning Plan was unanimously approved at last evening's BOE Meeting. As the district continues to answer the many questions being asked, we are also at the stage of our plan that requires BPS parents to commit your students to one of the two flexible learning options that will be offered this fall. In order to assist in making an informed decision for each of your individual students, please refer to these two separate, but very much aligned documents, below which provide a great deal of information regarding each option:

     RETURN TO LEARN GUIDE
     RETURN TO LEARN PLAN FAQs

District leadership will continue to partner with our stakeholder groups to further answer additional questions and to provide more information as we get closer to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Once you feel that you are ready to compete the Student Learning Option Commitment Form (link below), please click on the Google Form link and submit a form for each individual student within your family (ie. three enrolled students will require one separate form completion for each). We are asking that families submit their Student Learning Option Commitment Forms by the end of the day on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

Sincerely,
Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

Posted: August 8, 2020

The Bedford Public Schools Board of Education approved a plan for returning to school at the August 6th meeting. It offers families two choices for learning while we are in Phase 4 currently: an in-person learning option to run Monday-Friday OR a completely virtual option with access to live, interactive lessons from Bedford teachers following the same schedule. All instructional materials for either option will be included in Schoology to be accessible at any time. The school day will be shortened by 90 minutes for both options.

More details on each plan are included in this UPDATED "RETURN TO LEARN OUTLINE" PRESENTATION from the August 6, 2020 Board Meeting.

We realize that there are many, many questions. We have put together this RETURN TO LEARN PLAN FAQs document. Some questions we are awaiting more information on before we can answer them. There are a few that are still in the process of being answered and will be added in soon. You may have read it and did not see what you might be wondering about. Please use the following link to submit any other questions you have: LINK TO SUBMIT A QUESTION: https://forms.gle/cnpbdq5iCvNUUHA48

Additional Reference: RETURN TO LEARN GUIDE

Updated: August 7, 2020


LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT ON RETURNING TO SCHOOL

July 2, 2020
Dear Bedford Public Schools Parents,

I have received many messages from our families asking what the 2020-2021 school year will look like as our state and nation continue to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Like many of you, I am disappointed and confused with the way that the 2019-2020 school year ended. As an educator and father, I found myself constantly searching for additional information in the form of updates during the prolonged closure. If this is how a school superintendent felt, I can only imagine how the uncertainty must have felt for our thousands of parents within the BPS Community. While I cannot provide all of the details regarding the upcoming school year, I am pleased to share that Governor Whitmer has released the outline that will guide our educational delivery for the upcoming year and perhaps beyond.

On June 30, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the MI Safe Schools Return to Schools Roadmap, a 63-page document with comprehensive guidance to help local school districts create plans for learning this fall based on the stage of the region where the district is located (Bedford is located in Region 1 and we are, at the time of this letter, in stage 4). Additionally, Ms. Whitmer announced the signing of Executive Order 2020-142 which provides guidance on developing “Preparedness Plans.” With the release of the Return to Schools Roadmap, BPS can now effectively and efficiently create our district’s plan for the upcoming school year. As I have stated from the beginning of the mandated school closure last March, BPS administration and staff want nothing more than to safely have our students back in our buildings. Our district plan will focus on this premise as our top priority while maintaining state-mandated precautions and reviewing all recommended precautionary action steps to best fit our students, staff, and facilities.

Beginning this week, BPS Administration will work closely with our local and county health officials as we construct a viable plan for our students return to their buildings. The district will establish committees comprised of different stakeholders to create this comprehensive return to learning plan. Each committee chair will work with their team to create a plan that does not just sound great, but one that combines strong instructional practices, quality learning experiences regardless of setting, and practicality in its implementation for all impacted. In order to achieve this goal, committees will be seeking feedback from staff members and parents as they build each component of the plan. Our belief is that by following the guidelines provided within the Roadmap, we will be able to keep students, staff, and families safer in our schools and achieve the type of learning outcomes that we’ve consistently achieved. This is no small task and will take some time to develop thoughtfully. Please be assured that we will release the plan as soon as we are able. In the meantime, as some helpful first steps in developing an understanding of the guidelines we will be following, please consider reading Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap FAQ as well as the full documents linked above. These documents will set the parameters that will guide the creation of our district plan and can help families understand how and why we are making decisions.

I appreciate your time in reading this and staying informed throughout all of the changes 2020 has thrown our way. I look forward to sharing additional updates as they become available.

Respectfully,
Carl Shultz, Ph.D
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 2020-142: Provision of preK–12 education for the 2020–2021 school year

Michigan’s 2020- 21 Return to School Roadmap (Full Document)

Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap FAQ

UPDATE LETTER FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

May 16, 2020
Dear BPS Community,

It has been over a month since my last district update after what started out as a flurry of early spring update emails. I felt that it was best to provide some time for our district-wide plans to be implemented and for families to begin receiving updates from our building leaders and classroom teachers. In a time of incredible uncertainty and difficult circumstances, I must once again thank all of our BPS family members for not just doing your part, but also for the high-level at which all of you have performed during the COVID-19 Crisis. This praise is meant for every single member of our district and supportive community. Our students who have endured what has now amounted to the loss of months of educational experiences, ceremonies, contests, and celebrations. Our parents and grandparents who have assumed the roles of instructional facilitator, coach, and cheerleader. Finally, our staff members across the district who have come together to do everything that they can to try to reinvent our student services. Thank you all for reminding me what can be accomplished when incredible people work together.

As a district, we have continued to support our students and families through our BPS Learn at Home Program. We understand that while not perfect, we are very pleased with the high percentage of students who continue to be engaged in their learning. In addition to ongoing learning, BPS is providing our students and community with breakfast and lunches throughout the week. In total, BPS’s dedicated food service staff (with the assistance of transportation department volunteers) have served over 62,000 meals to our community since the mandated school closure on March 13th. While these examples serve as our current situation’s most visible services, the remainder of our staff including administrators, custodial, and clerical have been hard at work preparing for the remainder of this current school year and the potential variations of what next year may look like for the district. At this point, I can share with you what our district plans look like as of today and provide some potential outlook for our future as we wait for additional guidance from the State of Michigan.

REMAINDER OF THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR

STUDENT LEARNING
All BPS Students will continue their educational learning utilizing the district Learn at Home Plan through June 10, 2020. The schedule remains unchanged and building principals and teachers will provide continual updates relating to learning, district/personal material collection, and any other important information that will be needed to wrap-up the current school year. It remains extremely important that students continue to engage in this plan to ensure that academic credit is earned and that continual growth is taking place.

DISTRICT FOOD SERVICE
As previously mentioned, BPS Food Service has continued to serve our community throughout the closure. The Food Service Program’s last day for 2019-2020 service is currently scheduled for Monday, June 8, 2020. Bedford Public Schools does not qualify for summer food service grants and has traditionally not been able to provide service throughout the summer months. Until the June 8th closing date, we will continue our current schedule of drive-up food service on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The only exception to this schedule will be that no service will be provided on Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday.

CLASS OF 2020 GRADUATES
The Class of 2020 have felt the effects of COVID-19 as much as any group (excluding those who have lost family and friends to the virus). I can speak for the entire Kicking Mule family when I say that we have missed seeing you experience what you have worked so hard to earn. BPS remains committed to exhausting our options for providing the best allowable opportunities to celebrate your accomplishments. The originally scheduled June 7th Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 28th. If the State of Ohio and/or University of Toledo are not permitting large scale events on this date, we will look to transition to holding a ceremony or multiple smaller ceremonies at Bedford High School or Indian Creek (depending on district bond work progress) that follow state orders and support community safety. If it becomes evident that we will not be able to hold any type of in-person commencement, we would review options for a virtual event. The Senior Sendoff Parent Group have started to plan for an alternate event for our seniors and they will announce plans as soon as they are complete. We love our seniors and will do everything that we can to provide the best possible alternatives to recognizing their accomplishments. Stay tuned for additional information as we continue to move forward.

2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

SCHOOL SETTING
There are so many unknowns as I write this update. The Michigan Department of Education has given local districts direction to begin preparing for a number of possible learning scenarios for next school year. These scenarios include returning to the traditional in-classroom school setting, continuing a learn-at-home type instructional program, or some type of hybrid learning program that could include students alternating between traditional in-classroom learning on some days and learning from home on other days to help limit the number of students on campus at one time. Of course, our preference and hope is that we are safe to return to our traditional learning programs so that we can have students back in our buildings. BPS will meet the challenges set before us regardless of the State of Michigan orders and we have already began reviewing what we can do to ensure the best possible experiences for our students. I will provide updated information as soon as it becomes available.

STUDENT REGISTRATION
BPS will once again begin registering new students in the upcoming week. It is imperative for district planning to get a strong grasp of our student count to ensure adequate staffing and space. The registration process will look a little different from the past as we incorporate social distancing practices to ensure community and staff safety. We will be sharing updated dates and times as well as the process for completing new student registration very soon via email, district website, and social media.

SCHOOL FUNDING

OVERVIEW
(Warning, I am about to bore some of you with my background in teaching economics, but this background in school finance and current information is extremely important) In 1994, Michigan voters approved the controversial passing of State Ballot Proposal A, which included a major overhaul of public school funding. Until Proposal A was enacted, local public school districts were funded primarily through assessing property tax levies on the residents of the communities that they supported. Proposal A changed the public school funding system by limiting the amount and purposes for which a local district can ask for property tax levies. Instead of relying on local property taxes, Proposal A created a new complex formula that combined revenue from the rolled back local millage or tax rates (a new flat 6-mill statewide education property tax was instituted) with money from the newly created state school tax (state sales tax increased from 4 to 6 percent), other tax hikes (increases tax rates on fuel, real estate purchases, and tobacco), and finally, yes, the ever so popular Michigan lottery income (actually represents a very small portion of the state’s total school aid fund) to maintain the state school aid fund.

This new system created a statewide, economy-driven per-pupil foundation allowance which has become the basis for how school districts receive operational funding today. As an example, Bedford Public Schools received a state per-pupil foundation allowance of $8,111 for the 2019-2020 school year. This foundation allowance is then multiplied by the total number of students enrolled for the school year to come up with the total amount that BPS will receive from the state school aid fund, providing 85% of our district’s total revenue. The other 15% is made up of non-homestead tax levies (rental or commercial properties), state and federal grants (BPS receives very little in these grants due to the lower-than-average free/reduced lunch rate of the district), countywide technology millage, and other miscellaneous sources.

Overall, Proposal A is considered a success in achieving some of its initial goals of overhauling the local property tax system and narrowing the gap that exists throughout the state in school funding averages. However, the system is extremely reliant upon the State of Michigan’s economy. As you can imagine, COVID-19 and the related Stay Home, Stay Safe orders that have closed much of the state’s economy for the better part of the last sixty days have devastated our economic system. The closure or limiting of services for most retail stores, food and beverage establishments, real estate and car sales offices, and reduced overall fuel purchases have significantly reduced the expected revenue for both the adopted current fiscal year budget and the upcoming fiscal year budget. These significant drops in incoming revenue will absolutely result in a devastating effect to public education across the state.

CURRENT SCHOOL FUNDING CRISIS
The State of Michigan held their Spring Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC) on Friday, May 15th. The CREC is where the state department of treasury and economists from the University of Michigan work to determine the state’s overall financial status for the current year and the upcoming years. This data is then used to finalize and formulate state budgets (including school aid fund). As expected, the conference report was not good news for public education. State officials and economists presented that shutdown as a result of COVID-19 has dropped state sales and income tax revenues to numbers we have not seen since 1946. Big Picture: state overall revenue's loss between this year and the next fiscal year is $6.28 billion over anticipated revenue just as recently as this January. The School Aid Fund is significantly out of balance for the current fiscal year, the next fiscal year, and the following year. For fiscal year 2020 (current school year), the deficit is $1.1 billion, for fiscal year 2021 (next school year), the deficit is $963 million, and for fiscal year 2022, the deficit is $334 million.

To put these numbers in perspective, an overall deficit of $1.1 billion to the state school aid fund equates to an average reduction of $900 per-pupil to each local district for the current 2019-2020 school year. However, legislation guiding the State of Michigan School Aid Fund provides guidance for how any required statewide proration of school funding would be implemented and thus limits the possible reduction or proration for the current year to between $650-$700 per pupil or an unimaginable amount of $2.9 million for BPS. Regardless, these numbers are staggering and have never before been seen by public schools in this state. The effect of any reduction to school funding while preparing for an upcoming school year is extremely challenging. A potential reduction of this size for the current school year and next is devastating. The only positives at this moment is that these numbers, while real, represent the situation based on the current adopted state budget. They do not take into account any budgetary adjustments made by the state, nor do they account for any potential federal funds that can be made available to public schools across the nation. These variables, along with other potential legislative and executive actions, could help alleviate a portion of the current deficit to the school aid fund.

While the district has a currently adopted and fiscally sound budget for the 2019-2020 school year based on original adopted state school aid allocations, this new data, along with recent warnings from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) regarding a potential budget proration for all districts for the remainder of this year, has necessitated the creation of a multi-tiered response to this financial crisis. All district department and building leaders have been engaged in an emergency review process to identify potential budgetary reductions. This process will continue to carry through our district’s creation of the upcoming 2020-2021 district budget as well. As superintendent, I am charged to bring forward the best possible solutions for maintaining a balanced district budget while also maintaining the integrity of our community’s high educational expectations. I understand that none of us have created this health crisis and its associated financial strife. Regardless, we must all do everything in our power to ensure that the students of our community remain as shielded as possible in order to continue our long tradition of student success. To this end, I am asking all of you to reach out to the offices of our state governor, local state representatives, and federal representatives to ensure they take every possible action necessary to reduce the impact on our students in public education. I have spoken with our local representatives and they clearly understand the position of our district and support our efforts. Please make sure that our governor and federal representatives do as well!

DISTRICT BOND WORK

After typing the previous section on the school financial crisis, I am much happier to be able to share information regarding the district bond projects. As of May 7th, there has been an incredible amount of work begun on the planned summer of 2020 bond projects. This summer’s projects include work at Bedford High School (new windows and exterior doors in the original section of building, replacement of all heating units with heat and cooling units in all instructional classrooms, the creation of a new safe entryway at the front of the building, new fire alarm and clock systems, new security/remote access systems, new main gym bleachers and refinished floor, fully updated restrooms throughout the building, and a newly designed parking lot/student drop-off area to serve the entire secondary campus shared by both BHS/BJHS). The other building that is undergoing major renovations this summer is Jackman Road Elementary (new windows and exterior doors, replacement of all heating units with heat and cooling units in all instructional classrooms, new security/remote access systems, updated restrooms throughout the building, and a newly designed parking lot which includes an extended parent drop-off loop to hold more vehicles). In addition, there will be roof replacement work completed at Douglas Road Elementary, Jackman Road Elementary, and Bedford Junior High School.

The district bond that was passed in November of 2018 has made all of these exciting projects possible. Bond Proposals such as ours, are one of the few remaining opportunities that communities can still directly support their local public school districts through local tax levies (of course you all knew this after reading and taking notes on my previous section on Proposal A). All associated funds collected by the passed bond levy are mandated to be used for the sole stated purpose of the bond, and thus, cannot be redirected or affected by state funding issues, so rest assured that we will finish what you have entrusted us to accomplish. The remainder of the bond projects at our other buildings will be completed during the summer of 2021. Once again, I speak for our entire district in thanking all of our dedicated community members who supported this bond proposal and am proud that we are currently on schedule and on budget to complete all projects within the district.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I am once more forced to apologize for yet another lengthy letter regarding our district. I could effectively write shorter district updates, but I truly believe that in order to be effective advocates for your children and for our district, you deserve the greatest level of detail possible. Bedford Public Schools is, and will remain, a special place. Our students, our staff, and our supportive community ensure that we maintain our position as one of the top districts in the state. District leadership will be forced to make tough decisions over the course of the next few years to appropriately deal with the impending state budget reductions (please remember to reach out to our government representatives that we have entrusted to support our community to voice your concerns). I can promise that we will stubbornly (as would any Kicking Mule) fight for every available dollar from any and all potential funds that can better support our students. We need to keep our heads up and continue to be a unified district in the presence of adversity. We have so much to be grateful for as a community and this should be a time to celebrate our students and not get down due to events outside of our control. Thank you to all of you for everything that you do; it reminds me daily of why I’m proud to be a Mule!

Respectfully,
Carl Shultz, Ph.D
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools
734-850-6001 Office


FAMILIES ELIGIBLE FOR FREE/REDUCED SCHOOL MEALS TO GET PANDEMIC EBT PROGRAM BENEFITS

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) provides temporary funding to address emergency food needs for families affected by the pandemic. P-EBT food assistance benefits will go to families with students ages 5-18 that are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. This includes families currently receiving Food Assistance Program benefits as well as those not currently enrolled in the program.

FAMILIES CURRENTLY RECEIVING FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (FAP) BENEFITS WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE BENEFITS

Additional benefits will be issued directly to your Bridge Card and can be used in the same way to purchase food items. P-EBT benefits can also be used in the Double Up Food Bucks program.

March and April combines benefits: $193.80 per eligible student will be loaded on the family's Bridge Card by the end of April.

May and June combined benefits: $182.40 per eligible student will be loaded on the family's Bridge Card at a later date yet to be determined.

ELIGIBLE FAMILIES NOT CURRENTLY RECEIVING FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (FAP) BENEFITS CAN ALSO PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAM

Q. We recently lost our job or took a significant loss in income. What should I do to receive the benefit?
A: Please reach out to your local school/district to learn how to complete an application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals. Your child’s school/district will have to report the change in Free and Reduced-Price Meal eligibility to the state of Michigan to make you eligible for P-EBT.

How to apply for Bedford Public Schools' Free and Reduced School Meals:

Applications for free/reduced meals for 2019-2020 are available online at: https://www.lunchapp.com/
Applications 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.

Then register on MI Bridges to get the EBT process started: https://newmibridges.michigan.gov/

Eligible families not currently receiving food assistance benefits will receive a pre-loaded Electronic Benefits Transaction (EBT) card in the mail. It will be issued under the name of the oldest student in the household. Benefits for all eligible school-aged children in the home will be loaded onto this one EBT card. Families will also be getting a letter from MDHHS describing how to use their EBT card, how to set up their PIN, and other information about food assistance benefits. This EBT card can be used to purchase food items only, in-person, at any SNAP retailer. The P-EBT card may look different from the Bridge Card but can be used in the same way.

March and April combines benefits: Families will receive an EBT card in the mail pre-loaded with $193.80 per eligible student by the end of the first week in May. Please keep this card to use for ongoing benefits you may receive.

May and June combined benefits: $182.40 per eligible student will be loaded on the family's EBT card at a later date yet to be determined.

If you have any questions about this Pandemic EBT Program, please refer to these online resources:

     Pandemic EBT Program

     MDE Office of Health & Nutrition Services Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) Frequently asked Questions

     Or call: 1-833-905-0028

Posted: April 29, 2020


Board of Education Meeting Updates

Committee of the Whole Meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 30th is cancelled.

The regular Board of Education Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 7th, will be held virtually. Details for the meeting's virtual link will be released closer to the date of that meeting.

Posted: April 27, 2020

At-Home Learning Plan Information

Our Continuity in Learning Plan has been approved. Dr. Mark French, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Student Services, has emailed families with a Letter and Overview of our At-Home Learning Plan. Building principals will also be sending more detailed information specific to their schools home as well.

Posted: April 14, 2020

BPS Continuity of Learning Plan Approved

The Continuity of Learning Plan for Bedford Public Schools was approved. District and School Administrators will be sharing more information in the days to come.

Posted: April 13, 2020

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

BEDFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS "DRIVE THRU"
FOOD ASSISTANCE HAS CONCLUDED FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR

Our Drive Thru Food Pickups have concluded for this school year. A huge round of applause for the efforts of that department! They served a total of 116,347 meals during the time our school buildings have been closed!

SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAMS

Please check the Michigan Department of Education's Summer Food Service Program website for locations where service will be available.
Some school districts will continue to serve, in programs similar to what Bedford did, until June 30th. Procedures may be different from school to school (some schools ask you to sign up, and some deliver off the bus) so please call that district's food service department to find out how they are running their program. Phone numbers should be included on the website listed above. Service after June 30th will transition to the more traditional summer programs which may operate differently or happen in different locations once June is over.

CONTINUING ASSISTANCE AFTER SCHOOL RESUMES

FREE AND REDUCED SCHOOL MEAL BENEFITS
Those that are currently receiving benefits will remain eligible and can continue to receive them after school starts through October 19, 2020 when they expire. Applications for the 2020-21 school year will available around August. Families can apply at any time during the school year.

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.

MOBILE FOOD PANTRIES

Dates are included on District website home page. 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.

 

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