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A Message from Grand Rapids Public Schools

Dear Parent/Guardian(s),
 
August 11, 2020: It is back to school time! We are excited to have your student(s) back with us for a great year of learning and growing as we navigate through this unprecedented time. The COVID 19 pandemic has certainly altered many aspects of our lives and the health and safety of our students and staff are the most important factors in our decision making.  
 
As we prepare for the start of school on August 25, I want to ensure you have all the information you need so you and your student(s) are ready. The following is a list of important information regarding back to school:

  • 100% Virtual Learning for First 9 Weeks: We will start school virtually until the end of the first marking period on October 21. During this time, we will be assessing the COVID situation to determine if we continue virtual learning or transition to potential in-person or hybrid learning. 
  • One-to-One Technology: To further strengthen and support our virtual learning, we are loaning one-to-one devices for all enrolled students. We will also provide internet access support based on need. Students must be enrolled before scheduling a time to pick up the devices. If you have not already enrolled your student(s), go to enroll.grps.org.
  • On-Line Learning Platform: PK-5/PK-8 schools will continue to use SeeSaw and 6-12 schools will use Google Classroom (some schools will pilot Schoology).
  • Daily/Weekly Schedules: There will be increased direct (synchronous) instruction by teachers, office hours, small group instruction, and student interventions. Students will also be given assignments to complete on their own (asynchronous).
  • Assessments: Every student will be assessed on their understanding of prerequisite skills and grade-level proficiencies using formative assessments, screeners, or diagnostics.
  • Attendance: Attendance is mandatory and will be taken during synchronous learning periods just like traditional instruction.
  • Grading: There will be mandatory grading of assignments and assessments. Letter grades will be provided on the first marking period report cards. 
  • Special Education: Instruction will be synchronous and/or asynchronous with accommodations for no/low technology when needed. IEPs will be revised to reflect student’s needs following a period of assessment. IEPs will continue to be offered via phone conference or other digital platforms. Face to face will be for evaluation purposes only during this nine-week period. We will be adhering to IDEA, Michigan Administrative Rules, and CARES Act governance, as well as guidance being provided by Michigan Department of Education.
  • English Language Learners: We will ensure ongoing academic achievement for all English Learners by promoting English language proficiency through meaningful instruction that integrates both content and language learning, and by valuing our students’ rich language and cultural backgrounds.
  • Meal Sites: All GRPS students will have the opportunity to receive a breakfast and lunch for each school day. Starting August 24, grab and go meal sites will be every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Alger, Buchanan, Burton, Campus, Cesar Chavez, City High, Dickinson, East Leonard, GR Ford, CA Frost High, Harrison, Kent Hills, Ottawa Hills, Sherwood, Sibley, and Westwood.
  • Parent Support: If parents have questions or need support, you should first contact your school or teacher. For technical support (log in/passwords, internet, devices, etc.), call the hotline at 616-301-1111 or email distancelearninghelpdesk@grps.org. Special education questions regarding 504 plans/IEPs, call 616-819-2185. English Language Learner questions, call 616-819-2129. There is also helpful information at parents.grps.org.

 
There will be more detailed information coming from your school(s) and teacher(s) in the coming days and weeks. Every school principal is planning to premier their “Welcome Back” videos on Thursday, August 13 at 6:00 p.m. 
 
In closing, I want to thank you for your continued patience and support during this time. We will need each other to be supportive, flexible, understanding, and healthy to overcome the circumstances to give our students the best experience for their future.  Please walk along with us to ensure a healthy, safe, and productive school year for our students.
 
Sincerely,

 

Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Grand Rapids Public Schools

 

 

 
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Revised: 08/18/20 17:54:02 -0700.

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