In this update, I would like to highlight a couple important points so that you will be prepared to consider your options for on-campus learning or remote instruction for this upcoming school year.
The first is that Black River will implement EVERY required element of the MI Safe Schools: Return to School Roadmap to be as safe as we possibly can be for our students, families, and staff. Health and safety is the first priority so that real learning can take place with your children.
The second point for you to understand is that we are working hard to implement the "Strongly Recommended" items in the roadmap when they are feasible. For example, we have students and staff members who have compromised immunity due to medical issues. For this reason, all students (K-12) and staff will be wearing face masks here at school to protect those in our community who are most vulnerable. This is a feasible opportunity for us to be as safe as possible.
One strongly recommended protocol in the Roadmap is also spacing desks six feet apart in our classrooms. While we have worked hard to plan for distancing our students and staff as much as possible, we cannot guarantee six-feet spacing in our buildings. We simply do not have the square footage or the furnishings that would make this feasible for us.
I bring this to your attention so there is total transparency about what is and is not possible. We want all of our families to make the best decision for their situation, and we are providing a new and robust remote learning option for those who would opt for that. Please note, this is not the remote learning experience we provided during the state-mandated closure beginning in March of last school year. The closure of our schools was unprecedented, with different state-led requirements, which were not meant to replace our normal school instruction. In the Operation Rat Return Parent Survey, we heard clearly that students and parents/learning facilitators need more structure and guidelines, robust learning and engagement from our teachers, and support at home, from technology to wellness. Our Operation Rat Return instruction and technology task force team has been meeting since June to ensure staff and learning facilitators at home will have the support needed to make our remote learning program a great Black River opportunity.
Thank you for going on this new journey with us!
Shannon Brunink, Head of School
BRPS Learning Options Summary - Printable Version
BRPS Learning Option Survey - Here!
BRPS Elementary Montessori Remote Learning QR Code Link