Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,
As we reach the end of our second week away from school, I'd like to share some key updates with you, including our plans for transitioning to Clarkston Virtual At-Home Learning on Monday, April 6.
Our most important priority is to help keep our students and employees safe and healthy during these uncertain times (I spoke about this in my brief video earlier this week). There have been and will continue to be many important decisions to make, and our plans are subject to change. We are committed to keeping you informed with timely, transparent communications. If you lose track of this email, don't worry. All important updates, including this one, can be found on our website at: www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/covid-19.
"Stay Home, Stay Safe" through April 13
Based upon Governor Gretchen Whitmer's latest executive order extending the closure of public spaces through April 13, Clarkston Community Schools will now remain closed through Monday, April 13, returning no sooner than Tuesday, April 14. We do not yet know how this will impact our 2020-2021 school calendar. We encourage our community to follow the Governor's orders to "Stay Home, Stay Safe" to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. All of our schools, offices, and campuses are closed. For everyone's safety, we are asking that families refrain from using our outdoor facilities at this time.
State Testing Waiver
The U.S. Department of Education has suspended all state testing for students. CCS students will not be taking the M-STEP, PSAT, or SAT at school this year.
Free Meal Distribution Changes
Free school meals are being provided at seven locations in the community. Due to the shelter-in-place order, we will be providing a week's worth of food on two pick-up days (Tuesday and Friday) beginning today. For distribution sites and times, please visit our website at www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/food.
If at any time you feel a counselor or social worker is needed to assist a student or family, please reach out to your building principal by email. We also encourage families to visit our Student Growth & Well-Being webpage for support resources. These can be hard times for us all, but help is available.
Clarkston Virtual At-Home Learning
Students were presented with optional online Enrichment & Engagement Activities last week. On Monday, April 6, all students in Clarkston Community Schools (ECC-Grade 12) will transition to a more structured model of remote learning with teachers. We're calling our online learning program "Clarkston Virtual At-Home Learning."
While we realize online learning can not fully substitute the quality of a face-to-face classroom, we are prepared to provide our students with creative and unique opportunities to continue their education while schools are closed. Our teachers have been preparing for our remote learning by creating engaging and purposeful online lessons that will allow students to engage with topic-related content and skills. Teachers will be reaching out on a weekly basis, and will be inviting students to respond directly in order to facilitate meaningful two-way engagement. The expectations and daily time commitment for students will vary depending on their grade level.
We are currently collecting data on the technology needs of our students. We will be communicating out a plan next week for the distribution of devices beginning the week of April 6. If you are interested in borrowing a district-owned device or if you need a WiFi connection, please complete a Technology Request Form if you have not yet done so.
We are committed to supporting all of our students and parents as we transition to remote learning. Our goal is to move learning forward in a thoughtful way and support families with tips, tutorials, technical support, and of course, your student's teachers. These resources, and more information about the Clarkston Virtual At-Home Learning model will be found on a special website we created for Online Learning Support.
We are going to take this slow and steady to minimize as much stress as possible on the part of our students, parents, and teachers.
- Students will not receive grades or assessments for virtual at-home learning. While we do not yet know what the remainder of the year will look like, we know that we will not harm our students in any way with their grades or GPA. All students who were on track to be promoted to the next grade or graduate will still do so. We will share more as we work with our county and state education agencies to form a plan.
- Because we recognize that some families may be struggling with illness or other challenges, students will not be penalized in any way if they are unable to complete assignments.
- Attendance will not be taken.
- Your child's classroom teacher (elementary), PAWS teacher (SMS), or fourth hour teacher (CJHS/CHS/RHS) will be checking in with your student on a weekly basis. These conversations will help us to know whether students are struggling academically, with their social-emotional well-being, and/or need technology support.
There will be curves and bumps in the road along the way as we travel this new territory. It will require patience and flexibility on everyone's part, as well as the understanding that Clarkston Virtual At-Home Learning will evolve over time. We will continue to seek your feedback as we embark on this new learning path together.
We do not know when (or if) our students and teachers will be able to physically return to our schools and buildings. In the meantime, I know our staff has missed seeing you and your children everyday, and they look forward to reconnecting in a virtual setting very soon. Please enjoy your Spring Break as much as possible, and look for communication from your teachers in the coming days as we prepare to "go back to school" virtually on April 6.
Superintendent of Schools
About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,100 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Clarkston Community Schools students are well-prepared for a future that excites them, and believe that they can achieve their dreams. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to create a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.
Read more Clarkston Community Schools News at www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/news.
Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Marketing Director (248) 623-5460.