At-Home Learning Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

Q: How will students continue to learn?

  • For grades Pre-K–8, students will use paper and pencil instructional packets and online learning platforms. Online platforms include Clever, Google Classroom, and Seesaw.
  • Students in grades 9–12 will use digital learning, primarily through the Clever and Google Classroom platforms.
  • Teachers will be assigning work to students every week, starting April 20.
  • Teachers will be reaching out to check in with families and support students. Supplemental resources for all grades are available on the learning at home page on our website.
  • If you have trouble logging on to any of the online resources your teacher has asked you to use, please contact helpdesk@battle-creek.k12.mi.us.

Q: How will families with limited technology and/or no WiFi be able to access online learning? Will the school be giving computers to all students?

  • Details about technology distribution can be found here. Families who do not have computers will be able to pick up Chromebooks during tech distribution the weeks of April 13 and 20.
  • Families who need internet access should check out free options currently being offered by Comcast and AT&T. If there is no internet connection in your area, please contact us as we may be able to provide support. Call (269) 245-6129 or email helpdesk@battle-creek.k12.mi.us.

Q: When is the last day of school? Will schools open early in the fall?

  • BCPS schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year, although learning will continue. The last day of the school calendar for this school year is May 29, as previously planned. We don’t yet know if or how extended closures will impact summer programs or the start date of the 2020-21 school year.

Q: What if our family is dealing with other challenges or my child is too stressed to work on schoolwork?

  • We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. Student and family wellbeing comes first, and we know that school work can’t always be the top priority. We are here to support you and your child not just with schoolwork, but also to make sure you are ok.
  • Bearcat Coaches and Communities in Schools Coordinators are still working and available to support families and connect them to resources in our community.
  • Counselors and other support staff are available to support our students by phone, and can make referrals to additional mental health services which can also take place remotely. Please reach out to (269) 245-6129 or fmcgee@battlecreekpublicschools.org if you need any support at home and we will be in touch directly to talk to you and your child.

Grades & Graduation

Q: Will work assigned during school closures for at-home learning count for grades?

  • Students in grades pre-K–5 will receive teacher feedback on the work they receive during closure and will be encouraged to complete it, but will not be graded on work this quarter.
  • For all students in grades 6–8 and BCCHS students in grades 9–12, work through the end of the school year will be evaluated and teachers will provide feedback on work. Additional communication regarding grading practices for middle schools and BBCHS will be distributed by the end of next week and parents should look for contact from their child’s school to ensure that all questions are answered.
  • W.K. Prep students will continue receiving grades and earning credits for the courses they complete using online learning as they have been.

Q: Does the third grade reading law apply to this school year?

  • On April 2, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order ending face-to-face instruction in all schools across the state for the remainder of the school year. The order also cancelled this year’s M-STEP and waived the requirements of the Read by Grade Three law (known as the “Third Grade Reading Law”) for this school year.

Q: Will seniors be able to graduate?

  • High school seniors will graduate if they were on pace to do so before the state-mandated closure on March 11. We are working to identify all students who may not have been on track and are reaching out to them directly with specific next steps for helping them graduate on time.
  • Counselors and teachers will continue to support seniors with weekly check-ins for academic help, credit recovery and steps to make the transition on to college, technical school or a career as smooth as possible.
  • We are also working hard for a plan to recognize and celebrate our graduating seniors and will share more information as soon as we have it. We absolutely will be honoring our seniors and holding an event to celebrate graduation. We are working to see if a postponed in-person ceremony will be possible.
  • We will make a decision about graduation once it becomes more clear how the COVID-19 situation will continue to impact in-person gatherings throughout the summer.

Q: Will students advance to the next grade for next school year?

  • Students in grades K-11 will advance to their next grade at the beginning of the next school year if they were on track to do so as of March 16. We are working to identify all students who may not have been on track and will reach out to their families directly with more specific next steps.
  • The requirements of the Read by Grade Three or the “Third Grade Reading Law” will not be enforced this school year.

Q: How will this impact AP tests?

  • Students taking AP classes will have the opportunity to take 45-minute online free-response exams at home which will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March. Each AP subject will have two different testing dates available. The College Board is offering free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. You can find details on AP testing and resources here.

Summer Programs

Q: How will school closures impact summer school, summer camps and Kindergarten Success Program?

  • We do not yet know how summer programs will be impacted by the ongoing situation with COVID-19. As it becomes more clear when in-person engagement will be possible again, we will follow up with more information on summer programs.

Q: Will the summer book program still happen?

  • The summer book program will still happen — we are working on a solution to get books to families and will be reaching out to families about this program soon.

English Learner & Translation Support

Q: How is this information being communicated in other languages? Have we reached out to our English Language Learner students (in their language regarding technology)?

  • A summary of At-Home Learning Plan information has been posted to the BCPS website, along with Spanish and Burmese translations. All district families will also receive recorded calls in their home languages to remind them about technology pickups.
  • EL teachers and tutors will be reaching out directly to non-English-speaking families once per week beginning the week of April 20 to ensure they have what they need to be successful with at-home learning activities.
  • We are still working on translation services for our Arabic families.
  • For Spanish language support, please call (269) 419-1978. For Burmese language support, please call (269) 601-6029.

IEP Students

Q: How does the At-Home Learning Plan affect students with individualized education plans (IEPs)?

  • Students with IEPs will continue to receive individualized staff support through the rest of the school year. In addition to regular check-ins with their homeroom or advisory period teachers, students with IEPs will also be in regular contact with their special education teachers and paraprofessionals, who will provide supplemental activities in support of their specific IEP goals.

Other

Q: When will students be able to retrieve items from their lockers or classrooms that were left behind?

  • For urgently needed items like medications, principals will be reaching out to families directly to set up times for families to retrieve them via a safe handoff.
  • Students, families and members of the public will not be permitted to enter school buildings or to gather on school property until the governor’s ‘Stay Home’ order has been lifted and the state has certified that it is safe to gather. Once we have more information on the timing of this, we will make a plan for families to retrieve items from lockers and classrooms and will communicate it via our social media platforms and calls to families.

Q: Are community volunteers needed?

  • Right now, BCPS does not have a need for community volunteers or supplies. We do know that many organizations are looking for support right now however. For those able to give, the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region has created a disaster relief fund to help provide local, critical support. For those in need, call 2-1-1 to get help. Lean more here.
  • Bronson Health is accepting donations of medical equipment and home-sewn face masks. They have provided recommended materials and patterns. Learn more here.
  • Sewing, quilting, knitting volunteers are also being accepted at the Battle Creek Area Charitable Union. Learn more here.

Q: How do I stay up to date on BCPS’ coronavirus response?

  • For more information about the district’s response to COVID-19, read the latest updates at battlecreekpublicschools.org/news, and keep an eye on our Facebook page.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us:
    • For technology support, please contact helpdesk@battle-creek.k12.mi.us.
    • For support accessing devices, meal pickups, or for any other concerns, please contact 269-245-6129.