Back to School Planning Update

Last school year wasn’t what any of us expected, but we couldn’t be more proud of how our community came together. Looking ahead to the fall, many things remain unknown, but we know this for sure: Battle Creek Public Schools will always be there for our students, our families and our community.

Last week, Governor Whitmer announced that schools will reopen this fall for in-person learning, but has not yet announced what the requirements and expectations are for students to return to their classrooms. More information will be released on June 30, and we will use this information to guide the finalization of the plans laid out below within the next couple of weeks. We know there are many questions around what school will look like in a post-COVID-19 world, and wanted to provide an update to our community on the plans we are putting in place to ensure learning and success for all students.

Back to School Plans

Health and Safety Considerations

We are working together with the Calhoun County Health Department to make sure our students can continue learning while staying safe and healthy. When students and staff members do return, we will have in place robust cleaning and safety protocols, including things like adding hand sanitizer stations, clarifying expectations around handwashing and wearing masks, and increasing building maintenance checks.

Buildings and Schedules

Because the state has not yet announced what arrangements will be required, we are planning for a variety of scenarios. We are hopeful that all students who feel comfortable attending school in the fall will be able to be there in person every day.

The first day of school for fall 2020 has not yet been announced, but we expect to announce it within the next several weeks.

We are also planning ahead for the possibility of a hybrid model for students to attend school in-person and virtually on a staggered schedule, to allow for six-foot social distancing if that is required. Our classrooms and common areas are not currently set up to accommodate this distance between all individuals, so we are developing plans now for how classroom arrangements, common areas and scheduling would need to change. Potential changes include the construction of barriers in common areas and offices and changes to large gatherings like lunch, recess and assemblies.

Virtual Schooling

We know that some families may have significant health concerns or feel more comfortable avoiding group settings, so we are developing plans to provide virtual schooling for families who want it. No matter what the situation looks like in the fall, it is our plan to have a system in place that will allow any families K-12 who would prefer to do so, attend school online. We are still working out the details of what the virtual learning experience will include and will keep you updated as we know more.

With this in mind, we are in the process of increasing our investment in digital resources to ensure that we have enough devices for every student in the district to access a BCPS Chromebook if needed.

Student and Family Support

We know that the pandemic has created hardships for many students and families, and our team is ready to offer the support our community needs. Whether school takes place in person, virtually or both, we plan to increase the support for the social-emotional well being of students.

While details will still need to be ironed out, we can assure our community with confidence that social-emotional and food support will both remain available for students who need them, either through BCPS directly, or through the support of community partners.

It is our top priority to ensure that each BCPS student feels supported during this time, and our staff and our community partners are always here as a resource for you. 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 meal pickups or for other family needs, please contact (269) 245-6129.
  • For Spanish language support, please call (269) 419-1978. For Burmese language support, please call (269) 601-6029.

More Details Coming Soon

We are in the process of putting together a more detailed plan for next school year, in collaboration with teachers, staff and administrators across the district and will be seeking input from families before this is finalized. We hope to have the plan available for release in mid-July.

Thank you for your patience, and for working with us to support one another. We can’t wait to see our students in the fall, and are confident that the next school year will bring many more great things for BCPS!