COVID-19: Latest Updates and Information

Dear BCPS Families,

For all of us here in Battle Creek and across the globe, what we are experiencing is new and uncertain. Things can feel confusing right now — but the one thing that we know for sure is that our community here in Battle Creek can withstand anything. We may all be separate in our homes, but we are in this together.

We have been providing regular updates as we receive new information, but there are still many questions we are unable to answer yet. Here is what we know now, as well as what we are still working to find out:

School closure dates

  • All Michigan schools will be closed until April 13, 2020, following the governor’s recent “Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives” announcement.
  • We are waiting to hear whether this closure will be extended beyond April 13. Right now, this is yet to be announced but we will keep you updated as we hear more.
  • We do not yet have any information on whether the school year will be extended into summer break to make up days. This decision will be made by the Michigan Department of Education in collaboration with the state legislature.

Meal pickups

  • Students will continue to have access to free meals during the mandated school closure. Meal distributions will continue as scheduled through April 3, at each elementary building, Battle Creek Central High School, and several locations throughout the community. Learn more here.
  • For the week of April 6-10, meals will be distributed on Monday, April 6 only at the same times and locations as previous weeks. Meal packs will include five days’ worth of breakfast and lunch for each student so they will be covered through Friday, April 10.
  • Help is available. If your family is unable to access any of our pickup locations, please reach out to us by submitting a question at bcps.me/questions or call or text us at 269-245-6129 and leave your name, phone number and home address.

Testing

  • Michigan has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education that allows the state to be excused from the M-STEP test this year. We are awaiting final confirmation from the Michigan Department of Education ensuring that Michigan students will not face the undue burden of standardized testing this school year. We are calling on the State Legislature and Michigan Department of Education to waive all state testing this year and urge you to contact your representatives as well and ask them to take action.
  • April and May SAT, ACT and PSAT dates have been canceled or postponed. There are available dates in June and July that families can sign up for now. The deadline to sign up for the June 6 SAT is on May 8. The April 4 ACT has been rescheduled to June 13.
  • 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 — dates and further details will be released no later than April 3, 2020. In the meantime, the College Board is offering free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. You can find their updates here: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update

Graduation and college credits

  • We do not yet have any information on whether the current graduation date or ceremony may be impacted, or whether graduation credit requirements may be adjusted. We are awaiting more information and guidance from the Michigan Department of Education and will share any information as soon as we receive it.
  • For Dual Enrollment and Early-Middle College students, counselors will be reaching out to students who are taking courses through Kellogg Community College to determine what resources and support they each need to continue their courses successfully.
  • Although there are still unanswered questions, we want to assure seniors and their families that as a district, it is a top priority of ours to ensure that seniors can graduate and stay on track with their post-graduation plans. These are unprecedented times for us all, but in the midst of it, we do not want to lose sight of what a special moment graduation represents for students and their families. We will not let Coronavirus get in the way of celebrating our students and ensuring this is a memorable moment for all the right reasons.

Other assistance services

  • If you know of someone who is struggling with basic needs or is in need of support, we encourage them to try calling the 2-1-1 helpline to get connected quickly and privately to the help you need in Battle Creek.

What you can do

  • The best way to beat the virus is to stay home and avoid contact with others. By staying apart, we’ll be able to bring our community back together. The governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order instructs residents to remain at home except for essential travel, like getting food, going to the doctor or caring for loved ones and pets. Going outside to walk, bike, run or hike is permitted, provided you stay six feet away from anyone you do not live with.
  • Student learning should continue, even outside the classroom. To support families in helping keep students learning, we have put together a list of grade-level resources and activities on the Learn at Home page on our website. This is just a start, with more to come.
  • We know that not all students have computers and internet access at home. Stay tuned for more information about at-home learning packets that we are designing to help promote practice and enrichment across each grade level.

BCPS is working closely with local, state and federal health agencies to receive and share regular updates and guidance surrounding COVID-19. While many questions remain, we know our community of staff, students, families and caregivers is strong and that together, we’ll get through this — and we’ll be even stronger than before. Please stay tuned for more updates.

Stay well,

Kimberly Carter, Superintendent

Battle Creek Public Schools