In today’s update:

  • School Nutrition Program Update
  • MAISA/MDE Survey on Identification of Gaps in School Food Program
  • MDE Memo on Assessment and COVID-19
  • Hanover Research Holding Virtual Conference for School Leaders
  • Executive Directive on Public Meetings
  • Other
  • MASA COVID-19 Resource Center

School Nutrition Program Update

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requested and received a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to serve non-congregate meals under the Unanticipated School Closure provision of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The waiver allows providers of school meals to serve meals without having to keep children together and on-site. This waiver allows districts to explore creative options for feeding children who depend on those meals even if the school building is closed.

All buildings and districts (public, charter, or private) currently providing meals to children in school can participate in this program. Up to two meals per day may be served to all children ages 18 and under for free and will be counted at the point of service. This includes students with disabilities ages 18-26 with an active individual education program (IEP).

The memo detailing the provisions of this waiver can be found here.

MAISA/MDE Survey on Identification of Gaps in School Food Program 

MAISA and MDE are working with the Governor’s Office to help understand if gaps will exist in the school food program. If we are able to understand gaps before they occur, the fewer children will have to miss meals before we can connect them with community or foundation resources.  With kids out of school on Monday, there is real urgency in providing this information. To that end, MAISA and MDE are asking that ISD/RESA/ESD members complete the ISD Survey on Identification of Gaps in School Food Program.

MDE Memo on Assessment and COVID-19 

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released a memo alerting educators that MDE is keenly aware that school closure due to the public health emergency has created significant concerns about test preparation, test administration, and potential student results. MDE takes this concern very seriously and is working with the US Department of Education and assessment vendors to “plan for a variety of scenarios that could occur during this time.”

Information is forthcoming but click here to read the entire memo.

Hanover Research Holding Virtual Conference for School Leaders

Hanover’s K12 Practice is responding to concerns about the current spread of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and its potential impact on schools. As such, they are hosting an emergency virtual convening of their Superintendents Leadership Council to discuss questions about coordination, policies on closure, and impact on students’ well-being and learning. This learning session includes Dr. Howie Forman, Professor of Public Health (Health Policy), Management and Economics, Yale University; Deb Kubin, Superintendent at Ukiah Unified School District; and Michelle Reid, Superintendent Northshore School District. The webinar will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 19. To register, click here.

Executive Directive on Public Meetings

Yesterday, Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Directive 2020-2 to provide guidance on state boards and agencies and their compliance with the Open Meetings Act in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Similar to executive orders, executive directives are issued by the governor to establish basic internal policy or procedure for the executive branch of state government, assure the faithful execution of law, and to supervise state departments. Executive directives often establish guidelines, rules of conduct, or rules of procedures for state departments and their employees. Executive directives are signed by the governor and distributed to state departments and agencies, but not filed with the Secretary of State.

At this time, we are awaiting more formal guidance for school boards as they are not specifically covered by this directive. Once that guidance is provided, we will share that. For now, we would encourage members to consult with legal counsel before making any moves toward virtual participation for school board members.

Other

Know that members have asked many questions about childcare programs, Title I funding, spring break, open meetings, food services, etc. The big question is the forgiveness of days that districts will be closed. MASA, MASB, labor leaders, and lawmakers are working on a solution and will share that with you as soon as we have something definitive to share.

We continue to work closely with state agencies to track down information and answers. Please continue to pass along your questions to contacts at MASA and we will reach out to the appropriate officials and agencies to track down answers as soon as we can. Please know that while schools might be closed to children, MASA staff are working diligently to keep you informed.

MASA COVID-19 Resource Center

As a reminder, please visit MASA’s COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest information and resources to help during this period of time.