In today’s update:
- ISDs Asked to Use Facilities for Childcare Centers for Essential Workforce, MDE Provides Guidance
- Guidance and Considerations for 31n/C4S Mental Health Providers
- Whitmer Requests Federal Funding for Use of Michigan National Guard to Provide Meals, Supplies to Families
- MASA Survey Regarding Food Service Programs
- MASA COVID-19 Resource Center
ISDs Asked to Use Facilities for Childcare Centers for Essential Workforce, MDE Provides Guidance
Gov. Whitmer on Wednesday night signed an Executive Order to authorize LARA to issue expedited provisional licenses to expand the capacity for child care services for essential workforce. The EO also allows both public and nonpublic school facilities to be utilized for the purposes of maintaining a disaster relief child care center focused on providing services.
The governor has asked ISDs to help mobilize and coordinate these efforts in partnership with local education agencies, employers, early childhood educators, private or community-based child care centers, and licensed in-home providers. Gov. Whitmer has also asked all relevant state agencies to collaborate and align resources to support disaster relief child care centers, including financial, operational, and other technical assistance resources.
Those available for the child care service include: health care workers, home health workers, direct care workers, emergency medical service providers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, sanitation workers, child care workers, personnel providing correctional services, postal workers, public health employees, key government employees, court personnel, and “those working in Michigan utilities, manufacturing, mass transit, grocery stores and “other essential supplies, goods or equipment.”
All disaster relief child care centers authorized under the order are required to perform a health evaluation of all individuals who enter the facility each time they enter. Those who do not meet the evaluation criteria will be denied entry.
MDE shared guidance and considerations for child care within classrooms for children ages 6 months through 5 years. This guidance document, prepared by members of the department’s early childhood team, is meant to assist the education fields academic and non-academic personnel and its child care partners, both school and non-school personnel with the various considerations of meeting the needs of a mixed-age group of young children from a child-centered philosophy during this state of emergency. It is solely for the youngest children (six weeks to five years) who may be cared for in the classrooms.
Dr. Bill Miller, executive director of MAISA, sent a memo out to ISD superintendents to relay information about the Executive Order and guidance.
Guidance and Considerations for 31n/C4S Mental Health Providers
In a memo Wednesday evening, MDE encouraged 31n and C4S programs to continue to remain available to address the mental health needs of students during school closures.
MDE is asking Intermediate School Districts (ISDs), local school districts, and contracted third-party providers continue to work closely together to address the mental health needs of those in your local school communities, and continue to find creative and appropriate ways to continue to provide the critical mental health services to students while being mindful of the significant pressure on the medical community at this time.
Gov. Whitmer Requests Federal Funding for Use of Michigan National Guard to Provide Meals, Supplies to Families
Gov. Whitmer on Wednesday wrote a letter to President Trump requesting federal funding for the use of Michigan’s National Guard to be dedicated to COVID-19 response and support. Under the governor’s command and control, the National Guard would be used to distribute resources like food and supplies to families who have been impacted by the spread of the virus.
MASA Survey Regarding Food Service Programs
MASA is working closely with MDE to help provide districts will all of the support possible during the mandated shutdown. To that end, we are asking you to take a few minutes to complete a survey regarding feeding students while schools are closed. This survey is to gather data on what districts are providing meals to students and the districts that are unable to and why/what are the barriers you are facing. The results of the survey will provide insight on practices currently happening and areas we need to focus our attention on to provide better supports and services to districts and students. Thank you for considering to fill out this survey.
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.