In today’s update:

  • Whitmer Requests Major Disaster Declaration from the Federal Government
  • A Look at the Stimulus Package
  • College Board Offers Resources Advanced Placement (AP), Online Testing Option for Students
  • Subscribe to the Daily Detroit PBS Kids Newsletter
  • Wayne State University College of Education Launches #HealthyKidsQuarantined
  • Other
  • MASA COVID-19 Resource Center

Gov. Whitmer Requests Major Disaster Declaration from the Federal Government

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the president requesting a major disaster declaration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If granted in full, among other things, a major disaster declaration would help the state provide meals to families who need them and provide rental assistance and temporary housing to families. It would also allow the state to provide counseling and therapy for Michigan residents whose mental health is affected by COVID-19, whether they or a loved one gets sick or hospitalized. Additionally, the declaration would provide much-needed additional capacity and funding to the state in the event Michigan needs to quickly set up field hospitals or other facilities.

“We’ve seen an incredible amount of strength and courage of Michiganders during this time of uncertainty, whether it’s from communities donating food, money, and resources to those that need it or from teachers finding new and creative ways to reach out to their students,” said Gov. Whitmer. “While the people and businesses of the great State of Michigan have shown incredible resilience and cooperation throughout this difficult time, we cannot weather this storm alone. I am hopeful that the president will grant my request for a major disaster declaration in full and within a matter of days so we can provide more services to Michiganders who need them.”

The programs the governor requested to assist Michiganders during this time include, but are not limited to the following categories of individual assistance: Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Crisis Counseling, Disaster Case Management, Individuals and Households Program, Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Disaster Survivor Assistance, Disaster Legal Services, and Voluntary Agency Coordination. If approved, these programs would provide direct assistance to Michiganders through state, tribal, and local partnerships with FEMA other agencies.

A Look at the Stimulus Package

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote Friday to pass the CARES Act, a massive deal to respond to the national impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). MASA put together  what we know so far about what the deal means for education, unemployment, and more…all subject to change, of course.

Click here for a look at the stimulus package.

College Board Offers Resources, Online Testing Option for AP Students

With school closures affecting students across the country, College Board is providing live and on-demand AP courses for free, as well as developing a new at-home testing option.

Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates. The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing information will be available by April 3.

See the schedule of live classes and get more information on their website.

Subscribe to the Daily Detroit PBS Kids Newsletter

Check out the daily Detroit PBS Kids newsletter for educational resources for students at all grade levels and parents. The newsletter has been a result of daily conversations with key stakeholders and several other partners to ensure its relevance and usefulness. Past issues of the newsletter, video messaging, and subscription sign up are available at, which also includes an option to translate the content into a number of different languages.

Wayne State University College of Education Launches #HealthyKidsQuarantined

This past Monday, the Center for Health and Community Impact — which is housed in the Wayne State University College of Education — launched #healthykidsquarantined, a new initiative through which it is sharing resources to help teachers and parents keep kids healthy while they are at home. Each day, the center posts resources, tips, and/or activities teachers and families can share with students on its social media accounts. You will find information on the following channels:

  • Facebook: @wsukhs (Wayne State University Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies)
  • Instagram: @wsukhs (WSUKHS/Center for Health&Comm)
  • Twitter: @waynestateKHS (WSU Kinesiology/Center for Health & Community Impact)

Follow the hashtag #healthykidsquarantined.

Watch this video to learn more about the initiative:


As has been reported, MASA is working closely with Senate Majority Leader Shirkey and other stakeholders on workgroups to address the possibility of long-term closure and the days we’ve been closed already. With the Legislature out of session until at least April 1, we are also working very closely with Gov. Whitmer to try and identify immediate solutions so that you have clarity sooner than later. Please see our press release from yesterday on this subject.

Please continue to let us know your questions, 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 continues to work 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.