In today’s update:
- Additional Guidance on CTE Programs Run by ISDs and LEAs
- Guidance on Communicating a Positive COVID-19 Case in Your District
- Two Supplemental Bills Signed for COVID-19 Response
- Michigan Launches COVID-19 Volunteer Website
- President Trump Approves Gov. Whitmer’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration, Use of Michigan National Guard for Humanitarian Purposes
- MDE to Publish A-F School Grades
- Detroit Public Television Adjusts Schedule to Offer Educational Programming at Home
- Subscribe to the Detroit PBS Kids Daily Newsletter
- MASA COVID-19 Resource Center
Additional Guidance on CTE Programs Run by ISDs and LEAs
Today MDE issued an updated FAQ to clarify CTE requirements during school closures due to COVID-19.
The document includes answers to questions about Federal Perkins funds, 61.a1 and 61b State School Aid, reporting requirements, and specific CTE programs. Read the memo.
Guidance on Communicating a Positive COVID-19 Case in Your District
MASA staff have received several questions about communicating positive COVID-19 cases in schools. We worked with Thrun Law Firm and MSPRA to provide the following guidance. Please contact your local attorney if you have any further questions.
- Work closely with the local health departments if/when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, to ensure that any necessary health protocols are followed, and accurate information is disseminated to the community. This could include identifying that a staff member worked in a specific building and has even sometimes identified the subject the staff member taught, but not identified the person by name. The health department will take care of ensuring people who need to be notified and quarantined are doing so.
- Generally, a school can identify that an unnamed student has tested positive but provide no other identifying information about the student. As the SPPO cautions, school officials should ensure they are disclosing information “in a manner that does not disclose other information that, alone or in combination, would allow a reasonable person in the school community to identify the students who are absent due to COVID-19 with reasonable certainty.” The SPPO guidance also discusses the rare circumstance in which a school determines that parents are “appropriate parties” to whom personally identifiable information can be disclosed in a health or safety emergency.
- Because school is not in session now due to the closure, and because 14 days have passed since school was in session, there may not be any need to alert the community, as the exposure risk at school may have passed. Schools should consult their legal counsel. The health department can also determine whether disclosure to the school community is required or appropriate.
- MSPRA provided a sample letter to use to communicate when a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19.
A reminder to please consult your legal counsel if you need to communicate about a positive case in your district.
Two Supplemental Bills Signed For COVID-19 Response
Today Gov. Whitmer signed two supplemental spending bills worth $150 million for COVID-19 response. Read the joint statement from Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders.
Funding in the supplemental package SB0151 includes:
- $25 million in funding for COVID-19 response efforts
- $31 million for court-ordered legal settlements within the Michigan State Police and Department of Corrections
- $19 million to pay down liabilities in the Venture Michigan Fund program that save the state at least $23 million (net $4 million)
- $14 million for legally required reimbursement of locals for presidential primaries
- $7 million General Fund/ $48 million Gross to boost hospital outpatient rates as they respond to the virus
- $4 million to ensure critical oil and gas inspections continue
- $8 million to authorize spending for dedicated federal and restricted funds
Initially, the package included $321 million in spending, of which $220 million was for new programming. The governor’s office said the vetoes were agreed to by both branches of government to claw back dollars and preserve them for COVID-19 response.
Michigan Launches COVID-19 Volunteer Website
Gov. Whitmer and MDHHS over the weekend launched a new volunteer website where trained medical professionals can register to assist in hospitals, and other state residents can find out how they can help in their communities. Other assistance could involve giving blood, donating money or medical supplies, or assisting public health officials in tracking infections.
“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 businesses using their technology to manufacture personal protective equipment,” said Gov. Whitmer. “To bend the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state, we must all work together as Michiganders. Whether you’re a medical professional looking to volunteer, or someone who can give blood or donate to your local food bank, everyone can help out. We will get through this together.”
This website will serve as a single clearinghouse for Michiganders to join the fight against COVID-19. The state will work with hospitals and health systems that are short-staffed to fill gaps if and when necessary.
President Trump Approves Gov. Whitmer’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration, Use of Michigan National Guard for Humanitarian Purposes
On Friday, President Trump approved Gov. Whitmer’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration in Michigan, making the state eligible for participation in FEMA programming to provide relief for Michiganders impacted by COVID-19 and slow the spread of the virus.
While Michigan made a broad request for aid in every Individual Assistance and Public Assistance program from the Individual Assistance category, funding was approved for the Crisis Counseling Program, and funding for Emergency Protective Measures from the Public Assistance Category was also approved.
Last Thursday, the governor sent a letter to the president requesting additional major disaster assistance. Read the release to see the entire list.
Also announced today, President Trump authorized the use of National Guard members in Michigan to perform humanitarian missions across the state for up to 90 days. The president signed a memorandum providing federal support for governors’ use of the National Guard to respond to COVID-19.
Michigan’s National Guard, under Gov. Whitmer’s command and control, will perform humanitarian missions across the state, such as helping run mobile screening facilities, distributing food and medical supplies, ensuring the resiliency of supply lines, disinfecting public spaces, and supporting public safety when required.
MDE to Publish A-F School Grades
MDE will publish the A-F grades and ratings for Michigan schools tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
As you know, with the passage of Public Act 601 in the lame duck session in December 2018, the Michigan Legislature added an A-F grading system, to be applied to most schools in the state of Michigan. As required by Section 237 of Public Act 63 of 2019, the Michigan Department of Education is required to publish the information required by that law no later than March 31, 2020.
The data will be available on the MISchoolData website.
Detroit Public Television Adjusts Schedule to Offer Educational Programming at Home
Effective Monday, March 30, 2020 (TODAY), Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is responding to the learning needs of families with children at home as a result of Michigan schools being closed because of the COVID-19 crisis by adjusting its entire daytime programming schedule.
From 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, DPTV will offer blocks of programming geared to specific age groups – early childhood, middle school, and high school – on its main broadcast channel (56.1), as part of a collaboration with Michigan’s public television stations and the national PBS system.
While Michigan schools are closed this school year, weekday programming will be as follows:
- Current PBS KIDS programming (Ages 2-8 years old) – 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Grades 4th-8th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Grades 9th-12th – 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
DPTV’s schedule during those hours will be filled with PBS programming that aligns with curriculum goals, with online learning activities associated with each show. The programs are designed to supplement children’s learning and not be a replacement for grade-level credit. You may want to consider sharing this information in your parent newsletters or on your district’s website if you have not done so already.
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 DPTV.org, which also includes an option to translate the content into a number of different languages. This is a great option for educational resources if families do not have a reliable internet connection. This is another resource that would make a great addition to your parent newsletters and district websites.
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.