Greetings,

Gov. Whitmer yesterday gave her much-anticipated announcement to suspend face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. We know that this is a difficult time for our members as you navigate this unchartered path.

MASA will be here to support you and provide resources throughout the next few months of this new, temporary “normal.” Below you will find resources to help you begin to decide what distance learning will look like in your district.

We will continue daily updates for the short term, but as we move toward a new reality, MASA is working to retool these communications so they will look different and contain different content. Stay tuned for those changes.

In today’s update:

  • Save the Date – MASA to Host Thrun Webinar
  • MDE, MAISA, Michigan Association of Charter School Authorizers Release Learning Continuity Plan Template
  • MASA’s COVID-19 Resource Center
  • AT&T Expands Offerings to Help Families, Students During School Closures
  • MHSAA Cancels Winter/Spring Sports Seasons
  • DPTV Program Schedule Now Available

 Save the Date – MASA to Host Thrun Webinar

MASA is pleased to host Cristina Patzelt and Lisa Swem from the Thrun Law Firm for a webinar related to EO 2020-35. As you’re aware, MASA has been collecting questions related to the EO through our website and we hope that this webinar will offer members a chance to have answers to some of the most common questions.

Please click here to register. The webinar will be at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 9. This is a free event.

MDE, MAISA, Michigan Association of Charter School Authorizers Release Learning Continuity Plan Template

As a result of COVID-19 and the closing of school buildings for the 2019-2020 School Year, school districts must submit a Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Response Plan in order to continue to receive state aid for operations. Although school buildings are closed, teaching and learning must continue.

Pursuant to Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-35, issued yesterday, please find a link below to the template for local school districts and public school academies to develop their continuity of learning and COVID-19 response plans. This template was developed in collaboration with the governor’s office, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, and the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers.

Each district shall submit a single completed Assurance Document, Budget Outline, and Continuity of Learning Plan to its Intermediate School District.

See the template.

MASA’s COVID-19 Resource Center

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., MASA created a resource page with materials to help our members with communication, digital learning, legal, policies and procedures, and more related to the virus. This page is updated daily.

Here you will find links to all of MASA’s Daily COVID-19 updates and communications to membership, as well as local and national resources

As more information has become available, the page has grown to include partner resources, including webinars and online educational programs; information from straight from school districts, including sample letters communicating a positive case in a school district, as well as family engagement guides, and community communication examples.

National resources are available as well. There are guides from the National Association of School Psychologists, Education Week, and the National School Boards Association.

The newest addition to MASA’s COVID-19 resources is a collection of digital learning resources and links from all 50 states. You will find a learning plan template from Vermont, school district plans from Wyoming, virtual learning resources from South Carolina, and more to help you get ideas of what to include in your district’s digital learning plan.

Visit gomasa.org/national-distance-learning-resources to see the distance learning resources from all 50 states. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

AT&T Expands Offerings to Help Families, Students During COVID-19 School Closures

Based on the newest EO from Governor Whitmer, below are the current offerings AT&T has made available to help assist during the COVID-19 crisis in regard to education.

  • Unlimited AT&T Home Internet – All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data.  Additionally, we’ll continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. We’ve expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, we’re offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.
  • Helping You Work and Learn Remotely – Businesses, universities, and schools can keep their teams and classrooms connected through conference calls and video conferencing with Cisco Webex Meetingswith AT&T for 90-days, and seamlessly forward calls to both mobile and landline phones with AT&T IP Flexible Reach
  • Distance Learning – AT&T is underwriting expenses for a “one-stop” resource center to support eLearning Days from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)available to all educators in schools to help them handle school closures and the increase in virtual learning due to COVID-19.
  • With the COVID-19 virus having unprecedented impacts on our society and keeping millions of students and teachers home for the foreseeable future, AT&T* is stepping up to enable virtual classrooms across America. AT&T is offering schools a way to save on unlimited wireless broadband connectivity for students.  Through May 22nd, qualified schools activating new lines on qualified data-only plans for school-issued tablets, 4G LTE-enabled laptops and hotspot devices will get the wireless data service at no cost for 60 days.1
  • And schools know they need to protect their students while online – which is why AT&T is also making  AccessMyLANTMfor the qualified lines available at no cost for 60 days.1 This service allows school administrators to manage the internet sites their students can access to help protect them from unsafe content and also to block malicious sites, malware, and hacking attempts.
  • To keep administrators, teachers, parents, and students connected, we’re also offering AT&T Office@Hand Premium powered by RingCentral at no cost for eligible new customers in K-12 education,as well as healthcare and non-profit social services for up to 60 days with agreement. This enables schools to quickly activate video meetings and always-on chat groups where teachers and students can share files and collaborate on assignments. Schools can setup hotline, phone, fax, and SMS capabilities through Office@Hand mobile and computer apps.
  • Beyond helping schools meet the connectivity challenge, AT&T is directly supporting the development and deployment of eLearning resources. This includes launching a $10 million Distance Learning and Family Connections Fundto give parents, students and teachers tools they need for at-home learning. The fund launched with a $1M contribution to Khan Academy – to help them improve and expand online learning resources to meet the growing demand from parents, teachers, and students.
  • Additionally, to help keep families connected during this uncertain time, AT&T is funding 60 days of free access and unlimited usage of Caribu,a video-calling application that allows family members to read, draw, and play games with one another while in distant locations. 

MHSAA Cancels Winter/Spring Sports Seasons

Today the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced that it has canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 Winter and Spring sports seasons.

This will be the first school year to not see MHSAA Finals played in multiple sports since 1942-43, when World War II led to the elimination of Finals in most sports.

A press release is available on the MHSAA website.

DPTV Program Schedule Now Available

It was announced earlier this week that DPTV would make educational programming available from 7 a.m. through 6 p.m. Monday – Friday for every age group. The schedule for the next two weeks is now available on their website.