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MASA COVID-19 Update – April 24, 2020
Today, Gov. Whitmer extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe order through May 15, 2020. The EO also eases some of the restrictions on members of the public. A one-pager with details about which activities will be allowed and updated restrictions is now available online.
Please continue to stay safe and healthy while adhering to the updated order.
Continue to look for updates from MASA on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Please continue to feel free to share the information in this update with anyone in your organization or network who could use it. Further, if there is information or resources you think should be included in an upcoming update or on the MASA COVID-19 resource center, please send them to Haley Jones for consideration.
In this update:
What Michigan Needs to Know to Close/Impact the Digital Divide
Digital-Divide-Graphic-217px_1537796.pngMAISA shared the results of the MAISA Student and Staff Connectivity Survey on Thrusday titled, “What Michigan Needs to Know to Close/Impact the Digital Divide.”
The survey had 1.2 million responses.
The infographic, data, and maps will be shared with the governor’s office, MDE, and other education partner organizations.
Below are several resources shared by MAISA:
Continuity of Learning Plan Submission Numbers
MAISA has been working closely with the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Treasury to receive updated submission numbers of approved Continuity of Learning Plans. The most recent data pulls are below, shared by MAISA on Thursday.
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Gov. Whitmer Extends Stay-Home Order Through May 15
Today, Gov. Whitmer announced she signed an executive order to extend the Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives Order through May 15, 2020.
The new order will require people to wear homemade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also lift some restrictions on outdoor activities and allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back to work.
In a press release from the governor’s office, Gov. Whitmer and Dr. Khaldun released the following statements:
“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” said Governor Whitmer. “With new COVID-19 cases leveling off, however, we are lifting some of the restrictions put in place in the previous order. I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible.” 
“The numbers we’ve seen in the past week have shown a plateau in positive cases, but Michiganders must continue doing their part to fight this virus and protect their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “The governor has taken a number of critical steps to protect Michigan families, and this order today will allow that work to continue. We will keep monitoring the data closely and work with our partners across state government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” 
A one-pager is also avaiable that contains a breakdown of what the new EO allows and what restrictions have been eased.
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School Meal Distribution and Compliance
MDE has received questions about school food distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures. As a result, MDE created a document to assist local districts with implementing their Continuity of Learning Plan as required by the governor’s executive order.
MDE Applying for $390 Million in Federal School Funds
On Thursday, MDE announced that the department will be immediately applying for nearly $390 million from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The application and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for the ESSER funding was released earlier today to states. The $13.2 billion ESSER Fund provides emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the United States.
“These funds will be very helpful for local school districts to help meet the needs of students and staff during the pandemic, and we appreciate them as such,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.
Dr. Rice has been working with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the digital divide that exists across school districts in Michigan. These funds will help further narrow the divide between districts that have the requisite technology in the homes of students and staff and those that don’t.
“Though appreciated in many ways, these funds are limited relative to the needs of school districts pre-pandemic, let alone their needs post-pandemic and their needs in light of declining state revenue and likely substantial budget cuts to local school districts,” Dr. Rice added. “These federal funds are one-time funding source and must be used very carefully by local school districts.”
MDE expects a quick approval of its application from USED and will be sharing guidance with local school districts in the next several days for districts to apply for this funding.
ESSER funding allocations have been determined for all eligible school districts. The distribution of these funds is based upon the 2019-20 federal Title I, Part A funding formula.
Interim Certification Guidance Provided to Michigan Alternative Route to Certification Providers to Assist Educators During COVID-19 Crisis
On Wednesday, MDE issued guidance to the state’s alternative route to certification educator preparation providers and provided clarification to classroom teaching requirements for individuals seeking the interim teaching certificate during school closures.
ICYMI: MASA School Finance Webinar
MASA and officials from the State Budget Office hosted a discussion on the state budget and school aid on Monday. The materials from the webinar are available below.
Resource Center
Learning happens outside of the classroom, too! Take a look at the resources below that will keep students and parents engaged when the homework is done, as well as tools that will help school leaders during this unprecedented time.
Saginaw ISD’s Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds
Saginaw ISD shared another issue of its Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds newsletter on Friday.
This issue offers  recipes that won’t break the bank and information regarding the Pandemic EBT Food Assistance Benefits, as well as a link to a fun magazine for kids about healthy eating and nutrition.
Cool Math 4 Kids
The Coolmath network got started in 1997 to make math enjoyable for people who thought it couldn’t be fun. Millions of people over the years have been convinced that cool + math is an equation that makes sense.
Their sites offer math games and activites for students of all ages and their parents.
MASA’s Excutive Order FAQ
We know you have many questions regarding the Executive Order suspending in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year. To help get answers, MASA staff have worked with the governor’s office, Thrun Law Firm, MDE, and other partners to create an FAQ document. This FAQ was shared last week, as well.
These are the most complete answers we have at this time, they should in no way be taken as legal advice or binding. For specific advice, please consult your legal counsel.
#SchoolsGetItDone
A look at the hard work happening in school districts across the state. Use the hashtag #SchoolsGetItDone on Facebook and Twitter and share what your district is doing to support students.
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