MASA COVID-19 Update – May 4, 2020
Kicking off this new week, we’re sharing the latest updates from MDE – including many guidance documents about Head Start and GSRP.
Also, don’t forget to register for the joint webinar we are hosting with MASSP on Wednesday focused on commencement and other end-of-the-year celebrations. It’s free!
As always, please continue to feel free to share the information in this update with anyone in your organization or network who might find it helpful. 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.
Good luck to those of you who have items on ballots tomorrow.
In this update:
ICYMI: High School Commencement Webinar: “Here’s What/So What/Now What”
As the end of the school year approaches, many school districts are wondering how best to celebrate and recognize their graduating seniors. To support building and district leaders in considering their options for commencement and other end-of-year celebrations, MASA and MASSP are hosting a joint webinar at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6. This FREE event is ideal for superintendents and central office and high school administrators. Teams are encouraged to participate.
During the webinar, MASSP’S Bob Kefgen and Colin Ripmaster will share current COVID-19 data and projection models that may be used to inform district decision-making and planning of commencement and other end-of-year activities given the current Stay Home, Stay Safe restrictions. The presentation will include modeling of possible timelines for loosening social distancing restrictions using the criteria in the White House’s “Open Up America“ plan, alongside state and local hospitalization and infection rate projections. In addition, the presentation will include recommendations for a continuum-based approach to planning that can take into account the fluid situation regarding person-to-person contact, local capacity, priorities of stakeholders, and what might be reasonable and appropriate in one’s local community.
Participants will earn 1 SCECH credit.
MASB Overview of New Executive Order Issued for K-12 Education
This week, MASB and the association’s Legal Counsel/Director of Labor Relations & Policy Brad Banasik, J.D., shared an overview of the the new Executive Order issued for K-12 education.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently rescinded Executive Order No. 2020-35 by issuing Executive Order No. 2020-65. EO 2020-65 is essentially the same order as rescinded EO 2020-35, but it identifies additional sections from the Revised School Code, School Aid Act and other laws that are suspended and waived for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. EO 2020-65 also provides clarification on requirements for early childhood services and providing year-end performance evaluations under the Teachers’ Tenure Act.
MASSP Launches Teacher+ Program
The teacher shortage and a re-investment in career and technical education have brought industry experts into our classrooms with technical expertise but they are often lacking the knowledge of teaching and learning pedagogy commonly acquired in teacher prep programs. MASSP has heard from principals and from teachers in this situation that professional development is needed to provide support for successful instructional practice. MASSP members have also asked for professional development for teachers who have completed a traditional teacher prep program who still have gaps in their practice as well. MASSP’s new Teacher+ program was designed in collaboration principals and instructors to meet the unique needs of these educators.
Teacher+ modules are:
  • Designed around current research and follows a predictable flow consisting of readings, self-reflection, implementation, and goal setting.
  • Individualized feedback is provided on all submissions and adaptations will be made based on the unique needs and circumstances of each educator.
  • Personalized individual or group coaching, collaborating and consulting, via phone and/or email.
  • Modules are competency-based to ensure application of learned content and skills.
Possible applications for T+:
  • For use with non-traditionally certified teachers.
  • To support teachers in years 1-3 who have gaps in their instructional practice.
  • A district or school may want to consider providing T+ for all new hires. Modules could be completed collaboratively as a cohort to ensure consistent practice.
Teacher + is an all online program that is instructor led and can be accessed by teachers statewide. Research tells us teachers improve with feedback so online PD that is not instructor led is likely to have very little impact.  MASSP’s Steve Seward will provide the feedback needed to grow instructional practice and confidence in the classroom.
  • MASSP is offering an introductory rate of $100 per module.
  • 20 SECEHs will be awarded upon successful completion (included in the price).
  • Badging micro-credentials will also be awarded (included in the price).
Learn more about this exciting new program in an informational webinar scheduled for Tuesday, May 5 at 1 pm. Here is the link for convenient registration.
The webinar will be recorded and posted on the Teacher+ page on the MASSP website.
Latest MDE Updates
MDE this week shared several updates and guidance documents. To make sure you have the resources you need, we’ve compiled a list of some of their most recent updates below.
Inclusion of Section 32p and Section 32p(4) During Creation and Implementation of Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Response Plans
Executive Order 2020-65 states that in-person K–12 instruction, Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) program delivery, and early childhood programs are suspended for the remainder of 2019–2020 school year and requires development and implementation of a plan for learning at a distance. The requirement in this executive order to suspend all in-person instruction applies also to in-person Great Start Collaboratives (GSC) and Great Start Parent Coalitions (GSPC) meetings, Section 32p funded early childhood programming, and Section 32p(4) funded home visiting services for the remainder of the grant year, or until Executive Order 2020-65 is lifted and in-person/face-to-face interactions may resume, whichever occurs earlier. Read the memo from MDE on this topic.
COVID-19 and the Head Start Community
COVID-19 has strongly affected all Head Start and Early Head Start programs, enrolled children, their families, and their communities. In response to COVID-19, guidance and resources from the federal Office of Head Start (OHS) within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can be found online at the Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC), COVID-19 and the Head Start Community. MDE shared a memo this morning with resources and guidance about this program.
Inclusion of Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) in Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Response Plans
MDE’s Office of Great Start/Preschool and Out-of-School Time Learning has received a number of inquiries regarding suspension of in-person instruction and school building closures and the impact on the implementation of the GSRP, Sections 32d and 39 of the State School Aid Act. MDE shared a memo on the topic today to provide guidance.
Implementation of Early On During Implementation of Continuity of Learning and COVID-19 Response Plan
Executive Order 2020-65 states that in-person K–12 instruction, GSRP program delivery, and early childhood programs are suspended for the remainder of 2019–2020 school year and requires development and implementation of a plan for learning at a distance. The requirement in this executive order to suspend all in-person instruction applies also to Early On (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C) for infants and toddlers (both for children eligible for Part C Only and for children eligible for Part C with Michigan Mandatory Special Education (MMSE) services). Read the memo from MDE on this topic.
Global Classroom Event Tuesday
Science educators are invited to the world’s first “Global Classroom” focused on COVID-19 on Tuesday. The event is being organized by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, FIFA, and the Independent Schools Association of the UK. This may make a nice addition to your parent and community newsletters.
This hour-long virtual event will take place at 11:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, May 5, and is the first of seven Global Classroom events. Click to Join.
Discussions will focus on some common things youth can do at home to understand the science of COVID-19 and what they can do to use this science to protect themselves and others.
In addition, on May 15, the Smithsonian will release the module called “COVID-19! How can I protect myself and others?” which will take youth through 7 experiments/activities they can do at home to better understand the science (and social science) of COVID-19. The module will be freely available in 20+ languages and will be disseminated nationally and globally by WHO, UNICEF, the Smithsonian, and the InterAcademy Partnership (the world’s collaboration among 130 national academies of sciences, engineering, and medicine).
ICYMI: MASA’s Executive 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 has been shared in the resource center 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.
Resource Center
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.
U.S Head Start Resources
COVID-19 has deeply impacted Head Start and Early Head Start programs, enrolled children and families, and their communities. To help, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC) created a resource page to help all programs support staff, children, and families.
The page is regularly updated.
NSPRA Communications Resources
The spread of the COVID-19 is an ongoing issue for public health officials, but it also presents operational and communication challenges for school systems.
The National School Public Relations Assocation (NSPRA) has compiled helpful tips, resources and news items to assist school communicators and administrators in communicating about coronavirus-related preparation steps, response efforts and emergencies.
AASA: Emergency Management, School Safety and Crisis Planning Resources
AASA, the national superintendents association, recognizes your concerns about the encroaching spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its potential impact on schools, and aims to provide the best, most up-to-date information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To help educators during this time of school closure, AASA created a resource page with communications resources, guidance on special education and food service, webinars, help with crisis planning and so much more.
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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