Dexter return to school update

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Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

| 2 min | from Dexter Community Schools Superintendent, Dr. Chris Timmis |

Dear DCS Families and Staff,

Thank you for your patience and continued support as we all move through this summer trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and preparing for school this fall. I’m writing today to share the next steps in preparation for school this fall.  

The DCS planning team has been reviewing the MI Safe Schools:  Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap along with guidance from school attorneys, education associations, and experts in the field to begin finalizing plans for the fall.  Just today, the county Superintendents and administrators met with the Washtenaw County Health Department to gain final insights as we prepare our draft plans.  

The requirement for all Michigan schools and school districts create three Preparedness Plans related to the Phase in the Michigan Safe Start Plan our region of the state is classified.  For example, our region of the State is currently in Phase 4.  The requirement for school districts is to create a Preparedness Plan for Phase 3, Phase 4, and Phase 5.  Under Phase 3, all schools must provide only remote instruction.  In Phase 4, schools can create models for in-person instruction with the more stringent required safety protocols.  In Phase 5, in-person instruction is permitted with moderate required safety protocols.  All plans are due by August 15, 2020.  Our current timeline is to have draft plans ready for community input in late July/early August.  We will then revise the plans into a form for DCS Board of Education approval at the August 10th BOE meeting with the intention to submit prior to the August 15th deadline.  

Next week, we will send a survey to all families to serve as a “snapshot” of what families are thinking with regard to school programming options for the fall.  DCS currently has a full online program for students and will offer this program to any family interested in this learning option for the fall.  DCS will also work to create in-person instruction options for both Phase 4 and Phase 5 with the required restrictions.  The survey is not an official “sign-up” for any programs.  It is merely a snapshot to help us gauge the thinking of our parents as of July.  Please take the next several days and talk in your homes about your preferred educational setting for your child this fall so we can collect accurate information with next week’s survey.

DCS is scheduled to begin school on September 8th.  We chose not to begin before Labor Day.  While many school districts across the state and in the local area chose to start prior to Labor Day, I would not be surprised to see this start date pushed back given the situation we are all navigating through in preparation for education this fall.   

Thank you for your continued support of DCS and the support of each other.  Please wear a mask so our kids can play sports this fall, pursue their musical passions, and return to school with their friends.  

Take care and Go Dreads!

Chris