Dexter Community Schools look to get back in classrooms

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From Dexter Community Schools:

January 4, 2021

Dear DCS Families, Students and Staff,

Thank you for your continued trust and patience as we continue to provide a safe learning environment for our students, staff, and families. Please take the time to read this entire email. Our plans to phase students back into the buildings for in-person learning this month are as follows:

  • Anchor/Beacon/Wylie/Creekside students will begin their A/B day hybrid schedule on Monday, January 11th. The schedule will be the same as what students were following in October and November.
  • Mill Creek students will begin their A/B day hybrid schedule on Monday, January 25th.
  • DHS and Ceriani students will begin their A/B day hybrid schedule on Thursday, January 28th.

Details regarding each schedule:

  • Young 5’s through 6th grade students will move back to A/B day hybrid schedules on Monday, January 11th. A-day students will attend M/Th from 9-2. B-day students will attend Tu/F from 9-2. Buildings and teachers will share detailed schedules for each class with parents late this week. A/B day assignments will remain the same as they were in November. Parents of students at Anchor/Beacon/Wylie/Creekside who wish to switch from Homebased to Homeroom are asked to contact the building principal between January 13th - 15th. This will provide the principals the week of January 18th to plan and make class changes with a student who moves from homebased to homeroom to start in their new class on January 25th.
  • Mill Creek students will begin on an A/B day hybrid schedule on Monday, January 25th. A-day students will attend M/Th from 9-2. B-day students will attend Tu/F from 9-2. Buildings and teachers will share detailed schedules for each class with parents late this week. 7th grade students will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the building during the week of January 19th. Details will be communicated by Mill Creek administrators and teachers at the end of next week. A/B day assignments were shared with families last month.
  • DHS students will begin on an A/B day hybrid schedule on Thursday, January 28th. 9th grade students will be given an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the building during the week of January 19th. Details will be communicated for 9th grade students at the end of next week. All DHS students will be notified if they are assigned A or B days late this week. If high school students need to change from an A or B day due to child care of a younger sibling, please contact Ken Koenig at koenigk@dexterschools.org . Changes to align siblings will only be made at the high school level. We cannot change other building A/B assignments.
  • Preschool-aged students will continue in session, as scheduled.
  • Athletics will follow MDHHS orders and MHSAA requirements. Currently, winter sports are on hold until January 15th.
  • After care resumes for Y5-6th grade students on January 11, 2021 on in-person days only from 2:00 - 5:45 pm. After care is not provided on Wednesdays.
  • Background and rationale for staggering dates for hybrid phasing into buildings:
    • We initially planned to move to 4 days/week for Y5-6 grade students prior to moving middle and high school students into a hybrid schedule. This decision was based on information available in August. At this time, we believe we can safely educate all of our buildings in a hybrid but cannot adequately provide for safety protocols with 100% of our students in the building each day.
    • Ideally, we would have liked to bring all of our students back at the same time but we are still struggling with staffing challenges. By staggering the building starts from Y5-6 and 7-12, we are able to more fluidly work through the staffing and provide a little more time to hire staff.
    • The week of January 18th is not the ideal week to phase in 7th - 12th grade students. Monday 1/18 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and we are not in session. Thursday and Friday of that week are scheduled half days. Details on the week are included below. Meanwhile, the semester ends on Friday, January 22nd.
    • On Tuesday, January 26th, DHS is hosting the PSAT for many of our students. This is a national test date that we do not control. Unfortunately, we cannot meet the test requirements and spacing for the test while also running what would be the first day of a group of students entering the building. As a result, we are moving the first day for DHS students to begin their hybrid to the 28th in order to safely facilitate the many demands for space and staff in the building.
  • We are still significantly short bus drivers. We ask that parents please consider driving your child to/from school (if possible) in order to avoid overcrowding on buses as we consolidate routes. If you are interested or know anyone who would like to work for DCS, please contact hr@dexterschools.org .

We also need to hire a number of substitute teachers, paraeducators, custodians, preschool teachers, and other staff. If you are interested, please contact hr@dexterschools.org. FYI - Educators are early on the list for vaccinations.

Every year, January is a choppy month for the flow of school days. In order to provide clarity for parents, here’s a summary of the week of January 18th:

  • January 18th - No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • January 19th - Y5-6 B-group students in-person 9 - 2 p.m. Remote students - normal Tuesday schedule.
  • January 20th - Normal Wednesday Schedule for Y5 - 8. DHS students will follow their Monday schedule.
  • January 21st - Y5 - 6 A-group students in-person from 9-noon. Remote students follow the schedule in all grades as communicated by their teacher. Y5 - 6 parent-teacher conferences in pm.
  • January 22nd - Y5 - 6 B group students in-person from 9-noon. Remote students follow the schedule in all grades as communicated by their teacher. Y5 - 6 parent-teacher conferences in pm.

Safety Concern for All Parents to Read: There has been an increase of sextortian cases involving teenage students throughout the state and country. Please read the following warning from the State Attorney General’s Office and talk with your children about safety on the internet: AG Nessel, School Leaders Warn Parents and Students to Beware of "Sextortion"

Thank you for your continued support, take care, and Go Dreads!

Sincerely,

Christopher Timmis, EdD

Superintendent

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