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Parent Update – July 24, 2020

Laker Parents,

Plans for the reopening of school this fall will be ready to share with parents sometime early the week of August 3rd. In the interim, I wanted to provide some clarification, a preview of what to expect, and a timeline.

Assuming that we continue to be in Phase 4 of the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan, SLPS will have two options this fall: face-to-face instruction and distance learning. To be clear, our face-to-face plan has all students attending school each day. For parents who elect distance learning, SLPS will offer a largely online K-12 curriculum taught by a certified teacher.

Many questions have come my way about specific aspects of our safety plans so I’m sharing a preview below. These details provide a small glimpse of a much larger effort to keep our students safe.

In terms of our timeline, the plan will go to staff early next week for review and feedback. We then plan to share it with the community on or about August 3rd. The SLPS Board of Education will take action on the plan on August 10th before it gets submitted to the state on or before August 17th.

Finally, look for a survey or two over the next few weeks. In particular, once we’ve published our plan for parent review, we will again ask for a response to your plans for your child in the fall.

I can’t say enough about how hard staff have worked this summer preparing for the various scenarios we may face in the fall. They have been amazing. In addition, thanks to our parents for continually providing us with some patience and space to work through these unprecedented and complex issues.


Dennis Furton, Superintendent

Phase 4-In person Instruction (this is a highlighted sampling of the complete plan)

  • Based on the Governor’s rating for our region
  • Distance learning OR
  • Full in-person instruction with many modifications to promote safety for staff and students.  Modifications include:
    • Masks to be worn by all staff and students
    • Modified schedules for 7th-12th grade including an alternating three-period block schedule that sees only three classes meet per day (limiting exposures/contacts and transitions)
    • Modified schedules for K-6th grades that includes all cohorts (classes) being isolated.  Cohorts have class together, eat together in a modified lunch schedule, have specials together and have a quadrant of the playground for recess, essentially insulating cohorts from each other
    • Promotion of outdoor instruction as deemed appropriate by each teacher
    • Bus and parent drop-off schedules including “just-in-time” drop-offs at all levels to eliminate before/after school congregation
    • PPE in all classrooms, including masks (if requested) for staff and students, face shields for staff, gloves for staff, hand sanitizer in all rooms, as well as enhanced availability of cleaning supplies
    • Two maintenance based staff will be assigned to complete a mid-day cleaning of all touch points and high-traffic areas every day that students are in school
    • All rooms to receive electrostatic cleaning prior to school starting and again as needed during the year
    • Disinfection and “quality” of cleaning is elevated to a top priority.
    • No use of common materials like scissors, highlighters and glue sticks
    • Hand sanitizer and masks required for all bus students.
    • Daily screening procedures for staff and students
    • Traffic signs for directional flow as well as signs promoting practices like handwashing in every building
    • Direct cooperation with the health department to implement recommended identification, testing and tracking protocols.

Phase 3-Remote Instruction

  • Based on the Governor’s rating for our region
  • No students in school,  staff report
  • Instructional and scheduling practices to promote synchronous and asynchronous learning, including:
    • A daily modified schedule developed by committee teams at each level that includes many aspects of increased accountability for all:
      • Attendance
      • Participation
      • Assessment (formative and summative)
      • Instruction
    • Standards aligned curricula
    • Tech support for all stakeholders including devices and support for families who do not have wi-fi access
    • Concrete grading/reporting scales that are more closely aligned with traditional SLPS grading/reporting
    • Mental and Social-Emotional screening
    • Enhanced remote training for staff during PD
    • Daycare for staff with school-aged children in grades K-6


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Spring Lake Public Schools
(616) 846-5500
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