As we look back at the last few months and look forward to what our future can be for our students, we see opportunity. We have received many inquiries for families regarding the start of the school year and what options will be available for students. We want to assure you that we are working on multiple scenarios to meet the needs of the students and families of Mason. The emergency response the district made to distance learning for students due to the COVID-19 closure was developed rapidly and under unprecedented conditions. We are unsure if COVID-19 will close our schools again, and we want to be prepared for all eventualities to meet the needs of our parents and students.
We sent out a survey to all families last week and quickly began receiving feedback. Thank you for your responses. If you have not completed the survey, please do so by July 1 so that we can take your feedback into consideration along with guidance provided to us by the State, Ingham ISD, and Mason staff. One area of increased interest for some parents is full remote instruction. This may not be right for every family, but we will have a full remote option for those who are interested. Mason Public Schools is already planning for a remote option and looking at best practices to interact with students and families. The final remote plan we develop will depend on the number of families interested and the grades in which our students will participate. For instance, if the majority of those interested in remote instruction are in high school, it may look a little different from a remote model for those who are in elementary or middle school.
Based on the Governor’s and legislature’s recent guidance, we expect to return to face-to-face instruction in the fall. We also want to have options for families who still share concerns about face-to-face instruction. The Governor has stated face-to-face instruction can return in Phase 4 with safety precautions in place. Much of this depends on the phase our region is in with the MI Safe Start plan. We are currently in Phase 4. The Governor’s “Return to Learn” Task Force expects to deliver some requirements to schools on June 30 and those will be important to our planning. In addition, we will work with the Michigan Department of Education to gain waivers to provide flexible options for families, based on the laws in our state.
These two groups will play a role in how we plan and deliver the best options for our families and staff. Our staff is currently working on this and will continue throughout the summer. We understand that families need to plan for the fall as well. We hope to share more with families by mid-July. Mason is an amazing community filled with people who are willing to work together. During my tenure as superintendent of Mason Public Schools, I’ve seen it first-hand in so many ways especially over the past few months with our community’s response to the health crisis. If you have any questions, please reach out so we can address them as we continue to build a stronger, smarter, safer Mason.
Ronald Drzewicki, Ed.S.