COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE
Dear GPPSS Families, Staff and Students,
First, I want to express my profound appreciation for our staff and students who have remotely engaged on learning tasks for these past three weeks, during the school building closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I continue to be proud to work with such a dedicated group of educators and students.
Earlier today Governor Whitmer issued an extensive executive order that provided direction to all of us regarding how school will occur for the remainder of the school year. If you want to read her entire order you can at this link.
Over the week of spring break our administrative team will carefully review not only that document, but the expected regulations regarding this order provided by the Michigan Department of Education and Wayne RESA. I anticipate that by later next week we will have more clarity regarding this situation, but at this time based on the order from the Governor I believe the following to be true:
- GPPSS will develop a Continuity of Learning Plan, subject to approval by WRESA, that will provide a roadmap for how instruction will continue for GPPSS students through the end of this school year. That instruction will occur remotely, unless the Governor deems it safe to physically return to school.
- All GPPSS students, including our students with special needs, will receive services as determined by our Continuity of Learning Plan.
- Students and teachers will continue to work together and learn together through the end of this school year. In other words, school is not over (even for our seniors)!
- GPPSS will continue food distribution to families as we have done since the start of this situation.
- GPPSS staff will continue to work and be compensated through the end of this school year.
While at this time I believe the above to be true, we still have many unknowns as we continue down this path. The following are just some of the items that require more clarity. Some of this clarity will be provided to us by MDE and WRESA, other elements of this clarity will be identified by GPPSS during the coming weeks. Below are a list of some of the items I am most often asked about and my current thinking regarding each:
- Student recognition and transitions - While this shutdown has impacted all of us, certainly our students anticipating a transition, especially our seniors, have been profoundly affected. While I don’t know at this time the details, GPPSS is committed to recognizing our students transitioning either within our district or to the next step in their life.
- Grading, credits and student grade promotion - We need to identify exactly how each student’s hard work will be recognized and noted, while also recognizing that some of our traditional practices around awarding grades will have to change. During the coming weeks administration and teachers will be working on these important questions. The one guarantee you have from me regarding this issue is that the work our students have done, and the work they will be doing through the end of the school year, will matter, be valued and count.
- Student and staff access to building - Since school abruptly closed, both staff and students have not been allowed to return to our buildings. An initial review of the governor’s order seems to indicate that in some instances staff can return to buildings when Stay At Home ends. We will work to obtain more clarity on this issue. Students and families are still prohibited via the governor’s order from returning to our school buildings or property for any reason.
Our administrators will be partnering with our teachers and other staff members to obtain more clarity and to create clearer expectations for staff and students in the coming weeks. I’m hoping to have more concrete information for you later next week.
Together GPPSS can do this! Stay Home - Stay Safe - Save Lives
Gary C. Niehaus
Planning for the short and long-term
On March 13th, our teachers had one day to convert to online instruction. While we have all experienced challenges, including Schoology adjusting to exponentially increased use across the nation, overall I have been astounded by the work of our students and staff. Thank you for staying the course.
Thank you for being patient as teachers and administrators jump into teaching remotely, often juggling the needs of their families at the same time. Keep the photos and suggestions for balance and humor coming, and keep that line of communication open with your teachers, administrators and me. Tell us how we can continue to improve as we move from our first goal of making it successfully to this Friday and the start of spring break, to the end of April or longer.
GPPSS will continue to learn. Our community values education, and while there are many unknowns as we move forward we know this:
- 100% of our teachers are participating and offer online and remote learning opportunities
- Student participation is impressive with some secondary buildings only having less than 10 students not actively participating. Teachers, counselors and administrators will continue to reach out to reduce barriers and track involvement by class and school, focusing on balance and the mental and physical health of students first. Our goal is 100% involvement for students and staff
- 3,335 meals were served from March 13-27 through our partnership with Chartwells and we thank them for their extraordinary effort that continues every Tuesday 10-1 at Poupard Elementary, 20655 Lennon (including being open next week during spring break)
- 753 technology devices were checked out by families for online instruction
- Our district made its second collection of gloves, gowns, goggles, masks and sanitizer for local hospitals and hospice
- Essential work of the district - including board meetings and enrollment - continues using virtual platforms
Recognizing transitions and milestones
No matter what the Governor announces about closing school buildings or social distancing mandates, please know we are thinking about how this impacts our students’ mental and physical health. I cannot guarantee traditional ceremonies or set dates for when these might happen, but please know this rests heavy on our hearts. We are thinking of those transitioning to kindergarten, new buildings, middle school, high school and graduation. And we are working on ways to make some of these most anticipated events special, even if timing and details remain up in the air. We welcome your input and involvement.
While we do not have all the answers, we appreciate your partnership. Families are doing an amazing job balancing school and family stresses. We are here for you, and we cannot tell you how much your kind words of support have meant to our staff and teachers. Our mission has never been so realized:
Promote Innovation → Maximize Potential → Embrace Community
Gary C. Niehaus
Feedback from families has been overwhelmingly positive. Students continue to learn through a variety of formats, and families and staff are sharing more comfort with their new normal. Thank you all for partnering with us. We especially thank you for helping students find a healthy balance. Staff will continue to reach out to students as we all remain focused on what’s best for kids.
GPPSS special education staff will continue to provide instruction and support in every way possible during this time. Our students with IEP's are being provided access to the curriculum, focused on deficit areas identified by their IEP's, accommodations, and reasonable and appropriate communication and collaborative efforts by their teachers. We will assess the next level of support, and ongoing student individual needs as we move to April 13, 2020. Take care and stay healthy.
Stefanie Hayes, Sue Lucchese, Lillie Loder, and Lisa Dougherty
Special Education Administration
Food Tuesdays 10-1 at Poupard
As a reminder, food service is being reduced to a weekly pick-up on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Poupard Elementary School, 20655 Lennon. This is being done to minimize exposure for all concerned yet still keep our students fed. Please bring a box, bag or wagon to take home a week’s supply of breakfast and lunch.
Playgrounds closed for safety
All of the city and GPPSS playgrounds are closed. The coronavirus can live on the equipment for days. Our buildings and grounds staff are staying safe, staying home so they cannot sanitize between families. Please keep your family safe. Other options: take a walk, ride a bike, play catch in your yard, play music or just come outside on your porch each night at 6 p.m. to socialize safely with neighbors.
A sense of community
GPPSS donated safety goggles, gloves and masks from our middle school science departments to Henry Ford Health System. Parcells teacher Chris Geerer made that connection. And shortly after that, our special education and buildings & grounds departments made a second donation of face shields, masks, gowns and gloves to St. John Ascension. This is a wonderful community blessed with top notch health systems. We are grateful to be able to share in order to help keep the front lines safe. You can see a photo of some of the donated goods on our Twitter @GPSchools and Facebook @GPPSS accounts.
What if I missed the District newsletter Partners in Learning?
Twice a year GPPSS distributes its Partners in Learning newsletter to every home within the district as an insert in the Grosse Pointe News. Inside the spring issue is a pull-out guide highlighting bond activities to date. Please disregard the Gold Card Calendar as it was sent to the publisher before COVID. A link is posted on the district website under Headlines if you missed the print newsletter.
GPFPE and GPPSS on WJR
The Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education and GPPSS were featured March 25th on The Children’s Foundation’s monthly radio show #CaringForKids! Listen to the interview now at: http://wjr.com/kids. Thank you to Robert Bury, President of the GPFPE, and Keith Howell, GPPSS Director of Pre-K-Elementary Instruction, for sharing our story. Mr. Howell stressed how important soft skills are to "support and build resiliency in kids." The GPFPE has supported implementation of the character-building program Leader in Me at every one of our elementary schools. In these times, it may be helpful to connect virtually with an elementary student you know and ask them about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
- Be Proactive
- Begin With the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
Best Practices from the CDC: Keeping the home safe
- Clean hands at the door and at regular intervals
- Create habits and reminders to avoid touching their face and cover coughs and sneezes
- Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, and handrails regularly
- Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
Households with vulnerable seniors or those with significant underlying conditions
(Significant underlying conditions include heart, lung, kidney disease; diabetes; and conditions that suppress the immune system)
- Have the healthy people in the household conduct themselves as if they were a significant risk to the person with underlying conditions. For example, wash hands frequently before interacting with the person, such as by feeding or caring for the person
- If possible, provide a protected space for vulnerable household members
- Ensure all utensils and surfaces are cleaned regularly
Households with sick family members
- Give sick members their own room if possible, and keep the door closed
- Have only one family member care for them
- Consider providing additional protections or more intensive care for household members over 65 years old or with underlying conditions
What happened at the first totally virtual Board of Education meeting?
The first virtual Board meeting went well and you can view it online or on Channel 20 running at 10am and 7 pm this week. All of the agenda actions items passed including the minutes from the meeting March 9, the human resources report, and the projects for this summer at Monteith, Parcells and South. Also approved were the IT Backup System, the Monteith first floor lockers, the resolution for designation of a school safety liaison, and Bylaw 0181.1 modification or suspension of bylaws during States of Emergency (allowing us to hold a totally virtual meeting). Approved on first read were a bid for public announcement and clock systems, and a bid for bond computer devices. The devices allow us to move away from computer labs and replace desktop computers; they also meet state testing requirements when that resumes (more on that below). Under Info and Discussion, the board discussed a Turner Construction fees and cost recommendation, as well as a TEC Environmental Consultant recommendation. The monthly check register and financials were presented as usual. Public comments were submitted via a google form and read aloud. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 13 and is also scheduled to be virtual as it falls within the timeframe of the Governor’s order to Stay Safe, Stay Home.
Spring Break April 6-10
GPPSS will be keeping its regularly scheduled spring break as the week of April 6-10. This means teachers and students will not be working. There will be no new assignments or due dates within that window. Although if your family is like ours it will also be a great opportunity to catch up. Thank you to all our students, staff and parents who are doing an amazing job keeping learning alive and well in GPPSS.
Young Fives (March 31) and Kindergarten (May 1) deadlines approaching
GPPSS has revised its enrollment process to delay residency verification, but the deadlines for the online pre-enrollment still stand. To be in the April 1 lottery for Young Fives you must pre-register by March 31. And Kindergarten families must pre-register online by May 1 to ensure placement in their 2020 neighborhood school.
What is the Testing Update - through U.S. Department of Ed to our Michigan legislature
State Board of Education President Dr. Casandra Ulbrich and State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on March 17, to urge the secretary to grant a nationwide waiver of statewide student assessments in favor of focusing on the more immediate needs of children. The U.S. Department of Education responded last Friday by offering every state the opportunity to submit expedited waiver requests for a number of federal testing and accountability requirements. MDE submitted its formal waiver request late Friday afternoon.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Education heard our call to waive the federal requirement for statewide student testing,” Dr. Rice said. “We now need the Michigan legislature to amend state law that requires statewide testing and accountability.” Michigan’s legislature is scheduled to meet Wednesday, 3/25.
The College Board also announced that Advanced Placement tests, scheduled to be administered in May, will be offered to students online for the 2019–20 exam administration due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on free online learning sources and home testing updates, the College Board provides updates here:
What is the best way to care for tech devices during COVID?
- Step 1: Power off the Device. You will be applying liquid solutions to your Chromebook, so powering it off is a must.
- Step 2: Remove any accessories or plug-ins such as cases, USBs, and headphones. These should be wiped down as well (especially headphones).
- Step 3: Clean the screen with an LCD-safe solution applied to a microfiber cloth. Strong alcohols can eat away the coating on LCD screens. *Note a damp microfiber cloth does well with cleaning screens.
- Step 4: Clean the Keyboard and other non-screen parts. Clorox wipes (mild bleach wipes) can be used on the keyboard and all the other non-screen parts. The wipe should be “squeezed” so that it does NOT over-saturate the keyboard (make sure to let the keyboards dry before you close the lids).
- *Never spray anything on a computer. Remember to “wring out” any saturated wipes prior to using on a Chromebook.
- **Although microfiber is not technically a disinfectant, it is effective in removing germs and bacteria. However, it does need to be washed regularly.
Having a tech issue? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 313-432-3131 (please leave a voicemail) and our help desk team will respond as soon as possible.
What can we do to promote physical health at home?
Our physical education teachers developed this Online PE packet to “Sharpen the Saw” with activities families can do at home. Sharpen the Saw is one of the Seven Habits from the Leader in Me character education program adopted by all of our elementary schools with the generous support of the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education. Thank you www.gpfpe.org! There is a daily calendar and a weekly activity log. Please adjust as we learn more about social distancing.
How can we share what we’re doing at home?
Our teachers and support staff miss your smiling face. Be sure to post photos with the hashtag #OneGP or tag us on Facebook @GPPSS and Twitter @GPSchools. Tell us what your student is enjoying. Share organizational strategies working for your family. But more than anything, help us to connect remotely.
Dear GPPSS Families, Staff and Students,
First, I want to again thank you for your efforts to support our community and students during this unprecedented time. As I'm sure you are aware, earlier today Governor Whitmer issued an executive order that takes effect tomorrow morning. The order does a variety of important things, but one of the outcomes of this order is that the earliest we will be returning to regular face-to-face operation as a school district is Tuesday, April 14th. We will continue to monitor information from the State of Michigan and will adjust our school plans accordingly.
Virtual Board Meeting 3/23
Consistent with direction from the governor and to ensure that the School Board Meeting scheduled for tonight, Monday, March 23rd at 7 p.m. is as safe as possible, the meeting has been moved to a 100% virtual format. The meeting will not physically be occurring at Brownell. You can watch the meeting via Livestream (or go to www.gpschools.org and under the School Board dropdown, click Watch the Meeting) or on Channel 20 the week after the meeting is concluded. If you would like to make a formal public comment you are welcome to do so via a Google Form Public Comments (Click Here). The form will go live at 6:45 p.m. Comments that are submitted will be read aloud at the meeting by the administration during the action item and non-action item comment sections of the Board Meeting Agenda.
Food Services reduced for safety
We have decided to edit the meal serving times and locations in order to minimize exposure to our associates, the public, and the school buildings themselves. New serving times this week:
- Days: Wednesday 3/25 and Friday 3/27
- Times: 10am-1pm
- Location: Poupard ONLY at 20655 Lennon in Harper Woods
- Food service is suspended at Defer as of Monday 3/23, due to low usage and staffing. This week we will continue service at Poupard on Wednesday 3/25 & Friday 3/27 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. only.
- Starting next week food will be distributed from Poupard on Tuesday 3/31 only 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Chartwells will be prepared to distribute 7 days of food that Tuesday.
We will continue to communicate with you as we learn more information.
Gary C. Niehaus, Superintendent
March 20 Stay the Course
Dear GPPSS Students, Faculty and Community,
First, I want to commend each of you for the flexibility and passion you’ve shown this past week as we’ve navigated these unprecedented times. Earlier today the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) published a Memo that addresses fairly technical aspects of pupil accounting and state funding, including student clock hours and instructional days. This memo by the Michigan Department of Education appears to be an effort to apply political pressure on the State Legislature and the Governor, neither of whom have addressed these important issues. I would encourage you as faculty, students and parents, to stay the course. I believe this will be resolved in the political arena in Lansing.
To that end, the following is my commitment to you:
- The work you are doing as students, teachers and parents matters and should continue.
- Staff will continue to be compensated, per our collective bargaining agreements and commitment to our valued adults.
- Student work will count. We know that we owe all of our students, especially our upperclassmen ‘credit’ for their hard work so that it applies to colleges, etc.
At this time, please continue to do what you have been doing.
If you as a parent, student or faculty member want to support us and our kids, reach out to your legislators and demand a solution that is student focused and values the work all of our community has done all year, including the past week. Specifically, advocate that the 180 day requirement and 1098 clock hours be ‘forgiven’ as it would be for a snow day, so that we can continue to provide remote learning opportunities that matter for our kids.
Minute by Minute and Day by Day
Everyone wants answers. Some decisions GPPSS will get to make. Other answers are being given to us from the Michigan Department of Education, Governor Whitmer, and the Michigan Department of Health.
No Answer Yet
We did not get an answer on “forgiveness days” on the 180 day school year or 75% attendance to count as a school day. The Michigan Legislature is coming back to Lansing on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, for another legislative session.
We don’t know if schools will remain shut, or for how long. We do know that the Governor has Michigan schools closed until April 6, 2020. The Wayne County Superintendents unanimously plan to honor Spring Break.
We do know that Kansas, California and New York have closed their schools for the balance of the school year. We believe Michigan will consider closing for longer than April 6, 2020. The Michigan legislature will determine the number of days of forgiveness or potentially for the school year.
We do know that promotion and graduation are on the Governor and Michigan Legislative agenda. Until we know the days forgiven, the promotion and graduation question will remain open. GPPSS will do everything we can to make promotion and graduation happen following guidelines from the state.
We know our GPPSS teachers have given their all to make online learning work. We thank our administrative team for their support and suggestions. We appreciate the help and support from our parents as we all partner to educate our community’s children. These are uncharted waters. We need to stay flexible and ready.
Here is what we know today
The Michigan Department of Health has ramped up the Coronavirus testing, so we will continue to see a spike in the number of positive results. Please keep the increase of tests in perspective as we see the number of positive Coronavirus tests being reported. Keep practicing social distancing and hand washing.
We do know the Michigan Department of Education asked the United States Department of Education about assessments. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year. Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year. GPPSS would not be taking the State assessments this school year if the federal waiver is approved by the United States Department of Education.
Advanced Placement Testing
The College Board also announced that Advanced Placement tests, scheduled to be administered in May, will be offered to students online for the 2019–20 exam administration due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on free online learning sources and home testing updates, the College Board provides updates here:
The Michigan Department of Education memo today also led to a number of other questions.
Will online learning count?
We did get an answer on whether we could convert online learning days for a day of instruction.
The message below is what GPPSS was sent at 11:05 a.m. on 3/20/20 regarding instructional hours, moments before it hit the press.
Instructional Time During School Closure
Following the closure of all elementary and secondary school buildings on March 16, 2020 (pursuant to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-5), the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has received questions regarding instructional time during the school closure period. The purpose of this memo is to answer those questions.
* To access all COVID-19 Updates, go to the MDE website at www.michigan.gov/mde.
We do know the Michigan Department of Education has described “supplemental” instruction as recommended, but according to the guidelines shared is not graded. We do know that we have had an opportunity to do our best with online learning. We are meeting that challenge head on as we provide meaningful instruction and feedback to our students. Our GPPSS teachers have been awesome in their development of online instruction. Our GPPSS students have been engaged and ready to make it work as well. Until we know more, we ask you to stay the course.
We do know that we cannot trade online learning days for the mandated 180 school days. This is a “seat time” application that needs the Michigan Department of Education approval from the start of the school year. Seat time is the requirement that there are 180 student days and 1098 hours of instruction in a school year.
The bottom line: Do what’s best for kids
We know our parents expect the very best education for their children. Working together we can keep students learning as this situation develops and decisions are made. We ask you to share your thoughts. Reach out to legislators, the governor, our state and national board of education -- make sure our voices are heard. We need them to support our schools. Our district is doing everything we can to ensure our students continue to be engaged and learn.
We also know that now is not the time to panic or throw our hands up in defeat. This is a time when we show who we are and what we value. We value education. We value mental and physical health. We value our community. We will get through this. GPPSS will continue to do what’s right for kids. Please be patient with us - and the best teachers in the state - as we determine a path forward.
March 19 Update
Statewide Coronavirus Hotline — (888) 535-6136
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a statewide hotline to respond to your health-related questions about COVID-19. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public health and other experts will answer your questions and direct you to the resources available in your local communities and in other state government departments.
Social Distancing does not have to mean Social Isolation
You’ve likely all seen our messages asking people not to meet up for playgroups or sports practices, or to play on the playground together. Minimizing contact truly can help flatten the curve. But it doesn’t mean we have to feel isolated. Today’s challenge (stolen from South’s video message to families and staff): reach out to 5 people. Text a friend to check on them. Email a thank you to a teacher or student who is doing great work as we adjust to a new learning platform. Post on social media a thank you to our buildings and grounds crew working to clean and disinfect our buildings. Leave a voicemail for a neighbor or grandparent. Send a letter to a friend in an assisted living environment that cannot receive visitors now. Write a chalk message of hope for people walking their dogs.
How can I access Technology?
You can sign a contract and check out a device at
- 389 St. Clair, TONIGHT Thursday 3/19, from 4-7 p.m., or
- Poupard Elementary, 20655 Lennon, Harper Woods this Friday 3/20, from 8-10 a.m.
- If neither of these dates and times work, please complete this google form to obtain a device at a later date
- Parent tech questions can be directed to 313-432-3131 (please leave a voicemail) or email email@example.com
Where can I get Food? UPDATED
Please help us spread the word and take advantage of free breakfast and lunch 10 a.m.-1 p.m. every Tuesday at
- Poupard Elementary, 20655 Lennon, Harper Woods
- You can pick up a week's worth of meals at a time to minimize exposure
- There is no charge
PREVIOUS FAQ RESPONSES
Where can I find tips for:
Mental Health - Kids for Peace (from self-care to schedules to fun family activities)
Physical Health - COVID Curbside Screening Guidelines
What will assessment of second semester learning look like?
As was shared with teachers Friday, March 13, our goal is to prepare age level appropriate remote learning for students for an unknown amount of time, to the best of our ability, given the resources we have.
Our staff has been working hard to create online instruction that includes the following:
- Introduction of new content, continuation of content, and/or review of content
- Opportunities for students to grapple with the content
- Student assessment (formative and/or summative)
Student learning will be assessed, but particularly in this time where teachers do not have face-to-face contact with students, we do not wish to place an emphasis on grading. To that end, we are adjusting the secondary marking period to combine third and fourth quarter grades, with a final assessment. There is an expectation that 100% of students will participate in remote learning.
We will continue to promote asynchronous learning where students have the ability to work on assignments and receive new material at their own time.
Is there an update on athletics?
There should be no organized coach-led or student-led practices until further notice. In addition, any winter sport postseason banquets should be canceled given the circumstances. All MHSAA winter tournaments and spring contests are postponed, as well as all trips throughout the end of the school year. We encourage students to continue conditioning individually; students should NOT be meeting in groups to practice/condition.
How do I verify residency?
If you have a student currently in fourth, fifth or eighth grade (entering middle or high school next fall), please wait to verify residency until normal business operations resume.
How do I enroll a new student?
If you are new to the district or have a child entering Young Fives or Kindergarten next fall, please complete the online pre-registration here. For Young Fives, do this by March 31. For Kindergarten, complete pre-enrollment by May 1. We will reach out to you to complete the residency verification process once GPPSS resumes regular business operations. If you have a question, call 313-432-3083 and someone will get back to you within 48 hours.
What if our family needs another technology device? UPDATED
With a few days of remote learning under our belts, and over 540 devices checked out to date from our school, a few families have reached out saying they need an additional device as they have multiple students in their household. You can complete an additional acceptable use contract and check out another device:
- 4-7 p.m. Thursday, 3/19 at the Administration Building, 389 St. Clair, or
- 8-10 a.m., Friday, 3/20 in the Poupard Lobby, 20655 Lennon
- If neither of these dates and times work, please complete this google form to obtain a device at a later date.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 313-432-3131 for assistance with technology issues
How can parents obtain technology assistance?
If parents are having trouble logging into Schoology or MiStar, here is the URL to the ParentPortal login page. Click on the "Need Your Login Information?" that you see just below the "Log in" button in the upper left. Or please have them contact Parent Connect at 313-432-3131 (please leave a voicemail) or email email@example.com.
What if I haven’t heard from my child’s teacher?
Please know we are working as fast as we can to provide various methods of instruction that are appropriate for all our students. That said, have your secondary student check Schoology and their district email address. Communication is coming from teacher to student at the secondary level. One easy step: please ensure that all students have their notifications turned on for Schoology as everything will be housed there. For younger students, email the teacher directly. Every GPPSS employee uses the same email formula: first 6 letters of last name + first initial @gpschools.org (example: firstname.lastname@example.org).
How do I find my Child’s Log-In?
To get your student's log-in, go to MiStar Parent Portal. Once you click on your child's profile, you can find their log-in info. Their student ID and login will be right at the top under Student LogIn Information. If you cannot remember your parent log-in, here is the URL to the ParentPortal login page. After using this link below, click on the "Need Your Login Information?" that you see just below the "Log in" button in the upper left.
How do I access online library resources?
This video focuses on accessing our online library resources from home.
https://youtu.be/ra1uwddkPh8. You can access library resources 24/7:
- Elementary: bit.ly/ElemLibGPPSS
- Middle & High School: bit.ly/SecLibGPPSS
Library card numbers (required for access to GPPL tools like Hoopla and BookFlix) will be available to elementary families and secondary students by emailings building library media specialists or PataA@gpschools.org.
Can I still buy a device with the discount?
Yes! Here is the link to the site offering discounts on devices we know work well with our BYOD initiative. https://www.buysehi.com/category/1615/Grosse-Pointe-PSS-Parent-Staff-Portal.html
What if my student left their hat, coat, ...?
GPPSS is working hard to minimize exposure and get our buildings disinfected. As such, school buildings will be closed to all students and teachers as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. School buildings will be shut down Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 18-20, for deep cleaning. Email your building principal if you absolutely cannot obtain belongings before Tuesday 3/17 at 3 p.m.
Spring break and summer? UPDATED
There is still no word. We know schools will be closed through April 30 at least. Our WRESA spring break was scheduled for April 6-13 and will be honored for students and staff (no new work - enjoy the break). We promise we will let you know as soon as we do about summer. Breaks will all depend upon a number of factors: CDC guidance, total days out, if online instruction counts for hours/days of instruction without the normal seat-time waiver from the Michigan Department of Education, etc. In the meantime, we all remain focused on keeping students learning.
What about field trips?
Field trips and overnight trips have been cancelled through the end of the school year. This is being done in order to receive any allowable refunds. Many deadlines for cancellation are fast approaching. Individual teachers/administrators will contact you about refunds.
What are our representatives doing?
Both the House and Senate will return to Lansing for session on Tuesday 3/17 to address supplemental budgets and any other efforts that may be needed to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve been told that there is no plan to suspend legislative sessions indefinitely, but that sessions will continue more on an as-needed basis. One thing we are pushing to have solved on Tuesday is the question of days/hours forgiveness related to a mandated suspension of all student instruction. We do not have details on what this will look like, but will share what we learn as soon as possible.
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Will food be available to students? UPDATED
Yes. During the times of emergency school closure Grosse Pointe Public School System will be offering lunch and breakfast to students. These meals are available for free to anyone under 18, or under age 26 if they receive special education services. We are grateful for Chartwells and the State working collaboratively with us to do our best to ensure no child goes hungry when school is not in session. In order to keep this as safe as possible for everyone, these meals will be served as “grab and goes” to be taken home for consumption. Pick up a week's worth of meals each Tuesday in the Poupard Elementary Lobby from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
What about preschool and Kids Club?
All GPPSS buildings are closed as are all programs housed within our buildings. There will be no Preschool or Kids Club until April 6.
What about athletics?
All games and practices are cancelled as of today through April 6. No adult led practices will be held through April 6. We continue to follow the guidance of MHSAA. All post-season tournaments have been postponed by MHSAA.
What about student activities?
All student activities including field trips, rehearsals, concerts and plays are cancelled through April 6. GPPSS is closely watching cancellation deadlines for events after April 6 and contacting travel agencies regarding options and refunds. The district is gathering information on all activities scheduled after April 6th and will proceed according to guidance provided from the Health Department and the Governor.
Will there be a board meeting March 23?
The plan is to hold the school board meeting at 7 p.m., Monday, March 23, as posted. The governor has set no restrictions yet for gatherings under 50 people. Our meetings are televised on cable channel 20 and livestreamed for those who wish to watch without being physically present. You can always contact all board members through mail to 389 St. Clair, Grosse Pointe 48230 or their email email@example.com.
What mental health resources are available to help families deal with stress or anxiety as we navigate COVID-19?
The GPPSS psychologists and school social workers put together some links that may be helpful to families during the time off from school. Here is an excellent article developed by mental health professionals on how to discuss COVID-19 with your child.
When will elementary report cards go home?
Elementary report cards will be mailed home the week of March 16.
Will elementary conferences be held?
Elementary conferences, like middle school, have been cancelled. Please use the information provided by teachers at back to school night on the best way to reach them should you have questions or concerns about your student’s progress.
Will all students be expected to do online learning?
We appreciate your patience as we seek to develop and share multiple opportunities for students to continue their learning. We are doing our best given the difficult circumstances. A variety of means including packets you can download and print, online resources, and more are being thoughtfully considered. Each student is unique. Thank you for working with us proactively with a growth mindset.
What testing will take place?
The SAT, ACT and MSTEP tests scheduled to be in our buildings have been cancelled per the Governor’s closing of school buildings. COllege Board is moving to shortened online testing for Advanced Placement. At this time, our focus is on maintaining student learning.
What about third quarter grades for secondary students?
We are working to provide information on the logistics. The goal of any grading system is to provide meaningful feedback and a way to monitor progress.
What technology devices do students need?
Any device that has the ability to connect to the Internet will be sufficient to access the educational materials being developed. A keyboard is always helpful.
What if we do not have a device at home?
GPPSS has a limited number of devices available for families in need. There is an acceptable use contract that covers damage, theft or loss, that the student and parent/guardian will sign. GPPSS must have the signed contract to release a device. Because of limited supply only one device per family is being distributed. The device will be returned fully charged when school reopens as those are needed for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and State testing.
What if we do not have Internet?
As the country deals with the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Comcast is taking immediate steps to help connect more low-income families to the Internet at home. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, any eligible party who signs up for Internet Essentials will receive two free months of Internet service. Regular rates apply after that but families can cancel at any time.
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS
When can I pick up books and belongings?
All buildings will be open Monday, March 16, from 8 a.m.-12 noon for students to pick up belongings. We are working to schedule these pick-ups at various times (Friday was 12-3) so families with different schedules have access. If you missed these times, all buildings are closed March 18-20, but you can email your building principal to arrange a pick up after that.
Are parent volunteers allowed back when school resumes?
Hopefully. We will continue to follow the latest State recommendations for safety.
Will the construction and abatement plans change?
GPPSS must continue to follow all guidelines regarding bids and board approval. The district is working with our bond and construction companies and will proceed accordingly. This will allow easier access for field measuring and other activities. If construction/abatement plans change a notification will be provided to staff and families as that would change building access.
How are we cleaning our buildings?
Our staff are conducting a deep clean similar to the summer cleaning routine. We are disinfecting every surface, and using the Clorox machines to clean each room and building. Additionally preschool and food service staff are assisting in the disinfection process per guidelines for their areas.
What about use of our buildings by outside groups?
All building use functions of GPPSS facilities by outside groups will be cancelled through April 6.
What if I suspect COVID-19?
Call your healthcare professional for direction regarding testing and quarantine protocol. The focus of GPPSS is on maintaining education in line with our vision - where everyone learns, every day.
ARCHIVE OF PAST COMMUNICATION
What if I missed an email from the District?
For older communications or robocall or social media transcripts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org