Update From the North Branch Leadership Team

Update from the North Branch Leadership Team
Posted on 03/17/2020

March 17, 2020

Dear North Branch Families,

As you know, on Thursday March 12th at 11pm, Governor Whitmer closed all schools in Michigan effective Monday,
March 16th through April 5th. North Branch took preventative measures and made the decision to close all buildings in the district beginning Friday, March 13th. Administration convened at 7am and began developing plans to address the following priorities, while staying within current state guidelines:

● Providing access to school meals for all students
● Offering child care opportunities
● Educational enrichment opportunities for all students
● Continued deep cleaning of all areas in each building with a focus on every classroom

Devising a plan to provide all students access to meals was our first priority. A survey was developed to see how many
families would take advantage of a Curbside Meal Pick-up Program. We received an overwhelming response, showing
600 students would utilize the food service program. At this time administration began planning to prepare, and
disseminate meals to our families. We also spent a considerable amount of time looking into child care services for families in need, as well as beginning discussion on how we are going to continue offering educational opportunities to our students. On Friday we also mobilized our custodial service to continue deep cleaning of all classrooms and common areas throughout the district.

Monday morning, March 16th, a number of our dedicated cooks reported to work, beginning at 5:30 am, to prepare over 3,600 meals in preparation for the Curbside Meal Pick-up Program that afternoon. Meal packets included breakfast and lunch for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. We will repeat the process on Thursday providing breakfast and lunch meals for Friday through Monday - which is an additional 4,800 meals. As you can imagine, this has been, and continues to be, a massive undertaking requiring a coordination of effort between food service, administration, and community volunteers.

During this time many of our teachers have been continuing to provide educational enrichment opportunities for their
students. We have been in consultation with the Michigan Department of Education and our legal counsel, as to what can be provided to students under the Governor’s mandated school shut down. Under the direction and leadership of Amber White, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, plans are underway to provide learning enrichment materials, which will be available online and in hard copy formats. Hard copies for BK-8th grade students can be picked up at the curbside food pick up on Thursday evening on the south side of the Ruth Fox Middle School from 4-7pm. Online opportunities will be provided regularly across our district Facebook pages as early as this evening.

● @NorthBranchBroncos
● @RuthFoxMiddle
● @NBEBroncos

We will continue to update our community as we receive more information from the Michigan Department of Education and our state officials. I am sure many of you have questions:

● When will school resume?
     ○ The Governor has closed schools through Sunday,  April 5th
● Will North Branch Area Schools be making up the missed school days?
       ○ At this time, the legislature has not made a decision to change school year requirements, so we are operating under the premise that days will be made up, as we are legally mandated to hold 180 days and 1098 hours of instruction

● Are we moving to virtual instruction?
     ○ No, but we are offering optional enrichment  opportunities for all students

● Will the Curbside Meal Pick-up Program continue through Spring Break?
      ○ We will have the Curbside Meal Pick-up Program on              the following dates from 4-7pm

■ March 19th
■ March 23rd
■ March 26th
■ March 30th
■ April 2nd

● What if I am unable to be at the Curbside Meal Pick-up Program from 4-7 for my children?
     ○ Family or friends may pick up on your behalf, and/or pick up for multiple families
     ○ Children are not required to be at pick up

● Are buildings and facilities available for public use?
          ○ No - all buildings and facilities (including outside athletic fields and youth fields) remain closed to the public through April 5th.

If you have any questions that we have not answered, please contact our office at 810-688-3570. Again, this is the most current information we have been provided. We will continue to update our community as more information becomes available. We have attached some links to COVID-19 resources below.

COVID-19 Resources for Families
● Michigan.gov Resources for Residents

● How talk to children about COVID-19

Four years ago, North Branch Area Schools adopted a motto of “All In”. Keeping with the “All In” theme, our community and school district will overcome the challenges during these uncertain and unprecedented times. North Branch Area Schools remains committed to providing the best services for your children.

North Branch Leadership Team