2020-2021 Planning

May 20, 2020

Hello Milan Area Schools Community,

While our main focus is on finishing the 2019-2020 school year in a strong fashion, we are also planning for the 2020-2021 school year.  In anticipation of next year’s reopening, we are constantly reviewing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Education, and numerous professional associations.  Last Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the creation of the Return to Learning Advisory Council via Executive Order 2020-88, formalizing a process for determining how schools may be able to reopen in the fall.  We look forward to gaining important information from this council.

Our back to school planning is focused on keeping student learning at the forefront through a learning model that accounts for student safety and wellbeing. We are conscious of the fact that there could be further interruptions experienced during the 2020-2021 school year due to a resurgence of COVID-19. Consequently, the district is working diligently to create a learning model that will make all of our families comfortable with a return to school.

At this time, the district is developing numerous potential instructional models.  These models include a range of possibilities from full virtual instruction to full in-person instruction with several combinations in-between.  Acknowledging the challenges of quickly shifting to distance learning during this crisis, we will use reflective observation and input of our teachers, administrators, and community to guide future planning.  As we continue to plan, we will maintain a focus on impactful teaching and learning.

Some Questions we are working through in order to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year include:

  • As information continues to evolve, will it be reasonable and allowable for our schools to safely open?
  • What new health and safety protocols would need to be instituted to open?
  • How can we modify our attendance policies to ensure that students and staff can act in the best interest of their health and the health of others?
  • How can we address students or staff that are not able to safely return to school?
  • How do we determine the level of learning loss that has occurred for our students?
  • How will custodial protocols change to meet new best practices?
  • If the state does not allow us to begin the school year in person, what does returning to school look like?

I am deeply grateful to our teachers, support staff, administrators, parents and students for your extraordinary efforts demonstrated during this public health crisis.  We know that the past few months have been challenging. Our students, staff, and families continue to be in our thoughts as we collectively experience this pandemic. We are stronger when we work together and appreciate the support, care, and attention that our staff and you have provided our students during this difficult time.

As a district, we will always keep our vision, mission, and beliefs in mind as we develop plans. 

Vision: Partnering together as a community, all individuals will achieve their greatest potential.

Mission: Milan Area Schools prepares individual learners to realize the best version of themselves, by creating a supportive, caring, and inclusive educational community.

Belief Statements:
We believe...

  • All individuals have equal value and unique gifts
  • In providing a safe and nurturing environment that contributes to successful learning
  • In utilizing instructional strategies that are based on best practice
  • In offering relevant learning
  • In fostering an inclusive and affirming school culture
  • In investing in student capacity to learn and in personal success
  • In engaging the entire community to maximize student learning and preparedness

Thank you and stay safe,
Bryan Girbach,
Milan Area Schools