Principal's Message

Thu., Apr. 2

Dear LPS families, 

Earlier today, Governor Whitmer issued an executive order suspending in-person instruction for all schools in Michigan for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. This paves the way for us to transition to distance learning, beginning with development of a Continuity of Learning & COVID Response Plan.  

The Governor emphasized that the top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of students and educators, and we concur. Providing opportunities for connection and support for our students and community will guide every decision that we make.  Under Governor Whitmer’s directive, the plan we are developing will emphasize compassion over compliance. All of us recognize that virtual teaching and learning will not look that same as it does in the classroom - that is an unrealistic expectation. But the teaching staff at Leland is creative, caring, and committed to meeting the needs of their students. 

Per Governor Whitmer’s executive order, additional guidance from Lansing will be delivered to us tomorrow. From there, we will begin to develop a plan to be submitted to the ISD next week for approval. LPS is very lucky compared to other districts in Michigan. Over the past twenty-five years, the Board of Education, administrators, teachers, staff, and YOU, our incredibly supportive community, have taken steps to ensure that LPS is well prepared to handle the crisis we are facing. Our students are 1:1 with iPads, our teachers are well-versed in technology and learning platforms, and our support staff knows how to reinforce student learning. We have everything we need to continue guiding our students as they learn at home. Our plan will also provide instructional strategies for LPS  families who live in areas where cell coverage does not exist. We are committed to providing learning opportunities for ALL of our students. 

We are tremendously grateful for your patience and support. While the task ahead is challenging, it is encouraging to have the guidance we need. I’ve attached Executive Order #2020-35 to this email. At 17 pages in length, it’s not a quick read, but it will give you some idea of the work we will be completing in the days ahead.

In closing, I want to give a quick shout-out to our seniors and their families. We are terribly sad that your children will not be returning to our hallways and that you will not be celebrating with them in the traditional way. Their sacrifice is heroic in its own way, and LPS staff is already generating ideas to celebrate their achievements in fun and memorable fashion. 

Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.

Jeanne
 

EO 2020-35.pdf 



Sun., Mar 29

Dear LPS families,

I have a few updates to share with you this evening:

  • This week is Spring Break for Leland Public School. I will be disconnecting for the next several days, and LPS staff have been asked to do the same. The energy, enthusiasm, and caring they have demonstrated over the past two weeks is incredible. Across the board, they have performed heroically, venturing into unfamiliar territory, without any sort of map. This little  bit of down time will allow us all to re-energize and recalibrate for the changes in store, as I expect that the State will be issuing new directives for a continuation of learning in Michigan in the next several days. 
  • LPS will NOT be providing meal service during Spring Break this week, but we will resume meal service on Monday, April 6th. If your family needs support with meals, please sign up online, pick up a form in the school vestibule, or email me at jgross@lelandschool.com
  • As part of our community outreach efforts, LPS is compiling a list of volunteers to share with local agencies in need of support. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please complete this online form. Due to the nature of the crisis we are facing, only volunteers over the age of 18 are eligible to sign-up at this time. 
  • You may have noticed some yard signs outside the homes of LPS families who have a healthcare worker in their household.  We are so thankful for their efforts to provide medical support during this uncertain time! Identifying these families isn’t a simple task. You can help by emailing me at jgross@lelandschool.com with the (1) name, (2) medical support role, and (3) relationship to your LPS student of these caring and brave individuals!
  • Masks for Munson! LPS had delivered 500+ masks that I know about!  This community is incredible!!! We have placed a collection box in the vestibule of the school for mask drop-off, and these masks are delivered directly to Munson. The hospital is providing further information, including a pattern and how-to video, on their website.  Munson would like to thank mask-makers eventually, so please complete this form if you are contributing to the cause.  
  • Our response team has compiled a list of resources to provide support to Leelanau families. This document will continue to be updated as additional information is discovered, so please check back.

Thank you for your support. 

Be well,

Jeanne

--

Tue., Mar. 24

Dear LPS Families,

I hope you are holding up well after the first day of Gov. Whitmer’s  shelter-in-place order. I have a few updates to share with you this evening:

    •    Meal service: Thursday, March 26 is the last pick-up date scheduled before Spring Break, but we will resume meal service on Monday, April 6th. If your family needs support with meals, please sign up online, pick up a form in the school vestibule, or email me at jgross@lelandschool.com. 

    •    Some good news for our AP students! College Board is developing a new at-home testing option for students who have been enrolled in AP classes this year. Beginning tomorrow, AP will be offering free review classes online to provide support for AP students. More information available here. 

    •    As part of our community outreach efforts, LPS is compiling a list of volunteers to share with local agencies in need of support. While the shelter-in-place order impacts this initiative, we expect that the need for helping hands will continue into the foreseeable future. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please complete this online form. Due to the nature of the crisis we are facing, only volunteers over the age of 18 are eligible to sign-up at this time. 

    •    We would like to recognize the healthcare workers who are part of the LPS community. We are so thankful for their efforts to provide medical support during this uncertain time! You can help by sending me an email at jgross@lelandschool.com with the (1) name, (2) medical support role, and (3) relationship to your LPS student of these caring and brave individuals!

    •    Masks for Munson! Many of you responded immediately to the request to help provide/donate masks to Munson Hospital during this crisis. The request went out at 10:30 PM last night and by 7:00 AM this morning, LPS had delivered 50 masks to support the cause. This community is incredible!!! We have collected more than 125 additional masks for delivery tomorrow, and many parents have written to say that they are willing to begin making masks. There is a collection box in the vestibule of the school for mask drop-off, and these masks will be delivered directly to Munson. The hospital is providing further information, including a pattern and how-to video, on their website.  


I’ve attached a resource about positive behavior support strategies that was located by members of our COVID-19 response team. I hope that it will provide you with some helpful suggestions for managing the unexpected situation that families  find themselves in today. While there are blessings to be found in togetherness, it was a very abrupt  transition, and I know that most of you are having to stretch yourselves in new directions to keep all the plates spinning. Positive behavior supports are one of the most effective strategies educators rely on, and these same strategies can work for you at home. Take it slow. Be good to one another and to yourself. You’re doing a great job!

Be well,

Jeanne

Ten-Steps for positive behavior at home.pdf 

Mask for Munson Collection Box.jpg 

Mon., Mar. 23

Dear LPS Families,

I have a few updates to share with you:

    •    All Michigan schools will remain closed until April 13th. Gov. Whitmer announced this during her press conference today. Gov. Whitmer also announced a shelter-in-place order for all Michiganders. Our school food service program is deemed essential under this executive order, and we will continue to provide meals for families who need them. Thursday, March 26th is the last pick-up date scheduled before Spring Break, but we will resume meal service on Monday, April 6th. If your family needs support with meals, please sign up online, pick up a form in the school vestibule, or email me at jgross@lelandschool.com. 

    •    Our teaching staff volunteered to put together a parent overview (attached) of the suggested enrichment activities for this week. It is our hope that this grade-level overview will provide you and your child(ren) with talking points about the learning opportunities available for them on Google Classroom. Families who do not have wifi internet access at home will receive similar enrichment opportunities in the mail. The envelopes were dropped off at the post office this morning for distribution. 

    •    Conflicting directives are coming from MDE, Governor Whitmer, and now USDE Secretary Betsy DeVos. At the same time, Michigan lawmakers are in recess and not available to address required instructional days and hours. To say that it is a tangled mess is an understatement of humongous proportion. For now, these enrichment opportunities continue to be voluntary for students. They are not required, and they will not be graded, but they are an excellent way to keep curious learners growing, and they are recommended by your child(ren)’s teachers. 

    •    As part of our community outreach efforts, LPS is compiling a list of volunteers to share with local agencies in need of support. While today’s shelter-in-place order impacts this initiative, we expect that the need for helping hands will continue into the foreseeable future. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please complete this online form. Due to the nature of the crisis we are facing, only volunteers over the age of 18 are eligible to sign up at this time. 

    •    At school, it is the cafe staff, bus drivers, and staff volunteers who are our emergency first responders, but we also recognize that many of you have family members who work in the healthcare field. We are so thankful for their efforts to provide medical support during this uncertain time, and we would like to recognize these members of our LPS community! You can help by emailing me at jgross@lelandschool.com with the (1) name, (2) medical support role, and (3) relationship to your LPS student of these caring and brave individuals!


While these are difficult days, there are some incredible things happening in our online community. I’m listening to the music of LPS parent Josh Davis on facebook live as I’m writing  this email to you. (Thanks, Josh!)  Our community partners The Old Art Building and Leelanau Children’s Center are offering some amazing opportunities for parents and kids to engage, and LPS  staff members are celebrating our local heroes in a personal instagram account @lps_everydayheroes. In this time of isolation, I am so grateful for the opportunity to connect!

A special shout-out tonight to the lead members of our COVID-19 Response Team: Dave Ruszel, Tim McNeil, Jenifer Zywicki, Kathy Wheeler, Barb Varley, Tommy Hills, Ann Knudsen, Paula Kelly, Mike Hartigan, Sandy Thomas, Heidi Kruse, and Megan Glynn. They connect up every day at 2:00 PM to strategize ways to support our students and their families, and they are some awesome humans. Thank you!

Be well,

Jeanne

Enrichment Opportunities - Parent Overview Week 2.pdf 

Wed., Mar. 18

Dear LPS families,

While there are still many unanswered questions, our response team and staff are continuing to push for answers that will help alleviate some of the worry and uncertainty that all of us are feeling. Here’s what we know today:

What is the plan for providing meals for district students?
LPS will be providing meals for any student in the district who needs them. Meals can be picked up according to the following schedule:

  • Dates:         Thursday, March 19; Monday, March 23; Thursday, March 26 
  • Time:          11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Locations:   Leland Public School, St. Mary School, Bingham Boat Launch

How do I request a meal?
Fill out the online form. Stop in the school vestibule for a printed form. Send me an email at jgross@lelandschool.com

What happens if I haven’t filled out a form and I need a meal?
We’ll have extra meals available at Leland Public School between 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Come through our car line, and we’ll be able and happy to assist you.

Are the meals available for any student?
Yes. We have meals for any student in the district who needs them. Please know that the intention is to provide meals based on need. Our heroic cafe staff, bus drivers, and volunteers are working extremely hard to make this happen for Leland families, so please don’t grab a meal just for fun. If you need a meal, we’ve got you covered! If not, thanks for skipping the lunch line.

What about Spring Break?
LPS will not be providing meals over Spring Break. If the closure is extended, we’ll be back at pick-up points on Monday, April 6th.

Should my child be doing school work?
Yes. We hope that our students are continuing to grow as learners! But, please know that converting a K-12 school from bricks-and-mortar to distance learning over a single weekend is not as easy as it sounds! As a staff, we have been strategizing and planning and brainstorming ways to make sure that every student in our district is able to continue to grow as a learner. This week, teachers were able to provide resources for your child(ren) to explore. Next week, teachers will be providing suggested activities at every grade-level for every class. These enrichment activities will be found on Google Classroom for students who are able to access the internet from home. Students who do not have high-speed internet coverage at their home will have printed packets mailed directly to the address listed in PowerSchool. If you do not receive a packet, and you do not have reliable access to the internet, please make your child’s teacher aware so we can get materials out to you. We will continue to move forward together!

Will these activities be graded? 
No. Educational laws are more complex than you might imagine. The suggested activities are not required, and they will not be graded. But they are good for you, and we hope that you will engage with us while the school building is closed. LPS teachers are passionate about teaching and learning, and they want to stay connected with your child!

Will my child be expected to take the M-STEP, MME, PSAT, SAT or AP Exam?
Don’t know. This is one of many questions that we do not have an answer for yet. We also don’t know how long school will be closed or if we will have to make up days in the summer... We are waiting on Michigan lawmakers to provide direction. As soon as we have answers to these questions and more, I’ll let you know.

Any general suggestions to help with learning at home?
Yes! Try to mirror the schedule that your child was accustomed to at school. During math block, work on math practice, during reading block, do some reading, eat lunch around the same time. Don’t forget to take brain breaks and to get outside. Keeping regular days will provide a sense of security and structure. Don’t try to do everything at once. Teachers are intentionally cutting back on the workload to prevent anyone (students or parents) from becoming overwhelmed. If your child is struggling or showing signs of frustration, stop and take a break to regroup. This is a journey not a race. 

All of us are facing uncertainty. Tomorrow will bring new decisions. Our promise to you is that the choices we make will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and families. We will be open and transparent with you as new information is available, and we will continue to do our very best to support you. 

Be well,

Jeanne



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