2020-2021 Start of School Update

I hope that you and your family are still enjoying the pleasant summer weather in our beautiful community, and are excited to get back to learning with us, either in-person or online.

There are still several families from whom we must hear regarding their plans this fall. This week, we are making phone calls to these families so we can ensure accurate student counts to plan for our return to learning.

Based on student enrollments, teaching assignments are being adjusted to meet the needs of both in-person and online learners. We are excited to welcome Sandra Kipen (transitional kindergarten) Cheyenne Brooker  (fourth grade), Dan Kornelis (second grade) and Audrey Litts (school social worker) to the faculty at DES. 

The Regional Online option continues to be developed in collaboration with districts across the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. To provide the necessary time for staffing, teacher training, course building and student scheduling, the common start date for Regional Online courses has been pushed back to September 8th.

The governor is expected to sign legislation that provides districts flexibility in the number of scheduled days and hours of instruction for the 2020-21 school year. To provide additional time for hiring pod leaders, new teacher orientation, student scheduling and building transportation routes, we have made the decision to move the first day of in-person learning at SPS to September 8th with the same planned school year ending date of June 11th. This will provide a common start date for both in-person and online students.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause families.

I also recognize that there continues to be more uncertainty surrounding the start of the school year than our families are accustomed to, and that this may cause additional family stress and anxiety. Thank you for your understanding, patience and support as our team continues to work around the clock to be prepared for a successful start to the new school year.

We anticipate providing details regarding class lists, student schedules, supply lists, and back to school processes and procedures early next week.

To help with communication between home and school, please update your contact information in FinalForms if you haven’t already done so.  Please complete the required COVID-19 Health Screening Agreement and optional Device Insurance Agreement in FinalForms as well.  Parents may contact Liz Wilson (ewilson@saugatuckps.com) with any questions regarding FinalForms.

As we prepare to head back to school, please prepare your children for social distancing, wearing a mask and hand washing hygiene.

We look forward to starting the new school year on September 8th in-person and online.

Tim

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