School information & Updates related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

March 29, 2020

Dear Parents,

Many of you are aware of Governor Whitmer’s remarks on Friday stating it is unlikely our students will be returning to school this year. We are expecting to hear another executive order from her this coming week. This executive order will most likely address the number of missed school days that will be forgiven along with expectations regarding remote learning for the remainder of the school year. Our teachers and administrators are working diligently to respond to the needs of our JPS families within the guidelines our Governor and the Michigan Department of Education provide.

In my video message this past Thursday, I promised I would send out written communication regarding the comprehensive remote learning plans (RLPs) for elementary, junior high, and high school students. These plans will provide you with roadmaps for your children’s continued learning, since it is unlikely they will be returning to our classrooms this year. The academic resources we provide will vary according to the grade level of your children.  Unique RLPs will be available each week on our district website (www.jpsonline.org) under the heading REMOTE LEARNING PLANS. Please be advised there will be no RLPs for the week of April 6, as this was our planned spring break.

As we collectively embark on this new journey in providing remote learning opportunities, I want to emphasize how important it is to monitor the emotional and social wellbeing of your children. Our teachers will continue to make it a priority to make personal connections with their students through various virtual platforms. We highly recommended you create an environment where learning, although challenging, can be a rewarding experience for your children and entire family. If necessary, please make adjustments to the RLPs to create a stress-free learning environment.

When your children return to our classrooms for the 2020-2021 school year, our teachers will be prepared to provide the instruction each student will need to catch them up in their essential learning. The RLPs we provide each week will be designed to keep your children working on their academics for the remainder of this school year. The recommended assignments for our TK – 8th grade students will not be evaluated, graded, or calculated into any final second semester grades, but they are designed to engage students in key learning objectives.

The high school RLPs will be focused on assisting students in earning their second semester credits toward the district’s graduation requirements.

 

  • The first step in this plan is to insure students with missing work are given the opportunity to complete that work for the 3rd marking period, which ended on March 13th.
  • The next step will concentrate on providing a way for high school students to demonstrate their understanding of the identified essential learnings in each course in order to earn their credit. High School administrators and teachers are working collaboratively by departments to develop assignments students will be expected to complete in the weeks ahead.
  • Finally, as decisions are made regarding essential learning targets that have to be met, they will be incorporated into the weekly RLPs.
  • Please understand we are in the developmental stage of creating RLPs. They are a work in progress. The remote learning experience will incorporate virtual instructional support from administrators and teachers for your children. We hope to share more details of this instructional support network sometime during the week of April 13th.

To make sure each family is set up for success, we are in the process of determining which homes do not have internet connectivity or a technology device in their home. We are committed to do our very best to provide accommodations for those families who need technology support or other different types of learning opportunities for their children to earn their high school credits.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we strive to partner with you in educating your children during these difficult times. I trust this communication finds you and your family healthy.

Serving the students, parents, and employees of Jenison Public Schools,

 

Tom TenBrink

Superintendent

March 26th Video Update from Superintendent Tom TenBrink

March 26th Video Update from Superintendent Tom TenBrink

 

March 23rd Food Distribution Update

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, the JPS FOOD Distribution Plan will be moving to Mondays and Wednesdays.  Extra meals to cover Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday will be provided.  *Ease of pick up and social distancing is the reason for the change.

Time: 

11:00am-12:30pm

Locations:

Bauerwood Elementary – 1443 Bauer Rd, Jenison

Bursley Elementary – 1195 Port Sheldon St, Jenison

Sandy Hill Elementary – 1990 Baldwin, Jenison

Jenison High School – 2140 Bauer Rd, Jenison

Drive-up or walk to any site. COME, GRAB, and GO. A parent may pick up meals for children who are at home. 

The school buildings will remain closed. Sites may change weekly as we continue to evaluate the needs of our community.

 

 

March 20th Video Update from Superintendent Tom TenBrink

Please see the following message from Superintendent Tom TenBrink

 

 

Hand 2 Hand Food Bags

Hand 2 Hand families can pick up the food bags at the following locations: 

WHERE:

Fair Haven Ministries

2900 Baldwin Street

DOOR E

DATES: 

Friday, March 20 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  and  6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Friday, March 27 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  and  6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Friday, April 3 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  and  6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

PROCEDURE

Drive up and let a volunteer know what school your student attends.  The volunteer will get your food and bring it to your car. 

Elementary Updates

 

Dear JPS Elementary Families,

The year 2020 is proving to be unprecedented in terms of the challenges our country is facing. Michigan, in addition to many other states, has mandated closing of all K-12 schools due to COVID-19. The closure is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 16 and last until Monday, April 6th.  Because the mandated closure ends during Jenison’s spring break, additional communication will follow once we have more guidance from the State of Michigan.

Continued Learning
We encourage your child(ren) to continue to engage in learning opportunities during this time.  Some suggestions include:

The following are a few online learning opportunities in which your child(ren) could choose to participate. These are great resources for students to explore that are safe and have been endorsed by the district.

Student Medications
All medications are available to be checked out and picked up in the school office by 4:00 pm today.  If that does not work in your schedule, please contact your building administrator to schedule a time to pick up any necessary medication.

Community and Family Needs
If there are specific needs your family has during this time, please reach out to your building administrator so we can partner with you during these challenges. We are working with our community to provide necessary supports for families and will provide details as they become available.

We realize this closure will be challenging for many families. We ask that, above all else, you keep your family safe and take some time to love, support, and appreciate each other.  Children can learn through many daily activities, so be creative and let this experience provide valuable life lessons. Continued JPS updates will be shared as we navigate these uncharted waters with the rest of the country.

In continued partnership,

District Elementary Principal Administrative Team
Crystal Morse, Bauerwood Elementary
Brent Huck, Bursley Elementary
Lee Westervelt, ECC 
Lloyd Gingerich, El Puente Elementary
Rachael Postle-Brown, Pinewood Elementary
Luke Verbeek, Rosewood Elementary
Jon Mroz, Sandy Hill Elementary

March 15th JPS Response to School Closures

March 15, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In an effort to keep everyone updated as to what Jenison Public Schools is doing for our families in response to the closing of our schools due to the coronavirus, I am providing you with the following information.

Jenison Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch for children in need during the statewide school closure. Packaged breakfast and lunch is being made available through our food service program to any child ages 0-18 (or up to age 26 with special needs) each weekday beginning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The details of this food distribution are as follows:

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and available weekdays through April 3, 2020.

Time:  11:00am-12:30pm

Locations:

  • Bursley Elementary – 1195 Port Sheldon St, Jenison
  • Sandy Hill Elementary – 1990 Baldwin, Jenison
  • Bauerwood Elementary – 1443 Bauer Rd, Jenison
  • Jenison High School – 2140 Bauer Rd, Jenison

Drive up or walk to any site. COME, GRAB, and GO. A parent may pick up meals for children who are at home. 

The school buildings will remain closed. Sites may change weekly as we continue to evaluate the needs of our community.

For families who are in need of food and can’t get to any of these four locations, please email me at ttenbrin@jpsonline.org and we will get food delivered directly to your homes.

Daycare for families in need is also being provided at the Kids First Building through our Early Childhood Center. If you, or if you know of someone, who is in need of daycare during the weekdays, please contact Lee Westervelt at lwesterv@jpsonline.org. He is currently working with JPS employees and community volunteers who are offering their time to provide daycare for the children in our community.

We are continuing to evaluate the needs of our community and develop plans to meet those needs. It is a blessing to work in a community where our churches are stepping up and volunteering to help in whatever capacity they are needed. Hand2Hand is also mobilizing to insure all families who are in need of food over the weekends are identified and provided what they need.

Thank you to all who have offered to volunteer to help in whatever way is needed. At this point in time, we have the necessary people in place to carry out the plans that are being implemented. In the future, we may be in need of additional volunteers. I will be sure to let you know of our district & community needs at that point in time.

Serving the students, parents, and employees of Jenison Public Schools,

 

Tom TenBrink

Superintendent

March 11th Update

March 11, 2020

Dear Parents,

These are certainly unprecedented times. I can’t ever remember when the world reacted to any other communicable disease such as is currently happening around the globe. We have seen many highly contagious epidemics in our country come and go without as many precautionary measures as are currently being recommended by our government officials.

In speaking with the Ottawa County Health Department officials this afternoon, it is my understanding that very few people have actually been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state of Michigan. The few cases that have been confirmed are in Wayne County. However, there’s speculation that the coronavirus will spread rapidly through our state in the days and weeks ahead. This evening Governor Whitmer put forth her recommendations which included not holding events of more than 100+ people. As a result of these recommendations and also those provided by the Ottawa County Health Department, we are taking the following steps beginning tomorrow, March 12, 2020, until we are given clearance to resume normal activities.

  1. All district wide afternoon and evening indoor events that would gather 100+ people in the same space are being rescheduled for after Spring Break. These events include, but are not limited to, Elementary School Carnivals, Elementary Concerts, and the Sound of Music performances. Parent Teacher conferences will continue to be held as scheduled.
  2. Elementary students will be eating their lunch in their classrooms. Secondary students will be eating their lunches in the cafeteria, gymnasiums, auditorium, and hallways to ensure they are spread out.
  3. All students will be strongly encouraged to regularly wash their hands, especially prior to eating their snacks and lunch.
  4. All scheduled field trips prior to Spring Break will be cancelled.
  5. If your children are displaying any symptoms of being ill, it is vitally important that you keep them at home. This is especially true if they have a fever of any kind. The standard rule is that a child should be free of a fever without the use of fever reducing medication for 24 hours before returning to school.
  6. Out of state trips, including Baseball and Softball, International DECA, Scotland, Spain, Costa Rica, and East Coast, are still on at this time. We are in communication with the companies that are coordinating many of these trips to determine the continued viability of the trips and possible refunds if necessary.

I know there are many questions that still need to be answered. For example, if colleges and universities are shutting down, why is Jenison Public Schools not following their example? K-12 education is much more complex than that of a college/university. We have the responsibility of not only educating the children we are privileged to serve, but we have the challenge of feeding, clothing, and caring for them throughout the day. Our before and after school care programs are completely full. Children are dropped off at 6:00 a.m. and picked up at 6:00 p.m. If we were to close schools as just a precautionary measure, many children would be home without any adult supervision and missing out on the breakfast and lunch we provide for them. At this time, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health has advised us that we would be focusing on one building at a time versus an entire district if someone was suspected of being contagious with COVID-19. We are being encouraged to continue to keep our doors open until further notice.

With all of this being said, things are changing by the hour. It is very difficult to keep up with everything that is being communicated and recommended. We are doing our very best to filter all of the information pertaining to COVID-19 and make decisions accordingly. I will do my best to provide the most up to date and factual information as quickly as possible.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation in the steps we are taking as a district to comply with the recommendations that have been communicated this evening by the Governor and officials from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. Please find attached a document from Dr. Paul Heidel, of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health that addresses the coronavirus disease.

 

Tom TenBrink
Superintendent