Return to Learn Update - Feb. 26

Return to Learn Update - Feb. 26

February 26, 2021

Dear West Bloomfield families,

During the West Bloomfield Board of Education’s Regular Meeting on Feb. 22, the Board voted to continue in our Hybrid Model of instruction for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. 

Hybrid Model through end of 2020-21

The Board made this decision after careful consideration of the logistics related to any potential changes to our instructional model at this point in the school year. The Board also reviewed stakeholder feedback data from our families, staff and students. Stakeholder feedback overwhelmingly favored staying the course with our current hybrid model which the Board took into consideration when making their decision. 

This decision charts a clear path forward for our administrators, staff and most importantly, our students in families as we continue to strive for consistency in instruction and continuity of learning for all of our students. We recognize this plan may not represent the wishes of all stakeholders and we appreciate the perspectives and feedback of everyone who has taken the time to express their support and criticism of this decision. 

At this stage of the school year and to a greater extent, the current global pandemic, determining a plan that will make every single stakeholder happy is an impossible task. We continue to make decisions with the health and safety of our students, staff and families as our guiding principle. 

Looking Ahead

Now that we have a clear vision for what the remainder of the current school year will look like, we can begin to look ahead to fall 2021. At this point in our planning process, we anticipate returning to full in-person instruction, five days per week in all of our school buildings. We will of course continue to follow the best practices recommended by local, state and federal health officials and barring any unforeseen setbacks in our state’s continued response to COVID-19, we are eagerly anticipating another step towards normalcy with a more traditional looking school year in 2021-22. 

While a return to normalcy is a welcomed thought for most, we do recognize that there will be staff, students and families that wish to remain in our remote only option for next school year as well. We will be continuing Lakers Online into the 2021-22 school year as an alternative for families who are not quite ready to return to in-person instruction. This includes the students who have excelled in this new approach to instruction, we wish to keep Lakers Online going for all who wish to learn remotely in 2021-22. 

The Planning Begins Now

In order to ensure our buildings, including Lakers Online are staffed appropriately going into the summer and fall of 2021, we must get a clear idea of family enrollment preferences for the next school year. This includes whether or not families wish to have their students enroll in our in-person, five day per week model and which families prefer our Lakers Online alternative for next school year. 

Our building administrators and counselor teams have already begun to communicate these options to families including what steps must be taken to make a selection for the 2021-22 school year. We encourage you to reach out to your building administrator(s) with questions related to the selection process. 

These selections must be made by Monday, March 15 to ensure an orderly transition from the 2020-21 school year to the 2021-22 school year for staff and families alike. 

In order to help our families make the most informed decision possible for 2021-22, the district will be sharing a webinar on Monday, March 1 to outline the selection process and highlight the important information moving forward. This webinar will be emailed to families Monday evening and posted on our district website, www.wbsd.org

Summary

Our district embarked on this instructional journey filled with unprecedented challenges nearly one year ago. In the past year, we have grown a great deal as educators, learners and caretakers and hidden in our toughest moments, are elements of growth that we must truly be proud of and celebrate. 

While 2020 and 2021 have been fair from ideal, the spirit and resilience of the West Bloomfield School District community remains an example of what is possible when we work together. We are truly grateful for each and every one of you on Team WB and we appreciate your grace and understanding as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters together.

Sincerely,

Dr. Gerald Hill
Superintendent
West Bloomfield School District