Return to School Update

Dear Bloomfield Hills Schools Community, The Board of Education approved the next steps in our return to learning plan, the Bloomfield Blueprint, during their August 20th Board of Education meeting. Please continue to reference the Bloomfield Blueprint website, which contains all up-to-date information and a record of the information from the past several months. Six components were presented and approved at the meeting. The first section of the presentation was dedicated to our in-person decision-making process. In-Person Decision-Making

  • There will be a distance learning option for the foreseeable future. Epidemiologists working with the district have indicated that this virus is far from over and the situation is fluid, specifically with Labor Day coming up and some schools returning in-person.The district is committed to providing rigorous, engaging, and comprehensive distance learning options to our students until in-person instruction is available and desired by families.

  • To provide in-person learning, the local community and school situation must be assessed to measure the overall ability to contain the spread of COVID. The district will primarily utilize the test positivity rate & daily case average to determine school re-opening readiness. To see the other metrics the district will consider in making decisions to move forward, please check out the full slide deck from the presentation.

  • The School Board and Administration will meet semimonthly to assess the situation. Decisions will be informed by the critical COVID metrics and additional important information. We will regularly communicate information such as tentative return to in-person learning dates and other hybrid model information. 

The following chart was adapted from the Harvard Model for Pandemic Resilient Teaching and Learning and illustrates our priorities as we explore our phased-in return to in-person teaching and learning.

Bloomfield Virtual Update Six hundred and seventy-five (roughly 30%) of our K-5 students signed up for Bloomfield Virtual. We are in the process of finalizing staffing for the school year. Soon, we will announce the administrator for Bloomfield Virtual and begin creating sections and identifying teacher assignments. To learn more about Bloomfield Virtual, please view the presentation from August 12th. Bloomin’ Preschool Assuming current COVID-19 conditions remain stable, Bloomin’ Preschools will welcome full-time students back to school for in-person teaching and learning on Monday, September 14. On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, Bloomin’ will welcome part-time families back to school. This staggered start will allow staff to appropriately and warmly welcome each student back to school as we adjust to our new arrival process. For the full details of the Bloomin’ return to in-person teaching and learning process and protocols, please visit our website and click on the green “Bloomin’ Return Information” button. Grades K-5 Starting September 8, 2020, all students in grades K-5 will begin the year in a distance learning environment. If current COVID-19 conditions remain stable, Kindergarten students not currently enrolled in Bloomfield Virtual will begin attending school in-person via the half-day hybrid model on September 21, 2020. As indicated earlier this week, when our buildings open, K-5 students will return to in-person teaching and learning through a half-day hybrid model. To view the sample schedules or see the full presentation and all details, please visit our website.

  • Phase-in approach for Kindergarten includes alternating AM/PM cohorts:

  • AM cohort: in-person instruction from 9:05-11:20 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday & remote in the afternoon.

  • PM cohort: remote in the morning & in-person instruction from 1:20-3:55 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

  • Art, Music, Physical Education, and Spanish will take place virtually during the remote segments of the day.

  • Each Wednesday - Students will have synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. The building will also be thoroughly cleaned at this mid-week point.

Students in grades 1-5 will continue in a distance learning environment until the district is ready to begin phasing in additional grades, based on COVID-19 conditions at that time. Grades 6-12 Students in grades 6-12 will maintain their schedule choices from this past spring.  Students in grades 6-12 will continue in a distance learning environment until the district is ready to begin phasing in additional grades, based on COVID-19 conditions at that time. If a 6th - 12th grade student or family is not comfortable returning to in-person during the hybrid model, all 6th - 12th grade classes can be taken through distance learning with the same teacher and the same classmates. The high school will prepare the building with traffic patterns in hallways, staggered lunches, and other options as the hybrid model approaches. Final planning will include a survey of the students returning in-person to create the safest design. To see the details of the remote and hybrid sample schedules, please visit our website. Special Education  Self-Contained Classrooms Students will begin school on September 8th in a remote teaching and learning environment. Assuming current COVID-19 conditions remain stable, students in our Bloomfield Self-Contained programs (ARP/FRP/DHH/SEED/PREP) will return to in-person teaching and learning via a half-day hybrid model on September 14. Students attending Wing Lake Developmental Center will return to in-person teaching and learning via a hybrid model on September 21st. The details of this gradual transition are as follows:

  • Week One: September 8 - 11: Students will begin remote to focus on transition activities, building community, and social-emotional supports

  • Set expectations for students returning back to school in-person

  • Training for staff on PPE and safety procedures

  • Show the classrooms (where they will sit, stand, etc.)

  • Protocols for drop off and pick up, outside, hallway, school and classroom protocols

  • Show the staff in their masks

  • Visuals/Social Stories

  • Solidify routines and procedures

  • Week Two: September 14-18:

  • ARP/FRP/DHH/SEED/PREP - Students transition to ½ day F2F A.M., ½ day asynchronous instruction P.M.

  • Wing Lake students continue remote/distance learning this week.

  • Week Three: September 21-25* and on

  • Wing Lake Developmental Center - Students return in a Group A/B hybrid model.

  • Group A will attend in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays and have distance learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

  • Group B will attend in-person on Thursdays and Fridays and have distance learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

  • Additional information will be sent to parents and resident districts in the near future. A Parent Community Forum (virtual meeting) is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2nd at 7 p.m.

  • ARP/FRP/DHH/SEED/PREP - Time is added each week until full time status is achieved

For more details regarding this gradual transition, please visit our website and click on the green button for the “8/20 Board Meeting” slide deck. Resource Room and Ancillary Services Although there are not specific dates yet identified, we are continuing to explore options for face-to-face services for students receiving Resource Room Support and Ancillary Staff Support. We anticipate further information to be provided prior to the start of the school year.  Students with IEPs registered for Bloomfield Virtual Now that registration is complete we are actively working on staffing.  We plan to have caseload providers identified by the end of next week and you will receive notification of your child’s special education teacher or service provider.  Staff will contact you prior to the start of the school year.  Summary of Key Tentative Dates Known at this Time

  • September 8: First day of school (remote/virtual for all students)

  • September 14-18*: Special Education self-contained students (with the exception of Wing Lake) transition to ½ day in-person (a.m.) and ½ day asynchronous instruction (p.m.). 

  • September 14*: Bloomin’ Preschool programs (including the infant/toddler program) and Bowers Academy open for in-person teaching and learning for all students in a hybrid model.

  • September 15: Board of Education Meeting to review data and make additional decisions.

  • September 21*: Kindergarten and Wing Lake students return to in-person teaching and learning in a hybrid model.

* Dates are tentative and subject to change, based on district and county metrics for assessing COVID-19 regional status. Additional dates will be selected and communicated shortly. As we progress through this incredibly fluid situation, we will continue to share information as soon as it is available. Recognizing that the start of the school year is rapidly approaching, I am growing increasingly excited to see our students return to school in whatever way families feel is best and most comfortable. However we connect, learn, and grow together, I am confident that this is going to be a remarkable school year. I could not be more proud of this community or excited about our bright future. Thank you for your continued support of Bloomfield Hills Schools! Sincerely, Pat Watson, Superintendent