FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
UPDATED MAY 11, 2020 – This page will be updated as new state information is provided. Thank you!
- How long will school be closed for?
- By executive order, the Governor has closed all school buildings in the State of Michigan through the end of the school year. Schools are to remain closed therefore until at least June 30th, 2020. We have every intention of resuming normal operations in the 2020-21 school year. As of now, the start date of next school year has not yet been determined.
- Is Benzie Central doing “online learning” for students now?
- Benzie Central has prepared a “continuation of learning” plan in accordance with the executive order of Governor Whitmer to ensure learning can and will continue for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. We are utilizing a “hybrid” learning format with a blend of online and hard copy instruction depending on the grade level of the student and the availability and ability of our families to access the internet in a reliable manner. Staff will be working to transition their curriculum and instruction to these methods and will be reaching out to our students on an ongoing basis to engage them in instruction.
- Is it important for my child to do work in this new “remote” fashion?
- While we know that this is a different way to learn, it is critical that our students continue to engage with their teachers and peers during this unique point in history. Our staff are dedicating themselves to working hard and ensuring our students continue to advance in their studies. Our staff care deeply about their students and want to ensure they have opportunities to interact with their teachers and peers to help meet their non-academic needs as well. We believe that, years from now, our community will look back upon this moment and remember that the school district was there for our students and was a strong support to them and our families. Continuing those classroom interactions and encouraging new learning is a critical piece to that support.
- Are kids being graded on the online learning provided by teachers?
- Teachers will be interacting with students and tracking progress in accordance with the continuation of learning plan referenced in item #2. Feedback to students is a crucial part of the learning process and teachers may continue to assign grades for that learning. For this school year, final grades or a credit/no credit option may both be available. Building staff will be communicating with students and families on these protocols.
- Will kids be promoted to the next grade next school year if we miss more time?
- Students can expect to continue to move on to the next grade level as they normally would as we will be continuing to provide for learning, albeit in a different way. For our high school students, class status will continue to be determined by credits earned.
- What about seniors set to graduate? Will that still happen?
- Any senior who was on track to graduate and has completed requirements as set forth in the student handbook will still graduate. If a student was failing a course when “in person” instruction was cancelled on March 13th, they still have an opportunity to work with their teachers on making up previous assignments, missed tests, or potentially working with their teacher on an alternate way to demonstrate their competency in the course. We stand ready to work with all seniors, as we always do, to support them and help them achieve their goals.
- Will there be commencements or other senior traditions this year?
- Commencement ceremonies have been rescheduled for June 28th with the hope that we will be able to make some sort of “in-person” outdoor ceremony happen should restrictions be loosened or lifted by that time. However, we will be preparing a virtual ceremony as well should that be required. Senior awards have been scheduled for a virtual program on May 28th as well.
- Can I come to the building to get personal items?
- All buildings are closed to the public and are only accessible to essential staff at this time. If you have left items in the building and those items are non-essential, we ask that you please wait until the governor releases the Stay at Home order to pick them up. If you need to retrieve something more critical – this would include something like medications or technology needed for learning purposes – then we ask you to please email your building principal or contact your school office during established hours. Contact info can be found on our website – benzieschools.net
- What about meals? How is Benzie handling food service during this time?
- Benzie Central is doing delivery of meals using our bus routes, 2 days per week on Mondays and Thursdays. We are providing meals for ANY students in the district with this service, including children who do not attend our schools but live in our area. Simply go to your nearest bus stop during the delivery window and you can receive food directly at that time. Children need not be present. We only ask those picking up meals be healthy to protect our staff. This service will continue through the remainder of the school year.
- When is meal delivery taking place?
- Deliveries will take place on Mondays and Thursdays through the remainder of the closure. This service is considered an “essential service” and will continue as long as the district is permitted to do so through the end of the school year. Delivery window takes place between 9AM and 11AM on our normal bus routes.
- What if I miss the bus delivery or am not sure where to go?
- You may call the bus garage between 8:30 and 11:30 on those delivery dates with questions at (231) 882-5072. Pickup is also available at the Middle/High School, Lake Ann, and Betsie Valley from 11:00 – 11:30 curbside on those dates as well.
- What is happening with state testing, SAT, and AP Exams?
- The state of Michigan is cancelling all state mandated testing for the 2019-20 school year. This includes the MStep, Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, SAT, ACT, and Workkeys assessments. District assessments such as NWEA will likewise not be taking place in this new remote learning environment. AP testing WILL take place in a new format designed to take place at home. The College Board, which oversees AP testing, and our AP instructors will be communicating with our AP students on timelines and procedures.
- Will there be any extra-curricular activities or sports taking place?
- No – the MHSAA has officially cancelled all remaining winter sports as well as the spring season for the 2019-20 school year. All other school activities are likewise cancelled in accordance with the Governor’s executive order.
- Will school be back in session in the Fall?
- We are operating under the assumption that school will resume in the Fall as scheduled. We do not yet have a first day of school established but are working within our region to consider what that will be. While we do not yet know what parameters we will have, we are working on contingency plans to ensure student and staff safety whatever the situation presents at that time. Rest assured, our plans always have and always will have student safety at the center of all that we do.
Are counseling services still available to our students?
- – Yes! Students / Parents can fill out the linked google form and one of our counseling staff will be in contact within 24 hours. https://docs.google.com/forms/
d/e/ 1FAIpQLSdMxlA9x2Jxvv9Hs5vLOz7n AOJLag03GmhVrqvXRNSqDR3seQ/ viewform?usp=sf_link