July 14, 2020
Otsego families, staff and community:
It is our promise to you that our plan is a plan designed with the health and safety of our students and our employees as the top priority, and based on public health information available at the time. This plan to return to school is student-centered, focused on the social-emotional and physical health and safety of our students and staff and designed to keep our kids learning at a high level. At Otsego, Expect Excellence is our Vision and we believe all students can excel; this goes for any type of learning environment. The 2020-21 School Year will look different, but it’s an opportunity for us to chart a new course for success when it comes to education. The Otsego Public Schools Return to Learn Plan was a group effort guided by our own team of teachers and administrators, local and state health officials, and Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap. In addition, we look forward to having you - our parents, guardians and community - as partners in this effort.
Currently, our region is in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start plan. In this current phase, Otsego Public Schools will begin the year with a Hybrid Learning Plan. This means our students will be broken into two groups - blue and gold - and each attend in-person classes two days a week, and remote classes three days a week. Blue will begin school on Monday, August 24th; Gold will begin on Tuesday, August 25th. Blue attends school in person on Mondays and Thursdays; Gold attends school in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesday will be a remote learning day for all students with virtual intervention opportunities for those needing extra help. The two groups will be set by August 7th. Students in the same household will be in the same group.
For families with additional health concerns, or those not yet comfortable in sending kids back to school in person, there will be an all-virtual learning option, the Virtual Academy Allegan County. Students will join this online learning opportunity as Otsego students. More information will be forthcoming.
We will be sending families a survey in July asking all families to inform us of their choice for returning to school, either hybrid or virtual.
Please know, this plan is fluid and may need to be adjusted as new guidance from the Michigan Department of Education, Governor’s Office, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan County Health Department and other public health officials is received or as necessary to best support the health and safety of our students and employees. All updates will be posted on our Return To Learn web page and shared with our families and employees.
Should our region (Kalamazoo Region #3) in the MI Safe Start Plan move from Phase 4 back to Phase 1, 2 or 3 due to a resurgence of the virus, we will follow the MI Safe Schools Roadmap requirement to close our buildings and move to our Remote Learning Plan, 100% remote learning. If we move into Phase 5, we will adjust and plan to move to our Face-to-Face Learning Plan, all students back to in-person instruction, but do so with consultation with health officials. As a district, we are preparing for a variety of scenarios and, as always, we are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way.
We are excited to welcome back our students and staff and will always strive to make Otsego the best place to be! This document contains all of the information you need to know about returning to school plans and our safety protocols. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, or our Return to Learn email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We are Otsego and we are glad that our bulldogs are back! Let’s make this a great year!
Jeffery S. Haase, Superintendent
Otsego Public Schools