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Marquette Area Public Schools to move all students to virtual learning on Nov. 23, 24

Superintendent Bill Saunders said there have been substitute staffing shortages when teachers have had to quarantine, which contributed to this decision.
Marquette Area Public Schools' buses and a student.
Marquette Area Public Schools' buses and a student.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 11:04 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette Area Public Schools (MAPS) will move all students to online learning for the two days prior to the Thanksgiving break.

According to a letter from Superintendent Bill Saunders, a small committee was formed to look at how teachers can be helped, as staffing shortages continue. He said that committee determined all students should be in remote learning on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24.

“MAPS is committed to remaining flexible throughout this COVID outbreak and desires to make adjustments when necessary for the benefit of students and staff,” Saunders said.

Read the full letter sent to parents and guardians from Superintendent Saunders below.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are a quarter of the way into the school year and we see many students flourishing, whether that be in face-to-face, hybrid, or online learning platforms. I couldn’t be more proud of the resiliency of all our students who have made adjustments and sacrifices to be successful.

It seems like a long time ago, but it was just recently over the summer when MAPS' plans for this school year were developed, new curricular resources purchased, and a host of new procedures and safety measures were put in place. Our teachers and staff, like our students, adjusted to these new circumstances and are managing quite well. It’s also important to point out that a roll out of this magnitude would normally take a year or more, and our teachers had just three PD days. MAPS teachers have all gone above and beyond, working extra days this summer, long hours after school, and have given up valuable time on weekends to educate themselves and keep up. This sacrifice has been epic and it’s one of the reasons our educators are so outstanding.

MAPS is committed to remaining flexible throughout this COVID outbreak and desires to make adjustments when necessary for the benefit of students and staff. Over the past few weeks, a small MAPS committee has looked at our strengths and areas for improvement and determined what MAPS teachers really need is time. Due to ongoing quarantining of staff and substitute shortages, many teachers have sacrificed prep time to fill vacancies. This prep time may have been used to share successful strategies and ideas, get more acquainted with purchased curriculum, and hone new teaching methods. We’d like to give some of this lost time back so staff can focus on these areas.

Our committee has determined the best place to capture some lost time, and to get over the hurdle of staffing shortages due to quarantine, is to declare November 23rd and 24th virtual learning days for all students.

Each individual school will communicate further details with parents to ensure families have the necessary resources to engage in online learning. Distribution of school breakfast and lunch will continue on these days.  More information on food service is forthcoming.

Thanks for your ongoing support of MAPS during this challenging year.

Sincerely,

William Saunders, Superintendent, Marquette Area Public Schools

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