Novi Community School District released its Responsive Organizational & Academic Return Plan on July 7.
The ROAR plan will continue to be updated periodically this summer.
- Foreword by Dr. Matthews
- Learning Options
- Introduction by Dr. Webber
- NCSD Vision and Guiding Principles
- Public Health
- Health Services
- Student Services
- Special Education
- English Learners
- Human Resources
- School/Community Programs and Education
Let me begin by saying thank you.
Thank you to our students, parents, teachers, administrators, and staff who worked together to ensure that the 2019-2020 school year ended well. On March 12, 2020, all of us were challenged when our Governor announced that school buildings would be closing. Our district staff started right away on March 13, 2020, creating a new model. This model evolved over time and provided our students with opportunities to continue learning.
We certainly had our fair share of bumps along the way and, looking back, we can see where things could have been improved or gone better. However, I am proud of the work that all of us did to ensure that our students could continue learning and growing.
Now the 2020-2021 school year is fast approaching. The Novi Community School District has been busy planning and we are excited to share our plans with you. We have great confidence that the plans we have made will provide opportunities for our students and options for our families.
We, like you, are committed to providing a safe environment for our students and staff. Governor Whitmer has given us guidance on what will be required and what will be recommended based on the context within our region. We will follow the required elements of the Governor’s plan and make decisions on the recommendations to ensure that all of our community can be safe as we return to school.
We believe that the best option for students is to return to in-person learning in our schools. Students need to be with their friends, with a caring and supportive teacher, and provided opportunities that come in our school buildings. Our in-person plan will address both the academic and social/emotional needs of our students.
We also plan to have a robust virtual option for our students. This option will look and feel different than the virtual experience that we offered in the spring. Our new virtual option will be more structured, requiring attendance and giving grades. Students will receive instruction from NCSD teachers following NCSD curriculum.
We recognize that our new school year will be unlike any we have prepared for before. Working together we will create positive and robust options for both in-person and virtual instruction this fall.
I look forward to working with you and our staff to make sure we create safe, positive, and challenging learning environments for our students this fall.
Gratefully and Respectfully,
Dr. Steve Matthews
Option One: Traditional In-Person Instruction, following required safety measures
- Families will be asked to commit to this option in early August.
- Facial coverings for most students and staff will be required or strongly recommended, depending on the Phase we are in at the time. Students can bring their own facial covering or the district will provide one.
- The District will work to create as much social distance as practical within classrooms and common areas.
- Transportation provided, with students wearing facial coverings. Hand sanitizer will be available. District will be cleaning and sanitizing buses.
- Food service provided with potential for staggered lunches, distanced cafeteria or eating in classrooms.
- Extracurricular athletics as permitted by the MHSAA.
- Curricular and extracurricular activities, if possible, adhering to recommended safety protocols.
Option Two: Complete Virtual Learning
- Families will be asked in August to commit to a semester at a time.
- Students will receive instruction from NCSD teachers following NCSD curriculum.
- Students will be able to participate in extracurricular athletics and activities.
Novi Community School District Community,
The following document is a collection of information assuring you that the community school district you know and love is working hard to provide your family with the opportunities and safety you deserve. It is critically important for you to know that the same care and concern that made us the No.1-rated school district in Michigan in 2019 is the same level of care and concern being put into our return to school in the fall.
We firmly believe that “Hope and Denial” is not a strategy. We will be honest with ourselves and honest with you as we work toward providing your family with what you deserve. We are building plans that attend to each aspect of our community school district, from birth through our Career Preparation programs.
We are building plans that attend to each learner; those students with Individual Education Plans, Section 504 Plans, Advanced Placement Students, and those students attending the Oakland Schools Technical Campus. Please review the areas we are attending to in this document: Public Health, Health Services, Academics, Well-Being, Student Services, Special Education, English Learners, Human Resources, Operations (Athletics/Extracurriculars, Facilities/Maintenance, Food and Nutrition Department, School Safety and Transportation), Technology, School/Community Programs and Education, and Communications.
It is important that you know over 250 people are working on our return to school plans, including: the NCSD Board of Education, Students, Parents, Administrative Assistants, Counselors, Social Workers, Teachers, Administrators, Nurses, Police Officers, Athletic Staff, Fine Arts Staff, Maintenance Staff, Transportation Staff, Attorneys, Technology Experts, Assessment Experts, Experts in Social Emotional Learning, Novi Educational Foundation, and Local Government Officials. We are proud of our inclusive approach in preparing for our return. It may take a bit more time and take a lot more effort, but we believe the result will be our very best collective work.
Please know how grateful the Novi Community School District is that you have placed your trust in us to educate and care for your children. We do not take your trust for granted, nor do we take our obligation lightly. Thank you for your candid feedback over the past four months. We look forward to your feedback going forward.
We cannot wait to be back and fully together.
We have deeply missed your families.
Dr. RJ Webber
Assistant Superintendent of Academics
Responsive Organizational and Academic Return (ROAR) Plan
Vision for the ROAR Plan:
The Novi Community School District Vision:
The Nov Community School District believes in:
- an equity of opportunity,
- a culture of unity,
- fostering and inspiring a curiosity of learning and a community of well-being, for all stakeholders.
The NCSD Guiding Principles for the ROAR Plan:
- We will continue to take measures to support the safety, health and welfare of our students and staff.
- We will continue our commitment to supporting the well-being and mental health of our students and staff.
- We will continue to engage our community, which includes students, staff and parents, as we work through the planning process.
- We will continue to provide high quality services to our students with disabilities, English Learners, and students receiving intervention services.
- We will continue Professional Development to support our learning plans.
- We will be flexible in our approach to our teaching and learning framework, giving us the capability to pivot between instructional modalities in response to the public health crisis.
- In order to ensure student safety, we will follow the required elements of the MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-2021 Return to School Roadmap.
- Masks/facial coverings could be required depending on the phase.
- The district will work to create as much social distance as practical within classrooms and common areas.
- Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available in all buildings and classrooms.
- For additional details, please refer to the NCSD Prevention and Response Plan. This is a living document that will be updated based on the latest recommendations from the CDC, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Oakland County Health Division and the District Nurse.
References and Resources
- Nursing Services
- Health planning/health support/medication requirements
- Each school will identify and designate a quarantine area and a staff person to care for students who become ill at school. Appropriate health care protocols will be followed in caring for these students
- Symptomatic students and staff will utilize a different isolated room in the school building and will utilize social distancing guidelines in such rooms
Resources and References
On March 13, 2020, the district initiated a task force made up of Content Area Leaders, guided by the NCSD Office of Academics Administrators, to plan for the initial school building closure (March 18-April 14, 2020) time frame. The NCSD Content Area Leader (CAL) model has been the primary driver of curriculum construction and implementation over the past decade.
The CAL model empowers approximately 35 K-12 teachers to lead the curriculum efforts of the district. It is this model that created a fully aligned curriculum, a curriculum that emphasizes common learning experiences for over 6,500 learners. This teacher-led model afforded opportunities for our students after the initial school closure. Our interim goal was to provide at-home learning opportunities that reinforced previous instruction on topics covered in school prior to the initial state mandated building closure. No new instruction or assessments were to be given during this time period.
In that time, optional learning tasks were shared out by teachers on Wednesdays to students and families. Teachers checked in with their classes through the learning platforms, listed below, once a week. Parents were directed to reach out to teachers or building administrators if their child was having difficulty accessing the optional online learning activities. These were supplemental activities designed to be completed, if desired, and they were not graded or assessed.
Beginning on April 12, 2020, under the guidelines set forth in Executive Order 2020-35, the Novi Community School District built upon its existing framework of providing students with Opportunities for Weekly Learning. This second phase moved into the area of new instruction, with teachers focusing on the most important areas left to be covered in the 2019-2020 school year.
These Opportunities for Weekly Learning were still ungraded, but students were provided with formative feedback on work submitted. The goal for this new phase was to provide instruction on the most important subjects yet to be covered and mitigate as much knowledge loss as possible. The district will spend many hours in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year working to remediate students and filling in the gap that will have arisen from this disruption in school.
The primary method for delivery of instruction was online, utilizing platforms such as Seesaw, Schoology, and Zoom. For students who had internet access, but did not have a device, devices were made available. Students without internet access had access to instructional materials through a weekly instructional packet. All students had access to grade level/course textbooks, as needed, to complete their work.
In keeping with NCSD’s vision statement, our staff has been working diligently to live into our vision of creating a plan that addresses all modalities, blending them and nimbly moving between them as reality dictates, committing to ensure staff and student safety.
NCSD leveraged Content Area Leaders to bring together collaborative teams to reflect on the successes and challenges our staff and students experienced during our first phase of online learning. The CALs recruited staff from various departments and buildings in the district to join their collaborative teams, and began to reflect on the online instruction they provided students focusing on their subject area of instruction. Together, the collaborative teams completed a reflection template that was shared with the Office of Academics.
The Office of Academics is using the feedback received from the collaborative teams to hone virtual instruction for the upcoming school year. We are planning for in-person learning, plus online learning for individuals who elect a virtual experience. Once the guidelines are established, the Office of Academics will share them with the collaborative teams, and they will begin planning for instruction delivery.
During this time, the NCSD administrative team has also met regularly and collaborated to develop an initial plan to return students and staff to school for in-person learning safely. The team developed several scenarios in accordance with the CDC’s published guidelines, and will be using the Governor’s task force guidelines to further develop our reopening plan.
Following the guidance from the MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap and working in conjunction with the Oakland County Health Department, the Novi Community School District will provide two instructional modalities: traditional in-person instruction or a completely virtual option in which students will receive all instruction online taught by Novi teachers.
NCSD will provide a robust curriculum in the 2020-2021 school year. Students will begin the year by completing a universal screener (i-Ready at the K-6 grade levels; NWEA at the 7-10 grade levels) to assess prior learning and determine possible learning gaps that need to be addressed during the school year. As the year continues, teachers will continue to assess students’ learning and growth using formative and summative assessments throughout the school year.
NCSD will be providing grades and report marks for all students, whether they are in-person on in virtual learning. Students can expect to partake in graded assessments and assignments. Students in grades K-6 will receive marks and report cards for all three trimesters this year. Students in grades 7-12 will receive grades and report cards throughout the year as well.
We will follow all policy and guidance from the Michigan Department of Education in regards to attendance, grades, and report cards for both traditional in-person and virtual learning.
- Proactive approach to focus on the well-being of students and staff.
Provide time and space for staff and students to intentionally focus on building relationships and foster a strong classroom community of learners.
- Leverage structures and practices already in place while adding new strategies to support the needs of students across each level.
- Utilize our Multi-Tiered System of Supports to provide interventions in varying degrees of intensity to attend to the needs of each student.
References and Resources
- Adhering to child find requirements, evaluations, eligibility, and providing accommodations, aids and related services to students who are eligible under Section 504.
- Following required social distancing protocols during evaluations and when providing accommodations, aids, and related services.
- Support students with Section 504 Accommodation Plans
- Demonstrate good faith effort to provide accommodations and related services to students with 504 Plans
- Provide services in the areas of: Social Worker, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Services, and Oakland Schools Consultant support, as stated on student’s 504 plans.
- NCSD will provide these supports using several methods, which may include Zoom, Google Meets, or Televate Platform
- Will work to ensure accessibility, including accommodations to their general education learning, as well as individual student needs
- Provide a Notice document to families in the event we cannot provide services on the 504 plan
Child Find and Evaluation
- In-person learning: All federal and district policies and procedures will be adhered to in order to meet compliance under Section 504
- Virtual learning: Individual needs will be reviewed to determine how to best support and provide accommodations, aids, and services so students identified under Section 504 can access curriculum and instruction
- Birth to 3/Early On
- Early Childhood/Pre-K Special Education Programs & Services
- Novi Adult Transition Center (NATC)
- Career Prep
- Catholic Central (Non-Public Service Plans)
- Novi students who attend Center-Based Programs in Oakland County
In-Person and Virtual Learning
Child Find and Evaluation
Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meetings
The English Language Development (ELD) program will continue living into the vision of providing every English Learner access to equitable, high-quality content and language instruction, delivering an impactful and inclusive educational experience. The ELD program will continue to support English Learners, whether in-person or virtually, focusing on the four components of language development: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. The ELD team will follow the district plans for in-person or virtual learning. The ELD program will continue to follow best practices and guidance provided by the Michigan Department of Education.
During in-person instruction,
English Language Development Teachers will continue teaching language development along with teaching core content
English Learners will continue to be identified for appropriate levels of English Development support based on multiple data points, such as the latest WIDA ACCESS 2.0 For ELLs proficiency scores
English Language Development intervention will continue to provide intensive language-based instruction to English Learners who are struggling with language development
English Language Development teachers will begin the year by collecting further proficiency data to ensure they are able to meet students’ needs using the WIDA Model assessment, and other local assessments such as i-Ready
During virtual instruction,
English Language Development teachers will also continue to teach language and content, with further emphasis on developing oral language skills
The English Language Development program will continue to provide English Language Development intervention to select students who are identified as in need of additional support to further develop their language skills
English Language Development teachers will continue to collaborate with core teachers and the special education team to support English Learners in their classes, whether virtually or in person
References and Resources
- Athletics/Curricular and Extracurricular Activities
- Food & Nutrition Department
- School Safety
- Athletics/Curricular and Extracurricular Activities
- Food & Nutrition
- School Safety
- Maintain and sanitize bottle filler locations within buildings. In lieu of using a common source of drinking water, staff and students should use individual water bottles.
- Continually assess the necessary materials and supply chain for cleaning, disinfection and PPE supplies per the CDC and Oakland County Health Department guidelines
- Continue deep cleaning all district buildings over the summer and clean and maintain facilities for in-person school operations
- Coordinate with Local Emergency Management Programs for support with procurement of cleaning and disinfection supplies
- Alert custodial and infection control staff of any changes in recommended cleaning guidelines issued by OSHA and/or the CDC
- Oversee work on bond projects and ensure that contractors are following all recommended safety and health protocols
- Manage site repairs, renovations and reconstruction projects
- Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible inside the buildings to maximize circulation of outdoor air conditioning
- Create, distribute and post hygiene and traffic-flow visual controls
NCSD will continue to provide breakfast and lunch for all students. Multiple service models have been developed to accommodate a range of social distancing requirements.
- Service models include eating in classrooms, distanced cafeteria, or “grab and go”, should closure be required again
- Mobile preordering will be required for grades 7-12; K-6 will preorder in their classrooms each morning for eating in the classroom
- ID badges will be used for all students at point of sale to minimize touch points
- All meals will be served meeting USDA and MDE guidelines and requirements
- All service staff will follow health department health and safety protocols
- Meals will be served in accordance with CDC and Oakland County Health Department guidelines
NCSD, in partnership with our school resource officers, administrators and staff, will continue providing coverage of all sites to ensure safe environments for students, staff and community members. NCSD will take steps to:
- Ensure that safety and security remain a top priority with regard to our students, staff, faculty and guests
- Continue to place an emphasis on the security of our entire school community, relative to District policies and protocols already established
- Continue our commitment to providing secure/monitored building entrances during the entirety of each school day
- Remain faithful to the District’s overall Emergency Operation Plan, which is based upon guidance from state and federal authorities in best practices for school safety and threat preparedness
- Commit to being agile in accommodating public health recommendations, while maintaining appropriate attention to prior training, crisis preparedness, threat assessment, and violence/crisis mitigation practices, as established
- Expect the cooperation of our students, staff, faculty, and guests in maintaining a high standard of safety and security within all District facilities
- Maintain a strong partnership with local public safety and emergency management resources
NCSD plans to provide safe and timely transportation services for eligible riders. In order to ensure student safety, we will follow the required elements of the MI Safe Schools Roadmap.
- Capacities of the transportation service will follow public health guidelines:
- disinfecting protocols following student pick up and drop offs
- masks/facial coverings could be required depending on the phase.
- Scheduling dependent on ridership and capacities
On June 18, 2020, the NCSD Board of Education unanimously approved the use of 2014 bond money to purchase laptops for all NCSD educators. The technology will ensure that our teachers and administrators will be able to meet the needs of our students either in-person or in a virtual environment.
- Each instructional staff member will be provided with a convertible 2:1 laptop with digital inking capabilities. During phase one, staff will retain existing desktop computers through the 2020-2021 school year. During the summer of 2021, the plan is to implement the laptop as the teacher workstation in the classroom.
- Each administrative staff member will be provided with a convertible 2:1 package (same as educators) to replace their existing desktop computers. The package consists of the laptop, two monitors, a docking station, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. The existing desktop, purchased in 2015, will be reimaged to be reprovisioned for the remainder of the usable life expectancy.
- Students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 1 will utilize existing iPads to support student learning. Instructional staff assigned to these grades will be assigned an iPad such that they can better support student learning goals.
- Students and staff will continue to have access to the Oakland Schools Service Desk (248-209-2060 for any technology-based issues that may arise.
- The C.A.R.E. program supervises children while their parents are at work. C.A.R.E. is ready to serve families in the Novi Community School District. Determination of locations and availability will be made based on public health and LARA guidelines. These guidelines will include the potential of limited capacity of school buildings, reduced ratios, and the need to clean and disinfect spaces before and after sessions. Communication to families regarding availability will be provided early August
The availability of Youth/Adult Enrichment classes, Aquatics and Facility Rentals will be determined based on CDC guidelines.
- The NCSD Central Registration team can assist families enrolling in the Novi Community School District. Central Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year will be done online. Please visit NCSD’s Central Enrollment website for enrollment information. The Central Enrollment team will process all paperwork and communicate with all necessary district personnel (building secretaries, administrators, and counselors)
- The Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) will be offering Preschool classes for the 2020-21 school year. The program format may change based on licensing and CDC guidelines
- Determination of NCSD Career Prep High School and Adult Education program locations and availability will be made based on public health guidelines. These guidelines will include the potential of limited capacity of school buildings, reduced ratios, and the need to clean and disinfect spaces before and after sessions
- NCSD will be offering our alternative high school program, Career Prep High School, for the 2020-2021 school year. The program format may change based on CDC guidelines
- NCSD will be offering Adult English as a Second Language classes for the 2020-2021 school year. The program format may change based on CDC guidelines
References and Resources
We will relay critical and necessary information to all audiences, support crisis situations, lead community relations and family engagement, respond to media inquiries, and continue to tell our story. We will remain agile, creative, flexible and responsive, anticipating an increased complexity to communication efforts during the 2020-2021 school year. Additional communications may be triggered by potential fluctuations in the status of school buildings (open or closed in response to virus outbreaks), changing health advisories, national or local government actions, and multi-layered crisis situations. We may need to increase real-time communication at the school level for students and families.
The importance of timely communications to all stakeholders cannot be overstated. We understand that to serve the information needs of the entire community, NCSD will utilize the website or ELD newsletters for a variety of real-time multilingual delivery mechanisms for critical information. District families receive (or have access through online translation mechanisms) information in their chosen language(s) as every other family in the district.
- A new public-facing page on our website will include information about the ROAR Plan. NCSD will communicate more information before the start of the school year about the in-person and virtual learning options, implementation of plans, and supports for families and students. Content will likely include topics such as school schedules, curriculum resources, student expectations, tech support, meal distribution, mental health resources, special education, FAQs, and community resources.
- Communications from the Superintendent will be emailed to parents/guardians when necessary. The Superintendent provided almost daily communication via SchoolMessenger throughout the mandatory building closure due to the pandemic.
- Principals will continue to provide critical updates and information, including a weekly newsletter delivered via email.
- Specific information for each learning mode will be highlighted as needed.
- NCSD will continue to be proactive and reactive in engaging with local and national media outlets.
- NCSD, ranked the No.1 school district in the state of Michigan in 2019, will continue to tell our story, highlighting student achievement and district activities.
- NCSD will continue to use social media, especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to provide content that encourages interaction and participation with external audiences.
- The District and all schools will provide important updates and crisis alerts in multiple languages utilizing the SchoolMessenger broadcast platform. With the potential for fluctuating schedules and plans, these immediate contact tools become increasingly important.
The success and safety of NCSD students and staff, whether in the in-person traditional setting or a virtual learning environment, is our top priority. Crisis communications encompasses community messaging and school support related to incidents and issues. For all learning modalities, schools will be the primary resource for determining and delivering building level emergency messaging under the direction of the Superintendent, the Marketing/Communications Specialist and other administrators.
Returning to in-person learning during the ongoing pandemic creates the potential for fluctuations in school status in response to virus outbreaks. This reality, together with rapidly changing health advisories, will necessitate additional communication.
References and Resources