April 6th 2020

Dear Edsel Ford Students and Families,

As many of you already know, Governor Whitmer has announced that Michigan schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year. K-12 school sports activities and other in-person extracurricular school activities are also suspended while any state of emergency or state of disaster prompted by COVID-19 is in effect.

The safety of our students and staff will always be our top priority and we are in support of the Governor’s decision to take all necessary steps to keep our school family and community safe. In regards to our Edsel Ford Senior Class of 2020- I have sent out emails and blog posts saying that our superintendent has said we will plan to do something for our seniors when things are safe to do so.  We don’t know when or what that looks like yet, but we are all very aware of the events seniors deserve and look forward to every year. I assure you we will discuss, plan and publicize plans when we can get to that point. 

This is a time of great uncertainty and unfortunately we do not have all of the answers right now.  However, here is what we do know. 

Online instruction will continue through the regularly scheduled last day of school in June.

  • Each school district will be required to develop a learning plan for the remainder of the year that must be submitted and approved by our Intermediate School District.  
  • The State of Michigan is currently developing a generic learning plan template for districts to follow.  Each school district’s plan will be slightly different to ensure they are appropriate, equitable and accessible for all students and families.  Plans must also include how districts will manage and monitor student progress.
  • Once our Dearborn Public Schools plan is finalized and approved- the district will share it with the public.   
  • If you are in need of technology to help facilitate online learning and haven’t already picked up a chrome book.- please email me at casebos@dearbornschools.org.  I will add your name to our building google doc and arrange/communicate a plan as soon as we are allowed to do so. 
  • Current high school juniors will be given an opportunity next fall to take the SAT sometime in the fall upon our return to school, this is to make up for the state-funded college entrance exam they would have taken this April if schools had not been closed.
  • This week we will pause instruction for Spring Break.  Instruction will resume on Monday, April 13th.

The decision from Governor Whitmer was not the outcome any of us had wished for.  We miss you and our opportunities to learn and interact with each other.  Unfortunately, at this time, that simply is not possible.  We promise to do everything we can to ensure our students have the best educational experience possible moving forward.

Stay well, stay safe.
Principal Casebolt

Message from the Superintendent

April 2, 2020

Greetings, 

Today, Governor Whitmer announced that schools in Michigan will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.  We applaud the decision by the Governor to ensure the safety of all Michigan students as we continue to work toward slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  On behalf of the Board of Education and our entire staff, I want to take a moment to thank and express our appreciation to all of the health care professionals and first responders who have been working on the front lines to treat those affected by this virus.   

To summarize the Governor’s official, seventeen page order, here are a few key points: 

  • All public school buildings will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • All school districts must develop a plan for continued on-line/distance learning.
  • Seniors will be allowed to graduate and students will move to the next grade assuming they are on track to graduate, have met standards, and/or will show they have met standards over the next several weeks via online learning or other methods. 
  • Assessments are waived (SAT, PSAT, M-Step). Students who were scheduled to take the SAT this spring will have an opportunity to take the SAT which may occur in the fall. 
  • Food distribution programs will continue.
  • The state will continue to provide school aid payments allowing districts to pay staff regular wages/salary and benefits for the remainder of the school year.

We are still reviewing all of the details in the Governor’s order and awaiting further direction from the Michigan Department of Education.  However, our administrative team has already started developing a distance learning plan that will be submitted to our local Intermediate School District (ISD) as required by the Governor’s order.  Approval by the ISD will ensure the remainder of the school year will count for the District and that we will continue to receive our school aid budgetary payments. A key component in the Governor’s order is that students need to participate in distance learning or other forms of continued learning that is provided by the district.  Items related to specific students or a specific grade level will be addressed at the school level in coordination with the direction taken by central office leadership. Principals and teachers will provide that information as it becomes available.

We understand that this order has created many more questions, especially for our seniors. We will continue to have discussions with regard to how we will honor our graduation class of 2020. I have a meeting scheduled with the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council on Friday and this will be part of the discussion. In addition, the Board of Education will provide direction and will appoint a committee to acquire student, parent, and community input. 

We were hopeful that students would be able to return to the classroom, at least for a short time, to bring closure to the school year. Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases is predicted to increase over the next few weeks which has eliminated that option in accordance with the Governor’s order. We will continue to be optimistic for the future while we make plans that address the realistic conditions we are currently facing. 

Our state is still under a mandatory Shelter in Place order by the Governor. This means that in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and support the efforts of those who are on the front lines dealing with this serious situation, we must all do our part and remain in our homes. Our short-term sacrifices now will help to prevent an even longer shut down later; “Stay Home Stay Safe”. 

I have witnessed the great work by our staff, parents, students, and community members as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis.  I want to especially thank our outstanding Teachers and Administrators for the great work they are doing to support our students. In addition, I want to recognize the heroic effort of our Food Service staff, the PTA volunteers, and Operations staff for the distribution of thousands of meals over the past several weeks. We are a strong and resourceful community and I am so very proud to see how we have come together to support each other through this very difficult time.  I want to close by saying that we all need to remain hopeful and know that we will get through this. Take care of your family and take care of yourself. 

Please be safe and stay healthy,

Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D.

Superintendent

From the Office of the Superintendent

Greetings Everyone: 

There have been many discussions and questions regarding online homework and whether it counts. Not trying to sound like an attorney – or the grumpy teenager you may be stuck at home with for weeks on end – but the answer depends on how you define “count.”

The confusion comes because for many years our district has offered several programs and classes that have actively been using on-line learning as a regular part of the class. So, to now hear that work being done on-line will not count is very unsettling.   Most likely, if your child is enrolled in one of these programs or classes that has been doing on-line learning as a regular part of the class, when we return to our regular schedule the assignments done on-line will remain a part of a final grade as they have been in the past.  Of course, it is always best to address any specific questions directly with your child’s teacher. 

Right now, thousands of students and hundreds of teachers are providing all types of on-line learning opportunities at all grade levels.  Much of this distance learning is a new endeavor for both students and teachers. There has been a tremendous effort by our staff who have gone above and beyond to stay connected with their students.  The photos, videos, e-mails, and texts have been pouring in sharing this incredible effort and thanking our teachers for all they are doing. However, the question remains, does it count for the state, for the district?

To paraphrase the Magic 8 Ball – “Reply hazy. Try again later.”  The Governor has said online learning can “count” as a grade or toward meeting graduation requirements.  The Michigan Department of Education issued a statement that said online learning does not currently count toward meeting the instructional time required to avoid extending the school year.  At some point, the Michigan Legislature will probably weigh in as well.  

I have been talking directly with State Superintendent Rice and he has asked me to be part of a committee of superintendents from across the state.  We have met virtually to provide him with direct feedback that will assist him and his team in developing recommendations that are reasonable and practical solutions for all districts in Michigan.  He too understands that parents, students, and teachers are waiting for these answers but given the very fluid nature of this situation a final answer may still be a few weeks away. 

At this time we don’t know what the outcome will be, but perhaps one solution that could be considered  under this extraordinary circumstance would be that online learning would count as long as districts showed some proof that students were learning. In that, or several other scenarios, showing students were learning online could be important for funding and scheduling in the District.  Bottom line, if your teacher says it is due, then please complete the work. 

Admittedly, the district has been hedging what it says about whether online learning counts because like everyone else, we need to wait and see how long the closure lasts and what direction we will get from the state. There is also a fine balance between what we know is common behavior and some very real legal concerns.  On one side of the scale we know if we say it does not “count,” then a lot of our students and parents just won’t do it. After all, we are supposed to eat our vegetables, exercise and floss every day, but does everyone really do that? On the other side of the scale if we say it does count there could be legal ramifications. For those students who may not have access to the internet, a device at home to work on, or who may require specialized services making on-line work a “requirement” could be a violation of their civil rights and a legal issue for schools.  The U.S. Department of Education has issued a statement indicating some flexibility in these laws so again, we must wait for final direction.  

Rather than asking if all this work will count toward a grade or class time perhaps the more important question to be asking is does all this on-line learning count in helping to make your child a better student? Absolutely yes! 

Any learning, reading, growing, exploring and critical thinking helps your child learn and learn how to learn.  We know children lose knowledge over the summer break when many do not do anything academic for two months. How much more will students learn by adding another month off – another month when instead of moving forward – they may slide backward?  If that happened, would students need to start next year at the same place they started this year? Those are questions we hope we don’t have to ask when school reopens, so we are doing what we can to help students now. We know that parents want the best for their children, and all that parents do to ensure their children learn makes a big difference not only now, but for the future.

And for us, as a Dearborn Public Schools community, any learning counts.  It counts whether it is a teacher in a classroom focused on required material or if a student is working more independently at home on enrichment activities. It counts because it impacts the future success of our students, which is the most important measure there is.  Hopefully, that is the most important measure for our families as well.

Regards,

Glenn M. Maleyko, Ph.D.

Family Food Boxes

Hello Everyone,

I am pleased to announce that Najah Bazzy, CEO of Zaman International contacted me today and has shared that Zaman and it’s dedicated volunteers will be handing out Family Food Boxes this Friday, March 27th  at Edsel Ford during our normal breakfast and lunch handout from 10am-12noon.  Zaman will be located near – but a safe distance away from the normal breakfast and lunch handouts behind the cafeteria off Pelham road.

The Family Food Boxes are set-up to feed a family of 4 for one week.  We are very blessed and thank Najah and Zaman for their efforts in supporting our Edsel Ford community.  True Heros!!  

Edsel families please come out and accept these generous donations.

Stay well, Principal Casebolt

Remote registration for Dearborn Library Cards

Dearborn Public Library has set up a way for residents of Dearborn/Dearborn Heights to remotely register for temporary Dearborn Public Library cards.  These cards will allow access to all Dearborn Public Library electronic materials.  Instructions and highlights of available eResources is available through the following link:  https://dearbornlibrary.org/wordpress/need-a-temporary-library-card/

Message from the Principal

Dear Edsel Ford Parents and Families,

Hi Everyone- On another day where we find ourselves wondering what is next- I wanted to share some information and plans for our return to normal.  Here are a list of updates- I am trying to balance over communicating or duplicating all of the information you get from the district:

  • Most important is the fact that teachers have developed enrichment only lessons- please ask, encourage and support your students so that they continue to progress and learn so that they are prepared when we return to school.  I will save my comments for an appropriate time on the mixed messages from MDE and then thankfully and quickly clarified by our Governor.
  • It is the expectation of Edsel Ford’s administration and teachers that students participate in online learning.  The work being assigned to you is to ensure that you do not fall behind academically. 
  • We are not sure when we will return, but Edsel Ford will continue to provide you with on-line learning opportunities.  As a school, it is important for us to continue to grow and thrive academically.
  • Assignments will be marked as Not Graded, but may be put in MiStar to allow for feedback.  
  • The US Dept. of Ed has waived the requirement for statewide student testing- we now are waiting on the Michigan legislature to amend our state law that requires statewide testing and accountability.  That means there would be no SAT, MME, PSAT and M-Step testing this year.
  • Michigan legislature will also look to relax the Michigan Merit Curriculum high school graduation requirements, teacher and administrator evaluation requirements, and other legal requirements pertaining to school and this pandemic.
  •  E2020, ASAP, and AP students should still work on their content.  Their teachers have shared what they need to complete.
  • The AP test will be taken at home this year online.  Please encourage them to study before they take the exam.  There is no multiple choice, just essay questions.  
  • Superintendent Honors Night (May 14th) cancelled
  • EF Prom May 29th TBD based on numerous factors
  • EF Graduation TBD still scheduled for June 6th based on numerous factors
  • Daily Breakfast and lunch pickup at Edsel Ford from 10am-12pm doors behind cafeteria (Use Pelham entrance)

Special message to our Edsel Ford Seniors – I want you to know that you are a Class to Remember….

Senior year is a time period in life you’ll always remember, and we’ll all remember this particular Senior year as even more extraordinary.  Extraordinary for the circumstances we are under, but also extraordinary for the way we’re making sacrifices to bring safety to all. 

School may be temporarily closed.

Seasons may be on hold.

There are things we cannot control.

But we can control the way we respond to what’s happening in a positive way.  That is where your power is.

We believe in your resilience Class of 2020.  We believe that even when things look down- you will rise up.  

For now, let’s stand strong, yet apart- so we can celebrate together later.  

– Jostens

All my best- Principal Casebolt