What you need to know about school closure information: resources, health expert links, communications about COVID-19

Information on Coronavirus - COVID-19

This page will be used to update the Berkley Schools community about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the District’s response and procedures. Because the status of COVID-19 is rapidly changing both here in the U.S. and abroad, we are continually monitoring the situation. Please check back often for the latest information on what the Berkley Schools is doing to prevent, respond and provide resources about COVID-19.

We are in close contact with the Oakland County Health Division to ensure that we are following the direction of experts when it comes to safety and preventative measures for our students and staff. We will continue to follow their guidance and best practices to deal with this virus. 

Determination of Critical Infrastructure Workers and Essential Employees Performing Necessary Government Activities

Determination of Critical Infrastructure Workers and Essential Employees Performing Necessary Government Activities

On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-21 (COVID-19) ordering residents to remain at home to the maximum extent feasible. The Order provides exceptions for workers “whose presence is strictly necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of critical infrastructure workers.”

The following is a list of Berkley School District employees who are considered critical workers or essential for the support of critical workers and may be working in the District while this Executive Order is in effect. 

  1. Technology Department staff who support teachers with virtual teaching and learning.
  2. Business Office staff who manage payroll, benefits, bill payments, receipts and related banking.
  3. Custodial/Maintenance staff who clean and sterilize our buildings, assist with meal/food preparation and distribution, and collect/distribute supplies to our local hospitals.
  4. Food service workers who prepare/provide meals/food packages to families in the community.
  5. District administrators (Central Office and Building Leaders) and Executive Assistants who on a very limited basis, travel to the District to retrieve or send protected materials/documentation that are not available online and are necessary to perform essential responsibilities.

For the safety of our staff and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Berkley School District will follow the recommendations of the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) while these employees are at work.  This includes social distancing, increased sanitary standards and screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms before they begin working. 

Online & Learning Resources for Families

Resources for our Berkley Schools Families

Internet & Device Access

Talking with your children about COVID-19

Should children be gathering while school is not in session?

Educational Websites and Apps

In addition, many good online resources and guidance are available on the Common Sense Media website.

All Subjects

Literacy

Math

  • Coming soon… watch our website for more information and be sure to look for emails from your child’s teacher(s) with additional resources

Science & Social Studies

Fun Games

Movement & Mindfulness

Ways to connect kids (Instead of getting together)

Enriching Experiences Online for Families

Meal Distribution Schedule Change 3/24/20

Berkley Schools distributes two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) for any child under 18 in our community and those 18-26 who are in our Adult Transition Program. Here are the important details you need to know - Updated March 24, 2020:

Good afternoon, Berkley Schools Community,

Today we announce a change to our Meal Distribution program. We do want to be clear that even though the Governor issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate, we are still distributing meals for children under 18 in our community. In order to reduce contact and keep people home more often, we are moving to a three day distribution schedule. We will be distributing the same amount of meals, just on condensed days. Details on the changes are listed below. As a reminder, if you need any assistance at all with meals, or if coming to us for meals helps your family in other aspects of daily life, we hope to see you at our centers.

New meal distribution schedule:

  • Tuesday, March 24: Everything remains the same
  • Wednesday, March 25: We will distribute two days worth of meals (breakfast and lunch per child, per day)
  • Friday, March 27: We will distribute three days worth of meals, as usual
  • Monday, March 30: The three day a week schedule continues
    • On Mondays and Wednesdays, families will pick up two days worth of meals
    • On Fridays, families will pick up three days worth of meals

Meal distribution times (no changes):

  • 11 am - 1 pm and 4-6 pm
  • Both meals will be available during both time slots. There is no need to come twice.
  • Meals will be distributed in a grab-and-go style pick up
  • Families will take both meals per child at the same time
  • The meals (1 breakfast and 1 lunch) are available to any child in the community, no questions asked

Meal distribution sites (no changes):

  • Anderson Middle School (3205 Catalpa, Berkley, MI). Pick up at the back parking lot door (behind the building).
  • Norup International School (14450 Manhattan, Oak Park, MI). Pick up at the multi-purpose room doors.

We hope you are staying home, staying safe and staying healthy. If you need additional assistance for food for your family, we encourage you to reach out to Gleaners Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest, Yad Ezra and Lighthouse Food Pantry.

Technology Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How will tech needs be met after all buildings close? The Director of Teaching, Learning and Technology will continue to monitor the survey responses and will follow up with families to make Chromebooks available to those who express a need. 
  2. How will parents receive internet access if a need was indicated on the survey? The District has ordered hotspot devices from Verizon. We are hoping to receive the devices soon but we don't have a confirmation date yet - the devices are in high demand. Someone from the Technology department will follow up with families when the devices are ready.  If you indicated you needed internet access, you should have received an email from Scott Francis, Director of Teaching, Learning and Technology with a confirmation.
  3. How will students/parents get Google login and password information if they don't know it? If your child is having trouble logging into his/her Google account, please reach out to your building's media specialist after Thursday, March 19, for login and password support.
  4. Can my child use the generic Google login and password at home?  It is not preferred because the children won't receive any emails, Google Classroom info, or be able to save anything in their Google account.

Update from Superintendent McDavid: 3/30/20

Good afternoon, Berkley Schools Community,

We have completed two weeks away from one another and we miss our students tremendously.  Since we last touched base the Governor issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives order. I sincerely hope you are all taking this order seriously - the sooner we all do, the sooner we can return to school. This order means making sure your children are only staying with their immediate family members (and whoever lives in your home) and not heading out to hang out with their friends. I know this is difficult, but we certainly need to all do our part to flatten the COVID-19 curve. If you must go out for essentials, please remember to say 6 feet away from the next person.

While we miss seeing and working with our students every day, I am so proud of our educators and all they are doing for all of our students. None of this is perfect, but I know that all of us, parents, students and staff, are all doing our best under very trying circumstances. Thanks to all of you for your work and support as we all pull together.

The Governor’s original school closure order ended April 6. Her Stay Home, Stay Safe order extends through April 13. At this time, Spring Break is included in the state mandate, and will continue as planned Monday, April 6, through Friday, April 10. And it is a break. We will encourage our teachers to connect with students with a hello over the break, however we understand students as well as staff do need a break, and will not be sharing any new enrichment during Spring Break week.

Meal distribution will continue as it currently does during Spring Break. Last week we condensed our meal serving times to help with social and physical distancing. We now serve meals three days a week, and will continue to serve meals during Spring Break. On Mondays and Wednesdays, families will pick up two days worth of meals. On Fridays, families will pick up three days worth of meals. Meal distribution times remain the same: 11 am - 1 pm and 4-6 pm. Both meals will be available during both time slots. Meals will be distributed in a grab-and-go style pick up and families will take both meals per child at the same time. The meals (1 breakfast and 1 lunch) are available to any child in the community 18 and under, no questions asked. Our meal distribution sites are Anderson Middle School (3205 Catalpa, Berkley, MI) with pick up at the back parking lot door and Norup International School (14450 Manhattan, Oak Park, MI) with pick up at the multi-purpose room doors.

Previous messages have included links to resources for academic enrichment more related to core subjects. This week, I’d like to share enriching experiences for you to enjoy with your family.

I am so proud of our community and how we have all come together to lift one another. Just last week, our custodial maintenance staff took inventory and corralled 176 canisters of Clorox wipes, 93 individual bottles of hand sanitizer, 225 boxes of gloves and 16 masks to donate to Beaumont Health. Our custodial and maintenance staff are a vital part of the team every day of every year. In this time they have answered the call by finding much-needed supplies to donate from our District supply closet and each schools’ supply. Over the course of the closure our dedicated food staff has distributed over 1,700 meals. Elementary parents are still holding virtual March is Reading Month activities, our kids are writing encouraging messages in sidewalk chalk and this week BHS and AMS are hosting a virtual Spirit Week. These are the moments to focus on at this time - the little things that bring smiles to our faces and show the positive spirit of our Berkley Schools community.

I’d like to close by sharing a poem our BHS Principal Andy Meloche wrote, as a tribute to the senior class. We know this is a particularly difficult time for our seniors, and Mr. Meloche wanted his students to know how much he, and the entire BHS staff, cares about them. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did.

An Ode to My Wonderful Seniors

To the senior class of two thousand and twenty,
the last several weeks must feel like swimming upstream.

The COVID-19 interrupted your study,

and to make matters worse, you became quarantined.

Your high school years have had nothing but turbulence,
as you’ve braved both the familiar and the unknown.

Each of you, I know, has incredible substance;

enduring, courageous while achieving milestones.

And now you are seniors, your best year has derailed,
many cancelled events, there’s been such a high cost.

Regardless of what happens, I know you’ll prevail.

It is not yet the time to think everything is lost.

You’ve lived in times that will be studied by scholars,
persisting to achieve much greatness together.

Integrity, distinction, kindness and honor;

and being your leader has been such a pleasure.

So stick with each other, look out for your classmates;
love one another as you have done since day one.

I know that falling apart will not be your fate.

At the end of this mess, like always, you’ll have won.

Written by your Principal, Mr. Meloche

*Twelve syllables per line to represent the 12th grade.*
*Five stanzas, four lines each, equals twenty lines to represent the class of 2020.*

*There are three-hundred and fourteen syllables on this page, one for each senior.*

Stay safe, stay healthy and be kind everyone.

Wishing you all well,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

Update from Superintendent McDavid 3/23/20

Good afternoon, Berkley Schools families,

I hope you are all doing well as we adjust to our new normal.  While the information regarding COVID-19 is still moving at a rapid pace, what has not changed is our commitment to you, the Berkley Schools community.

Our teachers have been working diligently this past week sharing content and enrichment with their students. The method of contact may look different for each teacher at the elementary level, but will be through Google Classroom for most secondary classes. If you haven’t connected with your child’s teacher(s), we encourage you to do so early this week. They miss their students and would love to hear from each and every one of them.  Staying connected online and continuing to learn will help all of us get through this time.  We know that online enrichment and learning is not ideal. We’d all rather be in the classroom working together.  Please know that our teachers and staff have been fantastic throughout this and will continue to do their best to reach and meaningfully connect with every student. It won’t be perfect, but it will be the best that we can do given the circumstances. Thanks to all of you for your support, encouragement, patience and understanding.

You may have seen the news coverage that the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) stated that the online enrichment and learning activities won’t count toward the school year.  We understand this may cause some confusion.  My read on this is that the MDE is saying that they can not legally waive the law which mandates the number of hours and days that school is in session.  Only the legislature can change this with a bill that is then signed by the Governor.  We have been working with and will continue to work with our legislators to impact these decisions.

At the Administrative Offices, we have moved to virtual offices at our homes.  You may see cars in the parking lot occasionally, as we stop in for supplies, to process payroll and a quick (socially distanced) connection to each other.  All staff will continue to be available by email at this time.  If you need to reach someone at the Administrative Offices, you can email anyone through the website.  Here is a link to our online staff directory.  We will continue to monitor recommendations and guidance from the State of Michigan and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will modify our work plan as needed.

Food Service Update

Our food service partner, Aramark, has been outstanding the last week preparing and distributing food for students in the community. While we know we’ll encounter bumps in the road, we are grateful to our food service staff for working so hard to get food into the hands of those who need it most.  To view our meal distribution schedule, visit our website.  As a clarification, we are working to understand the need in the community for daily meals.  If you need any assistance at all with meals, or if coming to us for meals helps your family in other aspects of daily life, we hope to see you at our centers.  We order food based on the demand, and are careful to not over-purchase.

Technology Update

As you navigate online learning with your children, we wanted to share how to access your child’s Google log in. If you are unsure how to find it, follow the steps below.

Elementary - In the MISTAR Parent Portal, under Network Login, you’ll see your child’s username and password.

Secondary - If your child is unsure of their username and password, please email the building’s media specialist to have the password reset.  At BHS this is Martha Spear, at AMS, Maureen Watson and at Norup, Theresa Savich.

COVID-19 Updates

We want to make sure our community is following the guidelines set forth by the CDC for children and teenagers: Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. This is even more true now that the Governor has issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe, mandate. You may have also noticed caution tape around our playgrounds. The virus lives on the playground surfaces for quite some time and it’s hard to disinfect the play structures. Because of this, the Governor also ordered the closure of all playgrounds. We encourage you to get outside and go for a walk/run/bike ride, play in your backyard, create an obstacle course with sidewalk chalk, get silly with Go Noodle, etc.

We are a Beaumont Health community partner, so you may see updates from Beaumont Health via Berkley Schools over the course of the COVID-19 situation.  Recent updates from Beaumont shared their free online assessment tool for COVID-19 symptoms as well as a request for medical supplies. If you would like to see any messages we’ve sent out so far during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our website where you’ll see learning resources as well as all communications.

Thanks, as always, for your support and for pulling together during this unique time to support one another and our community.

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

An Update from Beaumont Health - Supplies Needed - 3/21/20

The following message is from Beaumont Health. Please share it with anyone who may have supplies to donate.

Centralized drop-off site at Beaumont Service Center will support Beaumont physicians, nurses and staff across the health system

Beaumont Health’s team continues to work together in a coordinated effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, care for patients who have contracted the virus and protect physicians, nurses and staff.

As the number of COVID-19 patients continues to climb, Beaumont Health is now accepting certain medical supplies and donations to help support the health systems ongoing efforts to protect staff and patients during the pandemic.

“We have heard from people all over Michigan who want to donate medical supplies, equipment and money to help with Beaumont’s efforts to protect our staff and care for our patients,” Beaumont Health Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Margaret Cooney Casey said. “We are so grateful for all the community members who are pitching in to help. And, we’re pleased that we can coordinate all the donations now at one location and disperse them to the areas of greatest need throughout Beaumont Health.”

Effective immediately, Beaumont will accept donations of items listed below at the Beaumont Service Center, 26901 Beaumont Blvd, in Southfield. This is the only location where Beaumont will accept COVID-19 donations.

While we appreciate that donors may want to donate other supplies, we’re asking only for certain high priority items at this time.

Donation bins will be located outside the Beaumont Service Center main entrance through Saturday, March 28. Community members will be able to drive up and place needed supplies and materials in the bins 24/7.

MOST-NEEDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

  • new or unused disposable face masks
  • N-95 mask (sometimes called respirators)
  • eye protection including face shields and safety goggles
  • disposable gowns
  • disposable gloves (especially non-latex)
  • disposable surgical caps
  • disposable foot covers
  • wipes: bleach or anti-microbial
  • hand-sanitizer
  • specialized items
    • PAPRs (powered air purifying respirators) and PAPR hoods
    • nasal testing swabs
    • viral testing kits

Items Beaumont will not accept at this time:

  • home-sewn reusable masks or 3-D printed ventilator parts
  • medications, food, blankets, medical equipment, or other supplies 

Note: These kinds of items might be needed later. If Beaumont’s donation needs change, the list will be updated.

Receipts will be available online.

For bulk donations and pick-up, call: Scott Maglott – 248-551-9392 or Rick Porzadek 248-441-9391.

Donors who are not feeling well should wait until they are well before donating supplies or equipment.

FINANCIAL DONATIONS

To make a financial donation to Beaumont’s COVID-19 Fund to assist patients and emergency operations, visit the Beaumont Health Foundation's website or mail a check to the Beaumont Health Foundation (Please write COVID-19 Fund on your check).

Beaumont Health Foundation
26901 Beaumont Blvd., 5D
Southfield, MI  48033

Questions? Please contact The Beaumont Health Foundation:  947-522-0100, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Food Service Update 3/20/20

Good Afternoon, Berkley Schools Community,

Over the last two days we have had a surge of families stopping by our meal distribution sites. This is wonderful, because we do not want anyone to go hungry, but it has made us run through our supply quickly. The surge the last two days (nearly double our early week numbers) has caused us to run out of food today. We are very sad to say we won’t be able to serve the second shift (4-6 pm) today, Friday, March 20.

We will be back in service on Monday, March 23 for both shifts.

We believe the surge came because of rumors and incorrect information circulating around the Berkley Schools community. We’d like to clarify a couple points.

  1. There is a rumor that our meal distribution sites were going to throw out food because we were not having enough people come pick up meals and that food will go to waste. This is not true. 
  2. There is also misinformation that we have enough food for every child in the District ready every day. This is also not true. Our focus is to order enough food to feed those who have food insecurity at this time and pad those numbers for extra walk-ups every day.

We are happy to help anyone who needs food assistance, but the program is not designed to feed every child in every school, every day. We will not turn down anyone who arrives for our meals, but please understand the focus of this food distribution is for families who truly need assistance.

For those families who do need food assistance for the weekend and were not able to pick up food today, we encourage you to reach out to Gleaners Food BankForgotten HarvestYad Ezra and Lighthouse Food Pantry

As a reminder, if you hear or see information about a District program that sounds contrary to a message we have previously sent, we encourage you to visit the Berkley Schools website or Facebook page to verify if the information is correct. Please to not engage in further spreading rumors and panic about our food supply, without checking in with the trusted source - the Berkley School District.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

An Update from Beaumont Health 3/20/20

The following message is shared from Beaumont Health. They have asked us to share their updates with our community. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

Beaumont committed to transparency with the community, will share daily COVID-19 test and admission statistics effective immediately

In an effort to share COVID-19 testing and admissions information with the community, Beaumont Health will begin providing daily updates on its website.

“During this public health crisis, we have an obligation to share our COVID-19 data with the many communities we serve,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said. “We want to be transparent. The numbers reflect the gravity of the pandemic and our staff’s dedicated actions to detect and treat patients at all eight of our hospitals.”

Once a day, the following numbers/statistics will be available on Beaumont’s website:

  • Total number of patients tested by Beaumont for COVID-19.
  • Number of patients who test positive for COVID-19.
  • Number of patients who test negative for COVID-19.
  • Number of patients with pending COVID-19 test results. Beaumont has shifted mainly to COVID-19 testing within its own labs, but will still use some outside national labs.
  • Number of patients tested for COVID-19 currently in a Beaumont hospital.
  • Number of patients tested for COVID-19 and sent home.

Explained Dr. Nicholas Gilpin, Beaumont Health’s medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, “Most patients who test positive for COVID-19 will not experience complications and will recover. We’re telling people without complications or chronic health conditions to go home, rest and take over-the-counter medication for pain or fever.”

The statistics have been compiled since March 1. Beaumont’s daily numbers will vary from the State of Michigan due to processing times.

Beaumont Health also launched a free online COVID-19 risk assessment tool yesterday, March 18. It allows patients to answer a series of questions about their symptoms and help them determine whether to stay home or seek medical attention. Within the first 24 hours, more than 27,500 people visited the site and clicked on the risk assessment tool.

To use the free online risk assessment tool.

Beaumont Health

Beaumont Health is Michigan’s largest health care system and is most preferred for health care in Southeast Michigan, according to NRC Health survey data. The not-for-profit organization was created to provide patients with greater access to compassionate, extraordinary care, every day. Beaumont Health has a total net revenue of $4.7 billion and consists of eight hospitals with 3,429 beds, 145 outpatient sites, nearly 5,000 physicians, 38,000 employees and 3,500 volunteers. In 2018, Beaumont Health had about 178,000 inpatient discharges, 18,000 births and 573,000 emergency visits. For more information, visit beaumont.org.

An Update from Beaumont Health 3/18/20

An Update from Beaumont Health - A New Coronavirus Risk Assessment Tool

Good Afternoon, Berkley Schools Community,

The following message is from Beaumont Health - they asked us to share this information with you.

As we've said before, take care of yourself and your family, stay away from crowded spaces (including playgrounds), rethink playdates, watch your symptoms and see a doctor if you or your family member have symptoms similar to the flu. By physically distancing ourselves from one another, we can help flatten the curve of the rate of infection.​​​​​​​

Beaumont Health launches free online COVID-19 risk assessment tool

Beaumont Health launched a free online COVID-19 risk assessment tool today, March 18, which allows patients to answer a series of questions about their symptoms and help them determine whether to stay home or seek medical attention.

See the free online risk assessment tool on Beaumont's website.

After answering the questions, the online tool will suggest what action a patient should take such as:

  • Contacting a primary care physician.
  • Going to a curbside screening.
  • Seeking treatment at an emergency center.
  • Staying home and monitoring symptoms.

“Many people who become infected with COVID-19 can stay home and treat their symptoms with over the counter medication, unless their symptoms become severe. The primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath,” Dr. Nicholas Gilpin, Beaumont Health’s medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, said. “This online risk assessment tool will help our patients better understand what steps they should consider taking if they are not feeling well.”

In addition, patients should also consider calling Beaumont’s Coronavirus hotline, 800-592-4784, or their physician’s office before attempting to get screened. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, please call 911.

“Everyone does not necessarily need to be tested. Most people who become infected with the disease will not experience complications and will recover. They will just need to go home, rest and take over the counter pain medication,” Dr. Gilpin said.

How you can help stop the spread of COVID-19

  • Stay home when you are sick (fever, cough, upper respiratory infection symptoms).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and after using the bathroom.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Note: If you’re experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or the number for your local emergency service. Beaumont’s online risk assessment tool provides general information based on interim clinical guidance developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The tool DOES NOT provide diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19. It DOES NOT take into consideration a patient’s complete current condition and medical history. It SHOULD NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provide, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a medical professional for serious symptoms.

Update & Resources from Families 3/16/20

Good afternoon, Berkley Schools families,

Thank you to our Berkley Schools community for your ongoing patience, kind words and positive mindset as we navigate these uncharted waters together.

Today we are checking in with resources for your family to explore learning from home. We miss all our students and hope that learning and enrichment occurs every day. We know it’s hard to navigate the internet with thousands of choices for “free online learning” resources, so we’ve narrowed down the list for you. You should also hear from your child’s teacher(s) this week for guidance on learning specific to their grade and subject level as well.

We also know that you and your child may be anxious about what the next weeks will bring. Below we have linked resources on how to talk to your children about the COVID-19 outbreak and strategies to help ease anxiety.

We will post all of these resources on our COVID-19 website as well as any update we send your way.

As a reminder, it seems safe to say many members of our communities may have had exposure to the COVID-19 virus, based on how quickly it is spreading. Take care of yourself and your family, stay away from crowded spaces (including playgrounds), rethink playdates, watch your symptoms and see a doctor if you or your family member have symptoms similar to the flu. By physically distancing ourselves from one another, we can help flatten the curve of the rate of infection.

Lastly, we have a plan in place, in coordination with our food service partner Aramark, to distribute food to any children in our community, no questions asked. Today we began distributing two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) for any child under 18 in our community. Here are the important details you need to know:

  • Meal distribution sites:

    • Anderson Middle School (3205 Catalpa, Berkley, MI). Pick up at the back parking lot door (behind the building).

    • Norup International School (14450 Manhattan, Oak Park, MI). Pick up at the multi-purpose room doors.

  • Meal distribution times:

    • 11 am - 1 pm and 4-6 pm

    • Both meals will be available during both time slots. There is no need to come twice.

  • Meals will be distributed in a grab-and-go style pick up.

  • Families will take both meals per child at the same time.

  • On Fridays, families will be able to take enough meals for the weekend for each child.

  • The meals (1 breakfast and 1 lunch) are available to any child in the community, no questions asked.

  • We know there is also a suggestion in the community to form a food pantry. We appreciate everyone raising their hand to help with this endeavor, and are still working through what this may look like. In the meantime, if families need further food assistance, we encourage you to reach out to Gleaners Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest, Yad Ezra and Lighthouse Food Pantry.

Resources for our Berkley Schools Families

Internet & Device Access

Talking with your children about COVID-19

Should children be gathering while school is not in session?

Educational Websites and Apps

In addition, many good online resources and guidance are available on the Common Sense Media website.

All Subjects

Literacy

Math

  • Coming soon… watch our website for more information and be sure to look for emails from your child’s teacher(s) with additional resources

Science & Social Studies

Fun Games

Movement & Mindfulness

Ways to connect kids (Instead of getting together)

Thank you for your trust and faith in the Berkley Schools. 

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

 

What is next: An Update from Superintendent McDavid 3/13/20

Dear Berkley Schools families,

Thank you for your patience as we work through details of what the next four weeks will look like. This has been a long week for all of us with information regarding the coronavirus, COVID-19, changing on an hourly basis. As you know, the Governor closed all K-12 school districts last night. Berkley School District will be closed through Spring Break, with classes scheduled to resume on Monday, April 13. This closure also includes all programs at Berkley Building Blocks. We know you all have many questions about what this closure will look like, what services we will provide and what learning your child will be encouraged to complete. We will address the following topics below: Home Learning, Food Distribution, Child Care, Spring Break, Student Services and Technology.

Home Learning

In our District, we offer a broad range of services to a broad range of students. There is no way to replicate what happens in our classrooms via the internet. However, we want learning to continue while we’re closed and we hope you’ll join us in encouraging your children to engage with enriching activities. Our expectations for learning are as follows. Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, will be treated as snow days. During those two days, teachers will be preparing communications and online learning for your child. On Wednesday, you or your child should receive a communication from your teacher(s) about what learning we will be encouraging on a daily and weekly basis. You should know that we will not be assigning work for grades. We will instead be encouraging learning, reading, thinking and a review of skills.

Secondary students will be getting a lot of information via Google classroom. We encourage you to know your child’s login and password and that you are able to see the learning right alongside with them. In addition, the third card marking is now closed. Assignments and grades will be posted in the future.

We are choosing to not give required assignments during this period of closure in order to ensure our students have equitable access to the work and that we are not punishing any student for how this closure impacts their family.

Food Distribution

We understand that closing schools may result in hardship for some of our families who require food assistance. Working with our food service partner Aramark, we have a plan in place. Beginning Monday, March 16 we will be distributing two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) for any child under 18 in our community. Here are the important details you need to know:

  • Meal distribution sites:
    • Anderson Middle School (3205 Catalpa, Berkley, MI). Pick up at the back parking lot door (behind the building).
    • Norup International School (14450 Manhattan, Oak Park, MI). Pick up at the multi-purpose room doors.
  • Meal distribution times:
    • 11 am - 1 pm and 4-6 pm
    • Both meals will be available during both time slots. There is no need to come twice.
  • Meals will be distributed in a grab-and-go style pick up.
  • Families will take both meals per child at the same time.
  • On Fridays, families will be able to take enough meals for the weekend for each child.
  • The meals (1 breakfast and 1 lunch) are available to any child in the community, no questions asked.

We know there is also a suggestion in the community to form a food pantry. We appreciate everyone raising their hand to help with this endeavor, and are still working through what this will look like. In the meantime, if families need further food assistance, we encourage you to reach out to Gleaners Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest and Yad Ezra.

Child Care and Preschool

Berkley Building Blocks will also be closing all programs March 16 through April 12, including Kids’ Zone. We understand this closure may provide a hardship for families. We are closing because we know we will not have enough staff members in attendance to stay in compliance with state licensing, the Michigan Department of Education closed the Great Start Readiness Program and the Oakland County Health Division shared that closing child care facilities will help stop the spread of the virus. We will offer credits and refunds for all tuition programs at BBB as well as Kids’ Zone for the times we are closed.

Spring Break & School Calendar

As of right now, we will keep Spring Break slated for April 6-10. We cannot predict where the virus will spread and don’t feel it prudent to change future calendar items at this time. If we do decide to move Spring Break into the same window as the Governor’s recommendation, we will be in touch. We do not have guidance yet from the Michigan Department of Education on whether the school year will be extended. When we receive this guidance, we will be in touch.

Student Services

As stated earlier, we offer a broad range of services to a broad range of students and there is no way to replicate what happens in our classrooms via the internet. We know there are concerns about IEPs, accommodations and if services will be available for students with special needs. We don’t have all the answers to these questions at this moment, but know we are continually communicating with county, state and federal organizations to see how to best navigate these waters.

Technology

Today we sent home hundreds of devices with our students who indicated on our survey that they did not have access to one at home. If you have not taken the survey, please do so. We will do our best to distribute devices to students who do not have access to one at home. We are also working to establish internet access for those who do not have access. Comcast has released a new Internet Essentials package for free for 60 days for those who are interested.

While you may see cars in the parking lots for the next week, please know our buildings are closed to the public.

We will update our school community as additional information becomes available. In the meantime, we ask all families to exercise universal precautions whenever possible. It seems safe to say many members of our communities may have had exposure to the COVID-19 virus, based on how quickly it spreads. Take care of yourself and your family, stay away from crowded spaces, watch your symptoms and see a doctor if you or your family member have symptoms similar to the flu.

Visit our website for a list of resources and health advisory statements for any questions regarding COVID-19.

Thank you for your trust and faith in the Berkley Schools. I know we’ll get through this together as a community.

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

Update from Superintendent McDavid: 3/12/20 11:50 pm

Dear Berkley Schools families,

At 11 pm on Thursday, March 12, the Governor announced a state-wide school closure from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. As you know, our Spring Break is scheduled for Monday, April 6 through Friday, April 10. Berkley Schools will resume Monday, April 13. 

Berkley Schools will be in session on Friday, March 13 for an orderly dismissal. Staff will report to provide a full day of instruction. This will also allow students to bring home books, supplies, instruments, etc. to prepare for learning while away from our buildings. We understand you may wish to keep your children home; tomorrow will be as flexible as possible as we prepare for the long closure. Berkley Building Blocks will also be open tomorrow, March 13.

We will send you more details tomorrow regarding future learning opportunities, what the next month may look like and how we’re working to provide meals to our families who need it.

I will be in touch.

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid

Superintendent
Berkley School District

Letter from Superintendent McDavid: 3/12/20 3:30 pm

Dear Berkley Schools Community,

I write to you this afternoon to try to offer some of my perspective as we work through a very difficult time as a community, state and nation.  As I write this I know that many of you are anxious, worried and afraid of where we are right now.  I share those concerns.  

We continue to take direction on this issue from the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Governor's office.  All of these agencies have, as of this writing, continued to tell us that schools should remain in session, while also giving contradictory advice that all of us in society should limit gatherings to 100 or fewer people.  Schools, almost by definition, are gatherings of more than 100 people.  I believe that these professionals are doing their best to give advice and guidance in a situation that is fast moving and unlike any other event in recent history.

I have reached out to superintendents in other states to learn from them.  These states have more confirmed COVID-19 cases than we have in Michigan and they have been dealing with the situation longer.  I am trying to learn from them and their experiences.   

I am meeting regularly with other Oakland County Superintendents and the Oakland County Schools leadership team.  We are all trying to work together to glean the best information.  I was in a meeting this morning with the Medical Director of OCHD.  He briefed me and other district superintendents on the situation, but didn't reveal any more information than is publicly available.

As a school district we continue to plan for the possibility that we will have to close schools for some time, but hope that we won't.  You have probably seen that some districts around us closed for a day or two to plan in case they have to close their schools. We haven't done that for a couple of reasons. First many of our teachers already post lessons, videos and other learning material online.  Additionally, if we were to close we would take the first day or two of that closing to give our teachers the time necessary for planning together.

As we plan for a possible closing there are all kinds of issues that we are working through.  These include everything from understanding which students don't have internet access or a computer at home (please take our online access survey if you have not done so yet), how to feed students who depend on school for two meals a day, how to realistically teach elementary students remotely, how do we support students with special needs, etc.  These issues and concerns go on and on.

As we continue to plan, I am urging you to also plan in case closing schools becomes necessary.  I am also letting you know that if you have medically fragile people at home, or you believe your children should not be in school, or you or your children feel sick at all, please stay home.  Absences will be treated as excused and our teachers will do their best to get the work to your children.

I also want you to know that I have received a number of emails from you and I deeply appreciate your concern and support.  For those who are urging a different course of action, I certainly understand your perspective.  This is a complex situation and fast moving for which there is no playbook.  We'll continue to do our best, relying on the guidance of our public health officials and others.

I know this is a difficult time for all of us.  I also know that if we stick together, believe in each other and support one another we'll get through it. This is a fantastic school district, with unbelievably dedicated teachers, administrators and staff and we serve a community that is unlike any other.

This is a rapidly changing situation, so I’ll be in touch as soon as I have additional information to share.

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

Letter from Superintendent McDavid: 3/12/20 12:30 pm

Dear Berkley Schools Community,

Thank you for your patience while we work through the ever changing landscape of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Yesterday Governor Whitmer addressed the state of Michigan with a recommended plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Her message was clear - Michiganders should do everything they can to help stop the spread of this virus including practicing recommended hygiene protocols (wash your hands, cough into your sleeve, stay home if you are sick and stay away from large gatherings of people). She was also clear that at this point K-12 schools should stay open, but work to mitigate risk.

The Governor announced community mitigation strategies for schools, businesses, universities and more. Under the guidance from the Governor and the Oakland County Health Division, Berkley Schools will remain in session. However, beginning today, Thursday, March 12, we are invoking recommended social distancing practices.

The following after-school activities and large gathering events are now cancelled through Spring Break:

  • Concerts and student performances that involve the general public
  • School family nights and dances
  • Assemblies and visits with outside guests
  • All community meetings, rentals, and gatherings scheduled to take place within our school facilities. This includes scheduled PTA events or meetings, parent meetings and all facility rentals.
  • Parent/teacher conferences. Families are encouraged to connect with teachers if you would like to have a phone conference or email update regarding questions or concerns you have for your child. We also encourage everyone to visit the MISTAR Parent Portal to see student progress, especially at the secondary level.
    • The AMS half day scheduled for March 19 is now a full day
    • The Elementary and Norup half day scheduled for March 26 is now a full day
  • Staff travel to professional learning outside of Berkley Schools and Oakland Schools
  • Community education classes and swim lessons
  • All school-sponsored travel, including participation in academic and extracurricular competitions as well as field trips
  • Middle school athletics
  • Tours of our buildings and student shadows for families not registered with Berkley Schools
  • We prefer that essential meetings with our staff are held via phone, rather than in person. This includes IEPs, 504s, and parent meetings with administrators and teachers.

The following activities, events and programs will continue:

  • Kids’ Zone Latchkey
  • Berkley Building Blocks
  • BEF enrichment programs taught by Berkley Schools teachers
  • High School athletic competitions. We will look to the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) for ongoing guidance and connect with families if their current guidance changes.
  • Any after-school activity that meets at our school buildings, in a small group and is an extension of the normal learning day (clubs, athletic practices, etc.)

Our immediate plan for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our community is based on three factors:

  1. Avoiding unnecessary exposure of our staff and students to illness
  2. Working to the best of our ability to ensure the continuity of teaching and learning
  3. Protecting the health and well-being of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to illness

In addition to the measures listed above, out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of our community, we are limiting access to our buildings. Considering the health implications of visiting our schools, we are encouraging individuals not to come into the building unless necessary. While we take great pride in the level of participation from our families and residents, now is the time to err on the side of caution.

As we prepare for all possible scenarios, we are asking you to also think through a plan for your family in the event schools were to close for an extended period of time. While you make these plans, we ask that you take this 5 question survey to share if and how you connect to the internet at home. The Governor has declared a state of emergency, we are taking COVID-19 very seriously and hope that with your help, we can stop the spread of this virus here in our area. Remember—frequent hand washing, staying home when you are sick, and practicing good hygiene are the best ways to stay healthy.

We want to provide you with the resources you need to be smart and safe. We are a community school district. We rely on our community to support us and work with us. We’ll continue to follow recommended guidelines to help protect the greater community and those most vulnerable to COVID-19.

While we want to make sure that our families are informed and prepared, we know that this has impacted our students in varying ways. Here are some steps you can take at home to address any concerns your child(ren) may have:

  • Correct misinformation for them
  • Focus on what kids can do to keep themselves healthy
  • Acknowledge your own fears, but keep them in perspective
  • Don't dismiss their fears. Acknowledge that fear is healthy, and help them manage it appropriately.
  • Preview changes or disruptions that may happen, like school closures

As things evolve and we learn more about the recommendations of health experts at the county, state and federal level we will communicate with all students, staff, and community members via social media, the district’s website, and our email notification system. We will send another update by end of day tomorrow.

As we said yesterday, this is a fluid situation and we know the road ahead may be uncharted, but working together, we’ll get through it.

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

Letter from Superintendent McDavid: 3/11/20

Dear Berkley Schools Community,

By now, I’m sure you have heard that Oakland County has a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Although we anticipated the virus would eventually make its way to Michigan, we know that the news is concerning to all of us.

I wanted to touch base with everyone about the steps we are taking and planning as we await more details from the Oakland County Health Division.

Since my last message, we have taken some action in our buildings. These include increasing the frequency our building custodians use electrostatic sprayers that sanitize surfaces quickly, cancelling international travel, as well as following the Governor’s guidance and recommending that parents do not shake hands at high school parent/teacher conferences. 

We have also been working with our administrative team to plan for the “what ifs” of potential school closures, event and performance cancellations, online learning and more. We are working on logistics for every possible scenario. We are concerned about every child and staff and lost learning opportunities especially for those students who may not have internet connectivity at home. We are also thinking through online learning for our elementary aged children and how this may differ from our secondary students. As we prepare for these scenarios, which we hope and pray we don’t have to implement, we are asking you to also think through a plan for your family in the event schools were to close. To be clear, if we were to close schools, it would be in consultation with the Oakland County Health Division.

Our focus is prevention, education and providing you with the resources you need to be smart and safe—but not to panic. We know from the data that children appear to be in the lowest risk group for COVID-19 and virtually every child who contracted the virus worldwide had a very mild case and recovered quickly. Regardless, the Governor has declared a state of emergency, we are taking COVID-19 very seriously and hope that with your help, we can stop the spread of this virus here in our area. Remember—frequent hand washing, staying home when you are sick and good hygiene practices are the best way to keep the virus away.

As a reminder, here are important resources for you and your family.

As soon as we know more, we’ll be in touch. This is a fluid situation and we know the road ahead may be uncharted, but working together, we’ll get through it.

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

Message from BHS Principal Andy Meloche 3/11/20

Dear Berkley High School parents and guardians,

Out of an abundance of caution and to mitigate risk, we are cancelling Parent/Teacher conferences scheduled for tonight and tomorrow (afternoon and evening). Tomorrow, Thursday, March 12, will now be a full day of school for all BHS students.

With safety as our number one priority and with the COVID-19 virus now in our county, we feel it prudent to practice social distancing. We will be evaluating all other large gatherings in the coming weeks and will have an update as we make those decisions.

Even though we are cancelling the face to face conversations, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teachers to check in on progress made this semester. We also encourage you to visit the MISTAR Parent Portal. There you will find grades, assignments, lunch balances, attendance totals and more. It’s a great online resource for you to stay in touch with your child’s academic progress. MISTAR also has a parent app that is very easy to navigate, and I encourage you to download that onto your device.

Download the app by following these directions:

  • In your mobile device app store, download Q ParentConnection.
  • Inside the app, select the State, County and District.
  • Select Enter ParentConnection.
  • In the upper right, select Log In.
  • Enter your MISTAR Parent Portal Pin and Password.

As the information about the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, we will be in touch with any future changes to our school events.

Thank you for understanding.

Sincerely,

Andy Meloche
Principal
Berkley High School

Letter from Superintendent McDavid: 3/5/20

Good afternoon, Berkley Schools community,

In the past week, news and information regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) has escalated concerns throughout the country. At this time, there are no reports of Coronavirus in Oakland County and no reports in Michigan. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that the risk in the U.S. is low for the general public. However, this is a rapidly evolving situation. Berkley Schools will remain in close contact with and follow guidance from the Oakland County Health Division, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding any new developments.

At this time, we are urging all families to follow the best practices for overall health during the cold and flu season. The best way to prevent the spread of any illness - including the common cold and the flu - is to keep sick children home. The CDC also recommends the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the ABCs). If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (e.g., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance). For our students, it is our policy to have students stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours without the aid of a fever-reducing medication.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sneeze into your arm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed by your doctor.

Our buildings are cleaned daily, and custodians pay extra attention to classrooms with students who have been diagnosed with a communicable virus, such as the flu. We will continue our practices of cleaning and sanitizing in all our buildings.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is estimated to be between two and fourteen days. If you were in China, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Hong Kong in the last 14 days or exposed to someone who has been to these locations and feel sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should follow the steps on the CDC's website. If you or your children have these symptoms, please stay home and let your school office know so we can connect with the Oakland County Health Division.

To our families with children gearing up for an international travel trip during Spring Break: At this time we have, out of an abundance of caution, cancelled the two planned international travel trips to Italy and one to England. We are following the pattern of universities in our area and throughout the country cancelling their study abroad trips while COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the globe. Our travelers will receive a separate communication from their travel leaders outlining next steps.

Together, we can maintain a safe and healthy school environment for all learners and educators. As we receive further guidance from the health experts serving the County, State and Country we will keep you updated.

Here are some important resources to keep in mind:

Sincerely,

Dennis McDavid
Superintendent
Berkley Schools

What can parents/guardians do to help keep kids safe?

Keep your children home when they are sick. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. But students should not come to school if they have any contagious illness. If your child has any of the following symptoms, they should be kept home: fever (without medication), vomiting, diarrhea, undiagnosed rash, green discharge from nose, an inflamed throat, persistent cough, redness or discharge from the eyes, or an elevated temperature: Preventing the spread of any illness is everyone's responsibility, and keeping sick children home will help preserve the safety of all kids and stop transmission within schools.

Have a plan in place to pick your children up quickly should they become ill at school.

Encourage and help your children wash their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. Remind them to avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands and to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Avoid contact with people who are sick and do not bring your children to visit with people who are ill. 

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. 

Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and hand sanitizer.

Disinfect common area surfaces and objects at home, especially phones and items that may touch your face.

Key Information to Know

Here is a list of actions Berkley Schools has taken since the COVID-19 outbreak reached the US.

  • Cancelled overseas travel for all students
  • Increased the frequency our building custodians use electrostatic sprayers that sanitize surfaces quickly
  • Recommending that parents do not shake hands at high school parent/teacher conferences
  • Sent two messages to our school community advising them of the Oakland County Health Division's recommendations as well as reminders on hand washing and when to keep sick kids at home
  • Asked teachers to think about their lessons and if they could start to prepare for an online learning environment if needed
  • Gathered as an administrative team to plan for many future scenarios including online learning, cancelling or postponing events, performances and athletics, and focusing on staff and student safety
  • Cancelled parent/teacher conferences at Berkley High School for March 11 & 12
  • 3/12/20: Cancelled all after school activities through Spring Break:
    • Concerts and student performances that involve the general public
    • School family nights and dances
    • Assemblies and visits with outside guests
    • All community meetings, rentals, and gatherings scheduled to take place within our school facilities. This includes scheduled PTA events or meetings, parent meetings and all facility rentals.
    • Parent/teacher conferences. Families are encouraged to connect with teachers if you would like to have a phone conference or email update regarding questions or concerns you have for your child. We also encourage everyone to visit the MISTAR Parent Portal to see student progress, especially at the secondary level.
      • The AMS half day scheduled for March 19 is now a full day
      • The Elementary and Norup half day scheduled for March 26 is now a full day
    • Staff travel to professional learning outside of Berkley Schools and Oakland Schools
    • Community education classes and swim lessons
    • All school-sponsored travel, including participation in academic and extracurricular competitions as well as field trips
    • Middle school athletics
    • Tours of our buildings and student shadows for families not registered with Berkley Schools
    • We prefer that essential meetings with our staff are held via phone, rather than in person. This includes IEPs, 504s, and parent meetings with administrators and teachers.