Transition to Virtual Learning

Ludington Area Schools is working to make sure proper documents are on file in the event that teachers and students need to transition from in-person learning to virtual learning. These forms are required in order to 'count' the days of instruction if/when we need to go virtual due to inclement weather, illness, etc.

Michigan weather patterns, COVID, flu-like illnesses, and staffing levels are unpredictable. All we can do is try to be prepared.

To that end, we need the following form(s) completed by a parent for each student. 
We are gathering this information only because of the unpredictability of snow days, illness days, etc. 

I have a student in grades 7-12. What do I do?
Fill out this form. Virtual Instruction Parental Consent
One form per student, please.

I have a student in grades K-6. What do I do?
Fill out this form  Virtual Instruction Parental Consent
and
Fill out this form Educational Development Plan (EDP)

Clarifying Questions

My student did Virtual last year in 2020-2021 and I don't remember signing a permission or parent approval. Why is this necessary?
During the 2020-2021 school year, the legislature allowed for virtual learning due to the pandemic. For the 2021-2022 school year, these allowances are not in place at this time. Therefore, we need parent approval at this time.

What could change with the parent approval process?
Senate Bill 644 would make it possible to provide virtual learning without parent approval (similar to what happened in the 2020-2021 school year). If this bill ends up becoming a law and there are changes, we would notify families.

My student did not like virtual learning and it is not optimal for them. What if I don't want virtual as an option?
We fully acknowledge that virtual learning is not ideal for most students. It would not be the first choice for Ludington educators to teach virtually. When we closed the week, of Nov. 8-12, 2021, parents wanted to know why virtual wasn't an option so as to not burn through all of our snow days. As a result, we are taking steps now to make it an option if necessary as a last resort.

In the event of a school shutdown, what would virtual instruction look like?
Teachers would provide a lesson or work for students virtually. Teachers would need to have 2-way communication (through Google meet or similar method) to document interaction.

Why does my student need an EDP?
Educational Development Plans (EDP) are utilized primarily at grades 7-12 to develop career goals and a plan of action. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requires that any student who participates in virtual learning must have an EDP on file. In 'normal' circumstances, virtual learning is not necessarily utilized for students in grades 6 and below but in this day and age, we need to be prepared.

Does this mean my student(s) will have to do schoolwork on traditional snow days?
No, not necessarily.  We are doing all of this preparatory work so that we can transition to virtual learning in the event we once again have a school closure because of COVID. Additionally, if the district incurs a large number of inclement weather days and illness days, this may provide an option in lieu of making up a bunch of days in June. Michigan weather patterns and COVID and flu-like illnesses are unpredictable. All we can do is try to be prepared.

What if I don't know how to answer all of the questions on the EDP form?
We ask that parents just do the best they can to answer the questions. The goal is to spur a conversation about the future with your student.

What if I am not comfortable giving permission for virtual leaning?
We hope that all parents would give permission, but we know that is not a given. It is reiterated that we don't want to go virtual but we would be remiss if we didn't not have a contingency plan such as this. Ultimately, however, it is the parent's decision whether to give authorization.

What happens if not enough parents give permission?
Ultimately, if we do not have at least 75% student participation on any given day (whether virtual or in-person) then the day does not 'count' as a student attendance day. School days would need to be added on to the end of the year in June.

Can the district shut down just one building, one grade level and/or one class if there are illnesses or staff shortages?
Prior to this current process, we could not because we did not have parent approvals and EDP's in place.  If we can get a high percentage of these documents on file, then shutting down isolated classrooms or areas for short periods of time would definitely benefit everyone.