Sturgis approves COVID-19 learning plan details
Sturgis Public Schools Board of Education on Monday approved its COVID-19 learning plan and the accompanying educational goals set by the district.
The board had examined the first draft of an extended learning plan last week at a study session. The plan includes assessment timelines and goals. That plan also received input from the district’s back-to-school team.
“We’ve all worked together to establish our goals,” superintendent Art Ebert said.
Highlights of the plan include assessments in reading and math, testing that will be prescribed to students in grades K-8, once during the first nine weeks of school and prior to the last day of school.
Progress reports will be placed online in February and June, and all teachers will receive professional development.
“We will continue engaging stakeholders in student and test performance,” Ebert said.
The goal is for the students to improve from fall to spring in reading, English language arts and math.
Additionally, the district will continue working to reduce or eliminate the spread of COVID-19 at the schools.
“Our goal is to put protocol in place that will very much restrict or stop the spread,” Ebert said. “We had two cases about the third week of school, but we have not experienced any spread based on those two cases.”
Ebert said having additional cases is likely, as 2.1 percent of COVID-19 tests return positive results, but the district is ready for the battle.
“It will occur,” he said. “School will continue and we are proud of our students, staff and families doing their part.”
Since Monday’s meeting, one staff member at Sturgis Central Commons received a positive COVID-19 test result.
In other news, the board of education approved the hiring of Kaitlyn Ford-Schrock of Three Rivers as the district’s new accounting manager. She replaces Marcus Gauthier, who recently accepted the chief financial officer position at Thurston Woods.
Ray Sterling, the district’s director of finance, said the district conducted seven candidate interviews Sept. 16-17.
“We had a good batch of candidates, but ultimately, the one who stood out was Kaitlyn,” he said. Ford-Schrock has a degree in business administration and a business management certificate. She comes from the Paw Paw school district, where she has served as the district’s head accountant. She will start Oct. 5, working with Gauthier for one week in a transitional format.
Ebert also said the ratio of students attending classes in-person versus at-home learning has shifted again.
“When school started, we had two-thirds at school, and one-third at home,” he said. “We now have three-quarters at school and one-quarter at home.”
The shift was anticipated as protocol and learning levels were seen, Ebert said.
“We anticipate that shift will continue,” he said.
The October board meetings will be held one week earlier and one week later in the month than normal. The board will meet Oct. 5 and Oct. 26.