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Input Sessions: The 2020-21 School Year
Linda Mah
/ Categories: Communications

Input Sessions: The 2020-21 School Year

Parent and Community Input Sought on Back-to-School Plans

Kalamazoo Public Schools is convening a series of listening sessions to gather stakeholder input on how to structure the upcoming school year. KPS must decide how to best serve the educational needs of students, while taking into account reduced funding, the need for safety, and how to continue fighting COVID-19. 

The district is intentionally partnering with an outside organization to ensure that the sessions are open and unbiased. Community facilitator Mia Henry will lead the public, parent, and teacher input sessions. Henry is the former director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. We are grateful to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation for supporting KPS with the funding for this very important equity initiative. 

The input sessions are designed to allow stakeholders to offer suggestions and identify the conditions which must exist to reopen schools safely. Areas of discussion will include academics, health and safety, student services, school management, operations, and communications. Henry will facilitate the virtual input sessions for parents and community members. She will also facilitate a session for teachers on Thursday, June 25. 

Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri will be present at all of the parent and public input sessions to listen and learn and will also participate in an event co-hosted by the Northside Ministerial Alliance (NMA) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30. This event will be broadcast live on Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s YouTube and Facebook accounts. KPS Special Education Department administrators are reaching out directly to multiple families of students with special needs, especially those with medically fragile children, to see what measures are needed to serve them. 

All parents are encouraged to participate in the virtual input sessions. We are committed to ensuring that parents with different needs are accommodated, and as a result we are hosting various sessions for our non-English speaking parents. Slides for the presentation are attached below in English, Spanish and Arabic. 

KPS staff have been working countless hours drafting two reopening contingency plans, which take into consideration recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state’s MI Safe Start guidelines, the Michigan Department of Education, Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services, and best practices shared by other districts. A final KPS plan will not be created until input has been received from all stakeholder sessions. Dr. Raichoudhuri said, “As we move to reopen schools in the fall, we are committed to crafting a plan that prioritizes safety, access, and equity for all students, staff, and teachers.”

Parent and Community Sessions

Friday, June 26, 9 a.m. (Spanish translation available)

Join from a computer, tablet, or smartphone at https://zoom.us/j/91248840855 or dial in using a phone (301) 715-8592. Meeting ID: 91248840855  Password: 371636

Monday, June 29, 9 a.m. (Arabic, French, Kinyarwandan translation available)  

Join from a computer, tablet, or smartphone at (Registration Required): https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwpdOyoqDwtHdeFwwndujPFS0_GpzUULinj or dial in using a phone (312) 626-6799. Meeting ID: 98435067773 Password: 180993

Monday, June 29, 7 p.m.

Join from a computer, tablet, or smartphone at (Registration Required): https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIscOuqqjwsHt3dgFAHTT4-SLbNA0C639qs or dial in using a phone (301) 715-8592. Meeting ID: 961-722-47649

Tuesday, June 30, 9 a.m. (ASL interpreter and real-time captioning available)

Join from a computer, tablet, or smartphone at (Registration Required): https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcscOihrjorGdN3RMMTavaFLOwGxY3yciGd or dial in using a phone (312) 626-6799. Meeting ID: 931-719-01137

Tuesday, June 30, 6:30 p.m. co-hosted by Northside Ministerial Alliance (NMA)

Streamed live on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/MTZDexter and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mtzionkalamazoo

Wednesday, July 1, 7 p.m.

Join from a computer, tablet, or smartphone at (Registration Required):  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcpc--rqTgrHNIuKV-UzStCDEQu0FrL78KO or dial in using a phone (646) 558-8656. Meeting ID: 934-463-73166

In addition, input sessions will be held for various employee groups. 

KEA (teachers’ union): Thursday, June 25, 9 a.m.

UAW (administrators’ union): Friday, June 26, 10 a.m.

Other unions: Friday, June 26, 1 p.m.

Central office employees: Monday, June 29, 3 p.m.

Those wishing to offer comment, but who are unable to participate in an input session, can email communications@kalamazoopublicschools.net, leave a voicemail on the district tip line at (269) 488-1019 or complete this form: https://forms.gle/sBG13ntj3LC5VxTr9.

Henry will create a written report of her findings by July 6. The district will use it to help finalize its reopening plans and to help inform professional development and training. A final plan will be released well in advance of school opening, which will ensure KPS is prepared for a safe and exciting 2020-21 school year. 

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