April 1, 2020
Dear Families and Community Members:

Thank you again for your continued support of Byron Center Public Schools. Our community continues to show how special it is by all of the outreach and care that it gives. We want to update you on a few areas, and please understand there are many areas that we continue to work through and are waiting for clear communication from the State of Michigan.

This week, there was an article posted on Mlive that talked about a prolonged shut down of our schools. BCPS is waiting for official clarity on exactly what this would look like and the expectations from the state. With the possible long-term closure, the principals and teaching staff have been planning for this extended time away from school. Specifically, they are working on distance learning and how BCPS will modify what we are doing now to promote continued learning while being out of school. Following spring break, the district will communicate more in depth the exact details.

The leadership team continues to work with the Kent County Health Department on our safety as a community. As recommended by the KCHD we did close our playgrounds due to the possibility of spreading sickness. The KCHD is suggesting we keep soccer fields, tennis courts, and other large areas open for our community to get outside, stay active, and healthy. They are asking that we remember social distancing and keep activities within families. This should not be a time when large groups gather. Please take these recommendations seriously. It will take us all to do our part.

The Board of Education and BCPS Leadership continue to plan for the present, and we also know as a community that we will come back strong and need to prepare for the future. The May 5 bond proposal continues to be on the ballot. Per the State of Michigan this election will be completed primarily through absentee voting with only one polling station. Information will be sent out on how to apply to vote absentee. The BC Connection and Bond 2020 information posted on our webpage details how to vote absentee. Please remember that this proposal is for a current need due to being near capacity in our K-6 buildings and is a five-year plan for our district. This proposal is an extension of the current millage and would not increase the current millage rate of 7 mills. More details to come soon on this important planning for our district.

Over spring break, we are asking that parents and students continue to take this time to keep connected as a family. We understand that it may not look that different than the last two weeks, but please take time to support each other. As a district, we will be taking spring break to be with our families as well, and we are committed to coming back strong for all of BC. We will continue to provide food for families, please see our BCPS nutrition services website for an updated schedule and additional resources.

BCHS student, Madison Denning, along with Student Life and Leadership, have come up with a great way for us to connect as a community while maintaining social distancing. To encourage all to take a different pace or unplug to start spring break week, we are asking your family to be part of Byron Lights at 8:45PM this Thursday. Thank you, students, for making a true difference and leaving your mark on BC.

Also attached is a copy of keeping BC Strong. Please take time as a family to uniquely decorate and place somewhere for all to show how our community stays connected. Make as many as you want and post in any way to keep this visual reminder that we are in this together, and we will get through this together even while we need to be apart.

I am proud to serve you in this role as Superintendent and so proud of this community of students, parents, and staff. There has been nothing more encouraging than watching everyone help each other over the last two weeks. We will continue to communicate information as it becomes available. Please stay healthy and stay safe.

We are the Bulldogs! We are BC Strong! Sincerely,

Kevin Macina, Ph.D.