March 16, 2020

Dear Families and Community Members:

Thank you for your continued support, patience, and flexibility as Byron Center Public Schools continues to work collaboratively with the Michigan Department of Education, Kent Intermediate School District, and other agencies to make decisions that are in the best interest of students, staff, and community. Below are responses to common questions being received: 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will BCPS be changing spring break?

BCPS is scheduled to be on spring break: Friday, April 3, through Sunday, April 12, 2020. 

Through collaboration with the Kent Intermediate School District and county superintendents, there will be no adjustment to the scheduled spring break. Return to the classroom on Monday, April 13, 2020. Should the Governor and/or Legislature take action that obligates schools to return to session beginning on April 6, 2020, this may change.

2. Does this mean that school buildings are closed and unavailable for students, staff, and/or community access during the closure period?

Yes, all of Byron Center Public Schools are closed until further notice. The district held two open times (March 13 and March 16 from 1:00-3:00pm) which were the only times that the district was open.  The district will remain completely shut down until directed by the State of Michigan to open.

3. Will schools be required to make-up this time resulting in an extension of the school year?

Michigan’s State School Aid Act stipulates certain day and hour requirements for student school attendance. In the past, the Legislature and/or Department of Education have adjusted legislative requirements or granted waivers that provide flexibility. At the present time, we have not received information from the State regarding whether or not there will be any flexibility to the student attendance day and hour requirements.

4. Will students be expected to participate in provided at-home, on-line, or other learning opportunities?

Communication from the principal at each school will be coming home this week in regards to optional learning opportunities for students while school is closed.  No learning will be required by the district, and we encourage all students and families to utilize programs and online learning opportunities that each school will provide. The enrichment will look differently at each grade-level and building.  As always, encouraging reading, reviewing past lessons and homework, and diversifying the activities of each day will help keep our students ready to go upon their return to school. Our teachers will be making adjustments to their pacing guides and required curriculum in order to ensure all of our students are receiving the education they deserve in Byron Center Public Schools.

5. Will school athletic teams and other extracurricular activities continue during the closure period?

No, at the present time, all school-sponsored activities are postponed indefinitely. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has suspended all winter team tournaments, and we anticipate additional guidance will be forthcoming for spring sports. There will be no practices, rehearsals, or other activities until we hear more information from the MHSAA and local agencies that it is safe to proceed. 

6. Will BCPS continue to offer informational bond meetings as the May 5 bond vote approaches?

At this time, all meetings and special events have been canceled. However, the district will be utilizing school messenger, the district website, and other social media platforms to share pertinent information regarding the important upcoming bond.

7. How will this affect state assessments? (PSAT, SAT, M-STEP, MI-Access, WIDA)

At this time we have no new information regarding the State Assessment windows and dates.  We will share any changes communicated from the Department of Education.

8. Upon return, how will our students be supported emotionally?

The district will be working to make sure our students are supported academically, and just as importantly, emotionally in order to help them process through this situation.  Each building will have an identified team to ensure students are receiving the necessary support. Please reach out to your son or daughter’s school if you have any concerns or would like to talk to a building principal, counselor, or social worker.  

9. What does BCPS do if they are informed of a possible positive COVID-19 case?

If BCPS is informed of possible COVID-19 case, BCPS will contact the Kent County Health Department regarding next steps BCPS has to take and procedures the district must follow. If the positive COVID-19 case is a BCPS student/parent/employee the KCHD would give direction on appropriate next steps. If it is outside of BCPS, the KCHD handles with that organization or individual.

These are extraordinary times, which require significant understanding and cooperation. We thank you for your trust and support of BCPS as we continue to work through the fine details and appropriate next steps. We will continue to update this FAQ document as we receive questions and send out answers that will be helpful during this time.  These documents are also being posted to our district website: