Page 16 - Scene Magazine 45-07 July 2020
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    Amid uncertainties presented by COVID-19 and widespread shifts in public opinion around racial equity, many nonprofit organizations and busi- nesses have been called to re-examine their plans and priorities for the remain- der of 2020 and beyond.
staff members do return, the district will have in place robust cleaning and safety protocols, including things like add-
ing hand sanitizer stations, clarifying expectations around hand washing and wearing masks, and increasing building maintenance checks.
learning within each individual student. To us, ‘seeing every student by name, need, and strength’ means that we meet students where they are according to their needs, so that every Bearcat can succeed,” said director of transforma- tion, Dr. Anita Harvey. “All students learn differently. To ensure every student graduates career, college, and community ready, we go further to en- sure that we are meeting each student’s individual needs and building on each student’s individual strengths.”
At Battle Creek Public Schools, lead- ers and educators say that the events of the past few months have only deepened their commitment to the many equi- ty-driven initiatives that were already
in motion to help improve educational opportunities and life outcomes for students.
BCPS is planning for a variety of scenarios and educators remain hopeful that all students who feel comfortable attending school in the fall will be able to be there in person every day.
“Our equity imperative is rooted in our belief that all students – regardless of race, income, zip code, identities, or abilities – should have the opportunity to reach their potential,” said Superin- tendent Kimberly Carter. “We believe that a quality education is the founda- tion for future success. We see every child by name, need, and strength. Our students’ success is our priority and failure is not an option.”
BCPS is planning ahead for the pos- sibility of a hybrid model for students to attend school in-person and virtually on a staggered schedule, to allow for six-foot social distancing if required. The district is also preparing a system for families K-12 who would prefer to do so to attend school online.
For the past three years, BCPS has intentionally increased social-emotional and behavioral supports for students across the district to help establish the solid and personalized foundation that students need to succeed. The TrueSuc- cess curriculum used in grades K-8 is
a social skills curriculum designed to unleash students’ character potential. Classrooms use embedded lessons to engage students and teach positive be- havior skills. Success Centers in upper elementary, middle, and high schools offer students a space where they can reset and a trusted success specialist to confide in when they become over- whelmed or need extra support. And
in upper elementary, middle, and high school, a specially trained group of staff called Bearcat Coaches meet with students as personal mentors, offering support and helping them resolve con- flicts in healthy ways.
Investment in New Technology
BCPS is a place where students can learn safely, be creative, find their passions and prepare for their futures.
Amid these difficult circumstanc-
es, BCPS educators recognize that students face competing demands on their attention. For young people in a formative time of their lives, feelings of safety, security, and belonging can help students succeed in school, develop strong character, form their identities, and build problem-solving skills for the future. In understanding the key role that school plays for students’ emotional wellbeing, BCPS teachers and building staff continued engaging meaningfully with students even while buildings were closed throughout the spring – connect- ing with students just to check in on how they were doing.
In June, the Battle Creek Public Schools Board of Education approved a $1.5 million investment in the district’s technology program. A key focus of
the investment is ensuring that every student in the district will have access to a device. Funds will be used to purchase Chromebooks and to upgrade classroom technology.
Individualized Education that Sees Every Student as a Whole Person
“We heard from our families about the challenges they faced during school closures to meet their students’ needs, and this investment is a direct response to that,” said BCPS director of tech- nology Mitch Fowler. “The goal of this investment is to make sure we have enough devices for every BCPS student, including families with more than one student in the household. It is our top priority to ensure that our families have what they need to support their students’ continuing education.”
New in the 2019-20 school year, the district’s partnership with Communities in Schools has helped serve student needs as well, by forming family part- nerships and connecting families with services within the community.
Education Continues Despite COVID
BCPS educators see individualized education as essential. “Every stu- dent comes to school with a different background, different experiences, and different learning needs. It is our job to discover what will ignite a passion for
There are so many great things happening at BCPS – from new schools, to new programs to new opportunities for students at every level. BCPS is a place where students can learn safely, be creative, find their passions, and prepare for their futures. BCPS is proud to offer an educational path where op- tions equal individualized success. Read more about the district’s future-focused, student-centered offerings to the right.
Governor Whitmer recently an- nounced that schools will reopen this fall for in-person learning. BCPS officials report that when students and
At Battle Creek Public Schools, Success is for Every Student
 Achievement Opportunities for All Learners

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