March 17, 2020
Dear MEMPSA family,

We are facing an unprecedented time in our nations’ history that is impacting every aspect of our lives. The COVID19 pandemic is creating fear, scarcity of resources and general anxiety. We are stronger together sharing resources and solutions for caring for the students and families we serve. We are stronger when you take care of yourself, and your family. It is important to keep perspective and maintain family time and schedules for learning, physical activity and rest. You cannot be all things to all people at all times, so pace yourself and call for help. Call on your MEMSPA principal peers and call on us at MEMPSA headquarters. To that end, please consider the following ideas for ways to make the best of a very difficult situation.

First, please ignore fake news and rely on trusted information resources on COVID19 from Governor Whitmer’s office, Dr. Michael Rice (MDE) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. They are taking direction from the finest state and national medical experts. 

Next, please join us for  #MEMSPAchat  this Thursday at 8 pm to learn about what other schools are providing to meet students learning, health and feeding needs. MDE’s Phil Chase will share details about food service, Carla Tantillo- Philibert will share SEL tool options and we will share with you an updated list of learning resources. Numerous principals will share their solutions for the same problems you are currently facing with your school community.

Be encouraged. My hope is that we are able delay the 3 rd  grade reading retention rules for at least one year. If school closures are extended for additional weeks or even months, I believe that MDE will appeal to the U.S. Department of Education for ESSA requirements postponement or cancellation. 

Your MEMSPA office team will continue to gather resources for your students and family use. Keep checking our  COVID-19 Resources page  for updated information as it becomes available. Please see below a list of our most current resources with links and access directions for student online learning from our MEMPSA partners. These will be  free of charge  for as many as 6 weeks and until the end of the school year.  Class Catalyst Imagine Math Achieve 3000 , and  Scholastic Reading  are in our list today. These are quality resources that have been vetted and proven effective as supports for reading, mathematics and social emotional learning. More may be joining in the next few days so stay tuned in.

In addition to the resources above, we will continue to provide updates and communications as more information becomes available. We are truly facing unchartered waters as a K-12 community. Please know that MEMSPA stands ready to help you to the fullest extent possible. If we can be of help, answer questions, provide resources or solutions please call. My personal cell number is (517) 898-1611 or call the office at (517) 694-8955. 

Lastly, in an effort to keep the MEMSPA staff safe and healthy as well as do our part to "flatten the curve," we will be implementing a "work from home" policy for all employees effective Tuesday, March 17th. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. You should not notice any changes in the day-to-day services provided by MEMSPA during this period. 

We will weather this storm together. We will indeed survive this chaos and be better served to deal with uncertainty in our future. Together we are better. Let’s stick together.
In Your Service,
Paul Liabenow
Executive Director, MEMSPA
(c) (517) 898-1611
(o) (517) 694-8955