Understanding Your District’s Plan for Fall

August 26, 2020



As of August 17, every district in Michigan was required to post their board-approved plans for schooling in the fall. The plans, based upon the Return to School Roadmap released by the Governor in early July, must address all of the required and strongly recommended protocols from the roadmap. Districts must have a plan to achieve every required protocol and must either have a process for or state that they are not addressing each strongly recommended protocol.

The plans were created over the last month and a half by teams that included district personnel, teachers, board members, community members, and parents.

As you review your district’s plan, this guide can help you identify key places to look for information most relevant to students and families. The plans are organized by Phases and in three sections: Phase 1-3, Phase 4, and Phases 5-6. As a reminder, in phases 1-3, all teaching and learning must be virtual as in-person education is not permitted. Our area is currently in Phase 4, which allows but does not mandate in-person learning. Most of the plans focus on how districts will operate in Phase 4, which is where we are expected to remain for the start of the school year. Parents are encouraged to review their districts’ plans and contact the school with any questions or feedback.


Introduction and Overview

The Introduction and Overview section outlines the approach that the district took when creating the plan and can give you a sense of the priorities that guided the creation of the plan. Often this section will also include who was involved in creating the plan.

Safety Protocols

The section on Safety Protocols describes how the district will follow each of the required procedures, such as when/where students and staff are required to wear masks and how the district will implement hygiene protocols. This section will be helpful to know how your student’s safety is being considered and what to expect in terms of safety.

Mental and Social-Emotional Health

The section on Mental and Social-Emotional Health discusses how the district will provide services for students. It is important to note that all the protocols are strongly recommended but not required, so schools are able to indicate that they will or will not be implementing these protocols.


The section on Instruction describes how the district will deliver student instruction and in what format: online, in-person, or a combination of the two. This section is important to read because it outlines how your student will be educated, what education looks like in a virtual and in-person environment, and what resources and materials are needed.  This section also addresses how students with disabilities will remain in compliance with their IEP.


The section on Operations addresses how the District will address operational protocols within several domains, including Facilities, Budget, Food Service, Enrollment and Staff, and Transportation. Districts must highlight how they determined the level of access that students have to technology and their plans ensure that access to learning is equitable through the use of technology. In this section, districts must also describe their operational plans if they have to switch from in-person learning to digital learning if the school building is required to close.

Written by The Community Education Commission