COVID-19 Updates

April 7, 2020

Greetings Bentley Families,

This is a follow up to my email from last Thursday following Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order closing school buildings for the remainder of the year. That same order directed districts to create a learning plan for the rest of this year with input from others including administrators, teachers, and boards of education and to implement that plan no later than April 28th. We are working to put this together as instructed, and I hope to be able to implement our plan starting Monday, April 21st.

Between now and then, teachers will continue to reach out to students and families, as they have been, which relies heavily on email. I have heard from a number of families that they do not check their email very often. Email is our primary route of communication, so please read your email. For those of you with older students, please have your teenager check their email.

The learning plan we are developing will provide consistency in how teachers organize the learning expectations and activities so that it is easy for families to select from a playlist or menu of options. Additionally, we are working on a system for checking Chromebooks out to those students who need them. For those of you who need internet, internet service providers are working to make internet access affordable for families. At the end of this letter is a list of five different local providers with hyperlinks to their respective offerings. Please try to set up internet service so that your child can participate in the online learning. If the monthly $10 fee is too much, please contact Mrs. Lisa Gaby

Additionally, we continue to provide food both by dropping it off via bus and by parent pick up. We will have food tomorrow, Wednesday, April 8 (which will include 3 days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches) and Monday, April 13th (which will include 2 days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches). Starting on Wednesday, April 15th, we will begin providing a week’s worth of food on one day. At that time, each student who gets food will also be eligible to take a gallon of milk. Please be sure to have an older student or adult at the bus stop to get the food—it will be too much and too heavy for our younger students. We are doing this to minimize contact for you and our employees, and because we are having difficulty getting enough of the small cartons of milk.

If your child has medicine in the school office, you may pick that up from the administration building next Monday and Wednesday between 9:00 and 1:00 or by appointment. Call (810) 591-9120 to set up an alternative day and time. Items left in lockers and desks will remain there until the governor lifts the order to stay at home.

During the midst of all things COVID-19, the May 5th bond and C ensus 2020 are still happening. The

bond will be only by mail-in/absentee vote. Therefore, when you receive the application to vote absentee, you will need to complete it and return it in the postage-paid envelope. Then you will receive your ballot, which you can then complete and return in the postage-paid envelope. The May election is the only time this can be a $0 (zero dollar) tax increase. You can go to the Bentley webpage and select the B ond 2020 tab to see how this money will be used to make infrastructure improvements. Please vote—our students’ future is in your hands.

If you have questions or needs that you are struggling to have met, please call. I will do my best to connect you to the right resource or person. I will continue to update you with changes. Flexibility and patience seem to be key right now for all of us as there are changes happening almost daily. Please know that I so appreciate how understanding each of you has been! Nobody expected to role-play Little House on the Prairie in 2020, and I can only imagine how stressful it is for each of you having to work from home or be laid off, to maintain your household, to raise your children, and to help them with their learning, too. But we’re doing it!

I wish you well,

Kristy Spann, Ph.D.
Superintendent


AT&T

A T&T says it will suspend data caps for its fixed internet service. It also offers a $10-a-month A ccess

F rom AT&T program for qualifying low-income households.

Charter Spectrum

Charter Spectrum will offer free Spectrum broadband and WiFi access for 60 days to households with students in kindergarten through 12th grade or college students who don't already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. The installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll, call 844-488-8395.

For eligible low-income households without school-age children, Charter offers S pectrum Internet

A ssist, a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps. Spectrum doesn't have data caps or

hidden fees.

Comcast

Comcast will offer new residential customers who qualify its $9.95-per-month Internet Essentials Program free for 60 days. The company says it will boost its internet service speeds from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps, which qualifies the service as high-speed broadband under FCC guidelines. Comcast will also suspend data caps for 60 days and refrain from disconnecting service or charging late fees for customers who contact the company regarding overdue payments.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile has no data cap for its home internet service. All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile wireless customers who have cell-phone plans with data will be granted unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming). They'll also receive an additional 20GB of mobile hot spot/tethering service for those two months. The company is working to provide L ifeline low-income c ustomers with up to 5GB of free data per month over the next two months.

Verizon

Verizon recently increased speeds at no extra cost on some mid-tier FIOS services, bumping the 100 Mbps tier to 200 Mbps and the 200 Mbps tier to 300 Mbps. The company reports that it places no data caps on its home internet broadband services. Verizon also offers a low-cost L ifeline plan for qualified families.