2021-2022 Welcome Back Letter from Dr. Kimberly Soranno

Dear Parents and Staff:

We are looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year to provide the best educational program possible! All of my staff are excited to return to face to face learning for the upcoming year. Hopefully the number of COVID cases will remain low and not disrupt the educational process. As of right now, our staff and students will continue to wear masks on their school bus and on school grounds for the protection of everyone. Just like this past year, our Cardinal Family can depend on us by following the best safety protocol for our students and staff with the intent to keep our students face to face for as long as safely possible.
We also have provided the opportunity for some of our students to enter the Melvindale Virtual Academy (MVA), but many of these places have been taken. Please contact the Melvindale Board of Education Office at (313) 389-3300 if you have an interest in this to see if openings are available for the 2021-2022 school year for your child.
Our Families can plan for the following:
  • Face to face learning will begin the 2021-2022 school year. We will monitor health protocols, data around COVID-19 transmissions in our local area, and continue looking out for what is best for our school and community health.
  • We will continue to offer COVID testing and vaccines at our school facilities. Please look for these schedules on our school website, letters home from schools or in case of an emergency, contact our School District Nurse, Holly Swortz.
Should we have to go to Remote Learning:
Remote learning enhancements for the 2021-2022 school year include:
  • Chromebooks and devices provided to all students and teachers
  • All teachers are trained in Google Docs and Google Classroom, effective August 2020
  • All teachers will have trained Technology Coaches available familiar with our academic goals, our staff, and our students on a daily basis; one per building
  • Google Classroom will be used as a standardized learning platform
  • Our own staff members teaching
  • Increased contact time with Special Education staff
  • Increased contact time with Bilingual staff
  • A structured daily schedule
  • All students will receive feedback and grades; lower elementary will continue with the same grading we have always used
  • Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will receive progress monitoring as well as the grades they normally received in the face to face setting
  • Increased mandatory expectations for learning, including content that will be graded, the administering of formative and summative assessment, as well as project-based assessment will be utilized! All work will be graded and accounted for and the expectation that it is completed will be monitored and dealt with by staff
  • Daily attendance will be taken
Please stay tuned....

You will soon receive school specific information on the protocols for returning to school based on age appropriate expectations. Our Board of Education, administrative staff, teachers, maintenance, and administrative assistants have been committed to making sure everything runs smoothly for our students. They are top notch! We firmly believe that beginning our year face to face and making careful decisions based on science and what is right for the safety of our entire community fits for our district at this time under these conditions.
We will continue to update staff and families with pertinent information; please watch for further communications. Plans/information will be posted on the district website. As we open our doors to our schools on Monday, August 30, 2021, we will be prepared to provide our students with a quality education where we can continue to build positive and supportive relationships with our students and our families.
Teachers - You will have two days of online learning on August 25 & August 26, 2021. Please wait to hear from the technology department for further information. Teachers may participate in PD from their home or classroom. At this point, all staff development will be virtual until further notice - this includes whole staff meetings at each building.
Support Staff - You will report to your building on August 30, 2021, where you will receive your schedule from the building principals. The Technology Coaches will be reaching out to you about your upcoming technology training on September 10. All grant paid staff will have an additional meeting in September to review rules and regulations from the state and federal government. I personally want to thank each and every one of you for the input you have shared over the last year and a half. A special thanks to our School Board members, our parents who served on the District Task Force, everyone who served on the individual school task forces, and our administration and teachers. A special thank you to Joe Anheuser, our School Crisis Supervisor, for all of his additional work; to our previous Finance Director, Mike Magier, and our interim Finance Director, Karen Donahue; the Operations Director, Elfriede Hervey; our Food Service Director, Kaiten Morgan-MacEwen; our Psychologist/Special Ed Director, Dr. Richard Lucido; and our Bilingual and State and Federal Grant Director, Jacqueline Parker, for all of their hard work throughout the summer months.
Thank you to our Central Office Staff and our administrative assistants who have continued to work to help support us throughout the summer. A special shout out of appreciation to Jill Hilliker, my administrative assistant, for all of her organization and bringing the board policies up to date which were both huge undertakings. A hearty thank you to our maintenance staff for cleaning and making our buildings beautiful and adapting our schools for face to face learning. A special thank you to Austin Bright, Technology Coordinator, and the Technology Coaches and Department, who continue working endlessly around the clock to make sure we have the tools and training to be successful!
Please note that computers will be deployed by our Technology Department by appointment once again; please watch for further information via email and our website. Since we will be face to face, the students may begin the year without their computer in hand, but will receive one early in the year. I want to thank our parents for their patience as we navigate through these still unknown times as we try to prepare for many different scenarios. These times are not easy, but we will continue to provide a quality and powerful learning environment for our students.
Educationally yours,
Dr. Kimberly Soranno
Superintendent/Curriculum Director