April 30, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-65, which supersedes Executive Order 2020‑35 and provides further guidance relative to the provision of K‑12 education for the remainder of the 2019‑2020 school year. While the EO is significantly similar to EO 2020‑35, it contains new language on the following topics: safety drills and compulsory attendance, early childhood programs, and teacher evaluations and certifications. Information relative to each specific topic is detailed below.
Teacher Evaluations and Certifications
(1) Teachers on an individual development plan (IDP) on March 13, 2020 must receive an annual year‑end performance evaluation. For teachers not on an IDP, and for administrators, the requirement to provide assessments or other performance evaluations for the school year remains optional, subject to the bolded language below.
(2) Under Section IV.10‑15, a teacher with an IDP must be provided with an annual year‑end performance evaluation as follows:
- The teacher’s evaluation must be determined based on the teacher’s performance at least through March 13, 2020. An optional evaluation for a teacher not on an IDP must also meet this requirement. An evaluation may account for the teacher’s performance after March 13, 2020, including the teacher’s efforts to provide remote student instruction given the limitations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The teacher’s evaluation must not involve criteria requiring data or other information unavailable because of the COVID-19 pandemic. An optional evaluation for a teacher not on an IDP must also meet this requirement.
- If the teacher is in a probationary period and is rated “effective” or “highly effective” on his/her 2019‑2020 evaluation, the teacher will accrue time toward completion of the probationary period under the Teachers’ Tenure Act.
- If the teacher is on continuing tenure and is rated “effective” or “highly effective” on his/her 2019‑2020 evaluation, the teacher will maintain continuing tenure.
- If a tenured teacher with an IDP cannot make progress toward goals because some or all of the criteria requires data or information unavailable due to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the time period to progress toward those goals may be extended. Alternatively, the IDP goal may be waived.
(3) Under Section VIII.9, MDE may renew a teacher’s certificate or permit between April 30, 2020 and the expiration of the certificate or permit regardless of whether the individual received an annual year‑end evaluation for the 2019-2020 school year.
Safety Drills and Compulsory Attendance
- Section I.10 suspends for the remainder of the school year any requirement relative to the minimum number of fire drills, lockdown drills, and tornado drills mandated by law. Section I.10 also suspends the requirement to record or publish documentation pertaining to scheduled or completed fire or tornado drills after March 11, 2020. Requirements for rescheduling of drills and for notifying emergency management coordinators and law enforcement agencies are waived.
- Section I.11 suspends for the remainder of the school year certain instruction requirements relative to sex education.
- Section I.12 suspends, to the extent necessary, all compulsory attendance requirements and enforcement measures for the school year, consistent with a school district’s CoL Plan.
- Section I.13 suspends for the remainder of the school year requirements relative to psychomotor skills instruction, consistent with a school district’s CoL Plan.
Early Childhood Programs
(1) Section II.2(g) requires a CoL Plan adopted by an ISD to include a plan for early childhood services (e.g., Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP)), consistent with guidance issued by MDE. The Early Childhood Plan may be incorporated in the original CoL Plan or submitted as an amendment/addendum to a school district’s approved CoL Plan.
(2) Section II.16 requires that an ISD that is an approved grantee of GSRP funding must maintain records of approved subrecipient plans for continuing GSRP for the remainder of the school year. The ISD is responsible for ensuring subrecipients create a GSRP plan. Plans must include:
- A description of plans to provide and document how all GSRP teaching team members will engage on an ongoing basis with enrolled children and their families.
- A description of how GSRP funds and resources will be used to implement a modified program that is developmentally appropriate for the strengths, interests, and needs of each child.
- A best estimate of the date on which subrecipients will begin implementation of the GSRP plan, which must be no later than May 7, 2020.