The COVID-19 health crisis has brought about many changes in the world of education for families, students, educators and our community as a whole. Flexibility has been a key term used as we navigate through these unchartered territories. As a nation, there is a better understanding of the important role education plays not only in educating students and families, but as an economic partner in helping employees and employers return to work.

Education supports children from birth to age 26 and their caregivers in Michigan. We have to create multiple options that meet the needs of our community as a whole, while providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for families, students and staff. This crisis has posed challenges for educators and families across the country, but it has also created opportunities. To truly reimagine education, we need to be creative and find ways to prepare for what lies ahead. Educators are ready, resilient and responsive to the needs of the learners we serve.

Education is one of the largest employers in the state, and although we are not providing face-to-face instruction, we have not stopped working during this crisis. Educators transitioned quickly, building upon relationships with students and parents. We asked significantly more of parents and childcare providers during this time to assist with the learning process. Additionally, childcare providers may struggle to reopen to previous capacity overnight. Workforce concerns are real, especially after lifting the stay at home order and more businesses return to on-site work. Without schools and childcare providers open, working parents and their employers will be faced with difficult questions.

Education leaders are working directly with business leaders as part of the Relaunch Greater Lansing Task Force. Resources and components of this plan are adapted from Relaunch Greater Lansing in partnership with the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. This will help us stay connected as a community as we move forward to reopen our economy. Business, education and leadership need to work together to find a balance that incorporates both safety and economic opportunity, so our region can continue to prosper and our children’s future remains bright. We thank you for your support as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times and find the right balance to serve our families, business partners and our communities.

All the best,

Education Reimagined Regional Planning Team