Good Afternoon Parents/Guardians,
We have now completed week seven of this unique school year. The staff and students have worked hard and continue to work to adjust to the new environment and the new forms of learning. This is all still new and will continue to be new throughout the trimester. We are now four weeks away from exams and it is critical that students stay engaged in their learning. Some of our students have excelled in this new environment and some are struggling. This is the main purpose of this communication; I want to share observations and share recommendations as we move towards exams and the end of 1st trimester.
- Face-to-face (F2F) days and Wednesdays are critical days for students to be present. The majority of critical learning and assessments are occurring on these days and are not days that can easily be made-up. Make sure your student is present on these days assuming they are healthy. For example, we are seeing students absent all day for appointments. We understand that these appointments are hard to schedule in the current climate but please try to avoid scheduling appointments on F2F/Wednesdays and/or please bring them in before/after the appointment.
- Talk to your student about time management on asynchronous days (days they are home and don’t have to be online at a particular time). The feedback from students and staff tells us that managing these days is a huge struggle for students. Students are in school for 6+ hours in a normal day. We are assigning roughly four hours worth of work on the asynchronous days that students have to do independently. This work takes many forms. It could be reading, studying, creating a video, or doing problems 1-20. In every case, students need to plan out their time. Many are not doing this work and are unprepared when they return to F2F. These are not “free” days, they are SCHOOL days and students should be doing school.
- We have many students that still have not finished their work from last spring. We have sent letters home, robo reminder calls, talked to students and given time for them to make this work up. All spring incompletes (I) will change to No Credit (NC) on November 24. NCs will put your student behind in credits to graduate, they will have to take the entire class over if it is a required class, and may result in the need for summer school or a transfer to the alternative education program. Talk to your student and call us if you need more information.
Health and Safety. We have seen an increase in Positive COVID-19 cases in the county, area schools going fully virtual, and events being cancelled, etc. We closed for 3 days to contact trace/clean out first incident to make sure our systems are working. We were pleased that we had 0 transmission during the school day and that our systems worked. Our Hybrid plan is set to minimize the chances of the virus passing here at school. Know that we clean and disinfect touch point surfaces multiple times a day, clean classrooms and busses daily and do deep cleaning Wednesdays to mitigate the spread of the virus. We are doing everything we can to minimize the spread of this virus in our building. The staff and students have done an excellent job of following the health and safety guidelines in the building. Masks are worn, desks are cleaned, 6ft distance is maintained in all classes.
Where we are seeing issues is NOT from staff and students passing the virus in the building. The close contacts and the positive cases in our school family are occurring outside of school. Please do your part by following the CDC/Health department guidelines outside of school as we want to continue to offer Face-to-Face learning, band, and sports.
COVID-19 is transmitted through person-to-person contact and the exchange of respiratory droplets. As more cases are being confirmed across the state, including in our community, it is essential to be responsible and vigilant. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you or any member of your family exhibit these symptoms, please contact your medical provider for advice immediately. Symptoms usually appear 2-14 days after exposure.
Recommendations for best practices to help prevent the spread of this global pandemic:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Stay at home, if possible. If you must go out, practice social distancing, leaving at least six feet between you and other people.
- Avoid gatherings that include more than ten people.
See the list of resources on the following pages.
2nd Trimester (starts 11/30)- In the next three weeks you will be receiving communication in regard to 2nd trimester and the plan of study for your students. Look for this communication as it is critical for us to plan moving forward. Families will have the option to change the method of learning (Hybrid and PVA). When you receive the communication pay attention to the RETURN DATE. If we do not receive a response by this date your student will continue in their current program.
As always, please give us a call if your student is in need or you have questions. We are here to help.
If you would like to learn more about COVID-19, the following links are reliable and accurate sources for information:
CDC COVID-19 Information https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Talking to Children About COVID-19 https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/helping-children-cope-with-changes-resulting-from-covid-19
Kalamazoo County/coronavirus https://www.kalcounty.com/hcs/covid19.phpcoronavirus
If an individual suspects they have COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home and take one of the following steps:
1. Call their primary care provider (PCP) via telephone
2. Do a virtual visit with their health system/provider
3. Contact one of the three Care Advisor Phone Numbers or Web Pages provided by our local health systems. *these numbers are helpful for individuals who do not have a PCP.
*If your symptoms are life-threatening call 9-1-1
Care Advisor Phone Numbers and Webpages
Bronson (269) 341-7788 www.bronsonhealth.com/coronavirus-covid-19
Ascension Borgess www.healthcare.ascension.org
Spectrum Health Lakeland https://www.spectrumhealthlakeland.org/covid19
*a Chatbot is available online
*Drive-up testing is available, but all patients require a physician's order to be tested.
InterCare Health Network (855) 869-6980 https://www.intercare.org/covid-19.html
*Drive-thru testing is available. Individuals do NOT have to have a lab order (does NOT have to be InterCare only)