Update to Huron School District Families and Community 7/24/2020 

Dear Huron School District Families and Community,

I hope this communication finds you and your families safe, healthy, and enjoying the summer. I know you have many questions regarding our return for the 2020/21 school year; my hope is that this letter provides some answers, using the best information that is available as of today.

MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap

Governor Whitmer, on June 30, released her Return to School Roadmap. It provides significant guidance for preK-12 public schools in the form of “Requirements”, “Strong Recommendations”, and Recommendations” in the areas of Safety Protocols, Mental & Social-Emotional Health, Instruction, and Operations. Highlights of the Roadmap include:

  • Phases 1-3: No in-person instruction, remote learning only
  • Phase 4: In-person instruction with required safety protocols
  • Phase 5: In-person instruction with minimal required safety protocols
  • Phase 6: In-person instruction with a return to pre-pandemic protocols

We are currently developing the Huron School District plan for Phases 1-3, Phase 4, and Phase 5 and aligning it to the MI Return to School Roadmap. The Huron Reentry Task Force continues to engage in meetings in order to develop plans for eventual recommendations to our Board of Education for approval. 

Please keep in mind that we are working through many of the logistics associated with a safe return to school. The options and concepts listed below are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather illustrative to give families a general sense of what to expect when we start the 2020-21 school year. Above all else, we’re doing our best to be flexible (options to meet student and family needs) and nimble (being prepared to quickly transition from one educational model to another).

In-Person Instruction

The Huron School District is working on plans in order to engage in safe and educationally sound, in-person instruction, in compliance with the Roadmap, to the students of the Huron School District, when school starts on Monday, August 31, 2020.  After considering our parent and staff survey results, we are working to create schedules and timelines that will allow us to offer in-person instruction to students in the safest and most purposeful way possible. 

We are also planning to offer, by request, an on-line learning option to students at all grade levels. One of the charges of the Reentry Task Force is to implement an on-line learning option that is robust, aligned to our curriculum, supported by our teachers, and that fully engages our students in their learning.

Some school districts had earlier announced hybrid learning models (every-other day, half-day, etc.), and some school districts more recently have announced that they will start the school year by only providing an on-line learning option. However, we recognize the burden this would place on many families in terms of work schedules and childcare.

As we continue to work to prepare a plan for in-person instruction, it is important to remember that the plans are naturally contingent upon our being allowed to do so (per state leadership) and our ability to do so safely, in compliance with all requirements. As parents and families consider their learning options for this fall, please keep the following in mind, especially if we start the school year in the current Phase 4.

Masks

In Phase 4, face coverings are required for all staff and all students in grades 6-12. They are required of students in grade preK-5 when they leave their classrooms and enter common areas, such as hallways; and are strongly recommended when in the classroom. All students and staff on Huron School District buses will be required to wear a face covering. Face coverings will be required for visitors to Huron School District buildings and grounds. We recognize that some students and staff may have medical conditions that prevent the use of masks. Those situations will be handled on a case-by-case, and confidential, basis.

Social Distancing

While six feet of social distancing is strongly recommended, and preferred, it will not be possible in every Huron School District classroom and hallway. Our operations department is working with building administration to creatively maximize space within classrooms to allow for maximum social distancing and spacing.

Transportation

Transportation will be provided to Huron School District students as it has in the past. Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings when riding the bus. Cleaning protocols for our buses may have an impact on bus stop times; if choosing to utilize HSD transportation, please check bus stop times carefully (when available) as they will likely change from what they were in the past.

Cleaning and Hygiene Protocols

Even before the MI Return to School Roadmap came out, the Huron School District was planning for more stringent cleaning and hygiene protocols. Every building in the district has been equipped with electrostatic sprayers for use in daily classroom sanitization and school bus sanitation.  All school buildings in the Huron School District are being outfitted with hand sanitizer stations.  Additional cleaning and hygiene protocols, as required by the Roadmap, are being planned for and implemented.

Over the next few weeks, the HSD Reentry Task Force will be finalizing our district’s plan. It will provide detailed information regarding the topics in this letter, as well as others. For example, the MI Return to School Roadmap requires school districts to follow direction from the local health department regarding procedures when a student or staff member is positively diagnosed with COVID-19. That direction has not yet been made available, but when it is, it will be widely communicated and strictly followed.

An assumption and common understanding that I hope we share is that during this pandemic, things change quickly (back on June 30, the belief was that we would be in Phase 5 for the 4th of July). We are working to be flexible and are planning for every eventuality and scenario. 

Let me close by including a reminder of the three (3) most important things we can all do prevent the spread of this virus: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and regularly wash hands. All of us, doing our part, is the best chance our children have at receiving the best educational experience possible – both in the classroom and through their extra-curricular endeavors.

Sincerely,

Donovan Rowe

Superintendent of Schools

Huron School District

Posted by admin On 07/24/2020 at 9:56 AM  

 
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