Parent Letter 8-21-2020 

Hello Huron Families:

I wanted to take a moment at the start of this letter to say thank you.  Thank you to all of our students, parents, and families for all of the support and patience that you have shown during this time.  It has been quite a journey so far, and now, we are about to embark into uncharted territory once again. 

Since my last communication, there have been many changes at the state level that have impacted our planning process.  We have also been reviewing our remote learning and face-to-face enrollment numbers, while making staffing decisions in order to best meet the needs of students when school begins.  In addition, we recently received final health and safety guidelines from the Wayne County Health Department.  We have also been working hard with members of our staff to negotiate final protocols and to finalize plans for the start of the year. 

This letter contains information about the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  Please understand that some of the details of the plan have changed, and some aspects of the return have been adjusted to adapt to our student enrollment numbers and staffing needs.  We have worked hard to balance the need for students to have face-to-face instruction and quality remote instruction with our need to keep class sizes as low as possible, while keeping students and staff healthy and safe.   As a result, there have been changes to the instructional schedules at each level, and there is a change in the start date/calendar for the beginning of the school year.  The information is outlined below.  I have also included an informational graphic called the Return To Learn Framework that outlines the details of the instructional program at each level.

You will also be receiving more detailed communications from your building principals pertaining to student schedules, teacher assignments, arrival/dismissal, hygiene and cleaning protocols, and parent screening protocols and expectations. 

Although the final schedule/model for face-to-face instruction is slightly different from our initial communication, these plans have been finalized and represent our efforts to balance remote learning, face-to-face instruction, and student counts, while providing the safest and most purposeful learning environment possible.  The details of the District’s plans are outlined below:

Calendar Change and The First Day of School For Students:

Please note that the first day for ALL students has been set for September 8, 2020.  This is a change from the original calendar date of August 31, 2020.  This includes our Kindergarten students.

Huron Schools Remote Learning Program: 

Elementary and secondary students who are currently enrolled in the Huron Schools Remote Learning Program will receive instruction entirely online.  Detailed information will be provided by individual buildings pertaining to log-in information, course syllabi, daily schedules, connectivity, and the use of the Huron Learning Hub for online instruction.  Parents can contact their school’s main office with questions pertaining to these communications. 

 

Face-To-Face Instructional Schedule and Plan:

Please remember that more detailed plans and schedules, including teacher assignments and individual student schedules are being sent through building communications from Brown, Miller, Renton, and Huron High School.  The following represents a general overview of the Face-To-Face schedule and plan.

Elementary Students:  Elementary Students will be attending school for face-to-face instruction on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, excluding regular breaks and holidays.  On Wednesdays, students will attend school remotely.  Teachers will provide an established schedule for learning on the remote learning Wednesdays.  The elementary teachers will practice a strategy known as “cohorting” their students, limiting the amount of other students that they are exposed to throughout the school day.  Therefore, one class will stay together during the school day, and will not mix with larger groups of students, except during arrival and dismissal.   Lunch periods and recess have been planned in accordance with our cohorting model and the guidance provided by the Return to School Roadmap and the Wayne County Health Department.  Students will be eating lunch in their classrooms, and students will have recess each day.   

Elementary Daily Start Time Change: During the 2020-2021 school year, student entry at each elementary school building will begin at 9:20 AM and classes will begin at 9:45 AM.  This is one hour later than previous school years.  This change is being made due to redeployment of staff as part of an effort to keep class sizes as low as possible.  As a result, the time change is necessary in order to provide contractual obligations while providing face-to-face instruction.

Renton Jr. High School:  Renton students will be attending school for face-to-face instruction for five classes per day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of each school week, excluding regular breaks and holidays.  On Wednesdays, students will attend school remotely.  Teachers will provide an established schedule for learning on the remote learning Wednesdays, and students will engage with teachers remotely during those times.  Remote learning Wednesday schedules and lunch schedules will be provided to parents as part of Renton’s building communication.

Renton Daily Start Time Change: During the 2020-2021 school year, student entry at Renton Jr. High School will begin at 8:30 AM and classes will begin at 8:45 AM.  This is one hour later than previous school years.  This change is being made due to redeployment of staff as part of an effort to keep class sizes as low as possible.  As a result, the time change is necessary in order to provide contractual obligations while providing face-to-face instruction.

Huron High School:  The Huron High School Schedule represents the largest change from the original planning framework.  Huron High School students will be attending school based on an alphabetized grouping (Groups A [A-L] or B [M-Z]).  Students in the Group A will attend classes for face-to-face instruction on Mondays and Thursdays, and will attend classes virtually for remote learning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Students in the Group B will attend classes for face-to-face instruction on Tuesdays and Fridays, and will attend classes virtually for remote learning on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.   When students are attending classes remotely, teachers will provide an established remote learning schedule, and students will engage with teachers remotely during those times.  The remote learning schedules and lunch schedules will be provided to parents as part of Huron High School’s building communication.

Huron High School Daily Start Time Change: During the 2020-2021 school year, student entry at Huron High School will begin at 8:30 AM and classes will begin at 8:45 AM.  This is one hour later than previous school years.  This change is being made due to redeployment of staff as part of an effort to keep class sizes as low as possible.  As a result, the time change is necessary in order to provide contractual obligations while providing face-to-face instruction.

Screening Protocols and Expectations:

The MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap mandates that schools “must cooperate with the local public health department regarding implementing protocols for screening students and staff.”  According to the Wayne County Health Department, Return to School Roadmap FAQ document, “the health department is instructing parents to do the health screenings prior to sending their kids to school.”  Parents must do a health screening of their student(s) each day, prior to sending the student(s) to school or putting the student(s) on a school bus.  The link to the Wayne County Health Department COVID-19 Screening Tool for Families can be found at this link.  http://www.huronschools.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_105709/File/Parent-COVID-19-Screening-Tool-for-Families.pdf

Masks:

The Governor’s executive order, E.O. 2020-142, and accompanying MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap requires that face coverings be worn by all staff members, except during meals.  In Phase 4 of the Governor’s Roadmap, facial coverings must be worn by all students, staff, and bus drivers during school transportation.  In addition, facial coverings must be worn by all students in the hallways and common areas, except during meals.  Students in grades 6-12 must also wear facial coverings in all classrooms.  All students in grades K-5 are not “required” to wear facial coverings in classrooms as long as the students remain with their class throughout the school day and do not come into close contact with another class of students (otherwise known as cohorting).   The Huron School District is working to provide the safest possible atmosphere for students, as we weigh the ability of our younger students to tolerate PPE for a full school day.  We have purchased facial coverings for all of our students in the district.  We will distribute these facial coverings to students on the first day of school and at the bus stop for those students riding the Huron buses.  Our plans are to "cohort" our elementary aged students in classrooms.  If we are successful, K-5 students would not be "required" to wear face coverings in classrooms; however, we are strongly encouraging students to wear them for maximum safety. 

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.  In addition, we have been successful in reducing class sizes at all levels in order to maximize the amount of physical distance we can separate students in classrooms. 

Transportation: 

Although we expect participation in the district provided transportation to be less than normal, we are providing transportation to district resident students.  Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings when riding the bus. This is mandated by the state, and students will not be permitted to ride the bus without a face covering.  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 are likely to change from what they were in the past.

Cleaning and Hygiene Protocols:

The MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap requires schools to clean frequently touched surfaces, including light switches, doors, benches, and bathrooms at least every four hours, using an EPA-approved disinfectant or diluted bleach solution.  In addition, student desks must be wiped down with an EPA-approved disinfectant or diluted bleach solution after every class period.  Also, playground structures must undergo normal routine cleaning, and school buses must be cleaned before and after every transit route.  The Huron School District has worked with custodial staff, teachers, and transportation staff in order to plan regular cleaning schedules, cleaning logs, and cleaning protocols for all school buildings and transportation vehicles. 

Keeping Students Home if Sick:

See attached document from the Wayne County Health Department’s Return to School Roadmap: 2020-21 Virtual Binder, page 9, or click on the link below.  Parents are required to perform a health screening of their student(s) each morning prior to placing them on a school bus or in a school building.  If students are exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, students should be kept home from school.  These symptoms include a fever (temperature of 100.4 or higher), a new or worsening cough, runny nose and/or congestion, tiredness and/or achiness, shortness of breath, vomiting and/or diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell.  Also, Students should not come to school if they have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days or have traveled out of the United States in the last 14 days.   Parents or guardians are asked to keep students home from school if they are exhibiting signs of sickness, and the school district will make consideration for student absences in order to accommodate the needs of students.  Click on the link to view the Health Department’s COVID-19 Screening Tool for Families: http://www.huronschools.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_105709/File/Parent-COVID-19-Screening-Tool-for-Families.pdf

Notable Protocols and Information:

Visitors and Parents in Buildings:  The Huron School District is a welcoming environment.  Nonetheless, the MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap strongly recommends that “family members or other guests are not allowed in the school building except under extenuating circumstances.”  As a result, parents will only be granted access to the school building by appointment.  As always, feel free to contact the building if you need to speak to an administrator or make an appointment to speak with your student’s teacher. 

Drop Off and Pick Up:  We anticipate that Drop Off and Pick Up will be congested even more than usual under our new protocols.  The elementary buildings have put protocols in place in order to make this as process as smooth as possible; however, the volume and timeframe involved will create dense traffic situations.  Please understand that we are asking parents NOT to park their vehicles nor to exit their vehicles during this process.  Instead, staff members will escort students from the curb side to the door of the building.  Our elementary principals will be sending communications with more details pertaining to this process.  We are asking for your patience as we work together to make these protocols successful. 

In addition to this letter, I am including the updated Huron School District 2020-2021 Return to Learn Framework graphic, the Wayne County Health Department Return to School Roadmap Virtual Binder, and the Wayne County Health Department Return to School Roadmap Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.  The Return to Learn Framework includes reference information on face-to-face learning, remote learning, and district protocols.  The Health Department’s Return to School Roadmap Virtual Binder includes required and strongly recommended protocols for schools, while providing direction and guidance for parents and school staff.  The Frequently Asked Questions document provided by the health department includes questions pertaining to health department protocols and guidelines for sick students and staff, quarantine protocols, facial coverings, daily parent health screenings of students, and more.  Please take a look at these documents, and feel free to contact me or your building principal if you have questions. 

You will also be receiving communication from your building principal with more details pertaining to the class schedules, teacher assignments, time schedules, and remote learning expectations. 

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and support as we work through this challenging situation.  Enjoy the rest of the summer.  We will keep you posted with more information as it becomes available. 

Sincerely,

Donovan Rowe  

Donovan Rowe

Superintendent of Schools

Huron School District


Links:

Link to the Wayne County COVID-19 Screening Tool for Families:  http://www.huronschools.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_105709/File/Parent-COVID-19-Screening-Tool-for-Families.pdf

Link to the Wayne County Health Department Return to School Roadmap: https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1597666539/resanet/stffbslgio28aipx7ywf/Return-to-School-Roadmap-binder-081420-ADA_1.pdf

Link to the Wayne County Health Department Return to School Roadmap Frequently Asked Questions Document:  https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1597946957/resanet/p16wkeok6egqglntlkud/FAQ-Return-to-School-Roadmap.pdf

Posted by admin On 08/21/2020 at 4:52 PM  

 
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