MacGregor's Message 9/11/20 
Dear Families,

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on our country. It is hard to fathom that it has been 19 years since that dark day. For many of us, the images of the day's events are still very fresh in our minds. I want to take this opportunity to ask that we all stop and remember our fellow Americans who lost their lives in the attacks and to honor the many brave firefighters, police officers, and other first responders who, without hesitation, ran into the World Trade Center and Pentagon to put others before themselves.

Recently, the State of Michigan announced that it would begin releasing weekly reports on COVID-19 outbreaks in schools. According to the state, an outbreak is "two or more cases with a link by place and time indicating a shared exposure outside of a household." To be considered an outbreak within the school setting, the link would need to be the school. This does not change our commitment to being transparent about COVID-19 cases in our schools and district. You can read more about our communications process regarding COVID-19 cases in the district at https://bit.ly/32qKwg9.

Last week two big announcements were made by the Federal and State government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it was extending several waivers that would allow all children under the age of 18 to receive free school meals through December 31, and the State and the Michigan High School Athletics Association announced that fall sports could compete this year. I've shared more about these below.

Sincerely,
Erin J. MacGregor, Ed.S.
Superintendent
Howell Public Schools

USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids
Last Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it was extending several waivers regarding school meals. These waivers will allow all children under 18 to receive free school meals until December 31, 2020, or until funding for the program runs out. This means that all students purchasing a full breakfast or lunch at school will not be charged. However, if a student is only selecting an ala-carte item (bottled water, chips, granola bars), they will still be required to pay. If a student purchased a full breakfast or lunch since the start of the school year, that money has been refunded to their meal account.

Additionally, the waivers will allow us to provide meal kits to children under 18 in the community like we did in the spring. These kits will include seven days of breakfast and lunch items. Distribution of the kits will take place each Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the circle drive on the northside of Howell High School, and each Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the bus lot off Latson Road at Three Fires Elementary. Highlander Virtual families who were picking up meal kits on Monday's will now have their choice to pick up kits on Tuesday or Thursday and do not need to complete the meal request form. If you have any questions about this program, please contact the Food Service Department at 517.540.8347 or email foodservice@HowellSchools.com.

Howell Athletics Update
We are very excited that fall sports, including football, have been given the opportunity to compete this year. We will be following the guidance of the Michigan High School Athletic Association and executive orders from the Governor as the fall seasons begin. Like many things, athletic competitions this fall will look different in many ways. The most significant change will be in the area of spectators. Spectators at all events will be limited to two persons per participant, and those spectators will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. There will be no tickets available to the general public, and there will be no season or student passes sold for fall sports. To read this week's full Howell Athletics Update, please visit https://bit.ly/35no0X5.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
Per the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Howell Public Schools will ensure that homeless children and youth in transition have access to a free and appropriate public education, including preschool, and will be given a full opportunity to participate in state and district-wide assessments and accountability systems. To learn more about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, please visit https://bit.ly/3bLPG9x.
Posted by gouldt On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 3:28 PM  

 
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