MacGregor's Message 11/20/20 


Dear Families,

As we head into the Thanksgiving break, I have been reflecting on several things that I am thankful and grateful for. I am grateful for the strong partnership with each of you as we navigate how to provide the best possible education to our students during a pandemic. I am also thankful for your understanding as we have had to make adjustments, change course, and adapt our plans due to increasing cases of COVID-19 and changing state mandates. I am thankful for our teachers, staff, and administrators who continue to put our students first and are working tirelessly for our students while also doing everything they can to maintain a safe and healthy school environment. Lastly, I am thankful for our Board of Education, who continue to approach every decision they make based on what is best for our students, staff, and families.

During our weekly meeting with the Livingston County Health Department (LCHD), they reiterated that, at this time, they support in-person school as the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools remains low, largely because of the health and safety protocols we have put in place. They also shared that the current increase in cases is being driven by adults in the community and being spread at social events and gatherings. At the guidance of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), LCHD has realigned its case investigation prioritization strategy. This realignment is necessary for local public health to maximize staffing resources and prevent outbreaks within the school environment and amongst the most vulnerable populations. A top priority of this realignment at LCHD is to keep schools open for in-person learning. The new strategy includes case investigation only for individuals below 19 years and above 64 years of age, as well as students attending in-person schools and those living in congregate living environments. Due to this realignment strategy, the LCHD will need help to identify staff members and parents/guardians within the Livingston County School Community between the ages of 19 and 64 that test positive for COVID-19. To self-report a positive COVID-19 test result, please fill out the self-reporting form here: https://bit.ly/3pGWJGV. If staff members or parents/guardians live outside of Livingston County but have a child that attends a Livingston County School, they should also complete the form. Questions about self-reporting can be submitted to the LCHD COVID-19 email at COVID19@livgov.com. Please remember that if your child has been tested for COVID-19 for any reason, they should not attend school while their test results are pending.

Please remember that there is no school next week. We made this change to allow our students and staff additional time to recuperate from a challenging several months. We have all had additional stress put on us during this time, and the Board of Education and I felt that both our students and staff could benefit from the extra time off. I encourage everyone to disconnect, relax, and enjoy the time. We plan to resume classes for students in begindergarten through eighth grade on Monday, November 30. Our high school students will continue with mandated distance learning through Tuesday, December 8, as ordered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). If there are any changes to this plan, due to new mandates from MDHHS or the Livingston County Health Department, or due to staffing constraints at the district level, we will communicate those to you with as much notice as possible.

Even though our schools will be closed next week, we will still hold our scheduled meal kit distributions. Due to the holiday, the distributions at both Howell High School and Three Fires Elementary will be held on Tuesday, November 24. The high school distribution will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the Three Fires distribution will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the Innovation Academy Food Pantry is open to all Howell students and families. To learn more about the Innovation Academy Food Pantry, please visit https://bit.ly/2UEdHYo.

During our Thanksgiving break, we all must remain vigilant in following good public health practices, such as wearing a facial covering in public, avoiding large social gatherings, and practicing frequent hand washing. Doing so will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and help ensure that we can keep our schools open for in-person instruction.

I wish all of you a safe and restful break.

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

Posted by gouldt On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 1:43 PM  

 
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