MacGregor's Message 1/8/2021 
Dear Families,

The events that occurred on Wednesday in Washington D.C. have caused many Americans to pause and reflect on the values we hold as a nation. As I watched the news reports, I was reminded of a quote from Charles W. Pickering which states “A healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honorable, generous, tolerant and respectful.” Those words hold true as we approach a change in leadership of the Federal Government, and as we live our daily lives. We cannot take our democracy for granted and we must reflect, learn, and grow as a nation and society.

January is School Board Recognition Month. This is a time to honor and thank our school board members for their hard work and dedication to our district's students and families. In a typical year, school board members spend countless hours reviewing information, discussing policy issues, and attending various meetings. Since March, being a school board member has been much like a full-time job, as our school board has helped the district navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and provide options to our families by re-opening our schools for in-person instruction and launching Highlander Virtual. I am so thankful for the leadership and support that our school board members have provided during this time. If you have the opportunity, please express your thanks to our school board members this month.

The nomination window for the 2020-21 Howell Public Schools Teacher of the Year and the Howell Public Schools 2020-21 Support Person of the Year has opened. These awards honor an outstanding teacher and an exceptional support staff member for their hard work and dedication to the Howell Public Schools community. The Teacher of the Year nomination form can be found at http://bit.ly/2MxyYC8, and the Support Person of the Year nomination form can be found at http://bit.ly/354qwAE. Nominations are due by 4 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2021. Any nominations received after this date will not be considered.

Today, Governor Whitmer called for school districts to reopen for in-person learning by March 1. Both the Governor and the State Medical Director shared that this can be done safely when proper safety protocols and mitigation efforts are followed. This aligns with the beliefs and strategies we used to safely reopen our schools in August. I am incredibly proud of the work that we have done and that our schools have been open for in-person learning for the past six months. As I have shared many times, I truly believe that students learn best in-person.

It was great to welcome back our high school students following their mandated distance learning period as ordered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. While the number of COVID-19 cases in our area is much lower than a month ago, we cannot let our guard down regarding our safety and mitigation efforts. To ensure that we can continue to provide in-person instruction to our students, we must continue to follow best public health practices such as wearing a mask in public, frequently washing hands, and staying home when showing any signs of illness. Lastly, please remember to complete the student daily self-screener included in the Livingston County Health Department's Back to School Toolkit. The toolkit can be found at http://bit.ly/3hNA6wR.

After pausing for the holiday break, our Food Service Department's weekly meal kit distributions have resumed. In the December Michigan State Police Office of School Safety newsletter, school districts were encouraged to share important firearms safety reminders with their families. You can read more about both of these items below.

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

Weekly Meal Kit Distributions Resume
The Food Service Department has resumed its weekly meal kit distributions. The meal kits are available to any family who has children under the age of 18. Each meal kit includes seven days of breakfast and lunch items. The distributions occur each Monday at the Howell High School loading dock from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and every Thursday at the Three Fires Elementary main entrance from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Additionally, please remember that under federal waivers, all in-person students will receive free school meals for the remainder of this school year.

Information from the Michigan State Police Office of School Safety
In its December newsletter, the Michigan State Police Office of School Safety (MSP OSS) encouraged all school districts to share important firearms safety tips with their families. According to the MSP OSS, unsecured firearms in the home pose a risk for youth suicide and unintentional firearm death. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that firearms be locked and unloaded, with ammunition locked separately. Youth should not have access to the firearm. Additionally, the MSP OSS recommends that families secure firearms with cable-style locks as an additional layer of security and that they prevent youth from having unsupervised access to firearms. The Livingston County Sheriff's Department is a partner with Project ChildSafe to provide free cable-style gun locks. Families can contact the Sheriff's Department to inquire about a free Safety Kit from Project ChildSafe.
Posted by gouldt On Fri, Jan 08, 2021 at 3:30 PM  

 
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