October 6, 2020

Dear SPS Parent/Guardian,

Since March, school leaders in each of our K-12 districts, public school academies and non-public schools throughout the Ottawa Area ISD have worked tirelessly and together to provide multiple learning options for students, including a safe return to classrooms. Our efforts have been thoughtfully developed in collaboration with state and local health officials in the best effort to protect the health and safety of our students and staff with evidence-based protocols and practices.

We are committed to the health, safety and well being of our students, staff, and school families, and are unified in implementing mitigation strategies that have allowed for an encouraging start to our school year. We have relied on public health experts to guide us through this public health crisis and will stay the course in communicable disease prevention.

Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an emergency order to restrict gathering sizes and to require facial coverings in public spaces, including schools. Saugatuck Public Schools will continue to operate under the health and safety protocols developed in our board approved COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plan and under this emergency order. 

The order requires the wearing of masks at schools for all grades TK-12, and reinstates limitations on gathering size to 30% of fixed seating capacity for outdoor venues and 20% of fixed seating capacity for indoor venues.

Athletic policies requiring spectators to wear masks and social distance at both indoor and outdoor venues will remain in place, as will current health protocols for athletes and coaches.

I appreciate the abundance of due caution and the cooperation of our families in protecting the health and well being of students, teachers and staff.  Properly wearing a facial covering, social distancing and frequent hand washing give us the best opportunity to continue to provide in-person instruction and activities for our students.

Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences

We are planning to hold virtual Parent-Teacher conferences this fall.  Parents of middle and high school students will have the opportunity to schedule a Zoom session with teachers between October 19th and 22nd.  DES Parents will be able to schedule a virtual conference between November 16th and 19th.  Parents of students attending virtually should look for an invitation to conference with virtual teachers prior to Thanksgiving.

Virtual Half-Day, October 16th

October 16th will be a virtual half-day for in-person students.  Students will be engaging in learning from home on this day.  Tech Center students will still be attending the tech center in person.

Teachers in all grades and subjects will be conducting remote learning sessions in the morning followed by professional development in the afternoon.  This virtual half-day will provide the opportunity for teachers and students to test remote learning components such as new learning management systems, connectivity, instructional technology and instructional delivery in real time.  Faculty will process the morning sessions to make adjustments to our remote learning delivery as necessary.  

Homecoming

I am pleased to announce that we are still celebrating Homecoming this week.  Friday is Orange & Blue Day across the district.  Show your SPS colors on Friday in-person or online.  Priority for attendance at Friday’s football game will be given to participant guests and high school students.  Even though attendance is limited, you can still catch the action on the Saugatuck Public Schools Sports YouTube channel using this link, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaYOn9uFoDFGOcMan7waoHw or on the radio at 92.7 The Van.

Go Blue! Go Orange!

Tim

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