Dear SPS Parent/Guardian,
The first day of school on September 8th is rapidly approaching and we are in the process of making final preparations to welcome our students back in-person and online. The logistical challenges to prepare for students to return to school in-person and online have been significant. Please join me in thanking our building principals, support staff and teachers for their thoughtful preparation for the coming school year. We are also excited to welcome our new Pod Leaders at DES and appreciate their willingness to support teachers and students in our cohort model.
Middle school and high school students and parents choosing the regional online option should be receiving specific information and resources in the very near future directly from Michigan Virtual and from the online instructor for each course. Parents of DES students choosing the regional online option will be receiving a welcome letter and information on U of M Roadmaps directly from their virtual grade level teacher. Families needing assistance with technology for online learning can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents sending their students back to school in-person are reminded of these important health and safety protocols:
- Parents must complete the steps of the attached student screening prior to sending their child to school each day. Parents must complete the COVID-19 School Health Screening Agreement in FinalFormshttps://saugatuck-mi.finalforms.com/ indicating their understanding and agreement to perform symptom screenings on their child. Parents may contact Liz Wilson (email@example.com) with any questions regarding FinalForms.
- PreK-12 students, staff, and bus drivers must wear facial coverings during school transportation and sanitize hands before boarding the bus.
- All students in grades 6-12 must wear facial coverings in classrooms, in hallways and in common areas except during meals.
- PreK-5 students will be required to wear facial coverings while at school. When students are seated 6-feet apart in the classroom or socially distanced outside, teachers may allow students to remove facial coverings. Facial coverings will be required during arrival and dismissal, on buses, in hallways and shared spaces, going to and from restrooms, and anytime students will not be able to social distance. The teacher will direct students when they can safely remove facial coverings.
- PreK-12 students are encouraged to wear facial coverings outside the school building and will be required to wear a facial covering outside the building for activities where social distancing is not possible.
- Facial coverings are available on buses and in the main office of each building.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout each school building. Hand washing stations will be available on the playground area at DES. Parents and caregivers are asked to review and reinforce proper hand washing with their students.
- Drinking fountains have been capped. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles for use at school.Water coolers are available in all DES classrooms and water fountain filling stations are available at the MS/HS.
The attached flowchart and fact sheet from the Ottawa County Health Department is a useful guide for understanding the protocols for excluding a student or staff member from school, isolation, and quarantine. In the event of a positive case at school, the district health department liaison will work with the local health departments to conduct contact tracing. The district will notify parents of students in a classroom with a positive case while ensuring patient confidentiality. Parents of students who may be considered contacts will be notified in a follow up communication by the health department.
Transportation routes are being finalized. Parents should expect a call from their child’s bus driver confirming ridership. Parents not contacted by a driver should call Kim Sharda at 269-857-1444 to request bus transportation.
Families may apply for free/reduced price school meals on https://www.lunchapp.com/. Paper applications are also available in each school office or at central office. Parents must reapply for benefits each school year.
A year ago, none of us imagined that the start of the 2020-21 school year would be so very different from the start of the 2019-20 school year. Despite the significant challenges presented by COVID-19, the faculty, staff and administration of Saugatuck Public Schools are excited to get back to teaching and learning. I know that each family has its own unique challenges raising children during a global pandemic. Please know that we are here for you and value your efforts to partner with us to provide an excellent education for your children under extraordinary circumstances.