As we enter the fourth week of classes, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts our students, parents and staff have made to keep everyone healthy and to overcome the educational challenges presented by learning during a global pandemic. Your children have been fantastic to work with these first weeks of school! While we have had zero positive COVID-19 cases among students or staff in school or at school related activities since the first day of classes on September 8th, we must continue to social distance, wear facial coverings and wash/sanitize hands to protect one another.
Two new executive orders issued on September 25th will impact classroom instruction and school activities and events moving forward. Beginning October 5th, Executive Order 2020-185 requires all students in grades K-12 to wear facial coverings in the classroom. This will have little effect on in-person instruction at SPS, as students at DES have been frequently wearing facial coverings in classrooms, and students in grades 6-12 have been required to wear facial coverings since the first day of school.
Executive Order 2020-183, which goes into effect on October 9th, has increased capacity at indoor and outdoor school events such as board meetings, band concerts, and athletic events. Attendance at indoor events has been increased to 20 persons/1000 square feet or 20% of seated capacity. Limits at outdoor events have been set at 30 persons/1000 square feet or 30% of seated capacity. These new limits will allow more students and adults to attend school activities.
Finally, the board of education and Ottawa Area Intermediate School District have approved the SPS Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan (ECOL Plan) as required by Public Act 149. The ECOL Plan outlines instructional delivery models, educational goals, student growth measures and equitable access to instruction for students with disabilities. The ECOL Plan will be updated at monthly meetings of the board of education following public comment on the existing plan. The ECOL Plan can be found in the remote learning and update pages on the school website at https://saugatuckpublicschools.com/.
I hope the school year is off to a good start for your family,