32 Local Schools Sign Letter to Families Urging Vigilance as Coronavirus Cases Increase

Dozens of superintendents in Northwest Michigan are asking families to take safety precautions at home and in the community as student coronavirus infections spread.

32 districts in and around Traverse City co-signed a letter to urge the community to make smart choices when it comes to socializing or gathering for the holidays.

Elk Rapids Schools superintendent Julie Brown supported the letter, which suggests modified Thanksgiving and holiday plans as community spread ramps up.

Part of the leader reads, “health officials are urging families to consider modified holiday celebrations that are small, local, and encourage wearing of masks, social distancing, and proper hygiene practices to help slow the spread of the virus.”

Brown says the schools are taking all kinds of safety precautions on their property, but it’s hard to control infections that are happening outside of the classroom.

“So, just reminding parents that when they’re out of our buildings, be as vigilant as we can be outside, it’s going to help us keep kids in school longer,” said Brown. “My advice, [about holidays]: use your best judgment, everyone’s family has their own unique circumstances.”

The district will transition to online learning on Monday, after region six was put back in phase four.

Leland Schools also supported the letter which emphasizes following MDHHS and CDC guidelines. Superintendent Stephanie Long says they’d love to have full classrooms if it is safe to do so. For now, they’re following a hybrid model of schooling.

“We chose, at Leland, to adopt those mitigation strategies of phase four with the expectation that when it became cold weather and flu season, the numbers were going to go up,” said Long.

Another co-signer, Suttons Bay schools say they hope the letter’s message is clear.

“We’re really struggling right now with mixed messaging at local, state and federal levels…so we’re trying to create a simple and clear and understandable and digestible message for our families,” said superintendent Casey Petz.

To read the letter in full, click here. 

Categories: Coronavirus