July 30, 2020
Dear Munising Public Schools Community,
I know many of you have been patiently waiting for news from the school regarding the upcoming school year, scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Thank you to all of you for your patience, support and understanding as we respond to the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you’re aware, Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently released the Return to School Roadmap, which provides guidance to schools on what measures to take to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students. While the Roadmap is extensive, I can summarize the basics relatively quickly, depending on what phase of the MI Safe Start Plan our geographic region is in at any given time.
Phases 1-3: Schools are closed to students and the community. All instruction occurs remotely.
Phase 4: Schools are open for in-person instruction with required safety protocols.
Phase 5: Schools are open for in-person instruction with fewer required safety protocols.
Phase 6: Schools are open for in-person instruction with minimal safety protocols.
Munising Public Schools has formed a Return to Learning and Instruction Work Group, and has been working hard to develop an extensive plan that addresses the phases noted above. The work group has used information provided to us by the Governor’s office, the Return to School Roadmap, the Michigan Department of Education, our local health department, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the recent Return to School Parent Survey and many other sources in developing our plan. The plan, called the “COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan” will be brought to the Board of Education for approval by August 15.
For your planning purpose, and with our first priority being the safety of our students and staff, the Munising Public Schools Preparedness and Response Plan will likely include, but not be limited to, the following:
Students and employees will be required to wear face masks throughout the school day, including when riding school buses. Student who cannot medically tolerate a face mask may be exempted.
Disposable face masks will be available for students if they forget to wear one to school
Elementary students will remain in their classrooms as much as possible throughout the school day
Middle/High School students will be required to sanitize their hands whenever entering a classroom, and desks will be sanitized after each class period
Restricted building usage by visitors, entry for emergencies only
Redefined cafeteria procedures to allow for social distancing
Reorganizing classrooms to create more room between students where feasible
Heightened cleaning and sanitizing procedures for all school buildings and buses
The results of our parent survey, which can be found on the Munising Public Schools website at munisingschools.com, and the the Munising Public Schools Facebook page, shows that a portion of our parents are looking at an online learning option for their child for the upcoming school year. Munising Public Schools is working hard on providing that flexibility, and will have an online option in place that keeps your child enrolled as a Munising Public Schools student while working in a self-paced online learning environment outside the school building. We are finishing our evaluation of online vendors, and will provide specifics to you in the coming weeks.
Please reach out to me at any time with any questions or concerns. Again, we recognize how difficult this time has been for all of you. We appreciate your continued patience as we make preparations to resume school in the fall.
We are proud to be part of the great Munising community.
Stay safe and healthy,