The following letter was released by Deckeville Superintendent Michael Hugan:
With the release of the Governor’s Return to School Roadmap, teachers and administrators of Deckerville Community School are developing plans that meet the requirements of school operations under the various “phases” of COVID prevalence.
It is our intention to have this plan ready for approval by the School Board at the Regular School Board Meeting on Monday, July 27th at 7:00pm. This plan will be posted on our website promptly after its approval.
The roadmap, can be found using this link: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/whitmer/MI_Safe_Schools_Roadmap_FINAL_695392_7.pdf
As I write this communication, Deckerville Community Schools fully intends for students to return to school on Monday, August 31st, in the least restrictive manner as possible.
However, at this time, our region is in Phase 4 of COVID response. Among numerous other requirements of Phase 4, most of which deal with various increased sanitation protocols, a return to school under Phase 4 will require students to wear masks under many circumstances, unless medically prohibited from doing so.
This decision for students to wear masks was deemed by the Return to School Advisory Council to be far easier and economically feasible for schools to implement than social distancing guidelines would have been. Highlights are as follows:
- All staff are required to wear masks.
- All students are required to wear face masks during transportation.
- All 6-12 students are required to wear face masks.
- Pre-K-5 students in self-contained classrooms will not be required to wear face masks.
- All students will be required to wear face masks during transitions.
Knowing that wearing of masks by school students is controversial, Deckerville Community Schools will be offering an online learning option through Deckerville Virtual Academy, (sponsored by My Virtual Academy) for students who wish to remain at home.
This option will be available on a per semester basis. Students of parents who choose this option will be provided with devices and hot spots as needed.
We encourage any parents who do not wish for their students to return to “regular” school to choose Deckerville Virtual Academy, rather than another school district or outside vendor. In doing so, these students would remain Deckerville students and would have the option of returning seamlessly to face to face instruction at the end of each semester. In addition, the per-pupil funding would funnel through Deckerville Community Schools, and much of it would still remain within our local economy.
If our region were to be placed in phases 1-3, students will not physically attend school. In this case, we will make devices available and teachers will facilitate learning through Google Classroom and the Remind App for parent communication.
Devices will be checked out to students as needed. We will also have printed packets available for students with connectivity issues. Unlike during the extended closure last spring, students will be required to do their school, will receive grades for their work, and will be required to attend via login and/or Remind.
If our region were to be placed on phase 5, we would still follow increased sanitation protocol and encourage the wearing of masks under many circumstances, however, the wearing of masks would not be required.
If our region were to be placed on phase 6, there would be little to no restrictions, and school would basically return to normal.
We know that there are many questions in regard to what school will look like this fall. One way that parents can give feedback is to take the survey that was e-mailed to your listed account.
This survey was sent out at 12:30 pm on Monday, July 20th. If our records are incorrect and you did not receive this survey, please request a link to the survey using the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, we are creating a working FAQ document that will be posted on our website and will evolve over the next several weeks.
In closing, please let me repeat that Deckerville Community Schools, as of this date, plans for its students to return to school in the least restrictive manner as possible. Here are the best options:
- We return to school under phase 6, with little to no restriction. (This is what I am hoping for!)
- We return to school under phase 5, with very few restrictions. Face masks would be recommended and possibly encouraged, but not required. (I am hoping for this as well, since school would still seem “normal” for the most part.)
- We return to school under phase 4, in which case students would be required (unless prohibited from doing so for medical reasons) to wear face masks under many circumstances (see above).
- Students who do not wish to return to school under these circumstance, or students who do not wish to return to school do to the general nature of the COVID crisis, are encouraged to enter our online option through Deckerville Virtual academy on a per semester basis.
- School does not begin, or we are placed upon an extended shutdown after the school year begins. In this case, students will be issued devices as needed and students will remain on their regular teachers’ rosters. Students will be taught using Google Classroom and the Remind App will be used for teacher/parent communication. Students with no internet connection can opt to have packets of materials delivered to them every two weeks. Students will be required to do their work and show attendance via login or Remind (app).
- Under these circumstances, students who had previously elected to take classes through Deckerville Virtual Academy will simply continue with them.
Thank for your consideration, resilience, and patience. This is a strong community, and I have no doubt that will make the best of this current, unprecedented situation.
Michael S. Hugan
Superintendent, Deckerville Community Schools