Dear Black River Community,
In early January, the Ottawa County Health Department will be lifting its mask mandate for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Their decision in lifting the mask mandate is directly related to students being able to receive their vaccine and enough time passing for that vaccine to have its maximum effectiveness.
Despite the vaccine availability, the Ottawa County numbers for COVID-19 are still in the "High Transmission" range. Positivity rates and hospitalization rates are also elevated and well above the desired numbers. This data is also reflected in the case counts for students in our county. At this point of the year, there have been three times more COVID-19 cases in Ottawa County schools than at this time of the previous school year.
For these reasons and many more including contact tracing, quarantine rules, and striving to keep our in-person doors open, Black River Public School will continue to require masks for all students, staff, and visitors with no change to our rules. When Ottawa County reaches a level of "Moderate Transmission" or there are changes to the strong recommendations of our health department that continues to endorse mask-wearing, we will reconsider our masking rules.
For more information on Black River’s Covid-19 policies visit
Thank you so much for your support of this amazing school,
Shannon Brunink, Head of School