Dear BR Families,
We are excited to have some guidance from Governor Whitmer regarding what we should expect for the upcoming school year. While there are still a lot of questions, we are happy that our committees have already been preparing for the fall and we are on track for a start-up that adheres to the requirements stated on June 30. The following is a very brief summary of some of the things you may be wondering about. There will be many questions and communication to you all does not include all of the requirements or strongly recommended practices. More information will continue to come to you as we get closer to our next school year.
For this fall, all schools will be following the new Michigan Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap to have plans in line with the already existing MI Safe Start Plan.
Currently, we are in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. This phase is labeled as "Improving" and means that schools will be able to have students back on campus! While this is wonderful news, it comes with some very strict rules that schools must abide by in order to keep everyone safe and help prevent us from moving back to Phase 3 (the Flattening phase) which would require remote learning for all students. It is important to note that our committees are working on remote learning plans in the case that this happens as well as to provide services and flexibility for those who need that option even in Phase 4.
In Phase 4, schools must submit a board approved plan that meets the required mitigation strategies listed in the Roadmap. Some of these requirements include:
- Mandatory wearing of face coverings for all school staff members
- Mandatory wearing of face covering for all students in grades 6-12
- K-5 students are recommended to wear face coverings but it is not required in the Roadmap as long as they stay in their own classrooms and are not in contact with other classrooms
- All students must wear face coverings when being transported on a school bus or in hallways or common areas
- Gatherings/assemblies of over 50 people are suspended. If gathering outside with a group of 50 or more, face coverings must be worn if not social distancing
- Athletics may resume with guidance from the MHSAA to come regarding best practices as well as possible changes to traditional sports seasons
- Visitors will need to go through screening before having access to the school
- Many more requirements are included within the Roadmap addressing meals, hygiene, emotional health and other very important topics. Please see the Roadmap for these details
Please note that rules about face coverings are for those who are medically able.
Instructions to schools for Phase 5 are recommendations instead the mandatory requirements of Phase 4. BR will look into all of these recommendations and implement as needed for the safety of all.
Also, I ask that you take a moment to read the flier included in this communication. It will explain the three key communication channels Black River uses to send important information and updates to our families and community. Knowing where to find these channels and downloading the suggested apps to your mobile devices will enable you to receive the Operation Rat Return communication updates as soon as they are released.
All parents will be receiving a survey next week as well. We want your feedback on how to best support you and your students!
We are BR,
Shannon Brunink - Headrat
Printable flier here!