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From the Superintendent: Return to School Update and Mask Mandate Clarification

A boy in a mask shows off his project

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Dear Clarkston Community Schools Staff and Families, 

As we look forward to school starting, we want to share our layered mitigation strategy aimed at maximizing in-person learning. At this time, the best way for our students to remain in school, in-person, full-time is by following the public health directives laid out to us by the Oakland County Health Division in its recent emergency mask order, issued on August 24. 

Here are our revised guidelines for the start of school on Monday, August 30. 

Mask Use

Based on the Oakland County Health Division Emergency Order 2021-01, masks will be required for anyone ages 4 and older in our school buildings and on school buses. Any medical exemptions documented with a physician’s note should be submitted to the main office of your child’s school. Accommodations for students with IEPs or 504 Plans will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Masks will also be required for all indoor events during the school day. Masks are not required during recess or other outdoor activities. 

Visitors to our schools will be welcome for the 2021-2022 school year and will be required to wear masks, consistent with our staff and student expectations. 

Any individual who does not have a mask will be provided a disposable mask to wear. If a student with no medical exemption on file with the district declines to wear a mask or shows a pattern of non-compliance, parents will be notified by an administrator. The student will be sent home and may be assigned to the virtual program.

Physical Distancing

Students will be distanced at six feet apart during lunch periods. In other spaces, CCS will provide physical distancing to the greatest extent possible and offer smaller class sizes to the extent possible within building capacity. Based on classroom configurations, we cannot guarantee physical distancing in the classroom, nor will we be able to separate any unmasked students (with medical exemptions) from those who are masked. 

COVID-19 Screening/Testing/Vaccination

Not required. COVID-19 vaccination is strongly recommended for all eligible individuals.

Staying Home When Sick /

Contact Tracing & Quarantine Procedures

Anyone who is symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home and immediately notify the school. The COVID positive individual will be asked to isolate for 10 days from their first symptoms, if any, or from the date of their positive test. 

Copies of positive test results or a doctor’s note must be submitted to the school’s main office. This documentation is required for attendance purposes and to receive access to online classroom distance learning and assignments via Seesaw or Google Classroom.

The district will notify parents of any positive COVID-19 cases that occur in their child’s classroom(s) or on their child’s bus. The district will provide this information to the Oakland County Health Division, along with the class list and/or seating chart from the classroom and/or bus. 

The decision for quarantining any close contacts of a COVID-positive individual will be made by the health department and/or a healthcare provider, in conjunction with your family. The district WILL NOT directly contact families regarding quarantine. Any student who has been recommended to quarantine should provide documentation to the school in order to access the classroom and materials as noted above. Students who do not provide this documentation will not be able to access online distance learning.

Cleaning & Disinfection

Standard daily cleaning protocols using products approved by the CDC to be effective against the COVID-19 virus.

School Day

Traditional classroom setup and instructional practices (carpet time, small group learning, science labs), normal flow of traffic between classes, use of lockers, unrestricted mask-optional outdoor recesses. Large indoor gatherings may be restricted or modified.


Ventilation systems in buildings will continue to operate to original design specifications. On school buses, windows may be opened slightly when safe and practicable.


CCS will follow regulations provided by state or local governing bodies. Currently masking and testing are not required.

Learning Model Options 

(Face-to-Face or Clarkston Virtual 100% Online Learning)

Based on this new health order, the district will allow transfers from the Clarkston Virtual option to face-to-face instruction or from face-to-face to virtual. Families wishing to make a change at this point have until Monday, August 30, at 8am to submit a transfer request. Any students transferring to a different type of instruction at this time will not be able to start school on Monday, August 30, as time is needed to prepare for this change in placement. In addition, because staffing levels are already set, a change to face-to-face learning at the elementary level may result in a student being placed at a school other than their home school. If this is the case, transportation will NOT be provided.

Students transferring at the secondary level will be provided class schedules based on availability. 

All 2021-2022 Parent Request for Student Transfer to Face-to-Face/Virtual Instruction requests must be submitted via the Transfer Request Form

These transfers are a full-year commitment; however, the district may review and adjust if necessary. If you have questions about our learning models for 2021-2022, please contact the main office at your child’s school. 

The first day of school is a memorable and special time for our students and teachers. I look forward to coming together for a joyful first day of school in Clarkston!

We thank you for your continued support and partnership. 


Dr. Shawn Ryan
Superintendent of Schools

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,100 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have a virtual academy, an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Clarkston Community Schools students are well-prepared for a future that excites them, and believe that they can achieve their dreams. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to create a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.

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Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Director of Marketing and Community Relations (248) 623-5460.

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