Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,
Over the last two weeks, we have successfully transitioned to face-to-face learning in Clarkston. Not only does this mark seven months (nearly to the date!) since all students were last on campus, it also marks just one of the many transitions that we have faced this year. I am especially proud of our educators who have found new and extraordinary ways of connecting with students during this pandemic. As I visited our buildings this week and last, I saw an impressive level of grace and grit. I wholeheartedly believe that every day is a good day to say "thank you" to a teacher you appreciate!
As we begin to get more comfortable in this new learning environment, there will continue to be lessons learned for all of us. I have learned much from our experiences out of the gate and I want to turn this learning into action. With that in mind, I wanted to take a moment to go over the processes and protocols for handling positive and probable COVID cases (which are detailed in our Fall 2020 Return to School Toolkit.) We will have active cases from time to time in our buildings, and we want you to know what to expect.
- Families will be asked to self-screen for symptoms prior to the start of each school day. Please complete a Health Screening Agreement if you have not already and keep students home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms: a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater, chills, sore throat, dry cough, headache, congestion or runny nose, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, or digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
- If a student is out with COVID symptoms, please contact the building's attendance line/main office and complete this form (which will be emailed to you) to explain your child's absence. As outlined in the Fall 2020 Return to School Toolkit, there are three ways that the student can return to school:
- If the individual has symptoms, they must stay home for 10 days from the first day that they had symptoms AND be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever medicine AND other symptoms have improved. We encourage evaluation by a health care provider.
- Get a negative test result on a COVID-19 molecular PCR test (not a rapid test) from the primary care physician or Oakland County Health Division AND be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever medicine AND other symptoms have improved.
- If the individual has symptoms but no known potential exposure or close contact then the person can get a doctor's note which indicates their symptoms are unrelated to COVID-19 and that they can return to school or work as long as they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever medicine AND symptoms have improved.
- If your child tests positive for COVID-19, all students in the household must isolate/quarantine. If the student has a COVID positive sibling or family member, the student would be considered a "close contact" of the positive person and should NOT come to school. A student who is quarantining should report this to the school via the absence form so that he or she can receive distance learning instruction during their time away. Our Oakland County Health Department nurses will provide guidance on your family's return to school.
- If a student or teacher in your child's class tests positive and the entire class is advised to quarantine, the entire class will move into distance learning. This transition can occur with little notice.
- If just a teacher is quarantined and is well enough to teach classes, he or she will teach remotely from home to the class in the building (with on-site supervision by a guest teacher).
- If your child is isolating or quarantining and is well enough to participate in distance learning, teachers will provide distance learning instruction until the student can return to school. Your child's teacher(s) will communicate about how to access distance learning.
- If there is a COVID positive or probable case in the district, you will be notified by email and/or a phone call ONLY if your child is potentially a close contact of the positive individual. The Oakland County Health Department defines a close contact as someone who has been within six feet of a positive person for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask.
- As required by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), we are now tracking all of the positive cases on the district website for public transparency: COVID-19 Public Information. This dashboard will be updated within 24 hours of our notification of a school-associated case. You will see that we do have a handful of active positive or probable cases in our district at this time. There is no evidence that these cases contracted or transmitted the virus to others at school.
The presence of positive cases in our district and our community should not be cause for alarm or apprehension. We have and will continue to monitor weekly the progression of the pandemic in our community and region with regular contact from the Oakland County Health Division epidemiologist and the following County data resources:
- COVID-19 Summary for Oakland County
- Oakland County Case Map (see the tab on the bottom that allows you to sort by school district)
- Oakland County Weekly COVID-19 Report.
If COVID cases in our area take on a progressive trend, we will make prudent decisions regarding our face-to-face learning. But by implementing and adhering to strong safety precautions, like mask wearing, handwashing, and social distancing while in school and in our personal lives, we can be confident that we are doing our part to create a safe community. Please download and print our Fall 2020 Return to School Toolkit for more information about how we're creating a safe environment in our schools.
- October 21 - Half day for all students; virtual parent/teacher conferences* in the afternoon
- October 23 - No school for students; teacher office hours all day for anyone needing support
- October 27 - NEW! Distance learning for all CHS students (this is SAT make-up day and students taking the SAT will be at CHS.)
*Teachers will be communicating directly with parents regarding virtual parent/teacher conference sign-up.
If you have any questions, please email me at Fall2020@clarkston.k12.mi.us.
Superintendent of Schools