Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,
On Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that emergency executive orders issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were unlawful. The decision indicates that the Governor's orders, which directed public mask use, school reopenings, and the size of gatherings, could expire on October 23. Some of you have asked how this decision impacts our school district and the plans and protocols we have put into place for our gradual return to face-to-face instruction.
While our district plans do adhere to the requirements in the Governor's MI Safe Schools Roadmap, this guidance has never been our only source for decision-making. Reopening schools is very much a public health issue, and as such, the Oakland County Health Department and CDC have provided strong recommendations and directives supporting mask compliance as an important preventative tool to stop the spread of COVID.
This past weekend, Oakland County Health Officer Leigh-Ann Stafford issued an emergency local ordinance requiring county residents to wear masks or facial coverings when they leave their homes, citing the continued need to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The ordinance states that Oakland County residents must use masks when they are "in any indoor public space, which includes all students in grades kindergarten through twelve." Under Michigan law, a local health officer may enact such an ordinance to protect the public's health during an epidemic.(Read more: "Understanding Health Orders")*
As outlined in the the Return to School family toolkit we shared last week, CCS will continue to require masks for all staff and students at all times (except while eating and drinking) until further notice.
We will continue to monitor and reevaluate conditions in and around our school campuses in the weeks ahead and will keep you informed of any changes to our proposed plans.
As always, I thank you for your partnership and support.
Dr. Shawn Ryan
Superintendent of Schools
*UPDATE OCTOBER 6 (11am)
- Oakland County Health Division Rescinds Local Emergency Order 2020-12
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Issues Emergency Order
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.
Read more Clarkston Community Schools News at www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/news.
Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Marketing Director (248) 623-5460.