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Clarkston Community School District

From Superintendent Ryan: School Closure Information

From Superintendent Ryan: School Closure Information

Dear Clarkston Community Schools Families,

As you know, late last night Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered that all Michigan K-12 schools be closed until April 6, 2020 in order to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). All Clarkston Community Schools were closed immediately and our Early Childhood Center programs will also be closed throughout this same time period.

This closure will undoubtedly cause disruption for our families. All teachers, faculty, administrators, Board of Education, and staff share your concerns about the health, safety, and wellness of our community.

While we have been preparing for the possibility of a prolonged closure, the Governor's order inevitably changes any plans we had in mind, particularly when it comes to distance learning for students. Yesterday, we were prepared to begin collaborating with our teachers to proactively move to a home-based learning model, assuming the State's expectations were for us to provide full instructional days. Today, we have a directive from our Governor to essentially press pause on all school operations for the sake of public health in Michigan.

This situation is evolving moment-to-moment and we must adjust our sails to the current weather. Our teachers have been advised to stay close to home (with the exception of the normally scheduled Spring Break March 28 — April 5), in the event that we receive further direction from the state to move forward with a plan to provide some form of teaching and learning during the closure. While instructional services are temporarily on hold, we are working on plans to provide continuity of free and reduced lunch services and will communicate with families about our next steps.

Until we hear otherwise, we are asking our staff and families to do as the Governor advised and minimize their risk of exposure by social distancing and taking care of their health. Outside of general district updates, please do not expect to hear from school staff during this time.

With that in mind, I would like to reiterate that, until further notice:

  • All school functions are suspended, including parent-teacher conferences (even by phone or email), clubs, sports, rehearsals, performances, meetings, and events.
  • All school trips have been suspended; however, personal Spring Break travel is at the discretion of individual families.
  • All school buildings will be closed after Monday, March 16.
  • The Clarkston Community Schools on-campus student & staff health centers will be closed.
  • All staff and students should follow established guidelines for public health and take precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Given that our school district will be closed for the next few weeks, our buildings will be open on Monday, March 16 from 12pm-6pm for parents to come pick up medications from the office and any necessary personal belongings. We are moving forward with our plans to deep clean and disinfect our buildings, school buses, and food service areas while schools are closed. We would like our classrooms, locker rooms, and hallways to be as clear as possible for cleaning and sanitization.

This is an unprecedented situation and I know you and your family have many questions about what to expect. It might be difficult to know what to say to your children when so much is uncertain. Mr. Rogers said, "Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary." Here is a resource that might be helpful for talking with your family:

https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus

We appreciate your patience as we process through all of the implications of this matter. More information will be coming to you as we receive it and work through our plans as a district.

Thank you for your support and flexibility. I wish you and your loved ones good health.

Sincerely,

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 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.