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District Update - August 26, 2021

August 26, 2021 

Dear Parents/Guardians: 

Looking back to March of 2020, when we first experienced shut down of schools, we realized as a community that there is no substitute for the power of in-person learning. As the 2021-2022 school year approaches, South Lake Schools (SLS) is preparing a healthy and safe in-person learning environment for your child. 

Return to School Plans

The start of school is an exciting time.  District buildings are humming with activity as the teachers and staff prepare classrooms, athletic fields, and labs for in-person learning.  To keep students safe, we follow the recommendations of the Macomb County Health Department (MCHD), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

Here are the plans for in-person learning, including before and after school activities: 

  • When indoors, students, staff, and visitors will need face coverings regardless of vaccination status.
  • When children wear face coverings, quarantine is much less likely and the chances of getting COVID-19 or passing it to friends and family members is greatly reduced.
  • All students and staff will need to comply with the CDC face covering requirement while on SLS transportation per the CDC. [Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C 264) and 42 Code of Federal Regulations 70.2, 71.31 (b), 71.32(b)]
  • Students will not be separated based on whether a face covering is worn.

If online learning is the best fit for your child, synchronous online learning will be offered: 

  • Each elementary grade will have one classroom with a video camera that will allow online students to participate with students and teachers who are in-person. This will allow for an easier transition if the online student joins the class in-person later in the year.
  • Our middle school and high school core curriculum classrooms will have cameras that enable synchronous online learning; however, not all elective classes will be available online.
  • Further information can be found on our website https://solake.org/SLDA/.
  • To enroll in an online option, please contact the district offices by August27th.

Creating a Safe Environment

The safest learning environment occurs when students, families, and the district work together.

South Lake Schools has implemented a full range of health and safety strategies including: 

  • SLS elementary class sizes are small so that children are safer with better learning opportunities!
  • Every PK-5 classroom has 25 or fewer students and so social distancing is made easier!
  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • Ensuring adequate airflow and ventilation by performing regular system checks.
  • Promote healthy behaviors: Frequent hand washing/sanitization, covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Ventilation is regularly maintained with air filters replaced quarterly.
  • We will start the year requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings while indoors.

Partner with us and take the following preventative steps: 

  • Each day before school, parents and guardians should complete their student’s health screening questionnaire. This catches sickness before it spreads.
  • Make sure your child understands that they need to wear face coverings on the bus and indoors.
  • Encourage healthy behaviors with frequent hand washing and covering the mouth for sneezes.
  • We strongly encourage vaccination for students and community members over the age of 12.

Vaccination Opportunities

The COVID-19 vaccine prevents infection, slows community transmission, and reduces the risk of severe outcomes. Thanks to the many families, teachers and staff members who have gotten the vaccine and helped create a safer community.  

For more information and for help accessing a vaccine near you visit Macomb County Vaccine Central and https://www.vaccines.gov/. 

Additional Information

As the CDC and health departments make changes, we will provide regular updates.   Below are links to provide you with information on a range of topics.   Of course, for information regarding South Lake Schools the best site to visit is the district website:  https://www.solake.org. 

Other resources that may be useful: 

Because the Delta variant is impacting our area, we are meeting weekly with the health department regarding the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. We will continue to keep you updated. 

As summer ends, by taking prevention steps together, students are able to be back in the classroom learning together and great outcomes are able to be achieved!  I look forward to seeing our students back in school for a half-day on Tuesday, September 7 and for full school days starting Wednesday, September 8.   Thank you for your continued assistance and ongoing support! 

Sincerely,

 

Theodore VonHiltmayer, Superintendent