March 12, 2020
Freeland Parents/Community –
Yesterday, School Districts across the State of Michigan received guidance from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) regarding our response to the COVID-19 virus. In order to help you understand our actions, both now and in the future, these recommendations are shared below:
- Educate students and the community about COVID-19 and preventative hygiene practices (this information will be shared in a separate communication).
- Encourage staff and students to stay home when sick.
- Report influenza-like activity, absenteeism, and potential school dismissals to public health officials.
- Separate sick students and staff from others until they can go home. When feasible, identify a “sick room” through which others do not regularly pass.
- Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, desks, cell phones, and light switches.
- Consider having students eat meals in their classrooms as opposed to a cafeteria-like setting, or alter meal schedules for smaller-group gatherings.
- Limit large gatherings such as assemblies and inter-school interactions (e.g., greater than 100 people in a shared space).
- Alter schedules for recess and entry/dismissal to reduce the mixing of large numbers of students and staff.
- Schools with students at risk of severe illness should consider implementing plans for learning at a distance for those students, to the extent feasible.
Knowing that we are using these as the basis for our decisions, I wanted to share a few actions that are being taken by the Freeland Community School District due to this guidance:
- The PTO Sweetheart Dance on Saturday, March 14, 2020, has been postponed. Decisions about a possible future date would be made by the Freeland PTO.
- Freeland’s production of The Little Mermaid on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, has been postponed. We will attempt to schedule corresponding shows after the recommended mitigation strategies have been lifted.
- Tonight’s Regional Girls Basketball Game vs. Frankenmuth will have restricted access to only 50 Freeland spectators, and no public ticket sales.
- Each of our buildings, and the District as a whole, will be implementing the recommendations above beginning Friday, March 13, 2020. These will look differently in each unique building. Please watch for further communication of what this looks like, both across the District and in each individual building.
Our specific responses to this pandemic will be announced as information and guidance is received and decisions are made. Our District is but a small part of a much bigger picture, and we have neither the training nor experiences to make decisions contrary to what we are being told by the experts we look to for guidance during this time. Though our responses may cause disruption to the school day, everyday activities, and our lives; please realize it is being done as part of our responsibility to help limit the spread of this virus. You will continue to receive more information through this evolving situation.
Please realize that you will be actively communicated with today, tomorrow, and into the future.
Matt Cairy, Superintendent