Updates from CCS
Update from the Superintendent, 3/27/2020Posted by Terry Ann Whelan on 3/27/2020 6:55:00 PM
As you know, on March 23rd, Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order closing all non-essential businesses and services from March 24th through Monday April 13th. As of now, those are the only dates that we know for sure. There has been speculation that the April 14th date as a reopening date for businesses and schools could be extended. Today, Governor Whitmer told WWJ Newsradio in Detroit, "It's probably very unlikely that they are going to get back in school before the end of the year." I just want to remind everyone that her statement was not an official declaration of an extended closing, but instead was a statement about what her thoughts are at this time. As soon as there is an official order, I will share that information with you.
Every day since March 16th, we have increased our food production for our families. We started serving just over 200 kids on day one and yesterday we served over 700 students. We will continue to provide breakfast and lunch for our kids for at least the next two weeks. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to provide additional food for all of our families through the generous donation of the Agape Center Ministry, which gave the school district $1,000 to purchase additional food. In addition to our breakfast and lunches yesterday, there were over 100 additional bags of groceries distributed containing food valued at over $850.
Yesterday a "prank website" appeared, that looked like the WOOD-TV 8 website, claiming that all Branch County Schools were closed for the rest of the year. Please be aware that during this time of crisis that there may be many attempts by individuals to scam people. Please remember that you will be notified by the school district when any new information is available.
Thank you to our teachers, our staff, our students, and our families. We will get through this together because we are a community that cares for one another. Parents, please continue to encourage your children to stay engaged in their learning during this time. We appreciate all that you are during to support them in their education.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.
Update from the Superintendent, 3/19/2020Posted by Terry Ann Whelan on 3/19/2020 4:00:00 PM
First of all, I want to thank you for your partnership during these trying times. I know this week has been stressful on you, as we all try to navigate through these unknown waters. What we still know is that our landscape continues to change rapidly.
As I stated last Friday, we will continue to plan on our Spring Break from April 6th through April 10th. At this time, we have not been ordered by the Governor or by the Michigan Department of Education to change those dates, so for now, we will keep them as previously planned, unless we are informed otherwise.
Breakfast & Lunch Programs
Starting Monday, we will be adjusting our grab and go breakfast and lunches. In order to help our families with the gas expense associated with picking up food on a daily basis, we will be going to a two-day a week pickup.
On Monday, March 23rd, families will be able to pick up three servings of breakfast and 3 servings of lunch for every child; those meals will be for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
On Thursday, March 26th, families will be able to pick up 4 bags of breakfast and 4 bags of lunch, which will provide each student with food for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The pickup locations will be Jefferson Elementary and Legg Middle School from 11 AM-1 PM Monday and Thursday for the next two weeks. Families can drive up to the curb and the food will be handed through the car windows.
Please use the Western Ave. parent parking lot at LMS and the Vans Ave. parent loop at Jefferson Elementary. There is no cost to families for this food or service. Feeding our kids remains a top priority for us.
Thank you for having your kids engaged in learning. This helps them have a sense of routine during this time.
On Tuesday, we received guidance from the Michigan Department of Education informing us that we will not be able to use this work toward their marking period or semester grades. However, the benefit of having your children engaged in learning during this time is critical to their educational goals. Please continue to encourage them to stay engaged with their work and their teachers so that their learning isn't interrupted.
As parents, your world has changed drastically too. We will continue to do our best to provide you with any answers as we get them.
Although this time presents much uncertainty, one thing we are certain about is that our students' safety and education continues to be our top priority.
Please remember to be patient, be kind, and be helpful to those that you encounter. We are all in this together.
Thank you for your support, and know that I will continue to communicate through email and robocalls any additional information as it becomes available.
Update from CHS, 3/16/2020Posted by Bill Milnes on 3/16/2020 11:50:00 AM
CHS Families and Students,
We greatly appreciate how wonderful all of our staff and students worked together last Friday as we reacted to the decision to shut down all K-12 schools effective today. Due to our scheduled spring break, it is our plan to still have spring break and return to school on Monday April 13th. We will continue to work closely with the State and health agencies and will communicate future information in regards to any ongoing recommendations, mandates, or educational decisions.
Teachers created online and hard copies of leaning packets last week in preparation for a possible shutdown. These were handed out to students last Friday. Since many students may have been absent on Friday, the front doors of CHS (Fremont Street Entrance) will be open Tuesday and Wednesday of this week from 11 AM-1 PM to allow students to come get anything they might need from their lockers or to pick up their learning packets. We will also sign out Chromebooks to students who do not have technology at home to access any online learning lessons. The school Chromebooks are configured like any Chromebook you would purchase from the store so connectivity should work similar to any other home network devices. Coldwater Schools is also working toward making mobile hotspots available to homes without an internet connection. Once those become available, we will let you know as well.
We ask that individuals come to the school rather than groups of students or families. Packets will be made available in the main lobby as needed. If you are ill we ask that you not come to the school. If you are ill or cannot come on Tuesday or Wednesday for some reason, please email Mr. Milnes or Mrs. Searls at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will mail your learning packets to you as soon as we can.
The support of teachers and staff members is still available through emails and the use of Google Classroom. Students are encouraged to submit their work to their teachers through email by using attachments or photos of their work or through Google Classroom if possible.
Also, Coldwater Schools have breakfast and lunches ready to pick up daily for families wishing to participate starting today. The pickup locations will be Jefferson Elementary and Legg Middle School. Food service workers will be providing bagged breakfasts and lunches from 11 AM-1 PM Monday-Friday. Families can drive up to the curb and the food will be handed to you. Please use the Western Ave. parent parking lot for LMS and the Vans Ave. parent loop at Jefferson Elementary. There is no cost to you for this food or service. Feeding our kids remains a top priority for us so please help us spread the word to others in the community!
Thank you again for your patience and partnership as we all support each other to stay healthy and move forward as best we can at this time.
Take care and Go Cards!
Update from the Superintendent, 3/13/2020Posted by Terry Ann Whelan on 3/13/2020 1:20:00 PM
I am writing to you in an effort to acknowledge that our landscape is changing quickly in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Of course this raises many questions about the school calendar, spring break, and when will students return to school.
These are genuine and relevant questions to have. As your superintendent, I want to have answers to these questions, as well, so I can share them with you. At this point, I cannot provide all of those answers but will share with you what we do know at this time. I also ask that you remain patient as we, and schools across the state, take time to understand, adjust, and respond to these new dynamics as the world around us changes faster than we can anticipate.
State-wide School Closures - March 16-April 6
As you probably already know, last night Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, she is ordering the closure of all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, starting Monday, March 16th until Sunday, April 5th. School buildings are able to reopen on Monday, April 6th.
Pre-School & Daycare Programs
Daycare programs and Pre-School programs that are housed in school buildings were ordered to close as well. So Kids Club and KLA daycare as well as the BISD programs of Great Start Readiness and Head Start will be closed for the three weeks.
What I can tell you is that there are 11 counties in Michigan that do share the same spring break time period that we have, which is April 6th through April 10th. Unless we are mandated by the Governor or the Michigan Department of Education, Coldwater Schools will be keeping those dates as our spring break. We know that many of our families have their vacation plans already in place and it would be a financial hardship on them to cancel plans at this time. At this time, we do not know if we will be required to make up days at the end of this school year. Those decisions have not either been made or shared with us from the Michigan Department of Education or the Governor’s office.
Breakfast & Lunch Programs
We will be having breakfast and lunches ready to be picked up daily for families that would like to participate starting Monday, March 16th. The pickup locations will be Jefferson Elementary and Legg Middle School. Our food staff will be providing bagged breakfast and lunches from 11 AM to 1 PM Monday through Friday. Families can drive up to the curb and the food will be handed to you through your car windows. Please use the Western Ave. parent parking lot at LMS and the Vans Ave. parent loop at Jefferson Elementary. There is no cost to you for this food or service. Feeding our kids remains a top priority for us.
Athletics & Extracurricular
All sporting events, practices, and extracurricular events have been cancelled for the next three weeks as well. We want to keep our kids and our families as safe as possible.
Your kids will be bringing home work to do over the next three weeks. Please encourage them to stay engaged with their work and their teachers so that their learning can continue.
Today, our priority has been to keep operations as seamless and uninterrupted as possible for our students. They may have questions about what this means for them. Our goal has been to provide a calm and patient response that ensures them it will be okay. As parents your world is changing drastically, too. We will continue to do our best to provide you with any answers as we get them.
This is new territory for all of us, please be patient, be kind, be helpful. We will continue to address the challenges before us with thoughtfulness. We will continue to support our students and families as best we can. It will take time and we will figure this out together.
Thank you for your support and know that I will communicate through email and robocalls additional information as it becomes available.
Terry Ann Whelan, Superintendent
Coldwater Community Schools
Based on the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Coldwater Community Schools will be closed through Monday, April 13.
Coldwater High School Prom
Due to gathering restrictions in Indiana similar to those here in Michigan through the end of April, the CHS Prom has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 2nd. Prom will still be held at the Potawatomi Inn, but the event is obviously contingent on any further developments, recommendations, or restrictions in regards to COVID-19. We are glad that we were able to reschedule the event and we hope everyone is able to stay healthy at this time.
CHS & LMS Athletics
Effective immediately, all spring sports practices and contests have been suspended until further notice.
Kinder Learning Academy and Kids Club
Kinder Learning Academy Preschool and Kids Club Childcare at Lincoln Learning Center will be closed until further notice.
Browne Aquatic Center
The Dr. Robert W. Browne Aquatic Center will be closed through April 13th based on the "stay-in-place" order issued by Governor Whitmer.
All memberships will continue to be frozen until we are back to our regular operations. We are contacting those with events planned to schedule refunds and reschedules.