Update from the Superintendent, 3/13/2020
Posted 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