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School Closure Due to Covid-19

April 3, 2020

Dear Families,

I begin by hoping that this communication finds you and your family well and safe from the viral threat that has consumed us. Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced the closure of all K-12 schools for face-to-face teaching for the remainder of the school year. This was not a surprise, but the awaited announcement still puts finality to any expectation of coming together again in the 2019-20 school year. Certainly, now we have many more questions as we prepare for the coming months.

We have been providing access to enhancement materials for the past three weeks and have all been witness to a variety of creative and innovative approaches for reaching students, and we are going to continue to work on this program moving forward. We acknowledge that the next few months will be different, difficult and challenging. Huron Academy is committed to doing everything possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and stay connected to our students. Reflecting on what has been working and recognizing that for many this is overwhelming, we continue to move forward with the intent of streamlining and standardizing our approach and delivery of material to our students.

In the coming week we will be developing a plan that must be approved in order to have the remainder of the school year be counted by the State. This plan will include what we have already been doing to educate your students during this time, as well as additional support and teacher communication to address individual student needs. We have been provided guidelines from the state, oversight from our authorizer Ferris State University, and assistance from C.S. Partners. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we formalize and implement our action plans regarding continued instruction for the remainder of the school year.

We enrolled in the Free Healthy Meals for Kids food service program and will continue to support our students and the community by distributing healthy balanced meals for the remainder of the school year. We will continue to provide this service each Wednesday, providing a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch, starting at 11 a.m. at the Utica Road campus, for any child 18 and under while supplies last. We will have food available next week during spring break for those who will need it.

With the exception of free meals, we will not send out learning materials next week, as we will be observing Spring Break. During this time, we will be developing our academic plan for approval and getting ready for the challenging time ahead. I am sure that many of our teachers will still send along helpful suggestions of fun activities that you and your children can enjoy over the break. On April 13th we will once again return with what you have come to expect from our hard working dedicated staff.

Finally, we want you to know how much we miss our students. We miss the positive energy that occurs when students come together with talented, dedicated teachers. We miss the social interactions and those things that make our school the center of our community. We all look forward to when we will once again meet your children at the door for another day of learning and fun. We know that the days ahead will challenge us all, but we also know that the safety and well-being of our precious children is always the most important consideration. Working together we will overcome the challenges. Stay safe and follow the directives of our government officials, and we will see each other again soon.

Respectfully yours,

Mark S. Talbot

Principal


March 20, 2020
Updates on School Closure and COVID-19

Dear Families,

It has been a week since Governor Whitmer directed the closure of all K-12 schools statewide from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Sunday, April 5, 2020 in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This week we have launched various online platforms to connect our teachers and their students, provide much needed breakfast and lunch resources, and completely cleaned and disinfected both of our campuses.

I am writing to you today to keep you informed on efforts to provide support as we work through this pandemic event. Here is what we are working on:

Online Learning: Our amazing teachers are working diligently to prepare online enrichment experiences. We continue to stress that our students continue to be exposed to reading opportunities each and every day. We also remind you of the IXL program that will continue to be relied upon to support our students learning in math and ELA.

Internet Service: Comcast/Xfinity is offering free internet service for the next two months to families who qualify. For more information, please see this link:
https://www.internetessentials.com/ opens in a new window

Food Distribution: We will continue to make meals available this Wednesday, March 25th, beginning at 11 am till about 2 pm, or until we run out. They will be distributed at the pickup/drop-off area at our Utica campus. The meals are FREE to any child (student or otherwise) under the age of 18. The student does not need to be present to receive it.

Business Operations: During the extended closure, the business operations for the school will remain open but will be operating a very limited schedule. Please note that while administrators and administrative assistants are in the offices responding to phone calls and emails, the school buildings are currently closed to the general public. There is limited access for parents and appointments must be scheduled with the school leadership team.

Special Needs Students: Some families will be contacted to conduct remote conferences to maintain compliance on official documentation that needs to be filed. We will also be reaching out to many students to provide specific support for the challenges that are being faced.

Please continue to check your email regularly, follow our social media accounts, and visit our website for updates (www.huronacademy.org opens in a new window). We know that we will need to work together on additional issues that will require understanding and patience from all of us. Our teachers and administrators have been working tirelessly on the structure that will allow us to continue instruction for our students.

Don’t forget PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the best way to avoid this health issue is through prevention:

Stay at home if you are sick and avoid contact with people who are sick.

If you must be in public, please practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart from others.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in the trash.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Thoroughly clean frequently-touched surfaces.


March 13, 2020

Dear Families,

First, thank you for your patience and support as we collectively navigate an evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) response plan. Late last evening, Governor Whitmer directed the closure of all K-12 schools statewide from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Sunday, April 5, 2020 in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

To help mitigate the community spread of Coronavirus, Huron Academy will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 and will continue through the end of our spring break – Sunday, April 12, 2020. We will also be cancelling or postponing any and all activities that would be taking place on campus during this time including field trips, conferences, school board meetings, Kindergarten roundup, athletic events, competition clubs, PTC events, etc…

Please also note that learning at our school primarily occurs inside classrooms with face-to-face teaching by certified instructors using interactive technology tools. We are committed to providing students and families with resources to support continuation of meaningful learning during school closures; however, we are not suggesting that this replaces instruction. Over the next few weeks, our amazing teachers, staff and administrators will ensure that learning opportunities and necessary services continue for our students. We will be stressing that as we continue March is Reading Month that our students continue to be exposed to reading opportunities each and every day. We have also been using the blended learning platform IXL that will continue to be relied upon to support our students learning in math and ELA. We will be looking for guidance on recovering the learning that may be lost during this school closing from the Michigan Department of Education and are already planning for when students return to school.

During the extended closure, the business operations for the school will remain open. Please be assured our dedicated staff – both full and part time – with teachers, administrators, support staff, and the like will be hard at work making sure school services continue as always.

Over the coming days, we will continue to share information with all of our families and staff, regarding support for home based learning, as well as communicate efforts to mobilize
food distribution for the needy, and other critical student and family supports.

These are unprecedented times for all of us as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting every aspect of our lives. As everyone’s day-to-day activities have drastically changed, we must care for each other, our neighbors and our greater community. We understand that closing school can be difficult for our families; this is a highly unusual situation that calls for our careful and thoughtful response in order to maintain safe and secure learning environments for our students and our staff. As always, we value our strong community partnership as we work together with our students, staff, families and community to promote the safety, health and wellbeing of all.

Respectfully yours,

Mark S. Talbot

Resources

Helping Children Cope with Stress During Covid-19 Outbreak

Talking to Children about Covid-19 (A Parent Resource)