(586) 446-9170

School Closure Due to Covid-19

August 2, 2020

It’s time to sign up for distance/online learning. We need to know if you wish to choose
this platform for learning beginning in September so we can plan accordingly. If
interested then please fill out the online informational form:


https://forms.gle/tpDrkuKz5qunSbNMA 


Arabic version:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScAskFjor1iF-oTl2szzyY_lSkrosP9ucL8pL22YhytaBFiQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1


July 24, 2020

Quick Facts on School Reopening in the Fall

Dear Huron Families,

I have been receiving emails and phone calls about school reopening in the fall and we are doing everything we can to be ready to safely operate face-to-face instruction in September. I’d like to simply address some of the most common questions:

Will there be school in the fall?

YES. Huron Academy is preparing to open the 2020-2021 academic year with full face-to-face instruction provided that we are in phase 4 or 5 of the State of Michigan action plan.

Will there be a split schedule?

Students who come to school for face-to-face instruction will begin classes on Tuesday, September 8th and report to school every day following the school calendar.

How will my children be safe?

We are making extensive plans to emphasize all safety protocols. Socially distanced classroom environments, use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), temperature screening, regular hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing schedules, self-contained classrooms, and extremely limited visitor contact are just a few of the measures we are putting into place.

Will there be an online option?

We are preparing a rigorous platform to accomplish the delivery of our curriculum utilizing a fully remote experience.

What will that look like?

We will utilize Google Classroom as our platform, as we did from March to June, but since we have more guidelines and have had time to prepare, it will look quite a bit different. Online interactions and video conference meetings will occur daily; instruction will be delivered in real-time whenever possible; attendance will be taken; behavioral and academic standards will be the same as with in-person instruction. In short, this will look as close to a normal school day as is possible, with a rigorous curriculum that will challenge and engage your student while also helping them grow academically and socially.

Will technology equipment be available?

YES. Huron Academy will provide tablets and Chromebooks if needed.

What will this cost me?

Both face-to-face instruction and virtual learning will have no cost for our students.

When do I have to decide how to send my child to school – face to face or online?

SOON. If you can’t wait for school to re-open, for face to face instruction to begin and you are fully registered you are all set. Parents and families electing virtual school (online learning) will need to sign a contract, which will be available some time next week. This contract will outline the responsibilities and expectations that need to be followed for successful outcomes of this kind of learning. Contracts will be due by August 15th so that we can finalize plans for proper staffing and preparation for the online program.

I was thinking of homeschooling this year – is that a good idea?

We know that these are scary times and that these decisions are not made lightly, but we are well aware of the unique situations many of our families find themselves in these days. This is why we have restructured of online offering to provide our students with all the tools needed for success. Please consider continuing in partnership with us as we navigate the education of your children.

We keep hearing of ongoing planning – when will these plans be available?

We are required to provide to our authorizer, Ferris State University, three separate plans for reopening the 2020-21 school year. Each takes into account the current health crisis and the level of COVID-19 outbreaks in the region. We are finalizing these plans and they will require school board approval so we expect that we will post them on our website by mid-August.

What else can we do to be sure that school opens in the fall?

Keep your family safe and do not become complacent to the serious nature of this health crisis. If we are in Phase 1, 2, or 3, we will be unable to open for classroom instruction; we will once again have online learning for all. To hopefully avoid this, we are once again reminding our families of how important it is to follow the CDC guidelines to remain safe during this pandemic.

These are difficult times with even more difficult decisions to be made by all of us. We want face-to-face instruction for our students in September, and we are committed to that if at all possible. We are here to support you as we have always been for more than two decades. We encourage our families to contact us with any thoughts or concerns so we may provide the care and guidance needed to do what is best for you and yours. Feel free to call our Utica campus at (586) 690-8180 or our Metro campus at (586) 446-9170. This is our school and we are here to serve you – Stay Safe!!! 

Respectfully yours,

Mark S. Talbot – Principal


July 10, 2020

Dear Huron Families,

I wanted to touch base with all of you to assure you that we are moving forward with plans to open up the school this fall. Our families have let us know that this is important and we are doing everything we can to be ready to safely operate face to face instruction in September.

Last week’s release of the “Return to School Roadmap” by the State of Michigan includes guidelines, requirements and recommendations for consideration for reopening our school in September. Many of these items we had already integrated into our plans and we will be incorporating other items as appropriate and necessary for the new academic year.

We are required to provide to our authorizer, Ferris State University three separate plans for reopening the 2020-21 school year. Each takes onto account the current health crisis and the level of COVID-19 outbreaks in the region. If we are in phase 1, 2, or 3 we will be unable to open for classroom instruction, so we are once again reminding our families of how important it is to follow the CDC guidelines to remain safe during this pandemic.

Huron Academy is preparing to open the 2020-2021 academic year with full face-to-face instruction, however we recognize that we have parents who have medically fragile students or are uncomfortable about returning to face-to-face instruction. In our recent community survey, many of our parents expressed interest in a full-time virtual option even if social distancing requirements are in place. We are preparing a rigorous platform to accomplish the delivery of our curriculum utilizing a fully remote experience; we will have more information on this for families who have interest in the coming weeks.

We recognize that reopening our schools this year will be unlike any other; however we are excited to welcome back nearly 630 students. There is positive energy that comes with the start of a new school year and your child will discover the joy of learning and the synergy that comes with strong teacher-student relationships even in the midst of this health crisis. Over the past few months, we have deep cleaned all of our schools with EPA-approved disinfectant and implemented additional cleaning protocols. As we make our plans for reopening we will continue to support the health and safety of our community with appropriate social distancing guidelines, proper hygiene practices, and the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

We expect to be able to publish our plans soon to provide much more logistical information for the coming school year but want to reassure all of you that we are working hard through the summer to make this all a reality for our students. We want face to face instruction for our students in September and we are committed to that if at all possible.

Respectfully yours,

Mark S. Talbot – Principal


May 25, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope that this communication finds you and your family well and safe. As we celebrate Memorial Day under the stay home, stay safe order it is very different for all of us. Still we remember those who serve and we add to it those who give of themselves during this very difficult time of quarantine.

We have a number of things to bring your attention to:

Progress Reports

A report of the progress of each student was sent via U.S. mail last week and everyone should have received this. Many students are very involved in the distance learning process and these reports reflect that. We encourage all students to continue working hard and for those who have not been as diligent we remind you that there is still time remaining in our distance learning timeline – so get with it!!!

Student Belongings

We have developed a schedule for the pick-up of student belongings at the school. Our teachers have bagged up personal belongings and we are preparing to welcome you to the school to retrieve your child’s belongings. We will follow the schedule below:

Monday, June 1st – Kindergarten (Metro)
Tuesday, June 2nd – 1st Grade (Metro)
Wednesday, June 3rd – 2nd Grade (Metro)
Thursday, June 4th – 3rd Grade (Utica)
Friday, June 5th – Preschool (Metro)
Monday, June 8th – 4th Grade (Utica)
Tuesday, June 9th – 5th Grade (Utica)
Wednesday, June 10th – Middle School (Utica)
Thursday, June 11th – Middle School (Utica)

Parents are asked to pick up their student’s belongings following on the designated days from 9:00am-1:00pm. We are committed to the safety of our students, families and staff, so we will be retrieving these items for you when you arrive. Staff will assist you and we will have yearbooks, field trip refunds, and bridge books available for you at this time as well.

Enrollment and Re-Enrollment for 2020-21

The closure of school by executive order occurred right at the end of our enrollment period and created a dilemma with the return of important paperwork for student enrollment for the 2020-21 school year. We want everyone to know that the school office is open to accept paperwork for next year, we will be in the office as follows:

Metro Campus – Mon, Wed, Fri 9am – 11 am
Utica Campus – Wed. 10 am – 2 pm and Thur. 5 pm – 7pm
Stop by either campus during these time to drop off you paperwork or call for an appointment.

Year-end Celebrations

We are well aware that our students are interested in the celebrations that under normal circumstances would accompany rites of passage such as Kindergarten and 8th grade transitions. Unfortunately, the quarantine order has put a damper on any of the traditional festivities that we have experienced in the past. Our Kindergarten and Middle School staff members are putting together plans to honor our transitional syudents as best we can. Additional details will be coming soon.

Continued food distribution

We 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 are also partnering with the USDA and will be providing 25 lbs. of produce for each family that needs assistance. We will continue this service each Wednesday throughout the summer – come one, come all!!!

School Timeline

We will continue to provide regular virtual instruction right until the final day of scheduled instruction – Friday June 12, 2020. I said this before and it bears repeating – everything we do from this point forward counts regardless of what you may have heard from media sources. We will all work hard to continue the learning process for our students and everyone needs to participate and so everything we do from this point on is meaningful, important, and worthwhile. We will all be giving it our best right until the end. The week of June 15th will be dedicated to records keeping as our staff will finalize their books and create year end summary reports to send along with report cards that will be sent to you before the end of the month.

Summer School

Summer school will look different this year. We will begin Monday June 22nd and it will be virtual, much like the last few months. There will be one class per grade and EVERYONE is invited. Summer school teachers will be sending information to you about the program. We will be offering 6 weeks of summer instruction to assist all students who wish continued help.

Finally, take pride in how far we have come in such a short time. Your positive feedback through social media is heartwarming and we appreciate it. You too should know how much we are grateful for the time and commitment each of you are putting forth so that together our kids are what is important, so Thank You!!! Working together, we will overcome the challenges and we’re proving it. Thank you for encouraging your child’s participation in the online learning experience we are developing for them. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourselves, find the joy in the moment, and enjoy your children – what a precious gift they are.

Stay safe and follow the directives of our government officials, and we will see each other again soon.

Respectfully yours,

Mark S. Talbot – Principal


April 17, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope that this communication finds you and your family well and safe. Please pat yourselves on the back as together we have made it through the first week of the distance learning that will make up what school looks like for the remainder of the school year. Thank you for encouraging your child’s participation in the online learning experience we are developing for them. I believe that with continued practice and support from you this will become more routine and easier for all.

We acknowledge that with change like this we need to provide support for parents. Mr. Achs, our technology teacher at our Utica campus, has agreed to become our liaison for parents to assist you in the challenges you face adjusting to these new electronic platforms. To begin with, you can go to the website and look into some tutorials that Mr. Achs has put together to help with Google Classroom – check them out at: https://www.huronacademy.org/covidremotelearning/ opens in a new window

Mr. Achs will be able to assist you remotely if you have particular questions, or perhaps he can direct you to where your questions can be answered. He can be reached by email at: achsp@huronacademy.org If you are interested in the content he has put together for his students, then check out his webpage at: http://uticacomputerlab.weebly.com/ opens in a new window

We are also pleased to announce that the Continuity of Learning Plan submitted to our authorizer as required in the governor’s executive order has been approved. The plan includes the development and use of online technology and also highlights other supportive methods such as instructional learning packets, supports for at-risk students, dual language learners, and special needs students. We have established some exciting forward momentum with the completion of our first week of online learning and our dedicated staff are committed to continuing this progress in the weeks to come. Our support services will be reaching out to dual language learners and special needs students to be certain that they have the help they need to succeed as well. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we formalize and implement our action plans regarding continued instruction for the remainder of the school year.

Recording and documenting student achievement will continue to be the norm, and we will begin recording distance learning assignments in Power School beginning next week. Parents continue to have access to parent portal and can track the progress of their children regularly. We have instituted tracking protocols that will alert us if students are not participating; that way the school administration can reach out to you to see if there is something we can do to help. I said this before and it bears repeating – everything we do from this point forward counts regardless of what you may have heard from media sources. We will all work hard to continue the learning process for our students and everyone needs to participate and so everything we do from this point on is meaningful, important, and worthwhile.

We 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. This week also the PTC will be hand delivering refunds for the Mom/Son event that had to be cancelled, so show between 11 – 1 in the distribution line if you want to pick that up.

Finally, take pride in how far we have come in such a short time. Your positive feedback through social media is heartwarming and we appreciate it. You too should know how much we are grateful for the time and commitment each of you are putting forth so that together our kids are what is important, so Thank You!!! Working together, we will overcome the challenges and we’re proving it. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourselves, find the joy in the moment, and enjoy your children – what a precious gift they are. Stay safe and follow the directives of our government officials, and we will see each other again soon.

Respectfully yours,

Mark S. Talbot – Principal


April 10, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope that this communication finds you and your family well and safe and surviving yet another week of quarantine. With conclusion of spring break our staff has rested up and many have been planning for the distance learning that will become the norm for the remainder of the school year, Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced the continuation of the stay at home order just in time for us to all get online again for instruction.

We acknowledge that the next few months will be different, difficult and challenging. 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. Over the next week or so, you and your child will be introduced to Google Classroom, if you have not already been using the platform. The use of this tool will be our attempt to standardize the online approach so that there is consistency in this area from grade to grade. This does not mean that we are producing a “one-size-fits-all” approach, as each student will still enjoy the variety of creative and innovative approaches that each of our wonderful staff bring to the table for reaching students.

We have submitted the Continuity of Learning Plan to our authorizer as required in the governor’s executive order. Upon approval we will post this on the school website and make it available through social media and mass email. The plan includes the development and use of online technology as stated above, and also highlights other supportive methods such as instructional learning packets, supports for at risk, dual language learners, and special needs students. We know that many responsibilities for continuing our children’s education has shifted squarely on the shoulders of our parents and we will do everything in our power to lighten your burden by providing you with the materials, tools, and strategies to help you help your children. Our teachers know that their “new” classroom takes place in each one of your homes and that we have a responsibility to still provide instruction that is meaningful in the coming weeks and months – and they will deliver just as they always have, I am confident of that. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we formalize and implement our action plans regarding continued instruction for the remainder of the school year.

Recording and documenting student achievement will continue to be the norm and we will be recording all future work in Power School. Parents will still have access to parent portal and can track the progress of their children just like you have always been able to do. Unfortunately, the regular avenues for communication will be disrupted a bit, and we will be unable to hold parent teacher conferences for the 3rd card marking this school year, which is just one example of communication norms that have changed. I do want to be clear and state that everything we do from this point forward counts regardless of what you may have heard from media sources. We will all work hard to continue the learning process for our students and everyone needs to participate and so everything we do from this point on is meaningful, important, and worthwhile.

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 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


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)

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