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Impact of Nov. 15 Emergency Order on our Catholic Schools

November 16, 2020

The diocesan Office of Catholic Schools has shared the following sample letter with principals for use when communicating with parents regarding the most recent Executive Orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Principals and school communicators, please feel free to use all or part of the following sample letter. With any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Office of Catholic Schools . 

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear faculty, staff, and families,

On Sunday evening, November 15, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a Gatherings and Face Mask Order (PDF) that impacts our schools. It calls for all high schools to move to online learning beginning November 18 and continuing through December 8. It also increases the limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, which impacts extracurriculars, and has resulted in an immediate (effective today) cessation of sports. 

While we are still working through all the ramifications of this sudden announcement, here is what we know right now:  

  • Our preschool, elementary, and middle school classes will continue in-person. Per the State website: “Michigan has seen fewer outbreaks of COVID-19 associated with elementary and middle schools and younger children are most in need of in-person instruction.”
  • Beginning Wednesday morning, as mandated by the Order, High School classes will take place online. High school students will attend school in-person tomorrow, November 17, and bring locker items home. Students who cannot attend on Tuesday [Nov 17] may pick up materials on Wednesday [Nov 18] during school hours or make alternate arrangements. We plan to resume in-person instruction at our high school on December 9. Details regarding online learning will come directly from the high school.
  • School-sponsored sports for all grade levels are immediately suspended. There will be no practices or competitions for athletes until the order expires. Per the MHSAA: "We will assess everything over the next three weeks relative to fall and winter sports and come up with a plan that keeps us connected to our goal, for months, of having three seasons that are played to their conclusions.”
  • Extracurriculars for all grade levels will be canceled beginning Wednesday, November 18. If you are not sure about a particular activity, please contact the activity coordinator or advisor.
  • After School Care will continue to be offered while school is in session. 
  • If you participate in a non-school-sponsored activity that takes place at one of our facilities, please check with the organizers to determine whether it is affected by this recent order.  
  • Students may continue to receive a free school lunch on those days when COVID prevents students from dining at school. The recent order increases the number of days on which this is available. Please contact food service to let them know of your desire to obtain a free lunch for your student(s).
  • See the Michigan.gov website for further details on the order.