MAPS Families;

We are reaching out to you with the earliest information we have regarding the state directive for the required school closure. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. Friday, March 13, 2020, all buildings of the Manistee Area Public School will be closed. There will be no continued educational instruction during the closure period from the end of the school day March 13h through April 5th. Please know that we are taking all precautions seriously in order to protect all members of our school community.

We understand that there are a lot of questions regarding the school closure. Please know that information is changing on an hour-by-hour basis and we will continue to communicate updates with you via email and through our district website at www.chipslead.org.

We have not currently been provided certainty regarding how make-up time will be impacted by this loss of instruction time. We will provide regular updates as decisions are made at the State level.

The following are the directives at this time:

  • Please understand that the closure impacts all district resources. Building entry will be strictly prohibited, which will include access to all interior and exterior athletic facilities.
  • No activities, no coaching, no practices, no games, nor inside or outside use of facilities will be allowed at this time. This directive will be in place until the earliest date of April 6th.
  • Students are being asked to remove personal items from classrooms, desks, and lockers prior to the end of the school day today, as there will be no access allowed until educational instruction is resumed.
  • Students are being directed to take home their devices and chargers. However, this directive only applies to those students that have a signed take-home agreement in place.
  • We are currently assessing the logistics that may make limited food services available during the closure. The details are not yet available regarding what would be allowed. We are watching this closely and will provide an update as details are available.
  • Although educational instruction will not occur during this time, it would be appropriate for your student(s) to read 30-minutes per day. We are seeking free-of-charge, online learning sites that can be provided as a practice resource and will send links as they become available.
  • The custodial staff will be directed to do a thorough sanitizing of all district buildings prior to permitted access and resuming instruction.
  • MMHS Students:
    • There has been no communication of altering AP exam schedules
    • Dual enrollment students will receive direct instruction from WSCC.

The health and safety of all members of our MAPS community remains our top priority. We will continue to closely monitor developments through our work with local, state, and federal agencies, seeking guidance from medical and governmental authorities regarding appropriate measures for COVID-19. You will be provided with updates via email and the district website as information becomes available and decisions are made.

We know that this can be a confusing and stressful time for our students. The following steps can be taken to assist them in managing fears regarding the COVID-19 virus:

  • Listen for students who describe:  fatigue, insomnia, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, decreased appetite, increased startle response, day/night routine is “off”
  • The following steps are provided to guide conversation are adapted from “Stress in Children: Strategies for Educators” from the National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Introduce & explain:
    • Be sure to mention that this is not a common event.
  • Provide facts and dispel rumors:
    • Ask children what they know, and then provide facts.
  • Connecting common experience:
    • Ask kids to talk about their feelings; connect to other times the child has felt this way.
  • Confirm common reactions:
    • It is ok to feel scared or worried.
  • Project a probable future:
    • Let kids know that with time, for most people, feelings of being scared or worried will be less over time.
  • Closing:
    • Reassure students they are safe, and adults responsible have a plan in place.  Be positive about how we can all work together to solve the problem.

We thank all of you for your understanding and cooperation as we process the information we receive pertaining to the COVID-19 virus in order to make the best decisions for all members of our school community.

 

Sincerely,

Ron Stoneman, Superintendent

Manistee Area Public Schools