MacGregor's Message 10/23/20 


Dear Families,

Last week marked the end of the first quarter of the school year. While this is not usually a significant milestone, it seems like a monumental accomplishment this year. While there have certainly been bumps in the road, we have successfully finished the first quarter of the school year with students learning both in-person and through Highlander Virtual. To our in-person families, thank you for your continued support of our safety protocols, your diligence in keeping students home when ill, and for completing the daily self screener. To our Highlander Virtual families, thank you for your support and understanding as we launched a new virtual learning program, as we learned together what was successful, what needed improvement, and how to build strong relationships in a virtual setting. Lastly, but certainly not least, thank you to our teachers, support staff, food service employees, operations staff, custodial staff, and administrators, who have risen to the challenges brought by providing both in-person and virtual instruction during this health crisis. While we have successfully made it this far, we cannot let our guard down and become complacent. We must all continue to do our part to follow good public health practices like wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, staying home when sick, getting a flu shot, and washing our hands.

As we move into the second quarter, we are beginning to plan for the second semester. At the beginning of the school year, we asked each of you to decide between in-person instruction or Highlander Virtual for the first semester, with the option to change that choice for the second semester. Next week, you will receive an email with information on how to request a change in your child’s enrollment for the second semester. You will only need to take action if you wish to change your child’s enrollment. You will receive an email for each child you have enrolled in the district. If you do not receive an email for each child, we likely do not have your current email address on file for that child. In this case, please contact that child’s school to confirm that we have the most up-to-date contact information for you.

While we have successfully completed the first card marking with in-person learning, that does not mean that it is guaranteed to continue. There could come a time when a switch to mandated distance learning is required. A switch to mandated distance learning may be determined in partnership with the Livingston County Health Department or under the direction of the State of Michigan. This could be due to increased case numbers and community spread of COVID-19, the need to close a building to allow for contact tracing, or several other factors out of our control. To ensure that teaching and learning continues should this occur, we have been planning for what mandated distance learning would look like. Please take a few moments to review our mandated distance learning website at https://bit.ly/34pLh9S. to familiarize yourself with our plan. By sharing this information, I am not foreshadowing a switch to mandated distance learning, and there is no impending change coming. Instead, I am sharing this information so that we can all be better prepared should there be a time that we need to make this transition.

Three Howell High School students have earned honors in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program. Last week, Governor Whitmer signed into law a bill that students from Howell High School’s student mental health committee had a hand in supporting. You can read more about both of these stories below.

Sincerely,
Erin J. MacGregor, Ed.S.
Superintendent
Howell Public Schools

Three Howell High School Seniors Named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program
Howell High School seniors Alexander De La Iglesia, Ann Ketchum, and Alyssa Peterson were all named Commended Students in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. To be named a Commended Student, they each placed in the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To learn more about this honor, please visit https://bit.ly/2Tj4yDV.

Howell High School Students Help Pass Law to Support Student Mental Health
Last March, a group of students from Howell High School’s student mental health committee traveled to Lansing to meet with state legislators and express their support for House Bill 5482. The bill mandates that a suicide prevention hotline phone number be printed on the back of all middle and high school student ID cards and encourages schools to post mental health resources within the school building and on its website. The students from Howell were the only students who met with lawmakers to advocate for the bill, and they left an impression on both the lawmakers and other mental health advocacy groups present that day. Last Friday, Governor Whitmer signed House Bill 5482 into law.  

Posted by gouldt On Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 2:12 PM  

 
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