MacGregor's Message 11/6/2020 
Dear Families,

In Livingston County and across the state, we are seeing increases in the number of COVID-19 cases and the amount of community spread of the illness. While the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools remains very low, the increase in community spread is affecting the district. If this upward trend continues, there is a very real possibility that we may need to pause in-person instruction. This could be due to an order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, based on the Livingston County Health Department's guidance, or due to staffing challenges. I include staffing challenges, as there could be a time where staff absences exceed the number of available substitute teachers. For several years, it has been difficult to find substitute teachers, and this year it will likely be even more challenging. We expect districts around the area to experience a greater need for substitute teachers, which will further strain an already limited resource. To ensure that your family is prepared should we need to switch a school or the district to mandated distance learning, please be sure to familiarize yourself with our mandated distance learning plan, which can be found at https://bit.ly/31fxu41. To help keep our schools open, 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. Lastly, if your child has received a COVID-19 test for any reason, they should not attend school while the test results are pending.

Our second-semester enrollment window is open for another week. We have had some families contact us to rescind their enrollment change request based on the rising COVID-19 cases. If you have submitted an enrollment change request and would like to rescind it, please complete the form again to reflect the enrollment you would like for your child for the second semester. The second-semester enrollment change form can be found at https://bit.ly/2HBizdL. All second-semester enrollment change requests (in-person instruction to Highlander Virtual and vice versa) must be received by Friday, November 13, before 10 p.m.

While there is very little that is "normal" about this school year, and very much that seems uncertain, one thing we do know is that winter is coming. While I am by no means a meteorologist who can predict when our first big snowfall of the season will come, Mother Nature does have a history of giving us a healthy dose of winter weather at least once during November. I have heard that some schools plan to hold virtual learning days when winter weather necessitates the need to close school. However, with everything going on this year, we are not going to make that change. Our kids can use something "normal." As such, if we have students participating in in-person instruction and the weather or road conditions warrant it, we will have a snow day. A snow day will be for both in-person and Highlander Virtual students. Please be sure to review our Winter Weather and Severe Weather guidelines at https://bit.ly/3mRMPQC to learn more about how we decide to cancel school and how parents will be notified if we have a snow day.

In Tuesday's election, we saw three board of education members win re-election and one new member elected. Starting on Tuesday, November 10, we will be changing our Monday meal distribution site's location. You can read more about both of these items below.

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

Board of Education Election Results
In Tuesday's election, three current board of education members, Mrs. Stacy Pasini, Mrs. Courtney Tarara, and Mr. Marcus Wilcox, won re-election, and Mrs. Crystal Zurek was elected to the board. Mrs. Zurek will begin her service to our district in January. I would like to thank Mr. Michael Yenshaw for his more than nine years of service to the district's students, staff, and families. I know he will finish his term by doing all he can to position the district for success in the future. While he did not win a seat on the Board of Education, I would like to thank Mr. Adam Doby for his willingness to serve our district.

Meal Distribution Location Change Takes Affect Tuesday, November 10
On Tuesday, November 10, our Tuesday meal distribution location will move to the Howell High School loading dock on the west side of the building. This move will allow our staff to remain in the building and protected from the weather between pick-ups. Please enter using the service drive off Highlander Way, north of Highlander Way Middle School. Follow the service drive past the Howell Aquatic Center and Highlander Restaurant. The loading dock will be the next driveway on the left. To view a map of the new pick-up location, please visit https://bit.ly/34WWpvr.
Posted by gouldt On Fri, Nov 06, 2020 at 4:10 PM  

 
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