District Updates: Friday, June 25, 2021 
Dear Families,

As you have likely heard, this week, several of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Epidemic Orders were rescinded. While we have minimal programming within our schools over the summer months, some remain active. For those programs such as the Little Highlanders Learning Center, Summer Kids Kare, and indoor athletic camps, face coverings will be optional and a family choice. This follows the rescission of the Epidemic Orders and the direction that other districts in the county are moving. We have also heard concerns and rumors regarding a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommendation around COVID-19 testing of students in schools. At this time, this is a recommendation, not a mandate, and not something the district intends to move forward with. In terms of a preventative measure, I do not feel that the results of the testing met the desired outcome. Of the nearly 2,000 tests that we administered to student-athletes under a mandated order, less than .76% were positive. As an athletic league, the KLAA administered just over 30,000 tests, with .37% returning positive. In my participation on the Senate Return to School Committee, I am using our experiences from last year and the data I have available to advocate for a much more normal school year.

As I mentioned in my email on Monday, our summer bond projects are in full swing. Construction crews are making significant progress on these projects, ranging from paving and roofing replacements to mechanical upgrades and flooring replacements. You can track our progress at HowellSchools.com/Bond, where we are posting weekly updates from our construction management firm.

Team KRASH, one of our middle school FIRST Tech Challenge Teams, needs your help. The team is one of only 20 worldwide to advance to the finals of the FIRST Robotics 2021 Global Innovation Awards. In the Innovation Challenge, teams identify a real-world problem, design a solution, create a business model, and pitch their idea to other FTC teams for judged awards. Team KRASH's project involved developing the KRASH Engineered Boxing Bag (KEBB) to help regress the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Team KRASH is in the running for the Community Choice Award and needs our entire community's support to win. Please take a second to vote for Team KRASH at https://bit.ly/3d74CAD.

I want to thank all the families and staff who took part in Camp Highlander over the past three weeks. This was a fantastic experience for our kindergarten through second-grade students, who had a week full of learning and fun. In the future, we hope to expand Camp Highlander to include other grades.

We have added several stops for the Highlander Reading Express this summer and are currently working to finalize additional locations. As those locations are finalized, we will be updating the list on our website, which can be found at https://bit.ly/3jeUf1x. Children will receive a free book at each stop, and you can visit us as many times as you would like. We have purchased books covering all reading levels from preschool through twelfth.

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

Posted by gouldt On Wed, Jun 30, 2021 at 2:50 PM  

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