October 4, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As you may have heard or read in the media over the weekend, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a decision that Governor Whitmer did not possess authority under the Emergency Management Act to declare a state of emergency based on the COVID-19 pandemic after April 30, 2020. As a result, the Court concluded that "the executive orders issued by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic lack any basis under Michigan law."
It is only natural to ask what this news means for Byron Center Public Schools since our Preparedness Plan is based on executive orders issued well after April 30. Until there is further understanding of the Supreme Court decision, we will not be altering the health and safety protocols within our BCPS Return to Learn Plan, linked on our school district’s website. All of our procedures will remain in place: wearing face masks, washing hands, cohorting, no congregating in hallways, and safely completing any school events.
Soon after the Court announced the decision, Governor Whitmer issued a statement noting “that this ruling does not take effect for at least 21 days, and until then, my emergency declaration and orders retain the force of law.” We will continue to gain information regarding how the Court’s decision impacts the Return to School Roadmap. BCPS will continue our partnerships with the Kent Intermediate School District, Kent County Health Department, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies to make informed decisions regarding continued health for BC students and staff.
Please continue to monitor your child’s health daily by utilizing the BCPS Daily Screener. Notify your school attendance secretary or principal immediately and keep your child(ren) home if:
- You have answered “yes” to any questions on the daily screener
- A household member is being tested for COVID and waiting for the results
- Your child(ren) have tested positive for COVID
- A household member has tested positive for COVID
- Your child(ren) have been identified as being a close contact with an individual who has tested positive
The daily screening process has been a big part of our successful return to full instruction. With your support of personal safety, we have been able to keep all around us safe. The school building will send home direct communication for any COVID case in our schools and reach out to you directly if there is an impact regarding your student.
As BCPS has been doing, we will continue to monitor the data and state guidance and make adjustments as needed for all students. Through this pandemic, things change overnight and without notice. Thank you for your patience as we review all areas in the days and weeks ahead. We fully understand the sacrifices you have been making to have a successful school year.
Thank you BC Nation for your support!
Kevin Macina, Ph.D.
Superintendent Byron Center Public Schools
Safety Measures for In-Person Learning: Phase 4
BCPS continues to work in tandem with the KCHD and CDC guidelines for safety procedures for returning to in-person instruction. BCPS must follow the required safety protocols and will implement the strongly recommended safety protocols from the Return to Learn Roadmap. A few areas to note for a successful return: (The BCPS MI Safe Schools Safety Protocols goes into more detail)
➔ Staff are required to wear a face mask (unless medically exempt).
➔ DK-12 students are required to wear a face mask (unless medically exempt). (Students
may bring their own mask, the district will provide a washable mask to each student, plus
have disposable masks if needed.)
➔ When and where possible, BCPS will conduct mask breaks for students (outside, recess, and when social distancing.)
➔ BCPS will strive to social distance students and staff staying 6 feet apart when possible. We understand that there are times during the day that this may not be possible; however, students and staff will be wearing masks.
➔ We are currently working with KCHD to use a universal health screener for students, including temperature checks.
➔ Rooms will have moveable plexiglass dividers to help with safety in group settings.
➔ Each room will have staff cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer.
➔ BCPS has ordered additional Clorox 360 Machines for deep cleaning.
➔ When entering and exiting the bus, all students must use hand sanitizer and wear a mask at all times. Drivers will clean each bus between each route.
➔ We will be working directly with the Kent County Health Department when there is a possible virus exposure or illness. The health department will guide BCPS in possible quarantine or contact tracing.
BC Virtual On-Line Programming: Phases 1-6
BC Virtual is an entirely online program. BC staff will instruct BC Virtual students who are not yet comfortable returning to school. BC staff will promote continuity of instruction and the understanding of our BC expectations and curriculum. BCPS will use multiple programs and applications to support a successful online experience for these students. BC Virtual is a semester-long commitment; students may return to in-person learning at the end of the first semester. For more information, please refer to the BCPS Return to Learn Plan or reach out to your building principal.
Helpful COVID-19 Links: