August 28, 2020 Update

August 28, 2020 Update

We would like to welcome all of our students and families back for the start of the school year. Whether you are planning to be in school or learn virtually this fall, the first day of school is Monday, August 31. We have designed a schedule for the first two weeks of school that allows us the opportunity to reconnect with students as we learn and practice our new protocols. I am asking that you continue to show patience and grace as we adjust to our new programs and protocols. 

The health and safety of our students, families, and staff is and will always be our primary concern. We have been working diligently over the past several months to prepare for the safe return to school for our students and staff. The work continues as we receive new information and guidance from the several sources that we have relied upon during this process. We may further adjust our protocols following the first two weeks of school as we assess the implementation of our Return to School Plans and continue to monitor community health data and guidelines. 

For our families that have chosen in-person instruction for the fall, we appreciate your support in helping us to provide a safe environment for both our students and staff. The following protocols have been designed based on guidelines from the State of Michigan, the Berrien County Health Department, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health and safety organizations.

Daily Wellness Check - Parents should monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19 before the start of each school day. Students should not go to school or any school activities or sports if symptoms of COVID-19 are present. These include:

  • Temperature of 100.4 or signs of a fever (chills/sweating)
  • Sore throat
  • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
  • New onset of severe headache

If students start having symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, they will need to be sent home. The return to school will be based on their diagnosis and guidance from health officials. If your child has been placed into isolation or quarantine for COVID-19, they may not attend school. It is important that you help us by updating your emergency contacts in PowerSchool. 

Masks - The District has relied on guidance from several sources including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the development of our Back to School Plans. These plans, by necessity, have to be fluid as new information and guidance becomes available. The CDC updated its school guidance Friday, August 21, 2020 to emphasize that cloth face coverings and masks are one of the most important mitigation strategies, and encouraged schools to place more emphasis on the wearing of masks by students at all levels. (LINK) The CDC also notes that while children are less likely to have severe symptoms than adults, our teachers, school administrators and other staff continue to be at risk. With that in mind, students in the elementary schools will wear masks throughout the day. Teachers, however, will have discretion to allow students to remove their masks when with their cohort and involved in activities that allow for social distancing (recess, lunch period, some in-class activities).

Middle and high school students will wear masks throughout the day except when eating lunch.

All students must wear masks on district provided transportation.

The District recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a cloth face covering may not be feasible. In these instances, parents, guardians, caregivers, teachers, staff, and school administrators will consider adaptations and alternatives whenever possible. In these instances, the District may require documentation from a health care professional.

Bus Routes - Bus routes can be found on the District’s website. (Click Here for Bus Routes)

PowerSchool Login - Periodically, for security reasons, PowerSchool logins must be updated. Unfortunately, our update occurred after students received their original information by mail earlier this month. In-Person students will receive their updated login information on the first day of school (August 31). Updated login information for Lakeshore Virtual Academy students is being mailed today (August 28). 

LVA Elementary Learning Supply Bag - Our Elementary LVA staff have worked hard to put together a “Learning Supply Bag” for each of our students. We anticipate that the final items for the bags will be delivered to the District soon. LVA parents will be notified when the bags are ready for pick up. 

Martin’s Supermarket Restrictions - We have had a request from Martin’s Supermarket to support their efforts during the coming months. Much like Lakeshore Public Schools, Martin’s management has had to develop plans to safely support shopping in their store. This includes limiting the number of shoppers. Due to the 25% limit on store capacity per the Governor’s Executive Order, students will not be allowed to gather in the deli cafe before or after school. Your understanding is appreciated.

Doing Our Part - It is vitally important that we all practice safe habits outside of school as well. Keeping our schools open for in-person instruction is contingent in large part on community health data. If we all do our part both inside and outside of school, we will support continued progress toward a full return to school. To help, encourage healthy habits that include:

    • Wash Hands Often - Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Avoid close contact - Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
    • Cover mouth and nose with a mask when around others - Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes - Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.

Kudos to the Lakeshore Staff - The development of our Back to School Plans would not have occurred without the support of an outstanding team of educators that make up Lakeshore Public Schools. I am proud to be a part of an organization that focuses on the overall wellbeing of the children we serve. It is time to honor teachers in our community and in communities across the nation with the reverence they deserve. They have been, and will continue to be, heroes in this saga.

I am also thankful for the patience and grace that families have shown over the past several months. Answers have been slow in coming as we labored to find the best information and guidance available. Our committees learned to quickly collaborate in a virtual environment, showing the same type of versatility our staff, students and families demonstrated fantastically in the spring. The landscape shifted quickly and often, and answers to one day’s challenges often made no sense days later. It has been a trying time for all of us.

But we never lost focus. With resolve, we pressed forward with the same passion that has defined us over the years. We are optimists! We are resilient! And we are up to the challenge! We are Lakeshore, and we are Committed to Excellence in all that we do. We will succeed!