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District Update - April 10, 2021

April 10, 2021 

Dear Parents/Guardians: 

The longer days and warmer temperatures are a clear sign that Spring has officially arrived.  This also signals the return to learning as Spring Break comes to an end and our students and staff come back to South Lake Schools on Monday, April 12, 2021.   

On Friday, April 9, 2021, Governor Whitmer held a press conference to provide an update regarding COVID-19 cases across Michigan.  She highlighted the increase in positive cases and stressed the need for all residents ages 16 and older to be vaccinated as this is our best chance of returning to “normal”.  She also made the following recommendations regarding Michigan high schools: 1) all high schools consider pausing in-person instruction for two weeks and 2) all high schools consider pausing athletic practices and contests for two weeks.  

Currently, South Lake Schools is not experiencing the high rate of positive cases at the high school level reported by other districts.  Prior to Spring Break, there were three instances of positive cases district-wide with two of those cases involving the high school.  These positive tests resulted in a handful of quarantines, not the mass quarantines other district have faced across the County.  We also completed our first round of testing with student athletes on April 2, 2021, with no positive cases.  

The high school schedule for students next week was previously modified to accommodate mandated testing.  The 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students will test on Tuesday (12th grade students virtual) and the 11th grade students will be in the building to test on Wednesday (no school for 9th, 10th, and 12th graders).  Our high school schedule otherwise remains as it has been:  Blue cohort meets in-person Monday and Tuesday, Gold cohort meets in-person Thursday and Friday, all students virtual on Wednesday, and an all-virtual option for students.  

The County superintendents also met on Friday to discuss the ramifications of the Governor’s recommendations.  After much discussion, the consensus across the county was that all districts will maintain their preestablished schedules following Spring Break.  This includes some scheduled virtual days within districts, but no district will implement a two-week pause of in-person instruction and/or athletics (as of 4/9/2021).  The superintendents will continue to meet next week to review case data and consider new information regarding COVID-19.   

As such, South Lake Schools will maintain our planned schedule following Spring Break and continue to monitor our cases.  Across the district, we will continue to implement mitigation strategies such as mandatory face masks, frequent hand washing, using disinfectants, and social distancing.  

Thank you again for entrusting us with your children and partnering with us to provide an education of excellence for every child!   

Sincerely,     

      Theodore VonHiltmayer, Superintendent