July 14, 2020
On June 30, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-142 (COVID-19). This order pertains to the Provision of preK–12 education for the 2020–2021 school year and provides districts throughout the state with guidelines to follow as they plan for the return to school in the fall. Under the order, school districts throughout the state must develop and adopt a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan by following the guidelines from the Michigan Return to School Roadmap from the COVID-19 Task Force on Education and Return to School Advisory Council. All plans must be completed by August 15, 2020 and posted by August 17, 2020.
Since the school closure in March, Plainwell Community Schools has developed a task force that has been diligently working on plans for the return to school in the fall. The task force, which includes educators, parents, board members, and community members, has met frequently throughout the closure to develop plans to continue to provide Plainwell Community Schools' students with the best education options for the 2020/21 school year. In the coming weeks, the district and task force will continue to work with PCS administration, the Board of Education, the Allegan Area Educational Service Agency, Allegan Country Health Department and the Michigan Department of Education to finalize a plan to ensure that our district will continue to provide a high level of education, while adhering to all of the health guidelines and procedures that have been put in place by the State of Michigan.
Under the Michigan Return to School Roadmap, our district is currently under Phase 4 and is developing plans based on the following details that are part of the Executive Order:
- Require the wearing of face coverings, except during meals and unless face coverings cannot be medically tolerated, for:
- All staff and all students in grades pre-kindergarten and up when on a school bus.
- All staff and all students in grades pre-kindergarten and up when in indoor hallways and common areas.
- All staff when in classrooms.
- All students in grades 6 and up when in classrooms.
- All students in grades kindergarten through 5 unless students remain with their classes throughout the school day and do not come into close contact with students in another class.
- Prohibit indoor assemblies that bring together students from more than one classroom.
- Incorporate the Return to School Roadmap’s required protocols governing hygiene, cleaning, athletics, screening, testing protocols, and busing and student transportation.
We understand that there are questions and concerns from our students, parents and community members regarding these guidelines, as well as finalized plans for the 2020/21 school year. We recognize that families need to start making plans for their children and we can assure you that the district, including our task force, school administration and Board of Education are doing everything we can to ensure that we develop the best plans to provide the highest level of education, while keeping our students and staff safe during these challenging times. PCS is not alone, as every district throughout the county and state are dealing with these same challenges and are all working tirelessly to overcome these difficult times for our students, families and community. Please know that our administration, board of education and task force are committed to providing the best education possible for the 2020/21 school year, even during these difficult and challenging times. As the communication stated yesterday from the Allegan County Superintendent’s Association: “For parents that have concerns over face-to-face instruction protocols or safety measures, a 100% remote instruction option will be available”. Please know these plans are still being worked out and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks.
As more information becomes available, the district will share this with our families. Updates will continue to be shared by the district on our social media accounts, through email, as well as the school website. For now, we direct you to review the following Michigan Return to School Roadmap from the State of Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/whitmer/MI_Safe_Schools_Roadmap_FINAL_695392_7.pdf.
Matthew J. M. Montange