Coronavirus Precautions


Dear MAPS Faculty and Staff,

Today Governor Whitmer issued an executive order to shelter in place. She is encouraging all Michiganders to stay home and stay safe. This takes effect at 12:01 a.m and runs through April 13th. Schools are also to remain closed through April 13th. I understand this brings on a slew of questions that I’ll do my best to answer through this correspondence or upcoming communications. Please also be patient with us as the executive orders are outpacing the MDE and the legislatures ability to amend state law or policies; leaving MAPS and all districts throughout the state in limbo on several key fronts. A few things I can share moving forward for tomorrow and the rest of the week:

*The Governor’s order allows essential personnel of businesses to continue- For MAPS this is our food service, Central Office, and Tech folks. Food service is doing an amazing job of supplying approximately 600 meals each day for breakfast and lunch combined. Central Office is ensuring paychecks, insurance, retirement, state reporting, communications, etc. continue. Technology is making possible work from home options, communication tools, and infrastructure are in place to support all these changes. Everyone who can work from home is being asked to do so.

*I’ve extended State of Emergency pay for hourly workers through the end of this week, March 27th. The week of March 30th was our scheduled spring break. We are hopeful this is an area the legislature addresses tomorrow giving districts clear guidance on whether days will be forgiven or be required to be made up at a later time? This determination very much affects the budget and pay structure. As I’ve said previously, we intend to pay folks for what was budgeted for this school year. 

*What role should non essential personnel be playing over this stretch? Almost everyone should adhere to the executive order of stay home/stay safe. The only exceptions are the essential personnel previously identified and potentially custodians. A custodian may report for a circumstance that may compromise the building i.e. a boiler check, alarm situation, or an emergency. We’ll revisit this directive the week of April 6th if it looks like we may need to gear up and prepare for students to come back on the 14th of April.

*What role should administrators, counselors, and faculty play over this extended down time? It would be my hope that we would all continue to communicate with staff, students and families. Let’s try to bring as much normalcy as we can to students and families during these unprecedented times. Administrators should continue fostering conversations with staff about on-line teaching options (this could be real option soon if MDE or the legislature give the green light). It is my hope teachers would continue building connections with students through google classroom, Zoom, Bloom’s, etc. At this point, we can only suggest resources and on-line supplements. We can’t actually require any learning due to issues with Special Ed., 504, connectivity and other areas that require differentiation and accommodations. There is a role, albeit much more limited, we can all play to support students grappling with this life changing event. 

I can’t say enough how proud I am of the many folks who have stepped up in food service, those continuing student connections, those helping the hospital or other community organizations and those givers who are supporting colleagues and families who are struggling with these societal changes.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive for our students and community!

--
William B. Saunders
Superintendent

March 23rd, 2020

Dear Parents, Students, and Staff,

In light of today’s Executive Order for Stay Home-Stay Safe, we have decided to create a schedule for the next couple of weeks.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24th, will be our normal schedule.  Beginning on Wednesday, March 25th, we will begin handing out meals for multiple days.  We will provide Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Monday’s meals  all to be picked up on Wednesday.  Our next delivery day is Tuesday, March 31st.  On the 31st you will receive supplies for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Monday.  The next delivery day is Tuesday, April 7th.  These supplies will be for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday.


    MSHS 11:00-12:00 in front of the canopy entrance please pull up 

    Graveraet 10:50-11:10, Employee Parking Lot

    Superior Hills 11:20-11:40, Parking Lot in front of School

    Cherry Creek 12:00-12:20, Parking Lot in front of School


It is crucial that during these times we try to keep a distance of 6 feet from each other.  Please understand this is for your safety and ours.  Please stand back until we place your food on the drop table or place it into your vehicle.  

We will continue to offer JJ Packs through our new schedule.   They have been amazing and we will continue to work with JJ Packs while supplies last.

Please email me if you have any questions at ccollins@mapsnet.org.

We look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely,


Chris Collins, Food Service Director

March 13th, 2020
Dear Parents, Students, and Staff, 

MAPS is pleased to announce that we will begin offering FREE Breakfast and Lunch to Students beginning Monday March 16th. These meals will be offered as a grab and go option at MSHS, under the canopy entrance. JJ packs will also be available for pick up and brought home. Meal times will be 8-9 for breakfast and 11:30-12:30 for lunch. A family can pick up both breakfast and lunch and JJ Packs, while supplies last, at the same time. 

We are currently offering yogurt, string cheese, muffin, fruit, fruit juice and milk for breakfast. We will offer a sandwich, goldfish cracker, fruit, baby carrots and milk for lunch. JJ packs will be offering dry and canned goods during this emergency. 

We look forward to seeing you at MSHS. 
Sincerely, 
Chris Collins, Food Service Director 

Dear Families,

It has been an unprecedented week as our country deals with containment and implementation of safety measures for COVID-19. I’ve personally viewed many of the measures being taken across all spectrums of our society as initially shocking, as I’ve never experienced this level of shutdown in my lifetime. After the shock wears off, I look at all the measures being taken as proactive short-term solutions meant to expedite our return to normalcy. Last night's announcement by Governor Whitmer at 11:00 p.m. was one of those shocking moments. My reaction was to close school today and provide as much notice to parents as possible. I anticipated panic from parents and students that may have resulted in low attendance; a result that may have cost our district tens of thousands of dollars. I thought there may be a perspective out there that if it wasn’t safe to attend March 16-April 5th, what would make March 13th any safer? I apologize to those families who were inconvenienced by my decision to close today.

MAPS has been planning for a short-term shutdown focusing on student needs. I’m pleased to announce that JJ Packs is assembling take home meal kits to help feed students in need over the next few weekends. Starting Monday, MAPS will be operating a breakfast service from 8:00-9:00 a.m. and a lunch service from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. daily at Marquette Senior High School for the duration of the break. Anyone in our community 18 and under will receive these meals for free. Our kitchen staff intends to limit contact by handing these meals off at the canopy entrance for students to be consumed off site.

Megan's Family Daycare is also willing to provide daycare in a limited area of Superior Hills Elementary School over the mandatory break to help distressed parents.  If you are a parent concerned about daycare options, I would encourage you to reach out to this business.

An unfortunate casualty of the coronavirus has been athletic competitions. I feel horribly for our student athletes who worked so hard to be good at their sports and were unable to finish; Boys Hockey and Boys Basketball were still alive in the MHSAA tournaments. With the Governor’s announcement to close all schools, the MHSAA has mandated canceling all spring sports practices through April 5th. They will reevaluate resuming these activities when school is back in session.

School buildings will be open today and Monday for students to pick up books, instruments, boots, snow pants, etc. We are viewing the mandatory closure as an extended break at this point so we won’t be requiring any studies; however, we will be publicizing a list of websites for every level so students who choose to remain engaged in learning activities can do so.  We also view this as an opportunity to have time not normally available during the school year.  Custodians will be working during these two weeks and will be providing an intensive cleanse throughout the buildings.

Once again, I understand how disruptive this shutdown is for all families. I’m hopeful our short-term pain and struggles will lead to a quicker return to normalcy. If there is anything we can do to ease this burden, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thanks for all your support of the Marquette Area Public Schools!


Michigan Association of School Boards

 

At a press conference late this evening, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and State Superintendent Michael Rice announced that all K-12 school buildings—public, private and boarding—are ordered to be closed from Monday, March 16 to Sunday, April 5, 2020, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Buildings can reopen on Monday, April 6.

"This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families and our overall public health, "said Gov. Whitmer. "I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food.

I know this will be a tough time, but we're doing this to keep the most people we can safe. I urge everyone to make smart choices during this time and to do everything they can to protect themselves and their families."

As of tonight, the number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan is 12; there were two as of yesterday.

“Closing our K-12 school buildings is the responsible choice that will minimize the risk of exposure for children, educators and families and mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Michigan State Superintendent Michael Rice. “The Department of Education will continue to work closely with our partners in state government to help our students and educators in each school district get through this time. This is about protecting the most people in Michigan.”

“Closing our school buildings is the smart thing and the right thing to do for the public’s health,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “These actions will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I will continue to work with Gov. Whitmer and our four COVID-19 task forces to ensure we protect our children, our families and our communities.”


March 12, 2020

Yesterday afternoon Governor Whitmer issued an executive order with recommendations intended to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. MAPS had already implemented or acted on all but two of the suggestions. Starting tomorrow, March 13th, we will comply with the two remaining recommendations. 


The MSHS attendance policy and the MSHS exam exemption incentive will be indefinitely suspended. 


MAPS will be postponing all large gatherings and events of over 100 people through March 27th. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: 

  • Empty Bowls, March 13th
  • Youth Volleyball Tournament, March 14th
  • Board of Education Meeting, March 16th
  • Cherry Creek Coding Fest, March 17th
  • 5th Grade Chili Cook-Off, March 18th
  • Solo and Ensemble Fest, March 19th
  • One School, One Book Night, March 20th
  • Cherry Creek Movie Night, March 20th
  • TWIRP Dance, March 21st
  • Spotlight on The Arts, March 24th
  • Junior Parent Night, March 24th
  • High School Academic Awards Night, March 25th.


As the State of Michigan or Marquette County Health Department issues directives or recommendations, MAPS will fully comply.  We will continue our practice of weaving these recommended protocols into plans already established in preparation for the health and safety of our students and staff. 

*The MAPS Technology Department is open for damaged district devices (such as Chromebooks) to be repaired. Hours are weekdays 7:30am to 3pm



Message from Linda Johnson, RN
MAPS District Nurse

Dear School Community,

As you all have heard, Coronavirus is in the news. I would like to share a little information on what we all can do to help stay healthy.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person by respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the viruses spread.

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptom of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions: 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Try humming the “Happy   Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. 
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available. 
  • Stay home when you are sick and contact your health care provider. Students should not come to school for at least 24 hours after they are fever free (less than 100.4 F) without the use of fever reducing medicine. 
  • Students with influenza symptoms will need a longer period of isolation to aid recovery and prevent spread of illness. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw tissue in the trash. If no tissue is immediately available, cough or sneeze into your elbow. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cell phones, key boards, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, faucets.

District administration and key staff are meeting regularly on this issue. Our plan is to keep students and staff engaged in the learning process while mitigating the spread of infections. I will continue to keep you updated as I receive information.

Thank you,
Linda Johnson RN, District Nurse MAPS