Dear WLPS Families,
Last night, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Whitmer ordered the closure of all K-12 school buildings starting Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. School buildings are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6.
Starting at the end of the school day today, WLPS is closing its buildings entirely, canceling all athletics, community recreation, and rental activities.
Our number one priority is the safety of our students, families, staff, and community, and we will send more information to guide our families and staff as soon as we are able. We are working as quickly and as thoughtfully as possible to assess and address the many complexities of supporting our entire school community. Chances are I can’t answer all of your questions, but below are the areas we are working on and the updates I can provide at this time.
Academics: Our main mission is to educate your children, and not having our students in our buildings obviously impacts that dramatically. While there are a lot of cool tools out there, attempting to continue formal education outside the buildings is complicated by things like the Free Appropriate Public Education act. As a county, all districts’ initial focus for the next two weeks will be on recommending enrichment opportunities. We will be working on putting together a list of resources posted on our WLPS blog, and some classroom teachers might be putting together resources too, so stay tuned for more information there.
Food Access: We have a lot of food-insecure families, and that is a need at the forefront of our minds. Our administrative and food service teams are working together with our community partners to figure out the best way to meet the needs of our students. We will notify our families as soon as a plan is in place so those in need know what is available. Additionally, we will let our school community know how they can help.
Athletics/After-School/Community Recreation: All athletic practices, after-school programs, community recreation programs and facility rentals are canceled moving forward. We will continue to evaluate the need for all non-academic cancellations and keep our community updated should anything change.
Mental Health Resources: Mental health, for both our students and staff, is a large concern. Similar to academic resources, we will be sharing what services are available to those in need and some resources on how to talk to your kids about COVID-19. HERE is a good one to get you started.
Childcare: Unfortunately, because we have to close our buildings, there is no support we can provide through WLPS at this time. We are in communication with community partners and will work on providing recommendations on some local resources.
Extending School Year: Will this closure impact our school calendar? While not stated explicitly in the Governor’s message, this two-week shut down is being considered an emergency and is forgiven. If we have to extend the shutdown, the conversation might re-open.
I know there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Send any questions you still have to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will do our best to address them.
This is another instance where I’m grateful we are a small school district that is used to working together for the betterment of all Trojans. I’m confident in our ability to do what is best for our kids, staff, families, and our local and global community.
Superintendent, Whitmore Lake Public Schools
Principal, Whitmore Lake Middle/High School
Home of the Trojans
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
Statue of Liberty