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News and Notes

WLPS Return to Learn Update

Good afternoon,

We are ready, Trojans!

We look forward to welcoming our in-person students back to our buildings on Monday, August 31, 2020. The first week will be half days for all in-person students. You can find half day dismissal times on our academic calendar. For those using busing this school year, the bus routes are posted on our Back to School site.

A quick note to our Virtual Academy families, we have not forgotten about you. Thank you for your patience as we get our in-person students ready to go. We will be sending more information regarding teacher assignments and to give you a better idea of what to expect, etc. early next week.

While we are all excited to be back in our buildings for the 2020/2021 school year, we know in order to stay open, we need to stay safe. I cannot stress enough how each of us needs to take individual responsibility to keep each other safe. Whether it is masking up or staying home when sick, we are all #InThisTogether. We return to learn in-person together, or we will have to go remote together. My goal is to give our students as much time as possible in-person with their teachers and classmates to build relationships that are essential for learning. Thank you in advance for doing your part. Please take time to review the safety expectations we have for our students and families in our Return to Learn FAQ in addition to the ones I’ve highlighted below.

Facial coverings are essential to providing a low-risk learning environment.  WLPS requires the following:

  • Face masks for all students on school buses.
  • Face masks in Grades K-4 in all common areas (e.g. hallways) and when doing group work in classrooms. But not in classrooms while working independently or when students are eating breakfast or lunch.
  • Face masks in Grades 5-12 in classrooms and common areas (except when students are eating breakfast or lunch).
  • Students who have a medical reason not to wear a face mask are not required to do so.  Medical documentation is required to be submitted to me (tom.dekeyser@wlps.net) prior to Monday, August 31. 
  • All face masks must be appropriate and meet school dress code requirements.
  • Elementary student masks – we are recommending putting a name or initials inside where the nose should be.  It will remind kids how to mask up and they won’t lose their masks.
  • Fabric facial coverings must be washed daily.
  • Disposable facial coverings must be disposed of at home at the end of each day.

Each family is expected to do their part by screening their child(ren) every morning at home. We’ve created this printable sheet you can post as a reminder. WLPS will require each family to ask the following questions EVERY morning:

  • Has my child(ren) started to have any of the following, not due to some other known health problem?
    • Temperature over 100.4 Fahrenheit when taken by mouth?
    • Sore throat
    • New, uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergy/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
    • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
    • Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Has my child(ren) had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Since they were last at school, has my child(ren) been diagnosed with COVID-19?

If the answer is YES to any of these questions, keep your child(ren) home from school. Call the school as soon as possible to let them know the reason your child(ren) will not be there today. Call your healthcare provider right away.

I can’t thank our families enough for their trust and patience as we prepare and begin this school year. You’ve sent a lot of questions our way–great questions. And they were typically followed up with notes of appreciation or assurance as we worked through all aspects of returning to learn this fall.

And I can’t thank our community enough. Whitmore Lake has taken the challenges Covid-19 presented and found ways to support our kids and our staff. All the WL PPE we will be handing out to students and staff were paid for by community organizations including the Whitmore Lake Kiwanis, the Whitmore Lake Foundation for Educational Excellence and Whitmore Lake Community Recreation. Last week Kiwanis also dropped off around $700 worth of school supplies for students in need. Northfield Human Services delivered backpacks filled with school supplies and handmade masks to the homes of our families in need, all of which were paid for by Living Water Church. Our Brighton area Costco donated enough backpacks for every WLES student to get one at no-cost. And to top it all off, business owners and community members have donated almost $6,000 to clear our staff’s Amazon Wish List this year as part of a fundraiser Northfield Township Police Department is running where if the goal is met, Chief Wagner will spend a night in jail.

Whitmore Lake, as a whole, continues to work together to make it a great day to be a Trojan.

See you on Monday.

Sincerely,

Tom DeKeyser

Superintendent

Whitmore Lake Public Schools

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