Monroe schools will require masks this fall
Masks will always be a part of daily life for Monroe County’s largest school district as it prepares to return to a traditional learning pattern this school year.
In a district-wide email sent to families late Monday night, the Superintendent of Monroe Public Schools. Julie Everly announced that students will attend classes five days a week in person when classes resume on September 7th.
Citing case positivity rates and cases of quarantines, isolations and possible COVID-19 exposures, MPS largely dispensed instructions online last year.
“Since the start of the pandemic, the district has made the health and safety of our students, staff and families a top priority,” Everly said in a district-wide email. “We will remain vigilant in taking action to protect our school community. As we return to full in-person instruction, many of our security protocols will remain in place. “
Following guidelines outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Everly said masks will be needed for anyone entering an elementary school building, which houses 5 to 6 students. years.
Masks will be required in high school buildings when CDC transmission levels are classified as moderate or above.
CDC officials have defined four severity levels for transmissions within a county, categorizing them as low, moderate, substantial, and high. A moderate level is identified when case positivity rates are 5% or more.
As of Tuesday morning, the CDC had classified Monroe County as having a high level of transmission.
Masks will not be required for students, staff and those visiting campuses when in an outdoor environment.
The district will review CDC data every two weeks to update its mask policy. New guidelines will be posted on Sunday at 6 p.m. on the district website.
A CDC order requires masks to be worn on public transportation, including school buses.
“… The recommendations are designed to help prevent transmission of the virus in our schools, reduce disruption to in-person learning, and protect our youngest children who are not yet eligible for vaccination,” Everly said.
Vaccines are available for people 12 years of age or older, but have not yet been approved for younger people. According to an email from the district, when vaccines become available for this age group, it will revise its mask policy to reflect that in effect for older students.
A virtual option will remain available for students and families who are not comfortable with face-to-face learning. Students will be able to enroll in the Monroe Virtual School.
“We understand that over the past 18 months, new questions, concerns and opinions have emerged regarding education,” Everly said in her statement. “If you do not yet feel comfortable with returning your children to school or if you would rather not commit to the mitigation measures required for learning in school, the virtual school Monroe is a quality education option that serves 300 students. “
Students with medical conditions or whose family members have such conditions may also be eligible for the district home learning program.
Open registration for the virtual program will take place at Monroe High School August 23-26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for grades 7 to 12. Kindergarten to Grade 6 will be able to register from August 24 to 25 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The district will continue to ask students and families to watch for potential symptoms. If a student or family member tests positive or exhibits symptoms, households are urged to keep students home and notify the student building or contact the district COVID hotline at 734-265-3030 .
“There are wonderful plans in place for our students,” said Everly. “It’s going to be a great year and we can’t wait to see you!”