Important Updates from Superintendent Merritt (November 25, 2020)
- School NameCommunications Department
P-CCS Students and Families:
Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and gratitude. This year, as we all know, it is also a time of immense change. With so much happening in our district, I want to provide you with an important update.
This past Friday, in response to the recent COVID-19 surge, the Wayne County Health Department issued its strongest recommendation possible to schools in the county. The “strongly recommended” advisory noted that districts should shift to remote learning through January 15, 2021. Health officials acknowledge that, while children may be at lower risk for problems with COVID-19, all age groups can spread the virus without showing signs or symptoms. As a result, immediate action is needed to protect the health and safety of our community.
While not mandatory, the recommendation targets what health and educational leaders have observed: School staff and family members are in higher-risk categories and, as a result, additional action may be needed to protect their health and safety when virus surges occur. COVID-19 does not respect school boundaries or county lines. As health and hospital workers have noted, for us to overcome this challenge, it requires a broad and unified community response.
In deciding between remote or in-person learning, multiple factors, such as the positivity rate in the county and the number of cases within a school system, must be considered. While P-CCS has received high marks for our mitigation efforts, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, their families, and our staff members.
With the Risk Level at ‘E’ for all three of our municipalities (Canton Twp., City of Plymouth, Plymouth Twp.), the district plans to follow the Health Department’s recommendation. It is in our community’s best interest to extend our period of virtual learning for most of our early childhood programs, and all of our elementary, special education, and post-secondary programs, through January 15, 2021. Our secondary students will remain remote through the end of first semester, January 22, 2021, as previously decided.
As a community, we can overcome this challenge together. I am thankful this holiday season for the many people who are ‘lightening the load’ in our local hospitals and helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following basic health and hygiene steps. They are choosing to:
- Wear a face covering or mask in public places.
- Engage in frequent hand washing.
- Keep a physical distance whenever possible
- Stay home when sick.
During this Thanksgiving week, please join me in thanking our teachers and staff members. In the midst of adversity, our children discover new worlds, explore new talents, and have hope for a brighter future because of their work. Seeing student faces light up as they collaborate together, listening to kindergarteners and 1st graders learning to read, hearing teenagers engage in literature discussions, both online and in-person, I continue to realize there is much for which we are thankful!
When this era is past us, we will all have a story to tell. In our district’s story, each of you play an important role in helping our students Learn, Prepare, and Thrive. Thank you for your partnership and support – standing together as a community -- we are P-CCS Strong!
Monica L. Merritt
P-CCS Superintendent of Schools
*** Beginning Monday, November 30, Safe Start elementary students will return to a full-day remote learning schedule. Additional information for Safe Start elementary families can be found here. ***