Category Archives: Schools

Letter to editor: Huron Education Association makes statement on fall return to school


Letter to the editor submitted Aug. 3, 2020

By Huron Education Association

As teachers, we want to be face to face with our students. We would LOVE to be able to go back to school, with a normal experience, if that were a possibility at this time. Unfortunately, so far, we do not know what school is going to look like in the fall, if we end up being physically back in the buildings. The one thing that we do know for sure is that it will look VERY different from a typical school day.

Many teachers have been approached by parents during the past few weeks about what school will look like in the fall. Parents want to make informed decisions, and many parents have told us that they feel that the information provided by the district was not specific enough or detailed enough to help them make the decision as to whether their child should go online or attend face to face.

A lot of parents have referenced the letter from the district, which says “It is clear that the majority of our parents and staff prefer some sort of face-to-face, in-person learning model.” Although it is true that our teachers all want to get back to normal, we did not have a majority of teachers who felt, based on the information provided by the district, that we could do it safely.

Many parents have questions about what the physical layout of classrooms will be in the coming year, how much time students would spend in each subject, how much students would be confined to their desks, and how much students will be allowed to interact with each other (group work, elementary stations, etc.).

For elementary students, what will recess look like, will they be able to have the group work, stations, and carpet time, or will they be asked to remain still and separated from one another?

For junior high and high school, how long will classes be, and how will passing time be managed, with students moving through the halls? What about vocational classes, which involve students not just moving between classes, but back and forth to other schools?

Just as we are all asked to socially distance in our everyday, adult interactions, students will be asked to maintain distance, in a way that they have not traditionally had to do.

Others have expressed concerns about the cleaning routines in the buildings, passing times, what lunch will look like, what bus runs will be like, and what will happen if a student has symptoms of COVID at any point during school.

If your child has special needs, how will those needs be met?

We suggest that you reach out to the district and school board for the information that has not yet been provided, so that you can make the best decision for your children. You have the right to specific details, in order to make the best decision for your children’s future.

If you have questions, we suggest asking direct, specific questions. The following contact information is directly from the Huron School District website:

Donovan Rowe, Superintendent:
Email: rowed@huronschools.org
Phone: (734) 782-2441 ext. 1120

Huron High School
Stephen Hudock, Principal
Email: hudocks@huronschools.org
Megan O’Brien, Assistant Principal
Email: obrienm@huronschools.org

Renton Jr. High School
Kurt Mrocko, Principal
Email: mrockok@huronschools.org
Jason Gomez, Assistant Principal
Email: gomezj@huronschools.org

Brown Elementary
Carrie Fisher, Principal
Email: fisherc@huronschools.org

Miller Elementary
Jean Gilbert, Principal
Email: gilbertj@huronschools.org

School Board
President: Jack Richert
Email: jackrichert@specialtree.com
Vice President: Trena Szawara
Email: szawarat@huronschools.org
Treasurer: Alice Whited
Email: whiteda@huronschools.org
Secretary: Scott Ferguson
Email: fergusons@huronschools.org
Trustee: Dana Town
Email: townd@huronschools.org
Trustee: Nathan Cornwall
Email: cornwalln@huronschools.org
Trustee: Cory Roupe
Email: roupec@huronschools.org


The Huron Hub accepts letters to the editor from all points of view. Submit your letter to ScottBolthouse@huronhub.com or through the contact page at HuronHub.com

Public Safety Department collecting new school supplies during “Stuff the Bus” event

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Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| July 31, 2020

The Huron Township Department of Public Safety is partnering with local schools and community groups to collect new school supplies for the upcoming school year during their annual “Stuff the Bus” initiative.

The Huron School District, Summit Academy Schools, Huron Township Rotary, Willow United Methodist Church and Huron Township Goodfellows are joining forces with the department for the school supply drive.

New school supplies, backpacks, child-size face masks, hand sanitizer, washable markers, and small denomination gift cards to Target, Meijer, or Walmart are needed to assist local families in need.

Anyone interested in dropping off donations can do so at the Huron Township Police
Department, 36500 S. Huron Rd. New Boston, beginning Aug. 3. Drop-offs will be accepted from 8 a.m to 10 p.m.

“Even as an adult, I still remember the feeling of going to the first day of school with my new clothes, backpack, and school supplies. Unfortunately, some kids who go to school in our community never get to experience that feeling. My favorite part of this job is having a platform to help kids in my community that can use it,” said Everette Robbins, director of public safety.

“I have seen first-hand the generosity of this community, especially when it comes to our children through the shop with a hero Christmas Program. I am hoping that we can all come together to stuff the busses. All the collected items will be given to kids who show up the first week of school without the things they need. I am excited to see what this community can do. I want to thank all of our community partners for the support. We always get immediate support from Superintendent Rowe and Superintendent Hedke and they are as excited about this initiative as we are. The busses are here, and we are ready to go.”


 

Huron Rotary donation allows Huron School District to purchase 22 hand sanitizer stations

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Posted by The Huron Hub | July 28, 2020

The Huron Township Rotary Club donated funding to the Huron School Board allowing the district to purchase 22 hand sanitizer stations needed for school buildings.

Melanie Shepler, president of the Rotary, presented the donation to the board recently.

Whitmer releases roadmap for schools to reopen in the fall


Posted June 30, 2020 | The Huron Hub

Today, Governor Whitmer released the MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap, a document to help districts create local plans for in-person learning in the fall.

“The Roadmap outlines a number of safety protocols for schools to implement in each phase of the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan,” a statement from Whitmer said.

Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-142, which provides a structure to support all schools in Michigan as they plan for a return of PreK-12 education in the fall.

“Our students, parents, and educators have made incredible sacrifices during our battle with COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “Thanks to our aggressive action against this virus, the teachers who have found creative ways to reach their students, and the heroes on the front lines, I am optimistic that we will return to in-person learning in the fall. The MI SafeSchools Return to School Roadmap will help provide schools with the  guidance they need as they enact strict safety measures to continue protecting educators, students, and their families. I will continue working closely with the Return to Learn Advisory Council and experts in epidemiology and public health to ensure we get this right, but we also need more flexibility and financial support from the federal government. This crisis has had serious implications on our budget, and we need federal support if we’re going to get this right for our kids.”

“The most important thing we can do as we prepare to reopen school buildings in the fall is closely examine the data and remain vigilant in our steps to fight this virus,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I will continue to work closely with Governor Whitmer and the Return to Learn Advisory Council to ensure we continue to put the health and safety of our students and educators first. We will remain nimble to protect students, educators, and their families.” 

Executive Order 2020-142 requires school districts to adopt a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan laying out how they will protect students and educators across the various phases of the Michigan Safe Start Plan.

The roadmap sets guidelines as to the types of safety protocols that will be required or recommended at each phase.

Whitmer also announced that she was allocating $256 million to support the districts in implementing their local plans as part of the bipartisan budget agreement the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the governor announced yesterday.

The safety protocols detailed in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap includes guidance on  the use of PPE, good hygiene, cleaning/disinfecting, spacing in classrooms, screening for symptoms, athletics, and more. The Roadmap also recognizes the impact COVID-19 has had on students’and educators’ metal health, and offers guidance on how schools can address this issue. 

Whitmer said she will continue to use the MI Safe Start Plan as the highest-level governing framework for determining if and when it is safe to resume in-person instruction.  

To view MI Safe Schools Roadmap, click here. 

To view Executive Order 2020-142, click this link.

Photos: Huron High School 2020 graduation day

Congratulations to Huron High School’s class of 2020. (Reader submitted photo)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| June 30, 2020

Huron High School in New Boston held graduation ceremonies for 2020 seniors on June 27, 2020.

Families of the graduating seniors shared photos with The Huron Hub to commemorate their special day.

Thank you to all of the families who shared photos.

Here they are:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


 

Senior graduation parade set for Friday in New Boston

(Photo by Scott Bolthouse– The Huron Hub)


Posted Thursday, June 25, 2020

Huron High School senior graduation parade through New Boston set for Friday evening.

See the attached flyer below for full info.

Huron Public Safety will be escorting the parade.

For the safety of students, Huron River Drive will be closed from Willow to the Renton Middle School Entrance beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Access to the Michigan Memorial Cemetery will still be open using either the Huron River Drive/Merriman gate and/or access to the main gate via Willow Road.

Funeral services will be diverted to enter the cemetery through the Funeral Home Entrance.

“First, I want to congratulate the graduating Senior Class. They have lost so many experiences due to this pandemic and we are honored to be a small part of anything that can be done to make this a special and memorable time for them. We realize that these events could cause traffic issues but hope that the community will be patient so that we can help provide a safe atmosphere for the students and their proud families,” said Everette Robbins, public safetey director.

“We will have fire and police staffing at the blocked areas to assist residents with concerns and questions. Also, a big thank you to the staff at the Michigan Memorial Cemetery for their sacrifice and help in making this happen. We appreciate their community partnership. They asked that I pass on their congratulations to the Class of 2020.”​​


Schools face $1 billion in new costs before safely reopening in the fall, says Tri-County Alliance


Posted by The Huron Hub | June 24, 2020

The Tri-County Alliance for Public Education (TCA) shared cost projections and considerations with Governor Whitmer and legislative leaders that outline requirements and regulations schools will likely need to adhere to in order to reopen safely in the fall. The expected requirements, based on preliminary guidance from federal and local health departments, will add more than $1 billion in new costs for school districts statewide for the upcoming school year. Without additional support, this equates to $665 per-pupil that would be diverted from students’ education.

“We are hearing loud and clear from parents that they want their kids back in the classrooms this fall, and that they will, understandably, demand schools meet or exceed health and safety guidelines in order to do so,” said Mark Greathead, Superintendent of Woodhaven-Brownstown Schools and TCA President. “Schools, as it stands, are not prepared to take on new costs related to COVID-19 and are in critical need of immediate funding from the state and federal government.”

In order to implement safe reopening plans while adhering to guidelines from the CDC, state and local health departments, TCA estimates schools must plan to take on the following additional health and safety costs:

  • Personal Protective Equipment
    • Masks: Recommend two per day for every student and staff
      • $14 million – $17 million per month for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb
      • $35 million – $47 million per month statewide
    • Gloves: Recommend 100 disposable gloves available daily per school
      • $4 million – $8 million per month statewide
    • Thermometers:
      • $2.2 million for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb
      • $6.3 million statewide
    • Cleaning and Sanitization Supplies:
      • $9 million per month for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb
      • $25 million statewide
  • Online Connectivity: Equity periods of remote learning means ensuring students are on a level playing field by providing every student with a device on connectivity to keep on pace with peers
    • $125 million – $200 million statewide
  • Continued food distribution if students are not in school all day, every day
    • $24.5 million for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb
    • $67.8 million statewide

Beyond resources and funding, TCA urged the Governor and legislative leaders to allow for flexibility in operations. The student evaluations, requirements and regulations schools traditionally adhere to—such as the third grade reading law, teacher evaluations and how per-pupil counts will be determined—will  likely not reflect how schools will deliver services this upcoming year and will, more than likely, take time and resources away from schools when they are already struggling to meet requirements and costs related to COVID-19. Yesterday, Georgia became the first state to seek federal approval from the U.S. Education Department to waive standardize testing for the 2020-2021 school year. TCA encourages Michigan’s Governor and legislative leaders to make that same request.

“It is our recommendation that certain student and teacher evaluations and related requirements for the upcoming year be suspended or waived in order for schools to focus their efforts on serving students in the manner that best fits the needs of their local communities,” Greathead said. “We also continue to call on Congress to provide additional stimulus dollars and greater flexibility in the funds already provided.”

View the full list of considerations and cost projections for fall 2020 here.

The Tri-County Alliance for Public Education is a coalition of education leaders “committed to fighting for strong K-12 schools across Michigan,” according to the alliance. Comprised of Superintendents from every district in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, they are collectively responsible for educating over 500,000 students.

Article source: The Tri-County Alliance for Public Education


 

Free Press: Huron High School alumni asking district to stop using Native American mascot

Huron High School seen on May 17, 2020 (Huron Hub photo)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| June 22, 2020

A group of Huron High School alumni is asking the Huron School District to stop using Native American imagery as its mascot, according to a Detroit Free Press report published Monday.

The report by the Free Press says the former students wrote a letter to Superintendent Donovan Rowe recently asking that the district “denounce the use of Native American stereotypes and imagery in all Huron School District capacities,” according to the Free Press report.

Rowe acknowledged the group and responded with a statement.

Read the superintendent’s response in the entire report in The Detroit Free Press 

Some of the alumni organizing the cause gathered in front of the high school last Friday wearing face masks in photos published by the Free Press.

The organizers said they planned to attend Monday’s school board meeting.

Huron Hub readers — what are your thoughts? Should mascot branding like what’s used in Huron Schools be renamed? Share your responses on our Facebook and Twitter pages.