Category Archives: Schools

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.


 

Whitmer announces steps for school reopening in the fall

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Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| June 17, 2020

Governor Whitmer announced Wednesday that Michigan schools may resume in-person learning in phase 4 of the MI Safe Start plan.

Schools in the state will have to follow strict safety measures for in-person learning.

A statement from Whitmer also announced that on June 30, she will release an executive order and document called “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” that will provide details on what will be required and what will be recommended for schools.

Whitmer said the need for support and flexibility from the federal government will help ensure resources for students and educators.

“Our students and educators have made incredible sacrifices these past few months to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “Thanks to our aggressive action against this virus, those who have done their part to flatten the curve, and the heroes on the front lines, I am optimistic that we will return to in-person learning in the fall. Schools must make sure to 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 leaders in health care to ensure we get this right, but we also need more flexibility and 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 Return to School plan will align closely with the MI Safe Start Plan, she said.

Whitmer said districts, students, staff, and families must be nimble and be prepared to move backwards if there is evidence of community spread of the virus.

“The most important thing we can do when developing a return to school plan 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. This is a big step, and we will remain flexible to protect everyone who steps foot in a Michigan school.”

The Roadmap will set the minimum health and safety requirements, although districts may choose to enact more aggressive ones in consultation with local public health officials.

These minimum requirements will apply to all schools, including traditional public, charter, private, and parochial schools.

On May 15, Whitmer signed Executive Order No. 2020-88 creating the COVID-19 Return to School Advisory Council.

“The Advisory Council was created to identify the critical issues that must be addressed, provide valuable input to inform the process of returning to school, and to ensure a smooth and safe transition back to school. The Council will act in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the COVID-19 Task Force on Education, and will develop and submit recommendations to the COVID-19 Task Force on Education regarding the safe, equitable, and efficient K-12 return to school in the Fall,” a statement from Whitmer said.

Related: Here is an end of school year update from Huron School District superintendent 


 

Display honors Huron High School class of 2020

The front lawn of Huron High School in New Boston was transformed into a tribute featuring a wall of photos to honor this year’s graduates. (Photos by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Posted May 17, 2020

The staff at Huron High School in New Boston are making sure this year’s graduating class does not go unnoticed.

The class of 2020 will begin their final week of school on Monday as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

To honor this year’s graduating class, staff at the high school placed a wall of photos on the school’s front lawn featuring each senior.

Principal Steven Hudock said in a social media post that the tribute will be up for about two weeks before the lawn signs are disturbed to families.

Grads and the community are welcome to stop by and check out the tribute.

“HHS Class of 2020, congrats on your last week! This is a tribute to all of you! Feel free to drive by and take pictures. Please practice social distancing. I’d like to leave these up for 2 weeks,” Hudock said.

Photos: Huron High School honors 2020 graduates 
Photos by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub


 

Whitmer announces process for reopening schools in fall, launches Return to Learning Advisory Council


Posted by The Huron Hub | May 15, 2020 

Gov. Whitmer today announced the Return to Learning Advisory Council through Executive Order 2020-88, formalizing a process for determining how schools may be able to reopen in the fall.

The panel–comprised of students, parents, frontline educators, administrators and public health officials–will provide the COVID-19 Task Force on Education with recommendations on how to safely, equitably, and efficiently return to school in the Fall.

The State of Michigan will also partner with a national nonprofit organization called Opportunity Labs to bring national expertise to this project.

“It’s critical we bring together experts in health care and education, as well as students, educators, and families to think about how and if it’s possible to safely return to in-person learning in the fall and how to ensure the more than 1.5 million K-12 students across Michigan get the education they need and deserve,” Whitmer said said. “This panel will use a data-informed and science-based approach with input from epidemiologists to determine if, when, and how students can return to school this fall and what that will look like.”

On March 3, Whitmer established the COVID-19 Task Force on Education which includes key state government agencies, including representatives from MDHHS, MDE, and others.

“Since then, she has worked around the clock with experts in health care and education to protect our students, educators, and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement from the governor’s office said.

Whitmer closed school buildings to students on March 16, and announced on April 30 that buildings would remain closed for the duration of the school year.

The original task force will recommend a roadmap and framework for school to utilize to plan for various public health scenarios.

“Going forward, the Task Force will be informed by the Return to School Advisory Council, including voices from educators, health experts, and other community stakeholders. The Advisory Council will gather critical stakeholder feedback on the content of the Roadmap,” a statement from Whitmer said.

Whitmer says schools must consider the following key issues before opening:

  • Performing outreach to ensure the voices of stakeholders are included in the discussion of implementing the 2020-2021 school year in these challenging and uncharted circumstances.
  • Ensuring experts in public health and epidemiology are informing the discussion of safety returning to school.
  • Recommending actions to remove statutory/administrative barriers to delivering education before we are at Phase 6 of the MI Safe Start Plan.
  • Recommending actions to develop and improve systems for remedial support for students who experienced learning loss during the spring and summer.

“I want to thank all of the parents who have been burning the candle at both ends these last few months trying to help their kids stay on track with their schoolwork while juggling their other responsibilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I know it hasn’t been easy,” Whitmer said. “My hope is that by organizing a formal process informed by public health experts, we can give school districts much-needed direction heading into the 2020-2021 school year.”

Dr. Mario Ramirez, managing director of Opportunity Labs, is a practicing emergency physician and former acting director of pandemic and emerging threats for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the ebola epidemic.

“We look forward to supporting the Advisory Council in its work to ensure the safest possible return to school in the fall,” Ramirez said.

Support for the project is being provided but the Council of Michigan Foundations, the C.S. Mott Foundation, and other philanthropic organizations.

Anyone interested in the Return to Learn Advisory Council can apply by going to Michigan.gov/appointments and click ‘apply now’ under boards and commissions.

The panel will be made up of more than 20 members representing K-12 administrators and educators, health experts and community stakeholders.

You will be able to choose Return to School Advisory Council under the appointment information tab within the application.

Applications are due by Wednesday, May 20.


 

Huron High School ranked a ‘2020 Best High School’ by U.S. News and World Report


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Published April 30, 2020

Huron High School in New Boston, Mich. was named as a “2020 Best High School” based on rankings from the U.S. News and World Report.

The school was ranked #4,619 in national rankings with an overall Score of 74.04/100

Best high schools rankings are produced in partnership with RTI International, a global research firm.

The report focused on nearly 18,000 schools who were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

The ranking is based on advanced placement offerings, programming, student achievement rates, graduation rates, and other data, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education Common Core of Data.

Here is the full overview on Huron High School from U.S. News and World Report.

“We are very proud of our students and staff,” said Donovan Rowe, superintendent of Huron School District.

Read more about the U.S. News education rankings methodologies by visiting this link.


 

Huron School District school of choice applications now available


Posted by The Huron Hub
April 21, 2020
Local school news

The Huron School District has opened their application process for school of choice for next school year.

Applications can be downloaded and printed here: huronschools.org/district_info/school_of_choice.

The district is also working on making a virtual sign-up form available soon.

Here is some important Information about school of choice in Huron School District per the district’s website:

  • Applications will only be accepted between Monday, May 4, 2020 and Friday, May 15, 2020 and will be available at the Administration building or may be printed from the website www.huronschools.org. Incomplete information will not be accepted and will automatically be disqualified.
  • If they receive more applications than openings for each grade level, a random lottery will be held.
  • Applications of students who have been suspended or expelled within the past two school years will automatically disqualify your student’s application.
  • A copy of the student’s last report card which shows attendance and grades, must be turned in with all applications for grades 1 through 8.
  • If you are applying for a vacancy in grades 6-12 you must have the “Affirmation of Prior Discipline” form signed by you, your student and the student’s current building principal to accompany their application.
  • If you are applying for grades 9-12 you student must have earned enough credits to be at the grade level that they are applying for. An unofficial transcript and a copy of their last report card which shows attendance must accompany their application.
  • If you are applying for grades 9-12, please know that an incoming freshman are eligible to play athletics for Huron. 10-12th graders may be penalized from participating in athletics for a period of time. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact your current athletic director, or you may contact the Huron School District Athletic Director, Martin Salazar, at 734-783-0324.
  • Completed applications and all documentation must be mailed in to the address listed above or emailed to: schoolofchoice@huronschools.org no later than May 15, 2020. Anything that is received or post-marked after this date will be disqualified. 

 

Huron School District launches Kindergarten roundup website


Posted April 17, 2020

Huron School District launched a kindergarten roundup website to collect information from parents who plan to enroll their kindergartner in the district next fall.

The district said it plans to release more info about Kindergarten roundup soon.

Keep in mind it is not a formal registration for kindergarten. Instead, the district is using the virtual form to collect information about families who are interested in registering kindergarten students for the 2020-2021 school year.

Here is the website: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdveblngpIAfHlz9Jdi1S-PL4dHL5S_dpU3zOv5PXW8_yF2SQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1


 

Huron School District explains continued learning plan for students


Posted by The Huron Hub
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Huron School District laid out a plan for continued learning for students in the district.

Superintendent Donovan Rowe said in a letter that Gov. Whitmer’s executive order that closed all school buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic also mandated that instruction take place using “remote learning” options for the remainder of the school year.

Here is a portion of the letter that Rowe sent out on Monday:

As a result, the Huron School District has completed a “Continuity of Learning Plan” that outlines the District’s efforts to provide remote learning options to students. The plan follows a model that is consistent with the Huron School District’s strategic plan, providing instruction that stresses rigor, relevance, and relationships for all students. This plan is being submitted to Wayne County RESA for approval, in accordance with guidance from the Michigan Department of Education. Once approved, this document will be posted on the Huron School District website.

In an effort to offer purposeful learning to all students, the Huron School District is launching a new web site called the Huron Learning Hub. This site is intended to help our students and parents as they transition to remote learning during the school closure. Parents will find information and resources on the site that will help keep them informed and equipped during this time. Students will find ways to connect with teachers, log-in to Google Classroom sites for instruction, and explore content and resources. We are working to develop the final details of the site now, and we will be launching our remote learning instructional program, along with the Huron Learning Hub site, on April 20, 2020.

View the entire letter here


 

Huron High School National Honors Society donates over $1,000 to Beaumont Health Foundation


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Published April 13, 2020

The Huron Township community continues to step-up and help healthcare workers get the essentials they need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Huron High School National Honors Society recently donated $1,030 to Beaumont Health Foundation to help purchase personal protection equipment for healthcare workers.

The honors society raised the funds through a GoFundMe page started by Jennifer Sowers, and all proceeds were sent directly to Beaumont Health Foundation once the fundraiser was finished.

For more information on how to donate to Beaumont Health Foundation or ways to donate your own personal protection equipment, visit their website at beaumont.org/giving.

Related articles: 

Huron STEM teacher uses 3D printer to make face shield components for healthcare workers

Huron School District donates boxes of medical supplies to local healthcare providers