Due to increased COVID-19 cases and the number of students quarantined at Kettering and Mott, the high school students will return to remote learning effective March 19 after weeks of in-person learning.
Scott Lindberg, superintendent of Waterford School District, announced this decision at a recent township’s Board of Education meeting held via Zoom.
Opening up with public concerns
Parents in the district are concerned as COVID-19 cases continue trend upward in Michigan high schools. With variant cases rising in Oakland County and more social gatherings, a “response to COVID-19” led the agenda.
The high schools have 15 positive COVID cases, which is an increase from the previous two weeks, according to the Waterford School District COVID-19 dashboard, as of March 18.
As of March 18, there has been an increase of positive cases in the district’s high schools. Credit: Miriam Bingham
Response to COVID-19 in high schools
After the meeting, Lindberg said in an interview that the decision to move high school students back to remote learning was a tough one.
“We worked closely with the building administration and analyzed our current COVID-19 cases, the number of students quarantined and our high schools’ attendance numbers,” he said. “We then determined that remote learning was the best way to accommodate our students’ well-being and instructional needs. We will continue to monitor the data and keep our families informed on our next steps.”
While students will learn from home, teachers will continue to instruct from buildings. The elementary schools and middle schools will continue to follow the current mitigation strategies due to low cases.
“But you know what, at least you didn’t make the decision to shut the whole district down,” said Julie Josselyn, a trustee of Waterford School District, said during the Zoom meeting. You looked at every school, you looked at every grade, you did what you had to do.”
“One thing that we do know is sports is a site of transmission and so are the social gatherings thrown by parents,” said during the meeting, Michael Ristich, president of Waterford School District. “That is a constant motif in discussions with other board members and the health division. So, I’m just going to amplify with what superintendent Lindberg said about being vigilant.”
The board encourages everyone in the Waterford community to make an effort and take the necessary steps to get the high school students back in a normal school setting. They are reminding the entire community of the proper mitigation strategies.
“We want to be back in-person, but we all have a role in making that happen,” said Lindberg. “I urge all of our students, staff members, and families to follow all the guidelines set by the CDC, the State of Michigan, and the Oakland County Health Division. Making the right choices outside of our buildings has a significant impact on our ability to be back in-person.”