Area Superintendents Urge Vigilance to Keep Schools Open

Nate Fowler, interim superintendent for Lowell Area Schools, joined 45 other school administrators in signing a letter to encourage residents of West Michigan to take action to slow the spread COVID-19. Superintendents of public school districts in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties, as well as private school systems, were listed on the correspondence which was distributed to parents locally today.

“Unfortunately, the collective hard work of schools alone is not sufficient in controlling community spread of the coronavirus,” the letter reads. “Public health experts report significant increases in positive cases across our state and region in recent weeks.”

It goes on to say county health departments have warned that school-related activities may be restricted if the upward trend in cases is not reversed.
“As a worst case scenario, schools may be asked to shift to a distance learning instructional model either periodically or for an extended period of time until cases decline,” the superintendents write.  To ensure this doesn’t happen, education leaders are asking residents to adhere to recommended guidelines for social and community gatherings.

In sharing the letter with Lowell parents via email, Fowler noted that while cases were on the rise, incidences of the disease being transmitted during the school day were low. What’s more, quarantines and shutdowns have had a negative impact on students and families.

“By continuing to work together, we can keep our students and staff safe while keeping schools open,” Fowler wrote. “Lowell Area Schools’ goal is to continue to provide opportunities for in person learning for our students, including extra curricular activities.”

The entire letter from the superintendents can be viewed below.

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