School official across Charlevoix and Emmet counties sent a letter to their communities urging that they not let COVID fatigue upset success so far this year in the Char-EM I-S-D. They are asking community members to remain attentive to safety measures: Wearing masks, social distancing, reducing gatherings, avoiding large groups, and staying home when sick. It comes as reports about a COVID-19 outbreak on Mackinac island raise concerns. The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Charlevoix, Emmet and northern Antrim County Communities,
As superintendents representing Emmet, Charlevoix and northern Antrim County public schools, together we would like to acknowledge your patience and flexibility during these uncertain times. Your willingness to work with us during this pandemic has been critical in keeping our schools safe and open in Northwest Michigan.
The collective work of schools, students, families, churches, businesses and government has truly made a significant impact on the health and safety of our local communities. Now is a critical time to continue our vigilance. Public health experts around Michigan and the country are reporting significant increases in positive cases, and issuing statements of concern about the weeks ahead. Health officials have noted that the rise in cases is largely due to reduced safety practices – mainly social distancing and mask wearing – in social settings and at community gatherings.
As school administrators, we would like to continue to provide the opportunity for as much in-person instruction as possible throughout this school year. We also believe in the importance of the entire educational experience that extends beyond the classroom. Schools serve vital roles in our communities in meeting academic, social, emotional and physical needs of students and families. Let’s continue to work together to keep ALL opportunities available for our children, both academic and extracurricular.
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and to keep schools open, we ask that our community members remain attentive to following the safety measures required and recommended by local and state health officials.
In contributing to this important community message, Dr. Joshua Meyerson, Medical Director of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, reiterated: “As cases have risen significantly across the state and in our own home towns in Northern Michigan, it is crucial that we all take steps to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Wearing masks, keeping our distance, reducing gatherings and avoiding large groups, and staying home when sick can help keep our communities safer and our schools and businesses open.”
On behalf of the students and communities we serve, we thank you for your continued support and vigilance in these efforts. We are proud to be part of a region that cares deeply for children and families.
Superintendents of Char-Em ISD districts:
Rachelle Cook, Alanson Public Schools
Wil Cwikiel, Beaver Island Public Schools
Pat Little, Boyne City Public Schools
Cynthia Pineda, Boyne Falls Public Schools
Lenore Weaver, Central Lake Public Schools
Jeff Crouse, Char-Em ISD
Mike Ritter, Charlevoix Public Schools
Matt Stevenson, East Jordan Public Schools
Aaron Gaffney, Ellsworth Public Schools
Michael Behrmann, Harbor Springs Public Schools
Stephen Seelye, Pellston Public Schools
Christopher Parker, Public Schools of Petoskey