Statewide, instruction for grades 9-12 must
be done remotely through Dec. 8

TRI-CITY AREA — Local school districts continue to deal with the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation.

Per an epidemic order issued by the state on Sunday, all grade 9-12 instruction must move to virtual from in-person starting today, Nov. 18, through December 8.

In the Tri-City area, two districts were already experiencing closures as of Monday—one unrelated to the pandemic.

On Friday, Capac Community Schools Superintendent Jeff Terpenning announced that all student instruction would move to a remote format for a two-week period, Nov. 16 through the Thanksgiving break.

As he had stated in past communication to parents, Terpenning stressed that there were few positive cases among staff and students but the number of individuals who needed to quarantine continued to rise.

“Our current situation does not stem from transmissions inside of our buildings but rather from quarantines that have arisen from issues outside of our buildings and out of our control,” he said.

“Our hope and goal is that taking this short-term break will allow us to continue from November 30 to the holiday break, which begins December 21, and beyond.”

In Almont, the weather was to blame for school building closures on both Monday and Tuesday. High winds knocked out power and resulted in at least one power surge, the district said.

On Monday, all buildings were closed due to the outage and on Tuesday, only the high school was able to reopen to students and teachers. That gave staff the chance to share information regarding remote instruction due to begin today.

In Imlay City, Supt. Dr. Stu Cameron issued a statement on Friday reiterating the district’s dedication to offering face-to-face instruction.

Like Terpenning, Cameron said that it doesn’t appear coronavirus cases are spreading within their school buildings but the need to quarantine large numbers of close contacts continues to be “disruptive.”

To date Imlay City has quarantined 335 individuals since the start of the school year, and registered 10 positive and six probable cases among students and/or staff.

“In each instance, as soon as we’re notified, we immediately begin contact tracing and communication. As a result of these investigations, the average number of quarantined students and staff is approximately 24 people per positive case,” Cameron said.

He continued to ask parents and guardians to exercise caution and not send students to school if they or someone within their home has any virus symptoms.

“We would rather have one student miss one or two days of instruction out of precaution, than 25 or 30 students miss two weeks of school because someone who did not know they were infectious was sent to school,” Cameron said.