Marcellus COVID-19 Notices

March 29, 2020 Superintendent's Letter

From The Superintendent

March 29, 2020

Dear Wildcat Families:

We are all dealing with an unprecedented pandemic that has significantly altered our way of life.  The school closure and subsequent Stay Home, Stay Safe executive orders are just part of the stressful results of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Right now, I am certain that many parents and students have valid concerns about the virus, health and safety, household finances, school, and even what the future might hold.   I know we are all wondering when this pandemic will end and when we might be able to return to some degree of normalcy.   To say that this is a difficult time for all of us is a gross understatement.

I wish I could provide all the answers, but I cannot.  What I can do is answer as many school-related questions as I can.  Please understand that some questions simply cannot be answered until the state legislature acts and the Michigan Department of Education provides guidance.  Still, I want to provide as much information as possible, knowing that things can change in an instant.  A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is listed below. 
 On a more personal note, I hope that you are doing well and are finding ways to manage the situation in which we find ourselves.  The faculty and staff miss our kids and are thinking of our families everyday.  Please know that Marcellus Community Schools is here to support our families in whatever way we can.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 269-646-7655 or via email at npauley@marcelluscs.org.  We are Wildcat Strong and we will get through this together.

Best wishes,

Superintendent Nanette Pauley
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

On March 23, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the Stay Home, Stay Safe order for all citizens in the state of Michigan, with only essential or “critical infrastructure” personnel considered exceptions. That order, along with the school closure order, currently runs through April 13, 2020. 

 

  1. The current school closure runs through April 13. Could the school closure be extended beyond April 13, 2020?
    Yes.  While we are preparing to be back in session at the end of the current closure, we understand that the closure could likely be extended.  In addition, the Stay Home, Stay Safe order could also be extended.
     
  2. Will the missed school days be forgiven or will they need to be made up?  The State School Aid Act requires specific day and hour requirements for student attendance.  In the past, the legislature and/or MDE have granted limited waivers to provide some flexibility for schools.  As of today (March 29, 2020), schools have not been given an answer about whether or not the missed days will be forgiven.  For now, we do not know. 
     
  3. Will state testing (PSAT, SAT, MI-Access, WIDA, M-Step) be suspended or waived?
    The US Department of Education waived testing requirements for this school year.  The next step is for the Michigan legislature to amend the law requiring state testing. School districts are waiting for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE)  to notify us, but we fully expect there will be no state testing this school year.
     
  4. The third marking period was scheduled to end on March 27, 2020.  Will marking period grades/ report cards be issued?
    If school resumes on April 14, the marking period report cards will be issued approximately one week later.  This will allow returning students who may have been absent the week prior to the closure to turn in any missing work/ tests as arranged with their teacher(s).  If the closure is extended, the district is considering other options such as exempting missing assignments from the grade calculation or using a pass, fail  or incomplete mark.  Once we have a better idea of the length of the closure and whether we have to make up days, a more informed decision will be made. 
     
  5. Will seniors graduate on time?
    Please rest assured that we will move every mountain to ensure our seniors who are in good standing graduate on time!  On March 20, Governor Whitmore issued a press release indicating that she “will be working in the coming days to ensure our seniors graduate and that no child is held back as a result of our ability to provide face-to-face instruction during the COVID-19 school closure.” 
     
  6.  Are learning resources that the school or teachers posted online required?  Are the paper packets previously provided to students (in the first week of the closure) required?
    No.  The district provided student engagement opportunities as a service to help parents and students during this unprecedented and mandated closure.  We understand that many students and families have limited connectivity and may be dealing with other circumstances that limit engagement throughout the closure.  (The district is working on contingency plans to provide instruction in the event the closure is extended, dependent upon future guidance from MDE). 

 

  1. Will the Grab and Go Meal service continue if the school closure is extended beyond April 13?
    Yes.  Unless guidance to schools changes, it is expected that Grab and Go will continue throughout the closure.  Currently, Grab and Go meal distribution takes place at the middle high school entrance and at the old middle school, on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  
     
  2. Will Grab and Go Meal Service continue even during the previously scheduled Spring Break (April 3 and April 6-10). 
    Yes.  The district recognizes the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic and the Stay Home,Stay Safe executive order may have on our students and families.  Thus, we have chosen to continue the meal service, even during the week of spring break. Distribution dates during spring break are April 3, April 7 and April 10.
     
  3. What is the Mobile Food Pantry? 
    School administration coordinated with the local food pantry for a Mobile Food Pantry to distribute food at the Marcellus Middle High School parking lot on April 1 and April 17, from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m.  The food distribution will be done in a drive through fashion and will be located in the parking lot near the soccer field.  The food distribution is open to all families in need of food assistance. 
     
  4. What about the year end events such as senior honors night and graduation?
    Currently, no changes to those events have been made.  However, it is possible the events will need to be postponed and/or the events may look different than they have in the past.  Much depends on the length of the school closure and if the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order is extended.  Regardless of the situation, Marcellus Community Schools is dedicated to ensuring our seniors get the recognition and applause they deserve and have earned!  We will update you as we have more information.
     
  5. Kindergarten Round Up is currently scheduled for April 23, from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.  Will it still take place?
    It is currently still scheduled but will likely be postponed. An online registration may also be an option for some parents.  We will update you as soon as a decision is made.
     
  6. Will Prom, currently scheduled for April 25, still take place? 
    Currently, the prom has not been cancelled or postponed.  However, it is likely that the event will be postponed.  The health and safety of students, chaperones and staff are of paramount importance and will be the main consideration upon which any decisions will be made.  Much is dependent upon whether the school closure and /or the Stay Home Stay Safe mandate is extended.  We will update you as soon as decisions are made. 
     
  7. Are parents able to contact the school during the closure, even during the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order?
    Yes.   During the Stay Home, Stay Home mandate, school offices are closed. During this time, the best way to contact school staff is via email.  Alternatively, parents may call their child’s school office, leave a message and someone will return the call.
     
  8. Are ALL events and activities in the district cancelled or postponed during the closure?
    With the exception of food distribution, yes.  This includes all district events as well as any events held in district buildings/ grounds by outside groups. 
     
  9. What if my student was scheduled to have an IEP meeting during this closure?  
    You should have been contacted by a principal or special education teacher to discuss options.  If you have not been in communication with the teacher or principal, please reach out to the building principal via email.  Alternatively, you may call the school office and someone will return your call. 
     
  10. What if my student missed a test or an assignment before the school closed? 
    If school resumes on April 14, students will have at least one week to work with their teacher(s) to complete any missing work (assigned prior to the closure).  In some cases, it’s possible that students may be exempted from specific assignments. In ALL cases, the district is committed to working with parents and students to ensure no student is penalized as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic closure. 
     

Please understand that the situation is fluid and things can change in an instant.  The answers provided in this FAQ document could change, depending on circumstances beyond our control. 

March 23, 2020 Grab-N-Go Meal Changes

Meal Service Update 

With the Governor’s recent Executive Order, Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Marcellus Community Schools has decided to make changes to the Grab-N-Go meal pick up service   Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, Grab-n-Go will be offered on Tuesdays and Fridays only. On Tuesdays, participants will receive meals for three days (Tuesday through Thursday).  On Friday, participants will receive meals for four days (Friday through Monday).  This change means parents or their designee will only need to arrange pick up twice per week.  For those folks who have already arranged for food delivery, know that deliveries will be made on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Questions about meal service can be emailed to school principals.  

March 23, 2020 COVID-19 Superintendent's Letter

From the Superintendent

On March 23, Governor Whitmer issued an “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order No. 2020-21, a temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.  Her order also extended the school closure through April 13. Barring any additional school closure extensions, Marcellus students should plan to return to school on Tuesday, April 14.  

During this extended closure, school offices will be closed, but Marcellus Community Schools will continue the Grab and Go meal service.   However, there are some significant changes to the process. 

Beginning Tuesday, March 24, Grab-n-Go will be offered on Tuesdays and Fridays only. On Tuesdays, participants will receive meals for three days (Tuesday throughThursday). On Friday, participants will receive meals for four days (Friday through Monday).  Grab and Go sites are Marcellus Middle/ High School and the old Marcellus Middle School. Pick up times are 11:30 until 12:30.   

This change means parents or their designee will only need to arrange pick up twice per week. For those who have already arranged for food delivery, know that deliveries will be made on Tuesdays and Fridays. Questions about meal service can be emailed to school principals.  

The Governor made it clear that school meal service is an essential service.  Governor Whitmer’s office issued the following statement from Press Secretary Tiffany Brown:

"Gov. Whitmer is committed to ensuring that Michigan students have access to the food they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the governor's executive order, K-12 school food services are considered critical infrastructure and should continue. The governor deeply appreciates the vital work that our frontline school employees are doing every day to ensure that our kids have the food they need while the order is in effect."

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for our school community, state and country.  There is no doubt that many people are feeling increased anxiety and stress. Despite the difficulties, I am heartened by the way our school family and community are supporting others during this trying time.  I appreciate the efforts of school staff, parents and volunteers who have stepped up to do all they can wherever they can. Special thanks to our food service staff who are making sure our children are fed, and to our custodians, maintenance and other support staff who are diligent in ensuring all school spaces are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.   

Please adhere to the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order.  My hope is that our state and country will get this through this pandemic faster. And we can get our kids back to school.   We are Wildcat Strong and we will get through this together!

March 23, 2020 Elementary School COVID-19 Update

Marcellus Elementary

March 23, 2020

Dear Marcellus Elementary Families,

As you may have already heard, Governor Whitmer has issued the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order that begins at midnight on March 24, 2020. This order is in place until at least April 13, 2020. During this time, Marcellus Community Schools will be offering only essential services. All buildings are closed and my staff, including myself, will not be onsite. The administration center will also be closed.

Marcellus Community Schools are committed to providing meals to our students during the closure. We are looking at alternatives as to how we distribute the meals currently. If a change were to occur, we would notify families via Bright Arrow, Facebook and our website. 

When the immediate closure of schools was announced, our teachers gathered materials to send home to our students so learning opportunities could continue at home. Other teachers gathered materials and packets were mailed to the house. At this time, we will not be sending more work home for students. This week we will publish a list of online resources that our students may utilize during this unprecedented break from school. If you do not have internet accessibility for your student to use, I highly encourage you to keep them reading. Reading is one skill that can always be developed, and it will help to prevent what we typically call “summer slide’.  

If you need assistance or have questions, please refer to our website http://www.marcelluscs.org.  The website includes a special tab that includes updates from the district regarding COVID-19.  I can also be reached via email at tracy.spaulding@marcelluscs.org.

Please keep your family safe and know that your extended family at Marcellus Elementary is thinking of you as we are apart.

Yours,

Mrs. Tracy Spaulding

March 16, 2020 Superintendent's Letter

Governor Whitmer mandated that all Michigan schools be closed from March 16 through April 5. Due to our already scheduled spring break, Marcellus Community Schools will be closed through April 10th. Marcellus Community Schools, along with all schools across the state, has been diligently working to find ways to best support our students and families during this unprecedented and extended school closure.

I recognize the hardship this closure places on families. Please know that school personnel will do all that we can to assist families while also honoring the Governor’s mandate and Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations. Please read the important information below.

First, because school personnel recognize the limited connectivity that some of our students face, we do not have the option to continue classes through an online forum. For that reason, students were asked to take their books and/ or learning packets home on Friday. For obvious reasons, teachers and principals highly encourage students to continue learning during this closure. In addition to the paper- pencil work, students who are fortunate enough to have adequate internet at home may choose to complete some online activities. However, despite some social media comments to the contrary, neither online work nor paper-pencil book work are required by the school. The school simply wants to provide options for parents and students.

Second, parents whose students were absent on Friday, March 13, can make arrangements to pick up books or other necessary supplies or materials by calling the school office. Parents whose children have medication at the school should contact the school or central office to pick up the medication that will be needed at home. Medications that are not needed can remain at school. Please know that school officials will make every effort to accommodate parents who are unable to get to the school during typical school office hours.

Third, beginning March 18, Marcellus Community Schools will offer “Grab and Go” meal service for ALL children under the age of eighteen and for special needs students up to age twenty-six. (This includes homeschoolers and preschool students). Meals will be available, on Monday through Friday, at the Marcellus Middle/ High School main entrance vestibule AND at the old Marcellus Middle School (also called the Marcellus Community Education Center) from 11:30a.m.- 12:30 p.m. The meal will include the day’s lunch and breakfast for the next morning. Parents and/ or students do not have to personally pick up the meal. In fact, a friend, neighbor or other designee can pick up the meals each day. Those families who cannot make arrangements to pick up meals should contact the school right away as we may be able to
arrange delivery.

Fourth, state testing is scheduled to begin the week of April 13. At this point, no changes to the state assessment schedule have been communicated to schools. Once the district learns of changes, if any, school personnel will communicate that to parents.

Finally, several have asked if school districts will be required to make up school days missed as a result of this closure. As of this writing, on March 15, 2020, the answer to that question is unclear. The legislature would need to approve a waiver to the currently required number of days and hours and districts are waiting for guidance from the Michigan Department of
Education. Again, Marcellus Community Schools will communicate any changes to parents as soon as possible.

Please understand that this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation is evolving rapidly. Thus, it is possible that things could change very quickly. Parents are asked to update contact information with their student’s respective school office to ensure receipt of any phone alerts that the district may send out during the closure.

If parents or students have additional questions about the closure, student learning opportunities, meal service, or anything else, please contact me or an appropriate staff member via email. Alternatively, parents may also call the school or central office at the numbers listed below.
Elementary School- 269-646-9209
Middle/ High School- 269-646-5081
Volinia 269-646-9716
Central Office- 646-7655
If there is no answer, please leave a voicemail and your call will be returned.

One last important message to our school community- School personnel all learned of the extended school closure at the same time as parents and the rest of the public. I am extremely
proud of the manner in which school staff managed this situation. I want to thank the amazing administrators, faculty and staff at Marcellus Community Schools. On short notice, all stepped up to get things done and to communicate to parents and students as quickly and effectively as possible- all to benefit our kids. In addition, I cannot adequately express my gratitude to those parents who, unsolicited, offered their assistance to make copies and help get learning packets prepared for students. I am also thankful for the many parents and community members who offered assistance to the school, students and community. We appreciate your understanding and support during this trying time. It takes a village and we have a great one!

March 16, 2020 Meal Service During School Closure

Beginning March 18, Marcellus Community Schools will offer “Grab and Go” meal service for ALL children under the age of eighteen and for special needs students up to age twenty-six. (This includes homeschoolers and preschool students). Meals will be available at the Marcellus Middle/ High School main entrance vestibule AND at the old Marcellus Middle School (also called the Marcellus Community Education Center) from 11:30a.m.- 12:30 p.m.  The meal will include the day’s lunch and breakfast for the next morning.  Parents and/ or students do not have to personally pick up the meal.  In fact, a friend, neighbor or other designee can pick up the meals each day.   Those families who cannot make arrangements to pick up meals should contact the school right away as we may be able to arrange delivery.  If there is no answer, please leave a message and we will get back with you.

March 15, 2020 Elementary School Meal Service During School Closure Notice

Marcellus Community Schools will provide "Grab & Go" meals on weekdays, starting Wednesday, March 18th through April 3rd. The sack meal will include lunch for the day and breakfast for the next morning.
Students or parents may come to Marcellus Middle/High School at the main entrance to pick up the meal and take it home between 11:30-12:30 daily.
If you need food assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the elementary office at 269-646-9209, the middle/ high school office at 269-646-5081, or the Superintendent’s office at 269-646-7655. If there is no answer, please leave a message and someone will call you back. Alternatively, you may email any principal.

March 15, 2020 SMC Message for Dual-Enrolled Students

A message from SMC for our dual enrolled students

Southwestern Michigan College

March 15 at 12:11 PM · 

Reminder: SMC classes will continue tomorrow, Monday, March 16, via the Moodle online platform. A limited number of course sections may still need to meet temporarily in-person for lab work or exams, but social distancing precautions and extra disinfection protocols will be observed in those few situations. All students, including dual-enrolled high school students, will be responsible for monitoring their online courses, submitting coursework on time and adhering to any directions or deadlines from professors.

All three residence halls and college offices on both campuses will remain open during typical business hours. Visitors will not be permitted in the residence halls and the Student Activity Center will be closed until further notice. At this time, The Birdfeeder and the Zollar Cafe will be open during usual hours for additional food options.

The Carole A. Tate Teaching and Learning Center will be requiring appointments for online and in-person consultations during this period. Computer resources are available in the Learning Centers of both campuses. In addition, campus wi-fi speeds have been boosted to handle the expected increased usage.

We have the utmost confidence that by all working together, we can ensure safety and student success. We challenge our students to persevere in their studies, to utilize our extensive campus resources, to stay in contact with their professors and to “finish strong.” Our dedicated faculty and staff will give their very best effort to serve our students at this time.

For the latest updates, please visit swmich.edu/coronavirus.

March 15, 2020 Coronavirus Closure

Governor Whitmer mandated that all Michigan schools be closed from March 16 through April 5.    Due to our already scheduled spring break, Marcellus Community Schools will be closed through April 10th.  Marcellus Community Schools, along with all schools across the state, has been diligently working to find ways to best support our students and families during this unprecedented and extended school closure.   

I recognize the hardship this closure places on families.  Please know that school personnel will do all that we can to assist families while also honoring the Governor’s mandate and Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations.  Please read the important information below.

First, because school personnel recognize the limited connectivity that some of our students face, we do not have the option to continue classes through an online forum.  For that reason, students were asked to take their books and/ or learning packets home on Friday.   For obvious reasons, teachers and principals highly encourage students to continue learning during this closure.  In addition to the paper- pencil work, students who are fortunate enough to have adequate internet at home may choose to complete some online activities.   However, despite some social media comments to the contrary, neither online work nor paper-pencil book work are required by the school.  The school simply wants to provide options for parents and students.

Second, parents whose students were absent on Friday, March 13, can make arrangements to pick up books or other necessary supplies or materials by calling the school office.  Parents whose children have medication at the school should contact the school or central office to pick up the medication that will be needed at home.  Medications that are not needed can remain at school. Please know that school officials will make every effort to accommodate parents who are unable to get to the school during typical school office hours. 

Third, beginning March 18, Marcellus Community Schools will offer “Grab and Go” meal service for ALL children under the age of eighteen and for special needs students up to age twenty-six. (This includes homeschoolers and preschool students). Meals will be available, on Monday through Friday, at the Marcellus Middle/ High School main entrance vestibule AND at the old Marcellus Middle School (also called the Marcellus Community Education Center) from 11:30a.m.- 12:30 p.m.  The meal will include the day’s lunch and breakfast for the next morning.  Parents and/ or students do not have to personally pick up the meal.  In fact, a friend, neighbor or other designee can pick up the meals each day.   Those families who cannot make arrangements to pick up meals should contact the school right away as we may be able to arrange delivery.

Fourth, state testing is scheduled to begin the week of April 13.  At this point, no changes to the state assessment schedule have been communicated to schools.  Once the district learns of changes, if any, school personnel will communicate that to parents.

Finally, several have asked if school districts will be required to make up school days missed as a result of this closure.  As of this writing, on March 15, 2020, the answer to that question is unclear.  The legislature would need to approve a waiver to the currently required number of days and hours and districts are waiting for guidance from the Michigan Department of Education.  Again, Marcellus Community Schools will communicate any changes to parents as soon as possible.

Please understand that this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation is evolving rapidly.  Thus, it is possible that things could change very quickly.  Parents are asked to update contact information with their student’s respective school office to ensure receipt of any phone alerts that the district may send out during the closure.

If parents or students have additional questions about the closure, student learning opportunities, meal service, or anything else, please contact me or an appropriate staff member via email.   Alternatively, parents may also call the school or central office at the numbers listed below.

Elementary School- 269-646-9209

Middle/ High School- 269-646-5081

Volinia 269-646-9716

Central Office- 646-7655

If there is no answer, please leave a voicemail and your call will be returned.

 

One last important message to our school community-   School personnel all learned of the extended school closure at the same time as parents and the rest of the public. I am extremely proud of the manner in which school staff managed this situation. I want to thank the amazing administrators, faculty and staff at Marcellus Community Schools. On short notice, all stepped up to get things done and to communicate to parents and students as quickly and effectively as possible- all to benefit our kids.  In addition, I cannot adequately express my gratitude to those parents who, unsolicited, offered their assistance to make copies and help get learning packets prepared for students.  I am also thankful for the many parents and community members who offered assistance to the school, students and community.  We appreciate your understanding and support during this trying time.   It takes a village and we have a great one! 

March 13, 2020 Superintendent's Letter

Important Information from Marcellus Community Schools

"Late last night, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Whitmer announced that all Michigan schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16 through April 5.

Again, Marcellus Community Schools will be closed from March 16 through April 5 due to COVID-19.

We understand the challenges this extended closure will have on students and families and our staff. Marcellus Community Schools will do what we can to help our community deal with this difficult situation.

Updates about this extended closure will be communicated as more information becomes available."

March 13, 2020 Middle/High School COVID-19 Notice

March 13, 2020 Marcellus Elementary COVID-19 Notice