February 4, 2021
It is so hard to believe that this is our 22nd week of school. This week we celebrated 100 school days. Many of our elementary students dressed up to celebrate this milestone. We have many great things going on in our classrooms, school buildings, and our community. This week our HBA hosted two ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new businesses. Our community is a place that people want to be part of.
As I have been around town or school talking to people, I have had a few of them comment on my last update. These people were positive about how I ended my update with the calendar survey and said, “At the end of the day, if this is the most frustrating thing some people have to say about Hemlock Public School District, after managing pandemic education, we are in good shape.”
In hearing other people say those words back to me, it made me realize although many may agree and echo that sentiment, there are those out there that may feel marginalized or disenfranchised by those words. If you are one of those that felt like your opinion or thoughts did not matter, I am truly sorry and would encourage you to give me a call at 989.642.5282 or send me an email at email@example.com. Please know I was simply trying to highlight that in a world where many educational institutions are just opening their doors, we have been prepared, constantly working to improve, and focused not on what is easy but delivering what many have found impossible. People in other communities and schools would be willing to trade places.
My wife Becky and I are proud Hemlock Huskie parents. As your Superintendent, I often put on my “dad hat” and think about how decisions will affect kids, parents, and families. My family is probably a lot like yours, enjoying one another's company, eating dinner together, celebrating special occasions, playing games and talking. Since the pandemic, the amount of time isolated at home, we have all had to make decisions to balance wellness and health and social interactions. I personally know that my own kids, like probably your kids and even adults thrive on human interaction and connection.
Our children have not had a normal day of school since Thursday, March 12th. So when the opportunity to advocate to bring students back a week earlier next fall than we did this year, I have done so. For two reasons, first, no matter how hard we have tried and believe me, the team of educators here at Hemlock Public School District has tried their best. The education and opportunities that our children, although resilient, have lost since March 2020 are greater than we want to acknowledge. Second, to provide our students with some level of normalcy, social interaction, social and emotional learning support as soon as we possibly can. If you would like to talk about this or anything for that matter, feel free to give me a call at 989.642.5282. Also, feel free to click here and share your feedback.
Our school board will have the calendar as an emerging topic this month and not take any action on the calendar but rather will listen, examine, and make a decision at a later time. Here is the notice for our regular February meeting, held on Wednesday, February 10th at 6 PM. Here is the notice with the link to attend and participate.
Another week and It still is exciting to report that we have not had any new school-related cases of COVID-19 or school-related quarantines since our return to school after the holiday break. However, we do have a couple of students/staff quarantining for non-school related COVID-19 issues.
Our staff had the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine with a clinic hosted by our partners, St. Mary's Hospital and Saginaw County Health Department, this past week. Based on the information we receive regarding our next round of the vaccine, we are examining our schedule. We may add additional remote days into our calendar to ensure we can adequately staff.
Click here to review our COVID-19 Dashboard with data updates in real-time. This link brings pertinent information together into one easy to access place.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know.
All the best,