All junior high and high school students at Martin will be getting virtual instruction after Tuesday of this week.
Martin was one of the few school districts at the start of the academic year to implement in-person instruction five days a week, but last month a state emergency order was issued, mandating all high school buildings be closed at least until Dec. 9.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer through Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, extended the current order limiting gatherings in the State of Michigan until Sunday, Dec. 20.
This means Martin’s grades 9-12 in-person activities and learning will remain suspended, along with any athletics. Martin was scheduled to play a state semifinal eight-man football playoff next Tuesday (Dec. 15) at Lenawee Christian, but whether it will be played is not yet known.
Supt. Brooke Ballee-Stone, in a communication posted on line Monday, said that because of recent adult COVID-19 cases at school that were reported over this past weekend, sixth through eighth grade students are asked to attend school all day Tuesday, Dec. 8, to receive further instructions on going virtual. Principal Brad Coon is sending an e-mail about more of what is transpiring over the next two days.
Starting Wednesday, Dec. 10, all students in sixth through 12th grades will be going remote/virtual until Jan. 4, 2021.
“Due to the ongoing adult cases and because we are having a difficult time obtaining certified substitute teachers, we feel that it is in our children’s best interests to have their instruction completed online,” the superintendent said. “The schedule will look completely different than it is currently. Mr. Coon’s email will explain this in greater detail
“Please know that this has been a very difficult decision to make for our middle school students and the decision has not been entered into lightly. I hope that you can all understand that this is temporary and that school is scheduled to resume Monday, Jan. 4, with all grades back together face-to-face.
Ballee-Stone added, “In order for school to get back to some semblance of ‘order,’ I am asking for all of you to help facilitate this feat. The mitigation strategies that we use here at school are very appropriate to be used at home: using hand sanitizer after touching someone else’s belongings; keeping appropriate distance between non-family members when/if you are out in public; wearing a mask that covers BOTH your mouth and nose; staying home and not traveling out of state or even out of the area if at all possible; getting out into the fresh air and sunshine; accurately reporting to the Allegan County Health Department (269-673-5411) if you have symptoms and/or if you test positive or have been around someone who has tested positive.”
She maintained that all of these things can slow the spread of the disease until the vaccine is available. Remember those who have had COVID-19 and have made it through, but there are others out there who get it and do not make it through unscathed.