Back to School Safe Start

Welcome to a new school year! Jenison Public Schools is committed to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our students and staff and in communicating up-to-date and transparent information related to our students. The comprehensive, layered prevention strategies we’ve put together for the 2021-2022 school year were developed in close collaboration with the Ottawa County Health Department and West Michigan Superintendents to evaluate current COVID-19 trends and recommendations for the 2021-2022 school year. In response to new public health orders from the Ottawa County Health Department, we want you to stay informed on some important revisions to our protocols below.

Brandon Graham Signature

 

 

Brandon W. Graham

Superintendent

JPS Safe Start Video

Parent Options

Face Masks: Secondary School Students

Based on current data for our district, wearing face masks for secondary school students, teachers, and staff are strongly recommended when inside school buildings, but will not be required.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is the personal choice of parents and students, and it will not be required for students to attend school.

 

Current Public Health Mandates

Face Masks: Elementary School Students

In compliance with the Ottawa County Health Department order, at this time, masks are required for all elementary school students age 4 to 6th grade when inside any of our school buildings, and for all teachers and staff providing service to elementary school students age 4 to 6th grade, unless a medical condition prevents the ability to wear one.

Religious Exemptions: The Ottawa County Health Department has provided clarification (read the full document) that there will be no religious exceptions to their August 20, 2021 public health order. As a result, we will be unable to accept any waivers to the public health order except for those with medical conditions as defined by the order. If you have any questions or concerns regarding religious waivers, please contact the Ottawa County Health Department or your local elected official.

Ottawa County Health Department: 616.396.5266

Elected State Officials for Ottawa County:

  • Congressman Bill Huizenga: 616.570.0917
  • State Representative Luke Meerman: 517.373.1830
  • State Representative Jim Lilly: 517.373.0838
  • State Representative Bradley Slagh: 866.908.4347
  • State Senator Roger Victory: 517.373.6920

School Transportation

The CDC has a current federal mandate requiring masks on all public transportation. School transportation is specifically addressed in a U.S. Dept. of Transportation FAQ.

Quarantine and Contact Tracing

We will continue to support the local health department in their requirements for reporting positive or probable COVID-19 cases. Please see the quarantine and close contact quick reference guide for more information.

Fully vaccinated students: will not be required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.

Positive COVID-19 test in last 90 days: will not be required to quarantine unless symptoms develop.

Unvaccinated students: will be required to quarantine if there is a positive or probable case in their household or are connected to an outbreak.

Continued learning opportunities will be provided for quarantined students.

See the Ottawa County Health Department's guide for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Student COVID-19 Testing

Testing is not currently mandated for any students (including athletes) by the MDHHS and MHSAA.

 

Learning & School Services

Classes & Teaching

  • Classes will be in-person with a normal five day per week schedule—virtual and blended options for JIA only.
  • Elementary cohorts will be expanded to all students in a grade level.
  • Students will not be grouped or separated based on vaccination status.
  • Elementary school playgrounds will be zoned between upper and lower grades.

Food Services

Food services will return to normal. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge for all students.

Mitigation & Safety

  • Robust cleaning, sanitizing, and mitigation strategies have been implemented in addition to limiting visitor access, daily staff health screenings, school supplied PPE/hand sanitizer, and enhanced air ventilation.
  • We will continue to emphasize education for students and staff on best practices for preventing the spread of germs and viruses and staying home if they feel sick.

 

Ottawa County Health Department Documents & Clarifications

Please find below links to the documents and legal clarifications that have been provided to JPS by the Ottawa County Health Department (OCHD). If you have any questions or concerns regarding these documents or their contents, please reach out to the OCHD at 616.396.5266.

 

FAQs

As a general practice, if your student or child feels sick it’s best to keep them home until they can be tested or see a doctor. We will continue to follow CDC and Ottawa county health department guidelines and recommendations for when a student or child should not be in school due to illness.  

  • If a student has a temperature 100.4 degrees or higher they should stay home until they are fever free for at least 24 hours.  
  • If a student has vomited they should stay home until they have been symptom free for at least 24 hours.
  • If a student has any respiratory illness symptoms or gastrointestinal illness symptoms they should remain at home until they are symptom free. 

We will continue to follow the CDC and Ottawa county health department guidelines and recommendations if a student or child develops symptoms including fever, respiratory, or gastrointestinal symptoms and will be moved to the office and separated from other individuals. The parent or guardian will be notified and asked to pick up the student or child as soon as possible. It’s important to keep your student or child’s emergency contact information up to date.

We will continue to support the local health department in their requirements for reporting positive or probable COVID-19 cases, and will also continue to notify any individual who has had contact with a positive or probable case of COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated students: will not be required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.

Positive COVID-19 test in the last 90 days: will not be required to quarantine unless symptoms develop.

Unvaccinated students: will be required to quarantine if there is a positive or probable case in their household or are connected to an outbreak. The health department has provided a flow chart for easily assessing when to quarantine.

If your student or child is exposed to COVID-19, tests positive, or has a probable case, we ask that you immediately notify the appropriate building Principal. 

Robust cleaning and sanitizing procedures remain in place and are aligned with current health and safety recommendations. Staff will be using approved sanitizing and disinfectant cleaners on surfaces and throughout the school buildings and students will have access to hand sanitizer. We will also continue to emphasize education for students and staff on best practices for preventing the spread of germs and viruses and staying home if they feel sick.

Visitors will be allowed limited access to school buildings, however, there are specific restrictions and protocols that will need to be observed. When picking up a student early or dropping off a student late, all visitors must remain in the lobby or office. Visitors will only be allowed building access outside normal school hours and will not be allowed to enter the building in an area where students are present during the school day.

We continue to review and assess all special activities, including field trips, along with current health department recommendations and guidance. Each field trip will be evaluated individually based on  current conditions, trip activity and location.

The public health order issued by the Ottawa County Health Department stated specific exemptions to the order for medical reasons confirmed by a doctor, however, it did not specify exemptions based on an individual's religious beliefs. While we will continue to seek clarity from the health department on specific details of the order, previous court rulings have upheld mask mandates for public education institutions, regardless of religious belief. As a result, unless otherwise clarified by the Ottawa County Health Department, we will not be able to provide exceptions to the mandate for religious waivers at this time.

The Ottawa County Health Department has provided clarification (read the full document) that there will be no religious exceptions to their August 20, 2021 public health order. As a result, we will be unable to accept any waivers to the public health order except for those with medical conditions as defined by the order. If you have any questions or concerns regarding religious waivers, please contact the Ottawa County Health Department or your local elected official.

Ottawa County Health Department: 616.396.5266

Elected State Officials for Ottawa County:

  • Congressman Bill Huizenga: 616.570.0917
  • State Representative Luke Meerman: 517.373.1830
  • State Representative Jim Lilly: 517.373.0838
  • State Representative Bradley Slagh: 866.908.4347
  • State Senator Roger Victory: 517.373.6920

At this time, extended traditional learning options will not be offered, and virtual learning environments will only be available to students enrolled in the Jenison International Academy.

SPECIFIC TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS:

Each individual elementary school will provide families with specifics for their building’s pickup and drop-off procedures, parking lot entering and exciting reminders, and before and after school policies. 

We will continue to follow current health guidelines for before/after school care licensing which restrict the use of playgrounds for in-school activity only. Students will not be permitted to use the playground in the morning before school or in the afternoon after school.

Students will eat their lunch in their classrooms and will be provided the same duration of time for lunch, in addition to increased recess time to promote physical activity and movement in their day.

Due to current visitor restrictions for our school buildings, classes may still have celebrations and parties, however they would not be open to visitors or volunteers.

We love celebrating with your child!  Birthday treats may be shared with the class as long as it is prepackaged—no homemade treats will be permitted. Balloons, banners, stuffed animals, and other personal items are best saved for home.

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