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 W. Graham
JPS Safe Start Video
Wearing face masks for students, teachers, and staff are strongly recommended when inside school buildings, but are not required.
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: School Students
Following guidance from the Ottawa County Health Department, masks are strongly recommended, but not required, for all JPS students, staff, and visitors when inside any of our school buildings. If you have questions or concerns related to mandates and guidance provided by OCHD, please contact the OCHD directly or your elected officials.
Ottawa County Health Department: 616.396.5266
Elected State Officials for Ottawa County:
Quarantine and Contact Tracing
We will continue to support the local health department in their requirements for reporting positive or probable COVID-19 cases.
Fully vaccinated students: are not required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. Fully vaccinated is defined by the OCHD as having received all available and recommended doses, including boosters, if eligible. Fully vaccinated students/staff members will be required to wear a well-fitting mask for 15 days, or longer if household positive case has fever/symptoms that continue beyond initial 5 days.
Documented positive COVID-19 in last 90 days: are not required to quarantine unless symptoms develop. Students/staff members will be required to wear a well-fitting mask for 15 days, or longer if household positive case has fever/symptoms that continue beyond initial 5 days.
Unvaccinated students: are required to quarantine for 10 days if a household member tests positive for COVID-19. Unvaccinated students/staff may return to school on day 11, but are be required to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days, or longer if household positive case has fever/symptoms that continue beyond initial 5 days.
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
Food services will return to normal. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge for all students.
Mitigation & Safety
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.
- OCHD Public Health Order 8/20/21
- OCHD Face Covering Board Meeting Summary
- OCHD Legal Clarification on School Code 380.1307b
- OCHD Legal Clarification on Religious Exemptions
- OCHD Legal Clarification on Free Speech
What if my student or child feels sick?
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.
What if my student or child becomes sick at school?
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.
If my student or child is exposed to COVID-19 at school, how will I be notified?
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.
If my student or child is exposed to COVID-19 will they be required to quarantine?
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 my student or child has been exposed to, tests positive for, or has a probable case of COVID-19, how should I notify the school?
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.
How is JPS keeping the schools cleaned and sanitized?
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.
Will visitors be allowed in school buildings?
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.
Will field trips resume for students?
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.
Will there be exemptions/exceptions made for religious waivers?
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
Will there be virtual or extended traditional learning options offered?
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:
What are the drop-off and pickup procedures?
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.
Can students play on the playground before or after school?
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.
Where will elementary students be eating lunch?
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.
Will there be class parties this year?
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.
Can I send Birthday treats to school?
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.