Livonia Public Schools halts in-person instruction for middle, high schoolers until Nov. 16

… November 16th. This means students at our middle and high schools only will participate in remote learning for the week ahead,” wrote Oquist.

LIVONIA, Mich. – Livonia Public Schools is stopping in-person instruction for its middle and high schoolers until Monday, Nov. 16 due to increased COVID cases, the district’s superintendent, Andrea Oquist, announced in a letter sent to families on Friday.

“Today, we have made a determination after extensive review, consultation and recommendation from the health department, to pause in-person instruction for our middle schools and high schools until Monday, November 16th. This means students at our middle and high schools only will participate in remote learning for the week ahead,” wrote Oquist.

More: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools

The move was made based on community spread level rating. Currently, the community spread level rating is a level E, Oquist explained.

Preschool, elementary and its post-secondary schools and programs will remain open for in-person instruction. Meanwhile, middle and high school students will follow a remote schedule.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 201,569 as of Friday, including 7,513 deaths, state officials report.

Friday’s update represents 3,763 new cases and 43 additional deaths.

Read the letter

As we have shared in prior communications, part of our commitment in the Return to Learn process was to carefully monitor the conditions within our schools and community related to COVID 19 cases and to keep in close communication with the Wayne County Health Department regarding these conditions for the safety and well-being of our students and staff.

Today, we have made a determination after extensive review, consultation and recommendation from the health department, to pause in-person instruction for our middle schools and high schools until Monday, November 16th. This means students at our middle and high schools only will participate in remote learning for the week ahead.

The factors that the health department reviews include the number of cases within a community, the trend of cases (increasing or decreasing), the positivity rate for the county, the school district mitigation plan, number of cases in individual school buildings, evidence or lack of evidence of transmission of cases within a school, the recommendation considerations on the health department matrix based on community spread level rating. Currently, the community spread level rating is a level E.

It is important to share that the level E risk level does not mean an entire district is required to move to remote learning, or to do so for an indefinite period of time. There are school districts in the state that are operating in counties with this level, as it is an individual determination based on both community and school-based factors. It does indicate that a district should consider remote learning in consultation with the local health department, which is what we have done.

Therefore, as part of our detailed consultation process with the health department, we reviewed each school level (preschool, elementary, middle school, high school and post-secondary), any cases as well as close contact quarantines. A close contact quarantine is defined as someone who has been within 6 ft for 15 minutes or more, of a confirmed COVID 19 positive case. Based on this individual review, it was determined that a pause for in-person instruction at middle and high school levels was warranted. The other levels are able to proceed in their current model. The great majority of our 340 student close contact quarantines are at the middle and high school levels. This nine-day pause for those levels will allow for most of these students to return with their classmates on the 16th (based on the initial date of quarantine).

A very positive and important note is that in the health department’s review of cases within our district, they have found there is no evidence of transmission within the school setting. They noted this is an essential factor and indication that the mitigation plan in place at each of our schools is effective and important to continue.

While we know that this pause of in-person instruction is disappointing, we truly appreciate the patience and cooperation that has been given throughout this school year. We will continue to work with the health department to make decisions about the best course of action for individual schools and the district as a whole. Each day, we follow the data within our district, community and region and will continue to do so.

View more: Michigan COVID-19 data