Can you believe it? Summer is almost over and a fresh new school year is fast approaching for our kids.
As with last year, families sending their kids off to school for the 2020-21 academic year can expect some changes to what they might expect from the typical school year.
Unlike last year, schools are not being mandated to require masks — though they are highly recommended — and COVID-19 protocols may be relaxed in some districts across the state.
So, how do you know what your district has planned and how can you best prepare for a successful (and safe) school year? We spoke with Joanne Elkin, the early childhood and early literacy consultant with Macomb Intermediate School District, to get some insight on what back-to-school in Macomb County will look like for the 2021-22 school year.
What to expect
As of August 2021, the state of Michigan has not released any mask mandates or requirements for schools. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all teachers, staff members, students and visitors of K-12 schools mask up regardless of vaccine status.
Local schools, health departments and establishments may also put face mask rules and other COVID-19 safety protocols as they see fit.
In Macomb County, school districts are working hard to ensure the safety of students and staff returning to school.
“Macomb County Schools are focused on a successful, safe opening and remain centered on creating success for every student,” Elkin says. “Local school districts have adopted a variety of COVID-19 prevention measures to operate safely (and) families should reach out to their local school districts for Return to School Guidance and information.”
In addition, Elkin adds that parents should be aware that there may be changes to their district’s safety protocols as the school year progresses and as the status of the virus changes, so they should keep an eye out for possible announcements from their child’s school.
How to prepare
As with last year, it’s important for families to weigh all of their options and choose the best option for them and their child, so check on your school’s safety protocols as soon as possible.
You can also look for online school options, which many of Macomb County’s schools are offering again this year.
After you decide that in-person is the best option, you and your child can sit down and talk about what protocols will be in place in their school and classroom.
Elkin adds, “It is important to get children into the back-to-school mindset in order to experience a successful school year.
Consider your back-to-school shopping list, too. Face masks and hand sanitizer may be something you want to add this year.
For more information on back-to-school in Macomb County, see the Macomb Intermediate School District’s website. For details on living in Macomb County, visit the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development’s online at Make Macomb Your Home.