Saline Board of Education, Superintendent Laatsch Issue Statements After Citizen Reponses to Plan for Returning to School

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Saline Area Schools Superintendent Steve Laatsch and the Board of Education continue to receive feedback from parents and community members following the revelation of the district's "continue to learn" plan.

Today, Superintendent Laatsch and the Board of Education released statements in response to the feedback.

Board of Education Response

We have received many emails in response to the Continue to Learn Plan since our meeting Tuesday. Most messages include comments on masking, both for and against.

As we enter our third academic year that the pandemic is affecting, we understand the frustration and exhaustion. Our eyes must be focused on learning and social emotional wellbeing, as well as safety. Getting the students back in the buildings for five days is the goal and we are committed to doing it. Kids need to learn, build skills, and be together.

The Board of Education supports this Continue to Learn Plan and recognizes Dr. Laatsch's commitment to fluidity of the situation as it pertains to probable modifications throughout the school year. We hope those modifications each put us one foot closer to "normal."

Please know that we recognize the magnitude of these conversations, and the importance of student learning. The 5000+ students are at the front of every conversation, and every decision we are a part of.

Respectfully,

Saline Area Schools Board of Education

Response from Superintendent Laatsch

Our school board and administrative team have an obligation to keep our staff and students as safe as possible – including from contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. Our Continue to Learn Plan considered parent/community feedback, staff feedback, and public health recommendations. We believe our plan is designed to reduce the spread of the virus so that students can continue to attend school in person, hopefully without the need to quarantine.

While we appreciate your perspective and input, we believe the current plan is in the best interests of our entire community. We will therefore proceed as outlined in the plan and will not be conducting a parent survey on masking.

We are having a Facebook Live Q&A session with Dr. Varsha Moudgal, St. Joe’s Infectious Disease Specialist on Thursday, August 19th from 7:00-8:30 PM. She will respond to various Covid safety protocols and concerns.

In addition, I am hosting a Facebook Live Q&A session on Monday, August 23rd at 6:00 PM to respond to many of the questions families have about starting the school year.

Please join us for one or both of these sessions:

https://www.facebook.com/saline.schools

Also, I will be publishing an FAQ document to provide more detailed answers to the specific questions that we are receiving. This “Community Frequently Asked Questions” document will be posted early next week on our Continued Learning Updates page.

Dr. Stephen Laatsch, Superintendent, Saline Area Schools

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