Michigan’s Return to School & HC’s Fall Plans

Greetings from Holland Christian Schools. It is a privilege to join you as of July 1. I wish the circumstances allowed for an in-person meeting, but due to circumstances related to COVID-19, I will instead look forward to meeting you in the relatively near future! In this letter, you’ll find information on what we currently know about the return to school based on the governor’s plan released yesterday.

On June 30, 2020, the Governor of Michigan shared plans and guidelines for re-opening schools this fall. We are thrilled to hold in-person classes this fall and are so excited to welcome students back to our buildings. You can view the Governor’s Return to School Roadmap PDF here.

Schools must prepare plans for a return to school under three of Michigan’s reopening scenarios: Phases 3, 4 and 5. We are currently in Phase 4. Phase 4 allows for in-person instruction with required safety protocols. Phase 5 allows for in-person instruction and the protocols move from being required to strongly recommended. A move back to Phase 3 means remote instruction would be necessary.

Under Phase 4 the required protocol is primarily related to wearing face coverings:

  • Face coverings are required for students in grades 6-12.
  • Face coverings are not required for students in grades K-5 except in hallways and common areas.
  • Face coverings are not required for 3-4 year olds.
  • Face coverings will be required for students riding the bus.
  • Face coverings are required for staff.

It is also strongly recommended that parents take their child’s temperature each morning. Students with temperatures higher than 100.4 should stay home. We have been working closely with county health officials and will continue to work with the health department personnel on guidance for screening protocols and requirements if any positive COVID-19 cases occur within our Holland Christian community.

Your positive support and communication to your children regarding safety protocols would be much appreciated because this is a pivotal time to create a smooth start for students as they return to school. Your partnership is so valued and important. Holland Christian’s Return to School planning committees are currently meeting to plan what additional recommendations we will implement for your children’s safety and will share that information as soon as it is ready. Thank you for submitting feedback on these protocols in our most recent survey. This data will inform our decision-making as we greatly appreciate your input.

HCS wants to intentionally plan for students’ time in school to be a good, safe experience. We also want to be sensitive to the needs of those who are immune-compromised or at-risk at Holland Christian Schools and in the surrounding community. Now that we know we are allowed to return to school in Phases 4 and 5, if your child has a circumstance where they will potentially need to do some learning at home, please contact Erin Wyma at ewyma@hollandchristian.org so we can create a plan for these specific situations. 

In addition, if you have unexpected financial hardship due to COVID-19 related to tuition, please contact our Tuition Manager, Terry VanDerKolk, at tvanderkolk@hollandchristian.org. On the other side, if you would like to donate to Holland Christian’s tuition grant fund to assist families with need, we would appreciate your partnership as well. I’m looking forward to meeting you soon and want you to also feel free to call me any time with questions or suggestions about Holland Christian Schools. You can find my number below.  We very much appreciate your prayers, patience as we iron out all these plans for returning to school, and understanding in these unprecedented times.

Warm Regards,
Eric A. Forseth
Head of Schools
(616) 820-2805