3/12/2020 COVID-19 Superintendent Update

Community Update Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

March 12, 2020

Dear Battle Creek Community,

We wanted to be in touch to let you know that Battle Creek area school district leaders are closely monitoring news and recommendations regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). The four local school districts, Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS), Harper Creek Community Schools, Lakeview School District, and Pennfield School District, are working together to ensure consistent communication and coordinated action that supports the health and safety of all of our students.

Last night Governor Whitmer issued guidance for public schools on precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. All four districts are working closely with the Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All schools in these districts will be following the latest instructions and best practices as they evolve. We have the following updates to share at this time:

All schools within the four Battle Creek area public school districts, including Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS), Harper Creek Community Schools, Pennfield Schools, and Lakeview School District, are currently OPEN and in session. Healthy students should continue to attend school as normal.

We are taking preventative measures to keep our community safe, including:

  • Following the recommendations of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, all large community events involving participation from the public will be postponed until further notice. This includes parent-teacher conferences, performances, open houses, kindergarten information sessions, and other public events.
  • Athletic competitions will proceed as scheduled for student-athletes, but will not be open to spectators, as recommended by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).
  • Athletics practices and before- and after-school care for students will proceed as scheduled until further notice.
  • All community gatherings involving non-students scheduled to take place within school facilities are canceled or postponed until April 10. This includes PTO meetings, girl scouts, boy scouts, recreational sports leagues, faith gatherings, and other events for non-students.
  • All district-sponsored out-of-state travel for students and staff is canceled through April 10.
  • All non-essential district-sponsored travel to regions experiencing high infection rates is canceled through the end of the school year.
  • We are working with food service to revise programming to align with increased health and safety guidelines.
  • Visit your school district’s website for a detailed list of event cancelations.

We are asking for the support of our community to help keep students and families healthy:

  • The best way to stay healthy is to continue to wash your hands regularly. We encourage all students and staff to practice good hygiene and handwashing and avoid contact with people who are ill.
  • We encourage students and staff to stay home if ill and attend school and work as normal if healthy.
  • We encourage families to consider postponing non-essential travel to areas with high infection rates.
  • We do understand that the news about COVID-19 can seem alarming, and we ask our families and community to stay informed and to be wary of possible misinformation.
  • We also ask families to consider sharing information about and discussing the disease with children in developmentally-appropriate ways, to help maintain a sense of calm and security at home.

We understand that event cancelations can be inconvenient and disappointing, but we must put health and safety first, in the best interest of our community. If you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 please call Calhoun County Public Health Department at 269-969-6383. Again, thank you for your patience and concern for all the students of the greater Battle Creek area.

Kimberly Carter, Superintendent

Battle Creek Public Schools

If you have questions about schools and events, submit them using the form below.