August 27, 2020

Dear Westwood Heights Community,

In early August, we surveyed our families to determine the preferred method for educating our students. We then submitted a reopening plan to the state based upon the survey results. The original plan included options for both virtual and face-to-face learning. Since that time, we have received additional guidance from the Genesee County Health Department about how to handle any staff or students who exhibit symptoms related to Covid-19. These guidelines have provisions related to testing, isolation and quarantining of students, staff, classrooms, and buildings.

Many districts have changed their reopening plans in light of this guidance and are moving to online instruction only to start the year. While districts are concerned about the health of their students, they are also concerned about having to quickly close down a classroom or building to deal with a positive case. This would create extreme difficulties for our families, who would be forced to reschedule work and childcare with very little notice.

In order to avoid these issues, Westwood Heights is choosing to start the school year on a fully virtual status. This will give us time to work with the health department on more rapid testing solutions and other ways to reduce disruptions to the school schedule. Your board of education will be monitoring the situation in other districts around the area and state, and will bring students back to the buildings as soon as they feel that we can safely do so. We learned a great deal about delivering online education last spring, and will unveil new technology to assist the staff and students.

Your school buildings will be contacting you regarding how to pick up schoolwork, a Chromebook, and arrange for internet connectivity. In addition, we will be developing a food distribution plan, which will start on September 9. Please check our websites and social media sites for updates.

We apologize for any difficulties that this plan may cause, and we hope that it is short-term in nature.  It is critical that our families take an active role in the education of our students and help us to keep them engaged. We will contact you soon with updates on the situation.


Best Regards,
Peter Toal, Superintendent

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