November 15, 2021
The Kent and Ottawa County Health Departments have communicated that the public health order requiring facial coverings in PreK through 6th grade was written to expire 60 days after a vaccine has been made available for 5-to-11 year olds. The current order will expire during Christmas break and before students return to school on January 3.
Provided there are no unforeseen changes, on January 3, the Diocese of Grand Rapids will continue to strongly recommend the use of facial coverings inside all school buildings regardless of vaccination status.
August 20, 2021
Currently, local county health departments have taken the lead in controlling infection at the local level and, with the exception of Kent and Ottawa, most of the guidance from the CDC, MDHHS, and county health departments are recommendations. Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are located across seven counties in West Michigan. As a result, the office of Catholic schools has empowered individual schools to work at the local level to implement recommendations to serve the needs of their communities. Safety protocols can change at any time as new information is received. We ask that all parents recognize the challenges associated with being responsive to public health needs, and we ask for your continued understanding and cooperation.
August 6, 2021
Many local county health departments issued orders requiring schools within their county to notify the school community of positive cases, and complete contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation as required by the order. Each Catholic school within the diocese will report positive cases to the Office of Catholic Schools and is required to implement their local county health department orders.
August 4, 2021
There is one remaining federal public order that all students, both public and private, are required to follow regarding transportation on school buses. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Order, “passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems”. If your child uses a school bus or any form of public transportation, an appropriate facial covering will be required.
On June 22, 2021
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) lifted all remaining public health orders pertaining to COVID-19. Previous requirements for schools and child care programs have been replaced by recommendations from MDHHS for consideration by schools and their parents. As the first day of school approaches, please consult your school’s regular communications for information on their plans to continue to offer safe and prudent in-person learning.