Ludington Area Schools K-8 students to return to in-person learning. 

December 7, 2020

Ludington Area Schools K-8 students to return to in-person learning. 

LUDINGTON — The Ludington Area School District announced today that its kindergarten through eighth grade students, who had chosen in-person instruction will return to that format on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Per order of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, students grades 9 through 12 will continue to study remotely. The school district has been in total remote learning since two students tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 2 (read related story). On Nov. 18, the MDHHS prohibited in-person learning for high school and college students for three weeks. Today, Gov. Whitmer announced an extension of that order until at least Dec. 20. Though LASD had initially closed in-person learning for two weeks on Nov. 2, it chose to extend until this week. 

“This decision was not taken lightly, and it has been a difficult one to make,” Superintendent Jason Kennedy stated in a letter to the district. “Understanding that multiple views exist on this issue within our community, the District originally made the decision to pause in-person learning to all students several weeks ago based upon a number of factors. Among those factors were increasing case counts, increasing test positivity rates, hospital capacity and staffing issues, significant delays in the return of test results, public health staffing concerns related to contact tracing, and medical advice that the District received concerned about public health’s ability to keep students and staff safe in Ludington as a result of the cases and close contact quarantines that we were dealing with at the time.

“Fast forward through the pause of in-person learning in Ludington, and significant improvements have been made in many of these areas. According to District Health Department #10 (DHD10), patient loads in our area hospitals are now nearly half of what they were when the original decision to move all learners to remote learning was made. Turn around times for test results are now approximately 48 hours and not seven to 10 days like they were when we made our decision to move to in-person learning, and most importantly, while staffing issues still exist in public health departments across the state and DHD10 to complete contact tracing, districts in Mason County are blessed to have a partnership with Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital that provides access to a school nurse.

“Returning to in-person learning is a priority for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and for Ludington Area Schools, as long as we can do so safely. We must continue to operate safely, and implement safety mitigation measures that ensure that our schools are safe. We will continue to mandate the use of facial coverings and all of the safety measures outlined within our district’s plans. Students who are not compliant and who do not follow these protocols may be moved to remote learning. We must continue to work together if we want to keep our schools open. The health and safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance.”

Mason County Central and Mason County Eastern have each continued their K-8 in-person classes.

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