Superintendent Update

District COVID-19 Update

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Dear Wayland Union Schools Students and Families,

This update is to provide you with a COVID-19 overview since the last newsletter sent Wednesday, August 18. Many questions are answered in this newsletter. Please set time aside to read the Q&A to fully understand changes in our procedures. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child's teacher or building administrator.

Last week I had the opportunity to walk through the elementary buildings, the middle school, and attend our high school pep assembly. It is truly wonderful to see our students and staff back together again. As I watched our students navigating the hallways and getting accustomed to their new classrooms, I noticed the shine in their eyes. It made me think of "Diamond" as performed by One Voice Children's Choir (video embedded below).

Every day the staff at Wayland Union Schools has the incredible gift of experiencing your shining children. We were thrown a curve ball on August 18 when the Allegan County Health Department issued the public health order requiring face masks on our buses (also a Federal requirement) and in our K-6 buildings. Nevertheless, we have adjusted and we rise to the expectations every day. As we continue to experience the twists and turns COVID brings us, please know we are focused on the safety, well-being, and education of your child(ren). Thank you for sharing your child(ren) with us.

In partnership,

Dr. Christina Hinds

Diamonds by Rihanna (written by Sia) | Cover by One Voice Children's Choir

COVID-19 & Communicable Disease Protocols

The following Q & A clarifies our COVID-19 and communicable disease protocols. These have been revised since the publishing of the June & July Superintendent Updates to accommodate the updates from the public health order.

Are face masks required at school?

  • Face masks are required by students and staff in K-6th grade buildings. Students and staff in 7th/8th grade spaces will need to wear face masks when sharing space with 6th grade students or staff.
  • Face masks for our preschool students and staff are required when sharing space with our elementary students; however, are recommended but not required while in their classrooms.
  • Face masks at Wayland Union High School are recommended; however, not required. Face masks are provided by parents/guardians. Per ACHD, social distancing and face masks may reduce quarantine requirements.

Are face masks required on the school bus?

  • Yes. Per the CDC/Federal Mask Mandate and ACHD, face masks are required for all students and staff on school buses.

My child is unable to medically tolerate a mask. What do I do?

  • A face mask exemption request form is located under Resources on the COVID-19 section of our district website. The form must be signed by a physician or a physician's assistant as explained on the bottom of the request form.
  • Please complete the form and submit it to your child's main office for review and approval.

Will my child be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend school?

Will you separate students who are vaccinated from students who are unvaccinated?

  • No. Vaccination status is a personal choice.

Will students be in cohorts in the classroom or on the playground?

  • No. As of June 22, 2021, MDHHS has discontinued all gathering limits for residential and nonresidential settings.

Will contact tracing continue?

  • Schools are required to report communicable diseases to their local health department within 24 hours. Positive or probable COVID-19 cases will be reported to the Allegan County Health Department following our Communicable Disease Board Policy 8450 and Michigan Law Act No. 368 of the Public Acts of 1978. For a complete list of reportable diseases, please see the following document: 2021 Reportable Diseases.

  • When there is a positive or probable case within a classroom, an exposure letter will be sent home to parent(s) and/or staff stating their close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case. “Close Contact” means any individual who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection).

  • Parent(s)/Staff will have the option to quarantine at the time of school notification. The resident health department will determine if a mandated quarantine is necessary.

Why is Wayland Union required to contact trace when there is a positive COVID-19 case?Wayland Union Schools COVID-19 Case Management following the Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253 – Reporting of Confirmed and Probable Cases of COVID-19 at Schools, issued October 6, 2020, effective October 12, 2020 and remains in effect until lifted; as well as an additional public health code information, specifically 325.174(2)d: Schools have an obligation to cooperate with public health investigations of cases and contacts identified within the student population per R. 325.174(2), that specifies:

An investigator who presents official identification of the local health department or the department shall promptly be provided with medical, epidemiologic, and other information pertaining to any of the following:

  1. Individuals who have designated conditions or other conditions of public health significance.
  2. Individuals, whether ill or well, who are part of a group in which an unusual occurrence, outbreak, or epidemic has occurred.

  3. Individuals who are not known to have a designated condition but whose medical or epidemiological information is needed for investigation into the cause of the occurrence of the condition.

  4. Individuals who were potentially exposed to a designated condition.

Will student athletes need to be tested for COVID-19 to participate?

  • No, as of June 22, 2021, MDHHS and MHSAA lifted all requirements for student testing.

Are face masks required for student participation in athletic activities?

  • The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has reported they will continue to follow all current government orders. Since there is currently no face mask order for high school extracurricular activities, the MHSAA has no face mask requirement.

  • Local school districts and county health departments that do require face masks will serve as the authority for their school buildings. This means that teams/individuals participating at those buildings will follow any requirement set forth by the host during regular season play.

Will the school provide social distancing?

  • With full attendance Wayland Union Schools is unable to guarantee social distancing.


“School” means public and nonpublic schools.

“Close Contact” means any individual who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 infected

person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for

asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection).

“School Associated Case” means a case of probable or confirmed COVID-19 amongst

students, teachers, staff members, coaches, volunteers, or any other person who was present on school property or at a school function under circumstances that may result in the transmission or contraction of COVID-19 during their infectious period

“School Community” means the set of persons who are affiliated with the school. This set may include, but is not limited to, parents, guardians, students, teachers, staff members, coaches, and volunteers.

“Public Notice” means providing the new and cumulative counts of School Associated Case(s) of COVID-19, including the date on which the School was notified of the new School Associated Case(s).


Reporting of Confirmed and Probable Cases of COVID-19 at Schools,9753,7-406-98178_98455-541860--,00.html

Issued October 6, 2020. Effective October 12, 2020 and remains in effect until lifted.

Michigan Public Health Code, specifically 325.174(2)d

2021-2022 ACHD School Guidance Published 8.24.2021 (See page 2 regarding the consequences of going against a public health order)

WUS COVID-19 Case Management

When school becomes aware of a COVID-19 positive or probable case, the school will:

  • Send a letter to the building staff and parents/guardians for a general notification as required by emergency order MCL 333.2253 – Reporting of Confirmed and Probable Cases of COVID-19 at Schools. Issued October 6, 2020, effective October 12, 2020, and remains in effect until lifted.

  • Send letter to students/staff identified as close contacts

Who identifies close contacts?

  • For school-associated cases, Wayland Union Schools identifies and notifies close contacts

Who notifies parents/guardians that their student was a close contact?

  • Wayland Union Schools with follow-up from the student's resident health department

Who initiates and requires the student to quarantine?

  • Resident Health Department

Will Wayland Union Schools quarantine students?

  • No, all quarantines will continue to be issued by the student's resident health department. Students may not attend school if ordered to quarantine by their resident health department.

If my resident health department issues the student a quarantine/isolation letter, can they attend school?

  • No. The student must follow the individual order outlined in the quarantine/isolation letter.

Who do I notify when my child has been placed in isolation or quarantine?

  • Your building office.

When do I need to quarantine?

  • The health department will contact you notifying you of your child's quarantine information. If your child is identified as a close contact, please immediately monitor for symptoms. If your child is not experiencing symptoms, they may attend school until you've heard from your resident health department. If your child is experiencing symptoms, your child should not report to school and wait to hear from your resident health department. Please remember to answer all phone calls even if the phone number is unknown or appears to be spam.

How Does ACHD Make Quarantine Decisions?

There's a Revised ACHD Face Mask Order?

COVID-19 Prevention Strategies

What are the Wayland Union Schools 2021-2022 COVID-19 Prevention Strategies?

  • Per the August 31, 2021, Allegan County Health Department Public Health Order regarding face masks in educational settings, all individuals in K-6th grade buildings are required to wear a face mask.

    • Preschool students are required to wear face masks as they share space with elementary students and staff.

    • 7th/8th grade students and staff are required to wear a face mask when they are sharing space with 6th grade students and staff (i.e. shared classrooms; hallways; etc)

    • Face masks are recommended for students and staff in high school, but not required

  • Daily symptom screenings for students and staff at their home prior to coming to school

  • Students and staff who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will remain at home (or be sent home should they become symptomatic after arriving at school)

  • Reminders of frequent hand washing/hand sanitizing throughout the school day

  • Daily cleaning

  • Contact tracing to notify those who are close contacts with an individual who is confirmed positive or probable for COVID-19.

  • Space available to partner with ACHD to host mobile vaccination clinics on-site after student hours and/or on non-student days

COVID-19 Public Notice

The Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253 - Reporting of Confirmed and Probable Cases of COVID-19 at Schools was issued on October 6 and went into effect on October 12, 2020. This emergency order is still active and was not rescinded with the June 22 rescission of orders. This means we will continue to post letters to our website with cumulative positive and probable COVID-19 cases. For more information on reporting requirements, please see:,9753,7-406-98178_98455-541860--,00.html

The Extended COVID-19 Learning (ECOL) Plan process was not continued for the 2021-2022 school year. At this time, there is no requirement to complete an ECOL.

2021-2022 Student Attendance

Parents, please contact your student's school office when they will be absent from school due to illness or COVID-19 quarantine. These absences will be considered excused absences as aligned with Board Policy 5200 Attendance and Administrative Guidelines 5200.

If you are opting not to send your child to school due to the public health order requiring face masks in our K-6 buildings, your child will receive an unexcused absence. Face masks in our K-6 buildings is part of a public health order. We respect your right to disagree with the public health order; however, please understand this will result in an unexcused absence and/or truancy procedures.

Wondering Who to Contact with Questions?

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