Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,
It is back to school time! As we prepare to return to school on August 23, 2022, I am writing to share important information regarding the latest communicable disease recommendations from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) has maintained an unwavering commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of our students, families, and staff. We consistently followed the guidance and direction from our federal, state, and county health officials, and we plan to do the same for the 2022-2023 school year.
Based on the latest guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) here are the guidelines for the start of the 2022-2023 school year:
Communicable Disease Prevention:
- Vaccination against preventable communicable diseases is the leading public health disease prevention strategy. All students and staff are strongly encouraged to receive all recommended vaccinations. View the vaccine schedule by age at cdc.gov.
- All confirmed communicable diseases need to be reported to the school health office.
- Individuals experiencing symptoms of a communicable disease should stay home and contact their health care provider or school nurse for guidance. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
- Fever r chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle r body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Unexplained rash
COVID-19 Specific Information:
- Confirmed cases of COVID-19 still need to be reported to the school health office.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms. Masks are strongly encouraged upon return to school for days 6-10 following onset of symptoms.
Monkeypox Specific Information:
- According to MDHHS Press Release date July 28, 2022, monkeypox can be spread to anyone through close, personal, and frequent skin to skin contact. It is believed that direct contact with the monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids is the most common way that monkeypox is being spread. If you feel sick or have a rash, do not attend school or social gatherings, and contact your health care provider.
This may be subject to change should the district receive new guidance or public health orders from the CDC, MDHHS, and/or KCHD. Please look for additional updates and communications as we get closer to the start of school.
As a reminder, if you have not already completed the online enrollment form for your student(s), please do so at enroll.grps.org.
Thank you for your continued support and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer!
Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.
Superintendent of School