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Be Good to Each Other

March 20, 2020

These are challenging times – and am I not talking about the long lines at Costco or technical glitches with Zoom meetings. The very fabric and stability of our society is now tested, yanked apart, and rocked in so many ways. This uncertainty is unprecedented for my generation (Gen X) and for those that are younger. Despite this alarming unknown, as I watch our community work together to help each other in the face of this pandemic, I see great promise in how the response to adversity unites us. Generations past have shown us strength in times of trial, and resilience when challenged. We, too, can learn those skills. This pandemic is not the first time we have faced adversity together. And it will not be the last.

However, I also worry about the inevitable spread of the virus. Undoubtedly, it will impact us in significant ways that tear at our relationships, our economy, and our sense of community. In short, the challenges have truly just begun.

This reality has led me to think about the real threat. A disease like Novel COVID-19 can not only threaten one’s life; it confronts our selfishness, pride, fear, hypocrisy – this threat is an attack our very humanity. The crisis, too, highlights the inextricable bonds of humanity and prompts us to consider how much we have in common. We are all in this together. Today, more than ever, we must use this terrible crisis as an opportunity to learn, to lend a helping hand, and to remember our core values. We must exhibit humility, kindness, and service above self.

Stay home. Connect remotely, Share what you can. Stay well, and offer up your goods to those whose needs are greater than yours. We must care for each other and be kind to each other. We can’t take anything for granted.

We must remember this – “DO give yourself grace. You have been given a big task during an unprecedented time with possibly no training. Any access to learning is significant.”

Social Distancing… Not a Snow Day

March 17, 2020

Saline Area Schools, along with school districts and businesses across Michigan, have taken the unprecedented step of shutting down to prevent/slow the spread of COVID-19. For this effort to be most effective, everyone who possibly can practice social distancing must do their part. In his article “This is Not a Snow Day,” Dr. Asaf Bitton reminds us, “the only strategies that can get us off this concerning trajectory are those that enable us to work together as a community to maintain public health by staying apart.”

If we all comply as a community, we have a fighting chance to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent our health system from becoming overwhelmed.

For additional  information – check out the Washtenaw County Health Department.

If you are wondering what you can do to help, I encourage you to support Saline Area Social Services with food, funds, or your time. To donate – click here.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases by County

March 16, 2020

Here is an infographic to keep up to date with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan. Many of you know I enjoy the Upper Peninsula – this is just one more reason! #PureMichigan

Click here for interactive map of Michigan.

Urgent Optimism

March 13, 2020

These are challenging times. I want to assure the Saline Area Schools community, we will get through this time of uncertainty together, and things will return to normal. I realize and empathize with families, staff, and community members that are facing various types of challenges during this time. Challenging decisions made for the greater good sometimes have undesirable outcomes, yet I believe that we will overcome and get stronger. There are no simple solutions, no easy way to move forward, and no quick answers given the challenges we face today. 

On August 21, 2019, Saline Schools held its annual “welcome back” ceremony in the Saline High School Performing Arts Center. I shared a phrase that I use daily to guide my actions and decisions – “Urgent Optimism.” Jane McGonigal (contemporary American designer) defines urgent optimism for us: “Urgent Optimism is the desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle, combined with the belief that we have a reasonable hope of success.” I embrace that definition. In the simplest of terms, this mindset is the belief that tomorrow will be a better day – regardless of the obstacles we face today. 

I strive to look at the big picture and welcome the opportunities that lie ahead, even when those opportunities appear to be roadblocks. With patience, positivity, and discipline, each barricade becomes navigatable.

I remain confident and optimistic that as a school district and a community, we can find a way forward and that tomorrow will be a better day. 

“When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ― Fred Rogers. Saline is a community of helpers. With urgent optimism, join those who help, seek positive solutions, and build each other up. I live each day grateful for the firm, supportive community that is Saline. Be well.

COVID-19 Update & School Closure

March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

Saline Area Schools Community,

In an abundance of caution, guidance from the Washtenaw County Health Department, and in alignment with other Washtenaw county school districts, Saline Area Schools will be closed beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020. 

This is an unprecedented emergency school closure and a public health situation that is rapidly evolving.  We will continue to update you as we get more information. In the meantime, we want to provide you with some broader guidance for you to keep in mind.

  • We intend to resume school on April 6th, 2020. 
  • We recommend that students take home belongings that they will need for the next three weeks.  
    • If your student will need medications currently on file at school or medical equipment used in the school setting during the closure, please contact Karan Hervey, District SAS District Nurse at 734-401-4160 or hervekar@salineschools.org so that arrangements can be made for pick up. Certain medications such as controlled substances must be picked up by a parent. Medications and equipment not needed during the closure can remain at school.
  • At this point, students are not required to remotely complete the curriculum (lessons, assessments, etc). Online courses remain active and students should continue working.
  • If you have questions, we encourage you to utilize the Let’s Talk feature on our website.

For information related to the District COVID-19 response and to access resources, please see the District informational page.

Thank you,

Scot Graden

Information page for COVID-19

March 11, 2020

March 11th

We have coordinated a page on the Saline Area Schools website to share information and updates regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please note, we have been assured by public health officials that closing our school is unwarranted at this time and could create unintended consequences that would hurt their efforts to protect our community. We will remain in close contact with public health officials throughout the duration of this threat and comply with all of their guidance. We will notify the community immediately if this guidance changes. 

As always… remember to wash your hands!

Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 2, 2020

March 2, 2020

SAS Community:

We would like to take this opportunity to reach out with regard to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Saline Area Schools is in close communication with the Washtenaw County Health Department and will continue to follow their guidance and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. 

We want to remind our school community that the best ways to prevent the spread of Coronavirus are the same as preventing the cold and flu, and include:

  • Frequently washing your hands with soap and water.
  • Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public.

The safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will, as always, continue to be our priority. We will continue monitoring the development of COVID-19 and plan accordingly in partnership with local, state, and federal health and government officials.

Click HERE for fact sheets from the Washtenaw County Health Department with additional information. If you would like to learn more about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Further, it is very important for all of us to speak up against racism as it relates to the Coronavirus.  Learn more about this by reading the entire article from Teaching Tolerance, “Speaking Up Against Racism Around the New Coronavirus”.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Karan Hervey, SAS District Nurse, 734-401-4160 or hervekar@salineschools.org.

Sincerely,

Scot A. Graden

Superintendent

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