Traverse City News and Events

All GT County Middle, High Schools Directed To Go Virtual Starting Tuesday

By Beth Milligan | April 5, 2021

The Grand Traverse County Health Department has directed all middle and high schools in Grand Traverse County to go virtual for instruction starting Tuesday, April 6 through at least the end of this week due to rising coronavirus cases in the region.

According to communications released from local school districts, the GT County Health Department cited metrics including increasing local cases in middle and high school-aged children as well as the highest percent positivity of COVID-19 testing and the highest hospitalization rate in the region since the pandemic began. The CDC and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has recommended post-spring break quarantines for those who traveled, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer has stated it would be “prudent for schools to consider keeping students virtual after spring break.”

According to information from the GT County Health Department, department staff need additional time to complete case investigations on “an increasing number of school-aged cases and time to work with school staff on contact tracing.” In addition, the Health Department said it expected to complete over 1,000 tests at the free community testing site at Central High School Monday and anticipates “a large number of positive cases this week given the current positivity rate in both the county and the region. Adding to that, spring break activities and going virtual for the remainder of this week will allow for the ability to assess whether or not the high rate and trends will continue up or level off.”

Elementary grade classes are allowed to continue with in-person instruction under the health directive. In the Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) system, sixth grade students at TCAPS Montessori are considered part of the elementary school and will continue face-to-face instruction. Students in the MICI and PASS programs will be virtual starting Tuesday. School meals will be available at each TCAPS secondary building from 7am to 1pm. The TCAPS board of trustees will have a special meeting Tuesday night at 6pm at the Boardman Administration Center to discuss the Health Department directive.

Schools located in Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties will be following guidance provided by their regional health department officials and will be operating under different circumstances than schools located in Grand Traverse County. School families across the five-county region are advised to contact their respective school district with questions or concerns about student attendance this week.

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