Clarkston Community Schools shift to distance learning due to spread of COVID-19

Officials say there are 35 positive COVID-19 cases, hundreds in quarantine


CLARKSTON, Mich. – Clarkston Community Schools says it has 35 positive COVID-19 cases in the school district and hundreds of staff in students in quarantine. Because of that, and a recommendation from the health division, all Clarkston Community Schools will be shifting to distance learning.

School officials have decided to close three elementary schools (AE/IE/NSE) due to large numbers of staff out in quarantine.

READ: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools

Schools in Oakland County are at the highest risk level per the health department and have either more than 150 cases per million or a 20 percent positivity rate.

“The virus rates in our community continue to rise exponentially, and what we are experiencing as a district is a reflection of this,” Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Shawn Ryan said.

Ryan said there is evidence that probable school transmission has occurred in the district over the last week. That means there has been spread between students and staff.

“We were informed of this late yesterday afternoon and were working with the Oakland County Health Department late into the evening last night and this morning. Up until this point, we had been able to say with confidence that our mitigation measures have effectively stopped the virus from spreading at school. I cannot say that today,” Ryan said.

The Oakland County Health Division recommended a pause in face-to-face instruction through Thanksgiving. Because of that advisory all face-to-face instruction in all buildings is paused and the schools will transition to distance learning.

A schedule was provided:

  • No student instruction will be provided on Monday, November 9 (including schools already in distance learning at AE/IE/NSE); however all teachers will hold office hours.
  • Distance learning for all students November 10-24.
  • Thanksgiving holiday for all students November 25-27.
  • Barring a remarkable rebound in virus trends, it is possible that we could stay in distance learning through the end of the first semester on January 15. A recommendation for next steps will be made at the November 23 Board of Education meeting.

Click here to learn more about the distance learning school schedules. Those schedules were employed in the fall. Curbside meal service will be provided for all students at Clarkston Junior High School, Sashabaw Middle School, and Andersonville Elementary School from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. every Wednesday (a full week’s worth of meals will be provided.)

A letter from the superintendent to families is available below:

READ: More return to school coverage

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.