Hart Superintendent says school will stay open.

April 9, 2021

Mark Platt

Hart Superintendent says school will stay open.

Mark Platt, superintendent of Hart Public Schools, initially sent this letter to the parents and students of the school district. It is being posted here with his permission. 

Dear Fellow Pirates:

Today, the Governor along with the MDHHS made an announcement encouraging high schools to go virtual for two weeks and to pause athletics for two weeks.  I was aware that an announcement was coming and had scheduled a meeting with our high school principal and athletic director in advance to discuss this after their announcement concluded. 

Essentially, what MDHHS is recommending is a voluntary quarantine period as many students are returning from their Spring break.  Sixty-six percent of the districts have the same Spring break as Hart Public Schools, the remainder of the districts have this current week as their Spring break.  However, this minority of districts has the majority of students as they all are along the 96-corridor and are more densely populated.  As a result, I understand the logic behind MDHHS, but the situation for all schools is simply not the same.

Hart Public Schools has been back from break for a week and while we do have a few cases, it isn’t much different than other times during the school year.  We also are currently antigen testing all of our Spring athletes every Monday morning before school.  This equates to a little over half of our student body at the high school who are enrolled in-person getting tested weekly.  Therefore, we have the ability to be extremely proactive in testing large amounts of students before they even get to class.  When you combine the fact that we are testing students weekly with the fact that our staff has had the opportunity to get vaccinated this is the safest situation we have had all year.

The last time our high school students went virtual they struggled. Today alone, we already had students reach out to our high school principal and ask us to remain open.  We are approximately one month from the senior’s last day.  The national data on virtual education this school year is not good. If we were to go virtual it would negatively impact many students and probably increase the chances of some students not graduating.

Earlier this week the federal government denied Michigan’s request for a waiver in regards to mandatory academic testing.  This testing is scheduled to start next week at the high school.  This isn’t a major reason why we are staying open, but it is worthy of pointing out because it is an example of another factor that is at play.

As for sports, we plan to continue our sports season.  This is the safest sports season of all as it has the least amount of contact sports and they are all outdoor sports.  The only sport that is classified as a contact for us is girls soccer.  The sports schedule has changed many times this year and in the Spring it always changes the most, so this is normal for us.  Usually, it is due to the weather, and there might be games that get rescheduled due to COVID-related issues, but that is something every school and athletic director, and coach knows how to navigate.

In closing, we will continue to monitor the COVID situation as we have done all year and we will continue to attend the virtual meetings that the MDHHS #10 offer weekly.  

Sincerely,

Mark D. Platt

Superintendent

Hart Public Schools

A letter to the editor is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Media Group 31, LLC, owner of Mason County Press. See MCP/OCP’s op/ed/letter to the editor policy for more details. 

Help Fund Local News

Please consider helping us keep local news active by sending a PayPal payment.

Subscribe to OCP via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,769 other subscribers