In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, all Benzie Central School buildings will be closed to the general public and students for the remainder of the 2019/20 school year.  Effective, April 2, our Central Business Office will remain operational during meal delivery hours, but will also be closed to the general public. We will continue to be reachable via phone/email. (231) 882-9653. Though our hours may vary, please note that we will strive to return calls within one business day.

Our transportation department will be closed as well, but will be open on meal delivery days from 8:30AM to 11:30AM. Their number is (231) 882-5072. If you have questions regarding the delivery service, please call during those times.

We appreciate your understanding as we continue to navigate this situation and focus on providing ongoing nutritional and educational support for our Benzie Central students.
Staff can be reached via email @
♦️Betsie Valley https://benzieschools.net/betsie-valley/staff/
♦️Crystal Lake https://benzieschools.net/crystal-lake/staff/
♦️Lake Ann https://benzieschools.net/lake-ann/staff/
♦️Middle School https://benzieschools.net/benzie-central-middle/staff/
♦️High School https://benzieschools.net/benzie-central-high/staff/
♦️Benzie Academy taghone@benzieschools.net
♦️Central Business Office crossmanc@benzieschools.net

Pandemic EBT- Michigan- families that qualify for SNAP benefits / EBT Bridge Cards will be getting additional dollars on those cards for qualifying students in their families during the pandemic. 

https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus On Monday, March 23, Governor Whitmer instituted Executive Order No. 2020-21, which states that to suppress the spread of COVID-19, to prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed, to allow time for the production of critical test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment, and to avoid needless deaths, it is reasonable and necessary to direct residents to remain at home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible. This order takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

COVID-19 Correspondence –

The TBAISD Superintendent Association, which includes superintendents from school districts in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties, has been working closely with local health departments and monitoring Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. We are taking all necessary precautions to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19.

To that end, the superintendents of the region have collectively agreed to take the following necessary action to prioritize the health and safety of students, staff, and community.

 

BCCS District Parent Letter – Superintendent Olson March 13,2020

To our Benzie Central Families:

As you have likely heard by now, our state government is closing all school buildings for the next three weeks due to the COVID-19 situation. This situation has been evolving extremely rapidly and will likely continue to do so in the immediate future. To be clear, this means that Benzie Central Schools will be closed officially beginning on Monday, March 16th and will be scheduled to re-open on Monday, April 6th. During that time, ALL school related activities will be cancelled. This includes scheduled travel or trips, athletic contests and practices, and all curricular and extra-curricular activities.

 

Talking to Children About COVID-19

A new type of coronavirus, abbreviated COVID-19, is causing an outbreak of respiratory (lung) disease. It was first detected in China and has now been detected internationally. While the immediate health risk in the United States is low, it is important to plan for any possible outbreaks if the risk level increases in the future.
Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. While we don’t know where and to what extent the disease may spread here in the United States, we do know that it is contagious, that the severity of illness can vary from individual to individual, and that there are steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm.
It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.

COVID-19 COMMUNICATION March 13, 2020

Dear Benzie Families:
I thank you all for your incredible understanding as we have worked to navigate the COVID-19 situation as best as is possible given the circumstances. Please continue to bear in mind that this continues to be a rapidly evolving situation and that circumstances may change. As of the end of the school day, these are a few updates following consultation with our regional health experts and other area schools.
(please click the link below for parent communication update as well as guidelines for talking to your children about COVID-19.

 

Meal Delivery UPDATE March 16, 2020

We are planning to deploy our program beginning tomorrow – Tuesday March 17th. All students from PreK to High School are eligible, though we will be utilizing our regular Middle/High School bus runs and stops to make the deliveries. The way that this will work is that our busses will depart the high school parking lot at or about 9:00AM to begin their runs. They will then proceed on their runs, stopping at each regular stop as they normally do at the end of each school day. We ask that you please be watching for them between the hours of about 9:00AM and 11:00AM. Delivery will take place right at the stops. Again – ALL children are eligible for this service. The State of Michigan has even extended it beyond our regular district students. So if your child does not attend Benzie Central, but this assistance would be helpful, we welcome that participation as well.

Should you miss the bus at the stop, meals will also be available for direct pickup in front of the Middle/High school building from 11:00 – 11:30AM as well.

Further deliveries will take place on Friday March 20th, Monday March 23rd, and Thursday, March 26th. Each delivery will contain multiple days worth of food. Any adult or child may pick up the meals from the stop. The child/children need not be present to receive the meals. We only ask that whoever is taking the delivery be healthy for the safety and well-being of our staff.

All buses will be cleaned and disinfected prior to establishing this service, and Benzie employees will be taking necessary precautions to safely serve and deliver meals.

Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission

COVID-19 Parent Letter March 23, 2020

Dear Benzie Central Families:

As you have likely heard, the State of Michigan will under the new “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order from Governor Whitmer effective midnight tonight and lasting for the next 3 weeks.  This extends our scheduled school closure period until at least April 13th.

Northern Michigan Community Health Innovation Region March 25, 2020

As more and more families become affected by the repercussions of Covid-19 in our community, the Northern Michigan Community Health Innovation Region put together this informative flyer:
-Family Information for School and Child Care-
2.1.1
Community Connections
COVID-19 Local Hotline Numbers
United States Census 2020

Benzie County – COVID19 Resources & Needs

This document is an aggregated list of Benzie County resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is meant to be a one-stop location where you can find any services that are being provided in Benzie County, whether you are looking for yourself, a family member, a neighbor, or if you are simply looking to volunteer your time. You will also find links to county, regional, and state resources; neighborhood support and social media groups; and innovative tool kits/templates

Counselors Corner 

Excellent resource to help guide us –Sproutable
Supporting parents growing remarkable kids
Kids and COVID-19

Please contact Barb Powell or Emily Burrus should you have any questions or need assistance.
powellb@benzieschools.net 6th-9th grade
burruse@benzieschools.net 10th-12th grade

 

Hang in There – March 30, 2020

Hey Benzie Central Families! Hang in there!!!

I know, time seems to have slowed down in so many ways during this unprecedented time. I saw a meme recently that said something to the effect of the date being the “fortyteenth of Maprily”… Felt pretty accurate!

I know many of you are undergoing a lot of stress right now. We’re all living in an unprecedented time, which means we’ve not practiced for it. I know there’s a lot of uncertainty, including a great deal about school and what the long term plan is.

First, I’m sure many of you are plugged into social media quite a bit, maybe more than usual right now. There’s been a lot of speculation regarding what will happen with the rest of the year, and what that means for the various situations our families and students are in. I completely understand the speculation, and hope I can help temper some of the anxiety.

Regarding this school year, as you may have heard, the Governor has strongly suggested that school will not resume for the 2019-20 school year. She had an interview late last week which stated this and a press conference this morning in which she re-iterated the point. However, there are many implications of such a significant decision and no doubt they are trying to work out as many of those implications as possible. I am pleased to tell you also that our elected representatives have been in contact with myself and other local school superintendents and are likewise working to make good decisions that will be in the best interests of our students and public health. Your local and regional educational leaders are also working on the implications as well.

To be clear, it does appear likely that school as we currently know it will not resume this school year. However, that does NOT mean that we will be throwing in the towel or abdicating our responsibility or abandoning our passion to educate kids and support our families. That is our mission, and we will continue to seek to do just that in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

To our seniors and their families, know that we stand firmly committed to you. We will seek means of not only making sure those on track graduate, but that we find means of recognizing and celebrating that achievement. We are a creative and close knit community and won’t allow our seniors to simply fade into their next chapter. While we don’t know what that looks like yet – please keep faith that your community loves you, supports you, and can’t wait to celebrate you!

To our other students and your families, know that we stand with you as well. Indeed, our staff are already working to change their practices to adapt to this new reality. We need your patience and grace, but know that we are committed to all of you as well.

We will likely have more information in the next few days, maybe less. Rest assured, as soon as I know – you will know. We’ve got this. Stay strong and take heart in the #OneBenzie community, even if we have to do it virtually and from a social distance perspective. This will end, and we will come out stronger and more unified than ever on the other side of it.

Be well!

“Super” Matt

Superintendent Olson Update | April 2, 2020

Benzie Families:
Please be aware that Governor Whitmer has acted by executive order today to effectively keep school buildings closed to students for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. However, we fully intend to make sure that learning continues! In addition, please know that we further intend to continue our meal delivery program.

The executive order contains a great amount of detail and we have work to do to digest the order and work together with our regional partners to ensure we are following guidelines and doing right by our students and staff. More detail and communications will be forthcoming. Please be safe and be well.

-Superintendent Olson

 

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