Dowagiac Union Schools superintendent offers update on reopening plans

DOWAGIAC — Dowagiac Union Schools’ plan to reopen schools is taking shape.

In a Friday press release, Superintendent Jonathan Whan said the district is gathering information and guidance from different sources to aid their decision-making process.

“We believe that our schools are best suited for the development of the whole child through ‘face-to-face’ instruction and emotional support, as well as providing a wide range of experiences including the arts, activities and athletics, which are not an option that a virtual learning system can provide,” Whan said.

On June 30, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released Executive Order 2020-142, which requires all school districts to produce a plan detailing how they will follow her reopening guidelines.

According to Whan, the plan will include a virtual option for families who do not feel comfortable sending their children back to school.

“These students will remain enrolled as Chieftains, and they will be able to complete the course offerings 100 percent online,” Whan said. “This option will be available for sixth through 12th grade, and we are working on a similar option for K through fifth grade.”

Whitmer’s “Return to School Roadmap” — a plan released alongside the Executive Order — contains guidelines for how the state’s K-12 schools should reopen in the fall.

The state will also send an additional $256 million to schools to cover the costs of purchasing masks, hand sanitizer, and other coronavirus-related supplies.

The Michigan government has divided the state into eight regions based on COVID-19 risk level and assigns each region a reopening phase from 1-6, with Phase 6 being post-pandemic.

Dowagiac falls under the Kalamazoo region, which is currently in Phase 4. Schools in Phase 4 are allowed to open for in-person instruction for more stringent required safety protocols.

Whan is hoping to have the plan ready for review by the board of education and submission to the state by July 31, but did note that public release may be delayed due to legal requirements.

Buchanan

Buchanan City Commission considers retail marijuana tax

Cass County

Absentee ballots key to strong voter turnout for Cass County primary election

News

Community Development Block Grant, DART upgrades, proposed well protections discussed

Dowagiac

Dowagiac filmmaker looking for investors for latest project

Brandywine Education

Brandywine school board accepts back to school plan

Cass County

Cass County Fair Show and Go gives youth time to shine

News

Niles City Council approves social district 7-1

Dowagiac

Dowagiac City Council plans for Redevelopment Ready Communities certification

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Elks donate to Cass County Council on Aging

Berrien County

Berrien County Youth Fair to host third Fair Food Drive Thru

Cass County

Elkhart man saved from burning car in Mason Township

Berrien County

Update: Arrest made in wrong-way crash in Niles Township

News

Multiple area residents sentenced in Berrien County Court Monday

Berrien County

Hazardous weather outlook includes damaging winds for Berrien, Cass counties

News

Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail receives funding toward next stop

Cass County

Dowagiac woman injured in motorcycle vs. truck accident

Cass County

One injured in Pokagon Township motorcycle crash

Cass County

Union woman injured in single vehicle crash

Cass County

One person injured in Newberg Township motorcycle crash

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office welcomes new bloodhound

Berrien County

Emergency order presents challenges to growers, organizations

Buchanan

Buchanan Community Schools hosts virtual town hall with parents

Cassopolis

On the Mantle opens in downtown Cassopolis selling handmade skincare

Cass County

Dowagiac man sentenced to jail following drug overdose, probation violation