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RCS Teaching and Learning

The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) issued an Emergency Order (2021-01) for Control of Pandemic, which states that schools are required to ensure all students, teachers, staff and community members consistently and properly wear facial coverings while inside a school building or structure, regardless of vaccination status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also requires masks to be worn on school buses. Students, school employees, and volunteers participating in extracurricular activities and sports are required to wear a mask while inside of an educational institution.

Rochester Community Schools supports all efforts to keep our community safe and our children in school buildings. We remain committed to following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to these health experts, the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus may cause more serious illness in persons of all ages, including children. This is particularly concerning in an educational setting, where students under the age of 12 are not eligible for the vaccine.

Facial coverings are recommended as a safe, essential, and proven strategy to prevent secondary transmission of this aggressive Delta variant in schools. Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets. They also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer.

Mask usage can impact the need to quarantine. Fully vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine if it has been more than 14 days since receiving the last dose in the series of vaccinations, and they have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure. If an individual is within 3-6 feet of another person with COVID-19 and both individuals are properly masked, then the exposed person does not need to quarantine and can return to school.

We realize that this has been a trying time for many of our school community members, and we recognize that some of our families have different points of view regarding mitigation strategies. However, we can all agree that our children belong in the classroom, learning and growing with highly skilled, caring teachers. We hope that community members can respectfully put personal preferences aside and work together to keep our students in our school buildings.

Together, we can help keep our community safe and students in school!

You are invited to view the following video message about the district's approach to safety for the 2021-22 school year.

Back to School Update
August 25, 2021
Back to School Update August 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions to help our community navigate the current environment. This is a fluid document that will be updated as additional guidance is provided.
 
A.     Why masks?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus may cause more serious illness in persons of all ages, including children. This is particularly concerning in an educational setting, where students under the age of 12 are not eligible for the vaccine.
According to these experts, facial coverings are a safe, essential, and proven strategy to prevent secondary transmission of this aggressive delta variant in schools. Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets. They also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer.
We believe that having students in front of an RCS teacher will give them the learning advantage that will carry them through their entire educational experience. To that end, Rochester Community Schools supports all efforts to keep our community safe and our children in school buildings. Masks and vaccination status will limit the need to quarantine when an individual is exposed to COVID-19.
 
B.     Can mask orders still be enforced following Senate Bill (SB) 82?

At this time, local health departments may continue to enforce mask orders as appropriate.

On Sept. 29, 2021, Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill (SB) 82, a nearly $70 billion state budget for fiscal year 2022. SB 82 includes a provision to prohibit MDHHS and local health department from issuing or enforcing emergency orders requiring face masks for persons under the age of 18. Although Governor Whitmer did not line item veto this provision of SB 82, she did provide a signing statement when she filed the signed bill which stated this prohibition is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

SB 82 did not amend the Public Health Code, which grants local health departments the authority to issue emergency orders to control a pandemic, such as COVID-19, as well as the authority to enforce such orders with criminal and civil penalties. Therefore, local health departments may continue to enforce mask orders as appropriate.

C.     Is Rochester Community Schools obligated to follow the OCHD emergency order?
Yes. Rochester Community Schools is obligated to follow local, state, and federal emergency orders or the district could be subject to criminal and civil penalties. RCS recognizes a parent or guardian’s right to direct the care, teaching, and education of their child. However, this right is subject to the district’s obligation to provide for the safety and welfare of its students.
 
D.      If someone is vaccinated, are they still required to wear a mask?
Yes. The emergency order applies to all persons in an educational institution, to include, but not limited to, students, teachers, administrative staff, attendees, volunteers, and other employees or volunteers.
 
E.     Are masks required on school buses?
Yes. “Passengers 2 years of age and older and drivers must wear a mask on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems including early care and education/child care programs, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s Order.”
 
F.      How does the emergency order apply to student athletics and extracurricular activities?
Students, school employees, and volunteers participating in extracurricular activities and sports are required to wear a mask while inside of an educational institution.
 
G.      Are masks required at Board of Education meetings?
Yes. Masks are required to be worn while inside of an educational institution.
 
H.     Are there mask exemptions?
The OCHD executive order does not apply to the following:
  • Persons in the act of eating or drinking.
  • Persons under the age of four years; however, supervised masking is recommended for children who are at least two years of age.
  • Persons with developmental conditions of any age attending school for whom it has been demonstrated that the use of a face covering would inhibit the person's access to education. These are limited to persons with an Individualized Education Plan, Section 504 Plan, Individualized Healthcare Plan or equivalent.
  • Vaccinated teachers who are working with children who are hard of hearing or students with developmental conditions who benefit from facial cues.
  • Persons who have a medical reason confirmed in writing from a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) currently licensed to practice medicine in the State of Michigan.
At this time, the OCHD order does not exempt persons who object to the mask requirement due to their religious beliefs.
 
I.     What if a child forgets their mask at home?
In the event that a student forgets their mask at home, staff members will offer the student a face covering.
 
J.        What are some guidelines when wearing a mask?
The OCHD states that masks should completely cover the nose and mouth; fit snugly against the sides of the face and not have any gaps; and be handled only by the ear loops, cords, or head straps (not by the surface of the mask).
 
K.       What are some options for families?
RCS families are offered three options for the safe education of all students: 1) wear a face mask while inside a school building; 2) observe an exemption while inside a school building; or 3) attend the RCS Virtual Campus.
School administrators and staff make every effort to partner with families. Parents or guardians of students who do not comply with the OCHD emergency order will be asked to pick their child up from school. When requirements on school buses are not met, parents or guardians will be asked to provide an alternate mode of transportation.
 
L.      When will the mask mandate be lifted?
The OCHD executive order states that the order “remains in effect until community transmission for Oakland County is categorized as ‘moderate’ by the CDC for at least fourteen consecutive days, or until further notice from the Oakland County Health Officer.”
 
M.       What are some resources related to mask use?
Resources are: CDC Your Guide to Masks, Updated Aug. 13, 2021; and OCHD Mask Guidance.
 
N.   What about vaccinations?
Health experts also agree that vaccinations are another important strategy to help save lives and mitigate the spread of the Delta variant. Masks and vaccination status will also limit the need to quarantine when an individual is exposed to COVID-19. We continue to partner with various community health agencies so those who are eligible for the vaccination can have convenient access to appointments. Additional information and locations are available on the Oakland County website.
 
O.     What should students or staff members do if they are sick?
If students or staff members are sick, they should stay home and contact their primary care physician and/or the OCHD for guidance and support as needed at 248-858-1286 during normal business hours, or call 248-858-0931 after hours. The Oakland County Nurse on Call can be reached at 1-800-848-5533; the Help Hotline is 248-858-1000. Additional information is located on the OCHD website.
 
P.     What is the procedure when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
  • Families and staff members should notify the school administrator.
  • The individual should stay home and isolate for at least 10 days from the first date of symptoms or 10 days from the test date if asymptomatic AND fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and improved symptoms.
  • The district will report positive cases and any identified close contacts to the OCHD. Once OCHD receives the information, students or staff will be placed in the OCHD contact tracing system for follow up, support, and resources during the quarantine period. 
Q.      What is the role of the OCHD when a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19?
The OCHD will:
  • Complete a case investigation by contacting the positive case and reinforce isolation requirements.
  • Place identified school close contacts into the contact tracing system and monitor during quarantine period.
  • Identify close contacts outside of the school community, place them into the contact tracing system and monitor them during quarantine period.
R.     What is school quarantine guidance?
Reference the OCHD guidance. Masks and vaccination status will limit the need to quarantine when an individual is exposed to COVID-19. OCHD guidance is as follows:
 
CLASSROOM EXPOSURE SCENARIO
MASKS
QUARANTINE
CONTINUE SCHOOL
<3 Feet (contact unvaccinated) N/A YES NO
3 – 6 Feet (contact unvaccinated)
One or Both Unmasked
YES
NO
3 - 6 Feet (contact unvaccinated)
Both Properly Masked
NO
YES
<3 Feet (contact fully vaccinated)
N/A
NO
YES
3 - 6 Feet
N/A
NO
YES
 
S.      How long do individuals need to quarantine? (Ref: OCHD School Quarantine Guidance)
  • OCHD recommends a 7-day quarantine with COVID-19 test. The following must be met before returning to school:
      a.  A negative PCR test (not a rapid antigen or antibody test) collected no sooner than day 5 after the exposure date.
      b.  Person remains symptom-free.
      c.  With a negative PCR result, person may return to school on day 8.
OR
  •  Stay home for 10 days after exposure while wearing a mask and physically distancing from others.
  •  For both quarantine strategies, the following must occur:
      a.  Agree to cooperate with contact tracing efforts while monitoring symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
      b.  If symptoms develop, immediately isolate and get a COVID-19 test.
      c.  After stopping quarantine, wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, and avoid large gatherings through day 14.
 
T.      How will students have access to instructional materials if isolated or quarantined?
When designing supports for students affected by COVID-19, our teachers are uniquely qualified to determine the most effective and appropriate educational practices to meet the needs of their students.
We recognize that each situation may be unique. Families are encouraged to remain flexible and work with their school administrator and classroom teachers to manage adaptations and adjustments on a situational basis. Our educators are highly skilled in the art of teaching, and we will do all we can to meet the needs of our students.
 
U.      Is remote learning an option for schools?
The State of Michigan has no options for remote learning in a traditional K-12 environment at this time. For those families who prefer an additional learning option, the district is proud to continue to offer the RCS Virtual Campus.
 
V.     How will RCS be reporting cases in schools?
The MDHHS Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253 requires school districts to report school associated cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours after being notified by the local health department. A school associated case includes a confirmed COVID-19 case among any person who was present on school property or at a school function that may result in the transmission or contraction of COVID-19 during an infectious period.
Last year as a courtesy to families, the district worked arduously to augment the OCHD reporting requirements by providing a weekly update on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the district, along with the number of students and staff who were quarantined, based on a single point in time.
As we begin the 2021-22 school year with mask requirements and revised quarantine protocols in place, we will continue to support contact tracing efforts to the best of our ability; however, we will rely on the OCHD to provide weekly COVID-19 reports for schools in Oakland County. The number of school associated cases for RCS will still be posted on our website as required. This process will enable our teachers, administrators and staff to continue to focus on what they are professionally trained to do, which is provide for the safe education our students.
The number of school associated cases is located on the district website. Additional resources include the COVID-19 Summary for Oakland County and COVID-19 Oakland County Schools Weekly Report.
 
W.     How is RCS supporting healthy learning environments in our buildings?
  • The safety and well-being of our community is always our priority. RCS supports healthy learning environments by thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing buildings and school buses following CDC recommendations.
  • Classrooms, including high-touch areas, are disinfected at the end of each school day. Electrostatic sprayers are used in main offices, locker rooms, weight rooms, and other areas as needed.
  • Buses are sanitized twice per day following the morning and afternoon routes. High-touch areas are cleaned between all bus runs.
  • Hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning supplies are available throughout the district. Building doors and windows may be open when appropriate, depending on weather and physical safety conditions.
  • Water systems have been flushed. Bottle filling stations are available; however, drinking fountains remain closed.
  • Air-balance contractors continue to inspect and balance air flow for our building HVAC systems. A designated employee inspects filters on a continuous basis and changes filters as needed to maximize ventilation and reduce the concentration of airborne contaminants.
X.     What are other mitigation strategies?
In addition to wearing a face mask, the community is encouraged to get vaccinated if eligible; wash hands frequently; and stay home when sick.
 
 Y.      What are some resources to assist families?
Z.      What testing centers are available?
As a courtesy to our families, we have compiled a list of local testing centers. This is not meant to be an inclusive list. In an emergency, always call 911 and/or proceed to the nearest emergency room.
Local community hospitals include:
  • Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital: 248-652-5000
  • Beaumont Health, Troy Campus: 248-964-5000
  • St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, Pontiac: 248-858-3000
Rochester Medpointe Urgent Care Walk-in Clinic
Rochester Hills Urgent Care Walk-in Clinic
150 S. Main Street, Rochester, MI 48307 
(248 )710-3303
2915 Walton Blvd, Rochester Hills, MI 48309
(248) 759-4222
Hours: Monday – Friday 11a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday: Closed
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. everyday (Including Saturday and Sunday)
*Appointment required
*Appointment required
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic
  • Testing for all ages
  • No doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic
  • Testing for all ages
  • No doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals
 
Pro-Health Urgent Care of Rochester Hills
Rochester Urgent Care
(located in the Hampton Village Center)
1268 Walton Blvd, Rochester Hills, MI 48307
(248) 710-2900
215 E. Auburn Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48307
(248) 853-2009
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
*Appointment required
*Appointment required
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic
  • Testing for all ages
  • No doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic
  • Testing for all ages
  • No doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals
 
Michigan Healthcare Professionals Rochester Hills
MedPost Urgent Care of Rochester Hills
633 East South Blvd, Rochester Hills, MI 48307
(248) 434-6247 or (248) 844-6000
3035 S. Rochester Rd, Rochester, MI 48307
(248) 289-9360
Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Not open Saturday and Sunday
Hours: Open every day 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.,
except Wednesdays 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
*Register on website before arriving
*Appointment required.
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic
  • Testing for all ages
  • Tests uninsured individuals
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic, 6 months of age and older
  • No doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals
 
Troy Urgent Care Walk In Clinic
Lake Orion Oxford Urgent Care
4060 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48085
(248) 250-6420
1455 S Lapeer Road, Lake Orion, MI 48360
(248) 232-0100
Hours: Monday – Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
 
Hours: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
*Appointment required
*Appointment required
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic
  • Testing for all ages
  • No doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals
  • Tests symptomatic and asymptomatic
  • Testing for all ages
  • No doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals
 
Beaumont Urgent Care by WellStreet - Rochester Hills
3200 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills, MI 48309, (248) 809-5524
Hours: Monday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
*Appointment required; COVID-19 testing requires a Save My Spot or virtual visit appointment
  • Tests people without symptoms (asymptomatic); no doctor's order needed
  • Tests uninsured individuals; bring identification and insurance card if one is available
  • Visit website for virtual screening and to save your spot before arriving at the clinic

RCS 2021-22 Bell Times  

High Schools

  Full Day Half Day
ACE 7:39 - 2:10 10:30
Adams 7:30 - 2:30 10:45
Rochester 7:30 - 2:30 10:45
Stoney Creek 7:30 - 2:30 10:45

 

 

 

 

Middle Schools

  Full Day Half Day
Hart 7:25 - 2:22 10:40
Reuther 7:25 - 2:22 10:40
West 7:25 - 2:22 10:40
Van Hoosen 7:30 - 2:27 10:45

 

 

 

 

Other RCS Services

  Full Day Half Day
Adult Transition Program (ATPS) 8:37 - 3:00  11:47
Caring Steps Children's Center 6:00 am - 6:30 pm  

 

Elementary Schools

  Full Day Half Day
Baldwin 8:10 - 3:13 11:25
Brewster 8:10 - 3:13 11:25
Delta Kelly 8:10 - 3:13 11:25
Hamlin 8:10 - 3:13 11:25
Hampton 8:10 - 3:13 11:25
Hugger 8:10 - 3:13 11:25
University Hills 8:10 - 3:13 11:25
     
Brooklands 8:55 - 3:58 12:10
Long Meadow 8:55 - 3:58 12:10
McGregor 8:55 - 3:58 12:10
Meadow Brook 8:55 - 3:58 12:10
Musson 8:55 - 3:58 12:10
North Hill 8:55 - 3:58 12:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Childhood Special Education Programs

  A.M.  P.M.
ECSE  8:45 - 11:15 1:15 - 3:45

 

Learning Options

Families living within the greater Rochester area have two learning options to consider for their students for the 2021-22 school year. They include:

  • IN-PERSON LEARNING
  • RCS VIRTUAL CAMPUS offering full-time online instruction. This is a joint learning partnership that includes the child, the family, and the RCS teaching team. Families can select a semester (6-12), trimester (K-5), or yearlong commitment.

Whether families choose in-person instruction or the RCS Virtual Campus, students will be taught by highly skilled, caring RCS teachers and receive the same world-class instruction and academic credit that our community has come to expect. To enhance learning in any setting, the district has moved to a 1:1 technology model so all students have access to a device.