Students at Three Rivers Middle and High Schools will resume full face-to-face instruction this Wednesday, Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) Superintendent Ron Moag said Monday. In a letter to parents, Moag said the move is the result of a change in the rate of recent, new cases of COVID-19 in St. Joseph County. The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJ) provides TRCS with updated pandemic statistics on at least a weekly basis, and Moag announced the move upon receiving a BHSJ report Monday.

Members of the Three Rivers Board of Education (BOE) heard 52 comments from the public at its online work session this week. Shortly after the start of Monday evening’s livestreamed evening, BOE Chair Erin Nowak read each previously submitted comment aloud to board members, Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) staff, and the public. All of the comments pertained to a BOE decision in February to again return to the hybrid instructional mode for middle and high school students.

Dates for reopening Three Rivers Community Schools buildings to students have changed following a Board of Education meeting Monday. Pre-K through fifth grade students will now begin attending school in person next Tuesday, January 19. Middle and high school students will return to hybrid learning as previously planned on Monday, January 25. However, they will now return to full face-to-face instruction two weeks later, on February 8. Also at Monday’s meeting, new school board members were welcomed, new officers were chosen, and Superintendent Ron Moag provided an update on current capital improvements.

During a special meeting Monday, the Three Rivers Board of Education (BOE) voted to approve a plan to reopen schools to in-person and hybrid instruction on January 25. After discussion that continued from a previous meeting on December 7, BOE members decided not to approve a modification of the Three Rivers Community Schools’ (TRCS) “Return to Learn” (R2L) plan that would have continued all-virtual remote instruction for middle and high school students beyond the start of the next semester.

At a work session Monday evening, members of the Three Rivers Board of Education (BOE) and Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) administrators weighed options for returning to school following the New Year. After some discussion, the BOE tabled any final decisions on the matter pending a review and clarification of further options by administrators. Further discussion will take place at a special meeting next Monday, December 14, scheduled at 6 p.m. for the purpose of reviewing an annual TRCS budget audit.

Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) announced this afternoon that all school buildings will remain closed to in-person instruction into January. In response to a pandemic health order issued earlier this month by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), TRCS began fully conducting instruction for all in-person and hybrid students through online streaming. That closure was scheduled to last through the expiration of the HHS order, which occurs on December 8.

With additional closure orders in place and pandemic case numbers continuing to spread, Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) announced on Wednesday evening that it plans to close additional school buildings later this week. On Sunday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new order that required high schools around the state to close. TRCS subsequently closed the middle and high schools to in-person instruction on Monday, taking all classes to a virtual setting. Elementary schools will now also be subject to closure.

At a special meeting Thursday, the Three Rivers Board of Education (BOE) began an annual evaluation for Superintendent Ron Moag. Evaluation-related activities took place in closed session, and no action was taken pertaining to the evaluation. The purpose of the first meeting was for Moag to present a portfolio of his work and accomplishments. A follow-up meeting will conclude the evaluation process. Also at Thursday’s meeting, a pay increase vote was retaken to correct a conflict-of-interest error in a previous vote on Monday. In other TRCS news, two schools reported positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

After remaining steady at 11 since late summer, the St. Joseph County death count due to the COVID-19 virus now stands at 15. One death occurred the week before last according to comments last week by Rebecca Burns, Health Officer with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJ). Three more deaths were added to BHSJ’s online statistics early this week.