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.

In a reflection of statewide pressure to reopen winter athletic programs and other school activities, the Three Rivers Board of Education (BOE) adopted a resolution in support of lifting statewide restrictions that are currently in place. The resolution asks Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to approve restarting school winter athletic programs. BOE President Erin Nowak clarified that the resolution would not actually reopen Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) sports programs and other extracurricular activities, but instead would ask the state to lift restrictions.

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.

During a special meeting Thursday, the Board of Education (BOE) said it found Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) Superintendent Ron Moag to be “effective.” The statement came at the end of a closed session that lasted well beyond two hours. Thursday’s meeting concluded a two-meeting process wherein BOE members conducted Moag’s annual performance evaluation, facilitated by Rod Green of the Michigan Association of School Boards. During closing comments, BOE members also discussed the status and future of online instruction in the district.

At a regular Board of Education (BOE) meeting Monday evening, Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) principals and administrators discussed current performance amid ongoing pandemic measures. Through a series of presentations led by TRCS Curriculum Director Nikki Nash, principals from each of the TRCS buildings discussed where current performance measurements stand among students, and what measures they are taking to improve student engagement and results.

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.

At a work session Monday, members of the Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) Board of Education (BOE) participated along with staff and administrators in an instructional dialogue on racial disparities and justice in schools. The session was facilitated by Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, who is the Director of Diversity, Belonging, Equity, and Inclusion for Kent Intermediate School District. The session was structured around a key priority identified in the TRCS strategic plan, assuring a safe and secure environment for students, both physically and emotionally.

Administrators and staff at Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) continue to adjust pandemic response plans and the operation of virtual learning platforms as the fall semester begins to wrap up its second month. At a regular meeting of the TRCS Board of Education (BOE) Monday, Superintendent Ron Moag and Curriculum Director Nikki Nash provided updates on the status of each, and BOE members approved a reconfirmation of the district’s state-mandated COVID-19 Extended Learning Plan (ELP).

A contentious conversation over a statement on racial justice in the midst of recent and current national events continued at a Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) work session Monday. Board of Education (BOE) members Dan Ryan, Anne Riopel, and Kevin Hamilton discussed the relative merits of possible wording of the statement, as well as the potential for curriculum changes that might address issues of racism.

Note: This article contains strong language and references to racial slurs.

A series of rumors circulating around social media came to Watershed Voice’s attention over the weekend. Most of said rumors have to do with when and how Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) will use teachers or other, third-party service providers to deliver virtual, online instruction programs for students. In the interest of confirming what decisions are actually under discussion at TRCS, Watershed Voice reached out to School Board President Erin Nowak and TRCS Superintendent Ron Moag for clarification.