Hesperia district extends Thanksgiving break due to increased illness, stress levels.

November 12, 2021

Hesperia district extends Thanksgiving break due to increased illness, stress levels.

HESPERIA — Hesperia Community Schools Superintendent Bryan Mey announced Friday, Nov. 11, that the district’s Thanksgiving break will be extended because of “much higher levels of anxiety and stress due to COVID-19 as well as rising levels of illnesses other than COVID-19.”

The upcoming holiday break will begin Wednesday, Nov. 24, and classes will resume Wednesday, Dec. 1.

“The safety and health of our students and staff is the foremost priority of our district,” wrote Mey. “This priority is certainly true when considering the physical and mental health of our staff and students. This school year has presented our families and staff with much higher levels of anxiety and stress due to the unknowns of COVID-19, as well as rising levels of illnesses other than COVID-19. Over recent weeks, we have seen many factors contributing to increased absenteeism across all three buildings. These factors include:

  • Increased COVID-19 cases in Michigan and West Michigan in particular.
  • Increased levels of illnesses such as RSV, Norovirus, and Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.
  • Increased levels of fatigue, exhaustion, stress and anxiety.

“Our hope is that the extended break will allow students and staff to recharge, refresh and get well,” Mey writes. “The extended break will allow for students to be separated for seven days, thus reducing exposure and communicable spread dramatically. It will allow for those with potential exposure over Thanksgiving to become aware or experience symptoms. In addition, HCS will use these days to deep clean and sanitize the buildings.

“By implementing proactive measures like scheduled days off and deep cleaning now, we hope to minimize absenteeism later. Additionally, we know these days will lessen levels of illness and burnout among staff and students, allowing a greater degree of learning and engagement to take place upon return.

“All of us at HCS wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. We are certainly thankful for the continued patience, consideration and grace from our district families during these challenging times.”

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