Dear City, CFE, Blandford and Zoo Families, 

I hope this letter finds you and your families well. Our world has changed quite a bit in a short amount of time and many of us are still discovering ways to navigate it all with a balance of accurate information, healthy habits and new routines. As we get closer to beginning the uncharted practice of distance learning for our middle and high school children, it means saying goodbye (for now) to some of the usual traditions that we celebrate at the end of a typical school year. Many families I have spoken with seem to be experiencing a sense of loss and anticipatory grief, particularly when thinking of the usual rites of passage we hope to see our children be a part of such as end-of-year camp, personal project expos and graduation. With the Stay at Home Order still in effect, and school canceled for the remainder of the year, we know things look different but that does not make these transitions any less significant. Mr. Huppert said in a recent communication that although graduation and other ceremonies are on hold (per state and district guidelines/restrictions), CHMS will do what they can to recognize students, including looking at alternative formats. The Executive Board of the City PTSA has continued to meet and will work with GRPS and CHMS however we can to help make that possible.

As much as things have changed, some things are still moving forward. The Executive Board would like to continue our PTSA business with the general membership (or any that wish to join) between now and the first week of June, the projected end of the school year. We missed our March meeting amid the quickly evolving COVID-19 safe practices but we do have matters to resume including EB elections, funding request(s) received from students and teachers and administrative updates from CHMS and/or GRPS. 

We’d like to invite all of you to join us for a ZOOM PTSA meeting on April 29, 2020 at 7pm and  a second meeting scheduled for May 13, 2020 at 7pm. Follow this link https://zoom.us/j/6879009733 to join.  Agendas for both meetings will be available online, but are subject to change. 

In the meantime, we encourage you to check out the following resources. The last two links provided (under Other Resources) will bring you to some free mindfulness exercises to help mitigate anxiety in children and adults. Anxiety is not a right or wrong response to COVID-19, it’s just part of being human. There are many effective strategies to help manage anxiety and change, perhaps you will find these useful. 

 

National PTA

Check out their website for current legislative updates/advocacy opportunities; resources for families and educators (including a podcast, social and emotional support links, tips for at-home education, healthy habits; the latest COVID-19 News & Guidance)

https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/coronavirus-information

MI PTA

The MI PTA website also has resources for communities, parents, students and social and emotional wellness

https://www.michiganpta.org/covid-19-resources-for-families.html

GRPS

Visit their website for information regarding the recent GRPS Board of Ed Meeting, Distance Learning Plans and other resources available to families including grab and go meal sites

https://www.grps.org/

Other Resources

https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/

https://www.accesskent.com/Health/

https://www.headspace.com/mi

https://www.grandrapidscenterformindfulness.com/free-online-meditations/

On behalf of the City PTSA Executive Board, we wish you health, strength and resilience during this time. If you have questions we can help you with, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Respectfully, 

Angela Schmidt
CHMS PTSA President [email protected]