TRCS suspends in-person learning at high school, middle school

THREE RIVERS — Three Rivers Community Schools announced on Monday the suspension of in-person learning at both Three Rivers High School and Three Rivers Middle School for the next three weeks.

As part of the suspension, there will be no school for middle school or high school students Tuesday, with remote learning beginning Wednesday. Currently, the expected date for a return to in-person learning will be Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The move comes following the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ new three-week restrictions, which were announced Sunday and go into effect Wednesday. They include restrictions on in-person learning at high schools, and while grades K-8 were not affected by the restrictions, TRCS included the middle school in the suspension due to “experiencing a high number of non-COVID related absences over the past few weeks” and after consultation with principals, teacher’s union leadership and district administration.

Pre-K through fifth grade students will continue with in-person instruction.

In a letter to parents Monday announcing the suspension, Superintendent Ron Moag said so far, none of the district’s 14 cumulative cases since reporting began have originated from the schools themselves, and will be “frequently consulting” with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency to monitor any close contacts and positive cases that affect elementary and Pre-K programs moving forward.

“My hope is that this targeted emergency order is successful in flattening the rise in positive COVID cases so that we can continue in-person instruction, not only at the PreK-5th grade level, but being able to bring back our secondary students after the three weeks,” Moag said.

Moag urged residents in the community to follow the new restrictions and do what they can to help mitigate the spread of the virus, which has caused almost 8,000 deaths in the state, and 26 in St. Joseph County.

“On behalf of all of our students and staff, I am asking that we all do what is required of us regarding this new emergency order from MDHHS,” Moag continued. “The alternative to not following this emergency order will result in more COVID positive cases, additional lives lost, and a significant loss in learning for our TRCS students that will take years to recover.”

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or

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