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Update Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Welcome to the Chelsea School District Update Center, a dedicated place to keep CSD families and staff updated with reliable resources on COVID-19. While the impact the coronavirus may have on our district is still unknown, CSD is committed to keeping staff, students, and families informed and safe.  

Dr. Julie D. Helber

Superintendent of Schools

May 22, 2020

Chelsea School District Families,                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Thank you to all of you who participated in our remote learning survey to provide feedback on current plans.  Our staff have reviewed the feedback and have made some adjustments.  Thank you for all of your positive comments about our staff and their dedication to the students of Chelsea.  Having to change our instruction to a remote option at a moment’s notice has been a challenge, but with a dedicated staff and a supportive community, we have been able to adjust and everyone is doing their best under these circumstances.  

Fall Planning

While we have three weeks left in the school year, we have turned our attention to what education will look like for the 2020-2021 school year. 

We continue to hope that face-to-face learning five days a week will be possible for the fall, however, it is prudent for us to plan for any alternatives as directed by our public health officials and the Governor’s office.  Our goal in this planning is to make sure we can meet the educational and safety needs of all of our students and staff and we will need your help in this process.

We have convened an internal task force made up of building and department leaders to examine the issue and identify the challenges and opportunities we face.  As you know, our work in the fall will be guided by direction from the Governor’s office and our public health officials. The epidemiology and future pattern of the COVID-19 virus is unknown, therefore, we will not make specific predictions about a single course of action. Instead, we will model different scenarios with varying timelines and contingencies. We know that our planning must be comprehensive and flexible so that we can respond to multiple possible scenarios.  These scenarios range from coming back full time face-to-face, a combination of face-to-face and remote, or perhaps all remote learning, depending on safety guidelines. This planning process should be expeditious but cannot be rushed; our goal is to make sound, comprehensive decisions in the best interest of our students, which may mean they are not the fastest decisions. Your patience is appreciated.

There are many considerations within each of the scenarios listed above that need to be discussed.  Our task force has utilized an organization tool to address questions, prioritize work, and create action steps.  We do want your input in this process.  We have created a survey for you that will guide us in understanding your specific family/staff needs.  Please take a moment to help us understand your situation by clicking on the appropriate link below: 

Once we have gathered your feedback, we will incorporate it into our plans and invite you to a virtual presentation to learn more and be able to ask questions and provide suggestions.  This will be a collaborative effort as we work toward our goal of ‘meeting the educational and safety needs of all of our students and staff.  Please continue to look for my updates with an invitation to this presentation.


You may have been reading or hearing about the shortfall in the State’s budget due to Covid related factors.  This translates to schools because our funding comes from the state in the School Aid Fund.  The fund relies heavily on sales and income tax revenue, which has seen a sharp decline because of our current situation, thus funding to schools is projected to decrease sharply, as well.  We are hearing that we can expect a cut of around $700 per pupil.  In Chelsea, that translates to $1.7 million. While challenging, please know we are exploring a wide range of solutions to solve this budget problem while protecting our programming for students.  We expect to hear more about how the State will solve this budget problem and are hopeful that cutting funding to schools will be eliminated from any solution.


Mr. Kapolka shared a survey last week with both senior parents and students, nearly 70% of respondents requested that their first choice of graduation options would be to wait until July in the hopes that we could still host a face-to-face graduation ceremony.  Moving forward, we will keep this choice (Face-to-Face graduation ceremony) as the primary target while taking into consideration that if new information concerning public health concerns is provided that removes this option as a possibility, we will enact plan B for an alternate graduation ceremony for our seniors.  Additionally, the high school is in the process of planning a virtual Class of 2020 awards ceremony for Tuesday, June 9 at 6:00 pm.  Please save the date for this event and look for additional information from Mr. Kapolka.

Personal Belongings

Our operations department and principals have been working together to create a process for staff and families to collect personal belongings from the schools.  This will be done in a curbside fashion, similar to how the iPad, food delivery, and cap and gown distribution has been coordinated. We have identified the first week of June for pick up.  You can expect to hear from building principals with specific dates and times and other details included in the process.

Food Service

We continue to provide breakfast and lunch to our families in need each week. We have served 28,654 meals to date. At this time, the last scheduled distribution of meals will be on June 22.  Nine lunches and nine breakfasts will be provided on June 22 to provide support through the month of June. It is possible that guidance allowing us to distribute meals through the summer is forthcoming, we will be considering this option should we receive this guidance.  Please continue to check the website for updated information and dates.  


On Thursday, May 21 Chelsea Athletics hosted a webinar updating parents and students on the state of athletics.  The webinar lasts only 30 minutes.  It answers many questions regarding athletics this summer and fall in Chelsea.  See the link for a recording of this meeting.

We will continue to utilize the data and guidance from our health officials, learn from what other states and countries are doing to provide safe and equitable environments for students and staff, and collaborate to provide strong educational opportunities in whatever format is necessary.   We are dedicated to this work and capable of this challenge.  Go Bulldogs! 


Thank you for your support and stay safe. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.


Julie D. Helber, Ed.D


Additional Resources

Provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control Logo


Health Department of Washtenaw County, Michigan

World Health Organization image



Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

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