Welcome back

Back To School '22
Posted on 09/14/2022
District Announcement

Dear Royal Oak Schools Families,

The start of the 2022-23 school year is here. We had all 650+ district employees gathered at Royal Oak High School this week, and the energy in the room was incredible. During the morning together, we: 

  • Introduced new staff

  • Collaborated with community partner organizations 

  • Provided updates on improvements made this summer to physical, emotional, and other health-related safety features

  • Reviewed current COVID health protocols

  • Committed to student-focused support while providing a supportive and collaborative work environment for our staff


New Staff

We have consistently been sharing the good news about our new hires including employees in every work group.  Many of our staff are taking advantage of new opportunities which means they may have secured employment in other districts or in other lines of work. We are committed to filling any vacancies as soon as possible.  


Community Partners   

Royal Oak Schools is fortunate to be supported by so many dedicated organizations for the benefit of our students, families, and staff.  One of those key organizations is the Royal Oak PTAs which are eager to gain your feedback. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to complete the PTA participation survey. 


Safety Audit Follow-up

Last spring, the district contracted with Secure Educational Consultants (SEC) to fully audit all of our schools and buildings, procedures and updates that impact safety and security.  This summer, we were able to act upon the recommendations made by SEC including the installation of Night Lock door security mechanisms across the district, repair or replace other hardware as recommended, and assemble district-wide GoBags which include safety equipment and our Emergency Operations Plans at each school and building.  An overview of the protocols was presented to all staff by ROPD including School Resource Officer Joe Yerke. Our new staff participated in intensive training on school safety during their new staff orientation the previous week. 


COVID-19 Response

While we all would like to be free from worrying about COVID-19, we know that it still exists in our community.  Our stringent cleaning protocols remain in place.  Personal protective equipment, including masks, hand wipes, sanitizer, and access to hand washing stations and sinks are fully supplied by the district. Regular maintenance has been conducted this summer on our HVAC air-purification systems and they are fully operational in all learning and work spaces.  


We will be following the guidance provided by the Oakland County Health Division for mitigating and responding to COVID-19-positive cases and exposures.  


These protocols include:

  • Staff and students remain out of school when ill, regardless of the illness. 

  • Optional mask-wearing for all students, staff, and visitors when in our schools and buildings. 

  • For COVID-19 positive cases, required isolation out of school on days 0-5 of a positive diagnosis, and required mask wearing for days 6-10 if returning to school.  The return to school is dependent upon the person being:

    • fever-free without medication, 

    • showing improving symptoms, 

    • or having no symptoms present in order to return. 


Positive COVID-19 cases are to be reported by parents to the school when using our attendance system. We are required to report positive cases to the Oakland County Health Department, as we do with many communicable diseases.  We will do our best to notify close contacts of known cases by providing updates to elementary classes/homerooms, or known groups, clubs or sports. We also need our families to notify close contacts in our schools and community that they may have encountered when ill.  


Please see the guidance from the Oakland County Health Division. 


Mental Health Support

Royal Oak Schools has applied for a Mental Health Funding grant from Oakland County. That grant will be used to provide training and resources for all staff. We have already received a $25,000 grant from the Royal Oak Schools Education Foundation, and await further information on mental health grants from the State of Michigan for this school year.  As these grants are secured, we will share how the funds are specifically being used in our schools. 


We are all looking forward to the school year with renewed optimism. 

As our staff returned this week, you could certainly feel the energy and enthusiasm building for the students’ return next week. 

I wish you and your families the best for the new school year. 

Mary Beth Fitzpatrick