DATE:  August 18, 2020  


TO:  All Early Childhood Education Starfish Family Services Families 


FROM:  Karen Roback, Vice President of Early Childhood and Strategy 

RE: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Welcome to the Start of a New School Year! 


What an unusual summer.  I can’t believe I am writing the back to school memo.  It feels like I just finished the summer memo.   


Starfish is prioritizing the health and safety of our families and employees before we open our doors.  Michigan is still in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan which means we will begin the school year online.  We will begin online programming on September 9, 2020.  We hope to return to home-based and some center learning in October with smaller class sizes.  


Families will receive a Family Handbook that details our plans.  Beginning the week of September 9, families will also receive weekly activity kits, meals and snacks, and other essential items if needed.  You will be contacted by the Family Service Guide to talk about online learning.  They will also ask if you want to continue online or return to a center when we open centers. 


When we return to centers Starfish will look different.  We will: 

  • Use social distancing 

  • Use health screenings 

  • Separate sick children  

  • Clean and disinfect more often 

  • Wear masks 


The State of Michigan recommends all children ages 2 and up wear masks in group settings.  Starfish will follow these guidelines.  We will provide masks for children if they do not have their own.  We suggest children practice wearing masks before they return to centers.   


These are uncertain times and that means we need to be flexible.  While we plan to return to home-based and center learning, we may need to continue online longer.  Starfish will assess the status of the virus and make changes, as necessary.  So that you can plan, Starfish will follow the Governor’s most


recent Executive Order and make decisions about learning options monthly.  We will notify you as soon as decisions are made. 


The website , has more information about COVID-19, materials and activities for children, and links to other resources.   


Here are recommendations from Governor Whitmer’s office for Individuals and families at home:  

  1. Learn about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. 

  2. If you have respiratory symptoms, STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK. Call your health care provider’s office in advance of your visit.

  3. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.

  4. Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.

  5. Be prepared if there is COVID-19 in your household or a disruption of daily activities in your community. For example, maintain a supply of medications, food, and other essentials in your house. Consider alternative shopping options such as curbside pickups or online deliveries.

  6. Access services as much as possible online or by phone.


Learn more about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19):  

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coronavirus website (including links to fact sheets and avoiding racism/stigma surrounding Coronavirus):  

  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (including links to fact sheets in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Arabic): 

  • Wayne County Health Department: 

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