Board gives Howell superintendent emergency powers to deal with COVID-19

Howell Public Schools Superintendent Erin MacGregor

The Howell Public Schools District, at its Sept. 14, 2020, meeting, joined at least several other districts in the state to grant its superintendent emergency powers to quickly deal with issues related to COVID-19.

The move comes after two Howell students were identified as probable COVID-19 cases, and on the same day that Howell High School and its Freshman Campus closed to allow for contact tracing after a high school student tested positive for the virus (you can read some of our coverage here). According to WHMI 93.5, another Howell students has tested positive since then.

Howell Superintendent Erin MacGregor will have emergency powers to deal with COVID-19 — including taking whatever actions he deems necessary to provide for education to students; to work with government agencies; to enter into contracts for any dollar amount; to waive current polices, as well as institute new policies and procedures — without first seeking board approval through the end of the 2020-21 school year. He is required to keep the school board informed of what actions he takes “as soon as is practicable.”

The Michigan Association of School Boards issued a sample resolution for local boards of education to adopt in March 2020. Other school districts in Michigan — including Manistee, Cheboygan and Harbor Springs — adopted resolutions in May 2020 granting their superintendents emergency powers to conduct activities that normally would require board approval.

The policy adopted by the Howell Public School Board of Education was developed with Neola, the K-12 educational policy consulting firm that works with over 1,450 school districts in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Florida. Neola — which has partnered with the Michigan Association of School Board since 1986 — works with all of Livingston County’s public school districts.

You can read the Howell Public Schools Board of Education resolution here:

File Exhibit E-1

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