Royal Oak schools stay in-person, Clawson schools go remote

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published April 19, 2021


ROYAL OAK/CLAWSON — Royal Oak Schools and Clawson Public Schools responded differently to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s April 9 call on public school districts to voluntarily move high school education online for two weeks following spring break.

While Royal Oak Schools opted not to go remote, Clawson Public Schools shifted its high school students to remote learning for two weeks beginning Monday, April 12.

“Due to the recent recommendation by the Governor and the Oakland County Health Department (OCHD) for grades 9-12 to move to remote learning for the next two weeks, as well as an increase in positive cases at our high school, CHS will be moving to remote learning,” CPS Superintendent Tim Wilson wrote in an April 9 letter to the district community. “Remote learning at the high school will follow the regular daily schedule as if students were in-person.”

Wilson added that the driving force behind the district’s decision-making during the pandemic “has always been and will continue to be data, specifically county and local data.”

In addition, Wilson said, the Michigan High School Athletic Association now requires mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for all spring athletes, which the district has been doing. He said the district will continue to monitor testing results closely and make adjustments as needed based on the data.

“All spring sports teams practice and compete outside, and our safety protocols for our student-athletes remain in place,” he said. “As a result of this added level of monitoring and oversight, we will continue with our spring sports as scheduled.”

Wilson concluded his correspondence by telling families that state standardized testing will be rescheduled, and the district will communicate more details in the near future.

Royal Oak Schools Superintendent Mary Beth Fitzpatrick issued a letter to the district community the same day as Whitmer’s press conference.

“Our district, like many others, was surprised to hear this during a public press conference, without any direct prior notice to school leaders,” Fitzpatrick wrote. “(The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) and county health departments have the authority to mandate closures rather than putting these health-related decisions on school districts.”

Fitzpatrick stated the district’s intention to remain open for in-person learning for all of its students while adhering to required protocols and mitigation measures already in place.

“Spring sports will continue as scheduled and all spring athletes are required to participate in COVID-19 testing once per week,” she said.

Fitzpatrick said the district will continue to enforce quarantine protocols when alerted by a positive COVID-19 case or exposure to a case, and maintain its cleaning and social distancing measures.

“All of these measures are working as we are not seeing outbreaks being caused by physically being at school,” she said. “Please continue to be safe and responsible while at school and out of school.”

Unlike CPS, Fitzpatrick said ROS will follow a modified in-person schedule as planned to conduct standardized testing at the high school.

“We will continue to monitor the number of positive cases and number of quarantined students across our district to determine if there is a need to shift programming to remote/virtual learning at any of our buildings,” she said. “It is imperative that you continue to notify the district if your child tests positive or if they are a close contact of a positive case so that we can stop the spread.”

She added that continued notifications would give the district the best possible data to guide its decision-making.

“Thank you in advance for your understanding as we continue to respond to this pandemic in different but necessary ways,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am appreciative of the resilience of our students, staff, and parents.”

For more information about Clawson Public Schools, visit or call (248) 655-4400.

For more information about Royal Oak Schools, visit or call (248) 435-8400.