COVID-19 Guidance for Start of School

Published 8.5.2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,

It is back to school time! As we prepare to be 100% in-person, five days a week starting on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, I am writing to share important information regarding the latest COVID-19 guidance from our health officials.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) maintained an unwavering commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of our students, families, and staff. We consistently followed the guidance and direction from our federal, state, and county health officials, and we plan to do the same for the 2021-2022 school year.

Based on the latest guidance for K-12 schools from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD), here are the guidelines for the start of the 2021-2022 school year:

  • Universal indoor masking for all students, staff, and visitors to PK-12 schools is strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All unvaccinated students and staff who are eligible are strongly encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact KCHD or your health care provider to schedule your vaccination.
  • Masks do not need to be worn outdoors for recess or outdoor learning activities for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Athletics will continue to adhere to the rules set forth by the Michigan High School Athletic Association and guidance from the MDHHS and KCHD.
  • Layered mitigation strategies will continue, including handwashing and respiratory etiquette, hand sanitizer, ventilation, and cleaning of classrooms and buildings.
  • The COVID-19 Daily Health Screener is no longer required for students and staff. Students and staff should stay home if they are experiencing one or more of the COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Families and staff will continue to be notified if they or their student has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. Quarantine will only be required if unvaccinated students or staff live with a COVID-19 positive person OR if there is an outbreak in a school per the KCHD public health order still in place.
  • All students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status must quarantine.

This may be subject to change should the district receive new guidance or public health orders from the CDC, MDHHS, and/or KCHD. Please look for additional updates and communications as we get closer to the start of school.

As a reminder, if you have not already completed the online enrollment form for your student(s), please do so at

Thank you for your continued support and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer!

Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.                  
Superintendent of Schools


COVID-19 Guidance for Start of School (all languages)