August 5, 2021 

Dear Huskie Pack: 

We are less than 20 days away from the start of our fall semester Monday, August 23rd, and staff is busy preparing our campus for our teams to start practice and our teachers and students to return to the classroom. 

This year, we will welcome old friends and new ones with the Kindergarten class of 2034 and new students and families that have moved into our district or are utilizing school of choice to attend. 

We want to ensure that we start the year with all the excitement, enthusiasm, and "huskietasticness" that we can muster. You can help by connecting, sharing, liking our communication via social media, downloading the Huskie App, and sharing your positive Hemlock Huskie story with family and friends. 

As we prepare to return to campus, I want to assure you that the health and safety of our school district remain our top priorities. While vaccination is not mandatory at HPSD, we do encourage staff and students 12 and older to consider vaccination, as we believe they are a powerful tool to help prevent COVID-19. We all want things to be normal, and in some ways, they will be, but there are a few things that have changed. 

  • Cleaning, we will continue to sanitize/disinfect as part of our day-to-day routine. 
  • Handwashing, we will continue to encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly. 
  • Sick people stay home; we will continue to have sick students and staff stay home if they have any signs of sickness/illness. 
  • Remain fluid and make decisions based on data at a micro-level as much as possible.*
  • Due to federal requirements, while on our school buses, everyone will need to wear masks.
  • Visitors and non-essential/non-instructional volunteers will be severely limited within the schools.
  • All athletics activities will follow MHSAA directives. HPSD will not independently require the testing of athletes or any other students.

*There are a few things that are not currently part of how we plan to start schools, such as face masks in school buildings and social distancing. Over the next week or so, we will continue to review and prepare our plans and will continue to seek and follow the expertise of local health officials. Masks and quarantines will only be required when required by MDHSS/SCHSS, outside of our control. 

This school year, there are some regulations at both the State and Federal levels that I want to make sure you are aware of. First, Federal regulations require masks on school buses and also provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. Second, State regulations do not provide a virtual learning option for elementary students; therefore, the only virtual option we will have for this coming school year is for secondary students grades 7-12 with Hemlock Virtual. 

There are some important things ahead. 

Open House, August 18th 

Start of our athletic season 
Monday, August 9th, with the exception of Volleyball which is August 11th. 

First Home Football Game 
Hemlock Huskies vs. Breckenridge Huskies 
Thursday, August 26th at 7 PM 

I look forward to seeing many of you back on campus. Until we meet again, I have included a few links and stories to help you Pull the Sled for all the great things happening at HPSD. 

All the best, and Go Huskies! 

Dr. Don Killingbeck Jr. 
Hemlock Public School District 

In case you missed it, tune in: 
July Update 
Hemlock Experience 
Live Stream with WSGW 
Board, plans for the future