MAPS addresses pandemic’s impact on student performance

MCHD?to call residents today for vaccine appointment scheduling; local bar penalized; officials warn of scams

MARQUETTE — Marquette Area Public Schools still is dealing with the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on students’ education.

At the Monday MAPS Board of Education meeting, Marquette Senior High School Principal Jon Young gave an update on recent academic progress.

“On a four-year average, we typically have about 106 students that fail a class of some sort,” said Young, who noted that makes up 11% of the student population.

Earlier in the 2020-21 school year, Young shared data that indicated that 51% of online students were failing one or more classes, with 16% of in-person students failing one or more classes.

However, he said significant improvements have been made.

“It shows the work and efforts that our teachers and our counselors, as well as our tutors that we’ve put in place, have been doing to really help these students get back on track,” Young said.

For instance, the 16% in-person failure rate seen at the end of the first marking period has been brought down to about 10% for the semester, with the online rate decreased to 30.63%, he said.

Since the statistic has been tracked for Michigan online students, he said, around 45% of Michigan students typically fail online classes on average.

“So for us to get that number down to 30.63 is a great result,” Young said. “However, that is still far too high for us to feel comfortable about the success of our students.”

Improving that statistic will be a focal point over the second half of the school year, he said.

He mentioned another statistic: Currently, 17.26% of a combination of online and face-to-face students at MSHS have failed at least one class, which is higher than the recent four-year average.

“That has a lot to do with the fact that this year we have such a significant number of students that are online, and that drives that up, as well just students in general struggling,” Young said.

The board also unanimously approved $50 merit pay and $500 hazard pay for MAPS employees.

MAPS Superintendent Bill Saunders said the total cost with no benefits rises to about $204,000; with benefits, it rises to about $276,000.

Residents to be called starting today

The Marquette County Health Department will continue calling residents from the pre-registration list today for appointments to be scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Individuals who have pre-registered should pay attention for a call from 906-475-9977 or similar number. The MCHD will make two attempts to call and will leave a message on the first attempt so the recipient is aware that a second call will be made.

The names of people missing the calls will remain on the list for the next round of appointments.

A pre-registered individual wishing to cancel an appointment, or who has received a vaccine elsewhere, should call 906-475-7847 with as much advanced notice as possible.

Anyone 65 or older who wishes to be placed on the pre-registration list should visit www.mqthealth.org or call 906-475-7847. Phone lines will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.

Online registrants will receive an email confirmation.

The MCHD pointed out that some people have reported the confirmations being sent to junk mailboxes.

People are asked to not register more than once.

Wooden Nickel penalized

The Wooden Nickel bar, located at 1751 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, has received a penalty from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission following an emergency suspension hearing held on Friday on Zoom for Irie Vibes, Inc., doing business as the Wooden Nickel.

The penalty involved a $4,200 fine, a 60-day suspension from the date of the original emergency suspension on Feb. 9 plus 51 days from the date of the hearing, with the suspension to end on April 11.

The direct link to the violation order is: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/CV-509147_Irie_Vibes_717023_7.pdf.

According to the State Emergency Operations Center, the Wooden Nickel’s multiple violations of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Order on Gatherings and Face Masks include:

≤ allowing nonresidential, indoor gatherings;

≤ failure to require face coverings for staff and patrons;

≤ exceeding 25% of normal seating capacity; and

≤ allowing indoor dining after the 10 p.m. curfew.

Wooden Nickel owner Stan Plis appeared before an administrative law judge, Michael J. St. John, with Assistant Attorney General Daniel Felder representing the MLCC.

According to court documents, in considering the penalties, the judge considered the licensee’s total record, which showed one prior warning, giving away alcohol in 2005, and one prior violation, a 2005 sale to a minor, since being licensed on April 6, 2004.

LMAS warns of scams

The Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft Health Department announced that the Oakland County Health Department said it has received reports of residents in the Oakland County area receiving phone calls that appear to be about COVID-19 vaccination appointments, but are really a scam to get financial and other information from those who answer the phone.

The calls are described as beginning with a few questions to schedule a vaccine appointment. The caller then asks for personal and financial information, something that no one from LMAS District Health Department or its local hospitals would ask for on the phone.

LMAS recommends individuals to never give financial information, including credit card numbers, or social security numbers to anyone that calls you.

“It is unfortunate that there are those taking advantage of individuals who are awaiting a call for their actual COVID vaccination appointment,” it said in a statement.

LMAS said it hasn’t received any reports of people receiving these calls in the LMAS counties yet, but if anyone receives such a call, they are urged to not give the caller any information, and report it to local law enforcement offices at their non-emergency numbers.

For more information, visit LMASDHD.org.

Race data provided

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday posted race data on the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard to help track the effects of state initiatives designed to ensure vaccine equity as well as provide additional information about vaccinations in Michigan.

“Ensuring those who are most vulnerable are protected by the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a high priority for Michigan,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, in a statement. “Black and Brown communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus, and improving the race and ethnicity data being collected for vaccinations is critical for ensuring the equitable administration of the vaccine.

“We will use this data to continue to drive our strategy towards making sure everyone has equitable access to the vaccines.”

MDHHS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines for adults. This resulted in vaccinations starting with healthcare workers and staff and patients at long-term care facilities in December.

Additional groups, which include individuals ages 65 years or older and some essential frontline workers, became eligible in January.

According to data reported as of Monday, more than 1.2 million Michigan residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and 547,163 of those individuals do not have race information recorded. Only 56% of reported COVID-19 vaccine doses have race data recorded, a number MDHHS is actively working to improve

Race data collected over the vaccine implementation period shows of those vaccinated:

≤ 43.7% are unknown;

≤ 41.7% are white;

≤ 9.5% are listed as other;

≤ 3.7% are Black;

≤ 1.1% are Asian or Pacific Islander;

≤ and 0.3% are American Indian/Alaskan Native race.

A direct entry tool is now live and allows this information to be entered directly into Michigan Care Improvement Registry, and immunization providers across the state are asked to submit race data for all vaccines administered. The database collects and consolidates immunization information from multiple providers into a comprehensive immunization record allowing providers to view up-to-date patient immunization history. Currently, 85% of the race and ethnicity data being reported to MCIR comes from electronic medical records.  

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net


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