Utica And Livonia Schools Go Remote For Fall, Detroit, More, Offer Hybrid. Full List Of Reopening Plans Here

WWJ News
August 11, 2020 - 8:26 am

(WWJ) Will they stay or will they go? It's a question that's top of mind for parents across the state -- and the country -- as more and more school districts cobble together plans for the fall.

Birmingham parents are planning a rally before tonight's board meeting to urge schools to reopen for in-person learning while Brighton and Plymouth Canton will be voting tonight on what they're calling "return to learn" plans. 

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All districts must submit to the state by August 15th their plans for social distancing, mask requirements, lunch time rules, and more, if they decide to hold classes in-person.. 

Detroit plans to return to in-person learning with safety measures like temperature checks, mask requirements, and closing buildings for deep cleaning whenever a case is confirmed. Officials say classrooms will have a maximum capacity of 20 students per class.

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The largest school district in the state, Detroit will also offer remote learning for parents who feel more comfortable with that.

Utica, the second largest district in the state behind Detroit, voted last night to approve a remote classroom through Oct. 30. That's when early plans call for in-person sessions to resume for some while others can continue to participate in the 100 percent online virtual academy.

“We want our students’ year to be memorable not because of COVID-19, but because they built great teacher student relationships, had opportunities to learn amazing things, and were inspired to achieve beyond what they ever dreamed,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said.

 As schools grapple with the best way to return to learning, the Romeo Community Schools is giving parents the option. While nothing is final, the district says it does intend to offer in-person, virtual and hybrid learning options for students in the fall.

Livonia school district students will be starting the school year online.  At the end of a meeting that lasted more than three-and-a-half hours, the School Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a Remote Safe Start September plan for its approximately 14,000 students. 

Like Utica, administrators there say the idea is to start online, and gradually move students back into school in small groups starting in October until all students are back in school. 

Utica Community Schools families will be offered two options focused on educational excellence to begin the 2020-2021 school year: a remote classroom option with the ability to transition to in-person learning and a 100 percent on-line UCS Virtual Academy.

 The Board of Education unanimously approved the plan at its August 10 meeting.

Some parents sent letters in support of going fully online, while others called for in-person learning. 

While there are concerns about parents struggling to teach at home and balancing their own work with kid's learning, Livonia's board said safety has to be the top priority. 

 In addition, a community survey of 14,000 respondents identified strengths and recommendations for improvement based on the services provided to students after schools were closed to face-to-face instruction in March.

 For districts that choose the UCS virtual Academy for remote learning, students involved in remote learning will receive instruction directly from UCS teachers during their day and work independently using pre-recorded lessons or content from district-approved curriculum resources.

 The UCS Virtual Academy provides core subjects and electives and will be available for students in grades K-12. Students will be instructed by teachers that are certified by the state of Michigan.

 Class days will follow traditional daily school schedules and calendar. Students will receive both live instruction from a UCS teacher as well as on-line content that will allow them to move at their own pace.

Clickondetroit.com has a comprehensive list of every district in metro Detroit and where they stand in reopening plans. See it HERE.