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How Students are Returning to School

Editor’s note: Kent County’s 20 public school districts begin reopening the week of Aug. 24. Here’s a brief overview of how each one is handling instruction during the continuing pandemic. 

Byron Center:

School begins Aug. 31 with a hybrid plan combining in-person with virtual learning, with plans to shift to fully in-person, five days a week Sept. 28. The hybrid model will allow half the students in the building at a time, each two days a week and alternate Fridays. Students who opt for 100% remote learning will use BC Virtual, taught by Byron Center teachers.

Byron Center Detailed Plan


School begins Aug. 25 with two options: face-to-face and fully online. Caledonia  teachers will instruct both face-to-face and online learning, supported by Michigan Virtual content.

Caledonia Detailed Plan

Cedar Springs: 

School begins Sept. 8 with options of fully in-person or online learning. Online classes will be taught by Cedar Springs teachers for grades K-6 and supported by CS staff for grades 7-12. 

Cedar Springs Reopening Video

Comstock Park:

School begins Aug. 31. Students will have two options: a hybrid in-person/remote learning plan or a fully virtual option. For the hybrid option students will attend school in-person two days per week, transitioning to four days per week by Sept. 21 if possible. Virtual learning will be supported by Comstock Park staff members using the Edgenuity platform. 

Comstock Park Letter from Superintendent

East Grand Rapids:

School begins Aug. 24 with a hybrid half-day model for grades 6-12; full-day, in-person cohorts for K-5 or a structured full-time virtual with district teachers; and a virtual option for all students provided through Pearson/Michigan Virtual.

East Grand Rapids Detailed Plan

Forest Hills: 

School begins Aug. 31. All students will begin the school year with a grouped, hybrid in-person/remote learning plan. There also is a full-time virtual option taught by district staff for grades K-6, and via Michigan Virtual for grades 7-12.

Forest Hills Detailed Plan


School starts August 24 with 100 percent remote learning for all grades during the first two weeks. Elementary students will return to in-person learning the third week of the semester;  grades 6-8 will return in person the fourth week, and high school will return in person the fifth week. A fully remote learning option is also available, to be taught by district teachers using Godfrey-Lee curriculum. The district’s alternative school ?? will also remain fully remote for the semester.

Godfrey-Lee Detailed Information

Godwin Heights:

School starts Aug. 24 with all students attending virtual classrooms for the first three weeks. On Sept. 14, K-5 students will begin in-person learning at West and North Elementary schools. On Sept. 21, students in grades 6-8 will begin in-person classes at the middle school, with students in grades 9-12 starting in-person classes at the high school on Sept. 28. A remote option is available to all students.

Godwin Heights Superintendent Letter

Godwin Heights Detailed Plan

Grand Rapids:

School begins Aug. 25. All grades will have online education until Oct. 21, the end of the first marking period. GRPS will use those nine weeks to assess next steps: either a continuation of virtual learning or a transition to potential in-person or hybrid learning. GRPS teachers will deliver the nine weeks of online learning, and platforms will include SeeSaw, Google Classroom and some schools will pilot Schoology.

GRPS Detailed Plan


School starts Aug. 24 with a choice of either in-person — full time, five days a week — or remote. The remote option will be taught live by certified Grandville teachers and will mirror the in-person learning option.

Grandville Detailed Plan


School starts Aug. 24 with the choice of fully in-person or remote options. Students in grades 3-12 will receive online instruction through the Odysseyware platform. Kelloggsville teachers will monitor and assist students as they complete work. Students in grades K-2 will receive online instruction from Kelloggsville teachers using Accelerate Education as the learning platform.

Kelloggsville Detailed Plan

Kenowa Hills:

School starts Aug. 31 with instruction beginning remotely. Based on last name, middle and high school students who opt for in-person instruction will start Sept. 14, 15 or 16. The first planned day with 100% of in-person starts for secondary students on Sept. 17.

All elementary students will start by attending remotely from Aug. 31-Sept. 3, and will begin returning in person by last name on Sept. 8, 9 or 10. The first planned day for 100% of students in person starts for elementary students on Sept. 11.

Kenowa Hills Detailed Plan

Kent City:  

School starts Aug. 26 fully in person. Students also have the option for remote learning taught by Calvert for elementary students and Edmentum for middle and high school students.

Kent City Detailed Plan

Kent ISD: 

School starts Aug. 26.  At the Kent Career Tech Center, in-person instruction will take place as long as the state is in Phases 4 or 5. It is the same for Kent Transition Center, except a virtual option will be available to students who cannot attend for short durations. 

For Kent Innovation High, MySchool@Kent, Launch U, Adult Education and Center-Based programs (except for Kent Transition Center), in-person instruction will be offered for Phases 4-5, with distance learning available for any student who is not able to attend in-person. The Great Start Readiness Preschool and Early On will be offering a flexible delivery model, meeting families’ needs based on responses to a needs assessment survey. 

Kent ISD Detailed Plan


School starts Aug. 24. All students will start with remote/virtual learning for the first two weeks. On Sept.  8, students who opt for in-person learning will begin attending full days, five days a week. Students who choose to continue remote learning will be taught by Kentwood teachers.

Kentwood Letter from the Superintendent


School starts Aug. 25 with a hybrid model for in-person/virtual learning. After a remote “virtual connection day” for everyone on the first day, all students K-12 will be split into two groups and attend in-person classes or online classes on alternating days. Grades K-5 will return to full-time, in-person learning on Sept. 14 and grades 6-12 will remain hybrid until Sept. 25. After Sept. 25 the district hopes to have all grades return in person full-time. A fully remote (non-hybrid) option, led by Lowell staff, is also available for the duration of the school year. 

Lowell Letter from the Superintendent

Lowell Return to School Details

Northview :

School starts Aug. 25 with a hybrid model. Kindergartners through sixth graders will be in school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and at home Wednesday. Seventh through 12th graders will be at home three days a week, in school two. A fully virtual option will be taught by Northview teachers.

Northview Detailed Plan


School starts Aug. 24, beginning with remote learning for all students for the first 12 days, taught by Rockford teachers in real time. Beginning Sept. 14, students will have a choice of full-time in-person instruction or virtual learning. They can change plans if their chosen model is not working well for them. 

Rockford Detailed Plan


School starts Aug. 25 with options of full-time in-person or virtual learning, to be taught by Sparta teachers or Michigan certified teachers.

Sparta Detailed Plan


School starts Aug. 25. Students have two options for returning to school: in-person, full days, five days a week, or remote through TK Virtual School, with lessons from Edgenuity and other multimedia tools and resources. A TK teacher will be assigned to each student to assist in monitoring student progress.

Thornapple-Kellogg Detailed Plan


All students will start remote Aug. 25.  On Sept.  8, parents can choose to shift their student to the option of in-person learning, full days, five days a week. Remote learning will be taught by Wyoming teachers through the Synergy  StudentVue/ParentVue platform and/or through Google Classroom.

Wyoming Detailed Plan

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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