Kent City Community Schools planned to open school as scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 26, with primarily face-to-face education, offering a virtual option for families who prefer to keep children home. Delays in construction at all buildings pushed back the start date to Sept. 8.
Weiler said that face-to-face instruction is clearly the most effective and in the case of Kent City, most parents prefer it.
“The most recent survey indicated that well over 80 percent of our parents were in favor of sending their children to school,” said Superintendent Mike Weiler, noting however that “a lot can change … in terms of what this virus and what our governor does.”
The district looked carefully at statistics provided by the county and based its decision on the fact that the majority of COVID-19 cases were concentrated south of Alpine Township. “It is not like Grand Rapids, here in the country,” he said, “certainly not as many cases; in fact there have only been 47 reported cases in all of Tyrone Township.”
While the district believes it is prepared to open safely, Weiler noted that they need to be prepared to deal with the virus.
“Of course we cannot eliminate all risk and if someone wants distance learning we will set that up for them,” he added. “We have learned a bit from doing it last spring. We are confident that we can set it up as necessary.”