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Schools start remotely, offer choice of plans

Kenowa Hills Public Schools developed two options for the 2020-2021 school year: allowing families to choose between 100% face-to-face instruction or 100% virtual learning. 

Superintendent Gerald Hopkins acknowledged input from parent voices helped form the district plan to provide learning options that allow space for learning, developing relationships, and caring for the physical and mental health of students. 

“The focus of our face-to-face plan has been on safety measures, while the focus of our virtual plan has been to provide both a robust and engaging online experience,” Hopkins said. “Our virtual program students will connect with Kenowa Hills teachers on a regular basis and be provided with opportunities for small group interaction.”

All students in grades 6-12 begin remotely for two weeks starting Monday, Aug. 31. Student devices will also be provided for all students who do not have a district-issued device.

Face-to-face elementary students will attend remotely from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, then begin attending school by last name on Sept. 8, 9 or 10. The first planned 100% face-to-face start for all elementary students is Sept. 11.

Based on last name, middle and high school students who opt for in-person instruction will start Sept. 14, 15 or 16. To limit transitions between classes and maximize grouping by cohorts, middle and high school students will attend two classes per day face-to-face starting Sept. 17. Three rotating block schedules will determine which periods students attend in the mornings and afternoons.  

Staffed by Kenowa Hills teachers, students in the Kenowa Hills Online Learning Academy (KHOLA) will experience the same rigor as in the traditional classroom, as well as support from district educators, officials say. 

As long as the district remains in Michigan’s Phase Four reopening stage or higher, face-to-face learning will take place Monday-Friday with strict safety measures in place. If moved to Phase 3, all face-to-face learning will cease and students will transition to remote learning only.  

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Kenowa Hills’ Back to School Plan 

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter, covering Caledonia and Kenowa Hills and is a roving reporter for Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News - covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry. Following a stint as a copywriter for a Grand Rapids area PR firm, she transitioned from communications to freelance writing and reporting for SNN. Read Alexis' full bio

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