As Kent County public schools head into the second half of a tumultuous school year marked by periodic closures and shifting learning plans, more districts are aiming to resume in-person or hybrid instruction even as the pandemic continues its unpredictable course.
The 20 local school districts along with the Kent Career Tech Center are providing instruction models ranging from fully in-person classes to all-virtual learning to a hybrid combo of in-person and virtual. They continue to offer an option of all-virtual instruction for those students who want it, while bringing students into schools with safety and distancing measures as conditions allow.
The plans vary by district and grade level, with elementary schools generally seen as safer for in-person classes and allowing for grouping cohorts of students, while high schoolers are viewed as more capable of virtual or hybrid learning and more likely to spread the virus.
Some districts are resuming or continuing in-person classes this week, while others are staying virtual before opening classrooms in a week or two.
Grand Rapids Public Schools, which was all-remote for the first semester, is going to a hybrid schedule for all students on Jan. 19, following advice from the Kent County Health Department that high schools should remain remote through Jan. 15. Wyoming Public Schools are all-virtual until Jan. 18, switching then to in-person. Rockford middle and high schools will be hybrid until Jan. 18, to protect against a potential spike in cases statwide, before going in-person. (Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted a state ban on in-person learning at high schools shortly before Christmas.)
Following are the Kent ISD school districts’ latest learning plans as of Tuesday, Jan 5.
• Grades K-6: fully in-person
• Grades 7-12: hybrid model
• Elementary grades: continue in-person learning
• Middle and high schools: continue hybrid learning model through Jan. 15
• All students: goal is to return to full in-person learning on Jan. 19
• All grades: students who chose in-person learning will return to campus on Monday, Jan. 11. Red Hawk Online students will continue to learn remotely.
• Grades K-8: hybrid Jan. 4-15, in-person beginning Jan. 18
• Grades 9-12: all-virtual Jan. 4-8, hybrid Jan. 11-15, in-person beginning Jan. 18
East Grand Rapids
• Grades K-5: choice of in-person, full virtual with EGRPS virtual teachers or full virtual with Pearson teachers
• Grades 6-8: choice of in-person, full virtual with EGRPS teachers or full virtual with Pearson/Michigan Virtual Teachers
• Grades 9-12: in-person M, T, TH and F, or full virtual with EGRPS teachers or with Michigan Virtual teachers
• Jan. 4-8: grades K-5 in-person, 6-8 hybrid, 9-12 virtual
• Jan 11-15: grades K-6 in-person, 7-12 hybrid
• Grades K-5: in-person instruction
• Grades 6-12: Virtual through Jan. 22, in-person with virtual option beginning Jan. 25
• All grades: distance learning through Jan. 15; return to in-person instruction Jan. 19
• Jan. 4-15: all students 100% virtual
• Jan. 19: hybrid for all students PK-12 who chose that model, 100% virtual available for all students who selected it (will work case-by-case for students who would like to switch plans due to extenuating circumstances)
• Elementary schools: back to normal of in-person or virtual, depending on what family originally chose
• Grades 7-12: virtual this week, in-person or virtual beginning Jan. 11
• All grades: distance learning through Jan. 18, with schools planned to reopen Jan. 19. Students will have a choice of in-person or virtual learning and can switch plans from first semester.
• Elementary grades: hybrid until Jan. 11, when they will return to in-person learning
• Middle school: hybrid
• High school: virtual; decision on future plan for both schools to be announced Jan. 12. Superintendent Gerald Hopkins “fully anticipates” students returning to learning either in-person or some form of hybrid for spring semester.
Kent Career Tech Center
• Through Jan. 8: virtual
• Starting Jan. 11: in-person
• All grades: in-person learning returns on Wednesday, Jan. 6
• Pre-K-12: 100 % remote learning continued Jan. 4 and 5 to allow the Kent County Health Department the opportunity to contact trace 11 full days from Dec. 25. Fully in-person resumed Wednesday, Jan. 6
• Elementary schools: in-person
• Middle school: hybrid
• High school: remote until Jan. 11, when they move to hybrid schedule
• LAS Academy: Fully remote
• Through Jan. 15: grades DK-8, in-person cohorts; grades 9-12, virtual
• As of Jan. 19: DK-6 in-person M, T, TH and F; grades 7-12 in-person cohorts M, T, TH and F
• Grades DK-5: in-person instruction grouped by cohorts
• Grades 6-12: hybrid model of two days in-person, three days virtual, through Jan. 15. If there is no surge in positive tests results, those grades will be back to in-person on Jan. 18.
• All grades: resume in-person instruction. Changes from in-person to virtual or from virtual to in-person will take place Monday, Jan. 18.
• Choice of in-person or virtual instruction
• PK-12: 100 % remote learning continues through Jan. 15. In-person instruction scheduled to resume Jan. 18.