Clarkston students, staff back to face-to-face learning

Clarkston students, staff back to face-to-face learning

Clarkston News Editor

In a unanimous vote Monday night from the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education, the doors to all schools in the district will gradually reopen to staff and students starting next Monday, October 5.
The board had voted August 10 to start the 2020-21 school in an online capacity only due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Families can still decide to keep their children at home to learn online.
During the Monday Zoom meeting, many parents joined the call to voice their concerns and also their support.
“As you might guess, 2020 has provided schools with some unique learning experiences,” said Superintendent Dr. Shawn Ryan, who recommended the return to school proposal to the board. “It is safe to say that none of our educators – myself included – ever took a course on pandemic schooling in college. Instead, we are writing that textbook every day and filling the pages with ingenious new ideas for educating students.”
Taking a gradual, tiered approach, Young 5’s and Kindergarten will return next Monday and Tuesday, while first grade through 12th grade will continue distance learning at home. Then all students through second grade go back Oct. 7, and through fifth grade on Oct. 8, with all others distance learning.
On Monday, Oct. 12, all students with last names A-K will return, followed the next day by last names L-Z. Students will flip distance learning days on those two days.
On Oct. 14, all students Young 5’s to fifth grade will be in person and all others distance learning. The next day, all students Young 5’s through fifth grade and sixth through 12th grade students with last names A-K will be in school, all students with last names L-Z distance learning, and on Oct. 16 Young 5’s through fifth grade and sixth through 12th grade students with last names L-Z will be in school, all students with last names A-K distance learning.
All students will follow the Oct. 12-16 daily schedule through Friday, Oct. 30, with continuous re-evaluation looking to return to full-time face-to-face instruction in November.

Clarkston Superintendent Dr. Shawn Ryan discusses his proposal to see students return to school buildings during the CCS Board of Education meeting held via Zoom on Sept. 28.

“My meetings with county epidemiologists last week were positive and the information provided to me continues to support (Monday’s return to school) recommendation,” said Ryan. “Virus cases in Clarkston continue to decrease over previous reporting, and the most recent Oakland County Health Department report – 7.7 cases per 10,000 people within our school district boundaries – indicates a stable trend. Also last week, researchers at Brown University, working with school administrators, released their first set of data created to track coronavirus cases. It found low levels of infection among students and teachers and indicated school transmission is much lower than anticipated.
“In fact, all evidence suggests that this is our best window of time for moving into the next tier of reopening.”
Clarkston Virtual students will not go back to in-person learning until January at the earliest, if the families choose, as it is a semester commitment. Those families and students cannot choose to return to face-to-face learning, although some families with extenuating circumstances (less than one percent) have been granted transfers.
“Read loud and clear: The best way to stay ahead of this infection, in this pandemic, is not to wait and see what happens,” Ryan said. “You make smart decisions based on the rates and what’s going on in your surroundings around the community. And when it starts to head in a direction that is not positive, you move before it becomes a problem. In any respect in this pandemic, our teachers are heroes, and so are our parapros and bus drivers, administrators and every support staff member that’s willing to support our students.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.