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Grand Blanc Community Schools announces plan for face-to-face learning

Parents in Grand Blanc Schools are getting word tonight that there’s a plan to bring students back inside the school safely. The district sending a letter with details about moving forward with face-to-face learning on Tuesday.
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:08 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - Parents in Grand Blanc Schools are getting word tonight that there’s a plan to bring students back inside the school safely.

The district sending a letter with details about moving forward with face-to-face learning on Tuesday.

“Are we excited to at least begin this and get these kids back in what we feel is a safe manner, a methodical approach? Absolutely! That’s what our schools are for," Superintendent Clarence Garner said during an ABC12 call on Zoom.

It’s been one full week of classes for Grand Blanc Community Schools. For teachers and administrators, walking the halls right now still seems unnatural.

“They’re quiet. We’re used to the noise of the kids, and the bustling of the back and forth, and the sound of their shoes on the hallway floors, so it’s very kind of eerie right now of course without having the kids there," Garner said.

Garner says during Monday night’s meeting, the school board voted unanimously to bring students back to the classroom.

It will include Select special education returning to face-to-face in a hybrid schedule on September 28. Then, young 5S/Kindergarten on October 5th, 1st and 2nd grades on October 12, select GBHS CTE classes on October 19, and 3rd-5th grades on October 26.

Each is entering a hybrid model with 2 to 3 days of face-to-face learning per week in most cases.

“We’re excited that we were able to announce this. I think it gives our families some optimism. I know they’ve been home with the kids for the long time, and this is our first step in bringing those kids back," Garner said.

That’s certainly the case for parents in the district like Natalie Hart. She communicated with ABC12 via Facebook Messenger, saying, “My third grader has needed a lot of my help and the focus just isn’t there like it would be if she was in an actual classroom with her teacher.”

Hart says it’s been easier for her sixth grader who’s more self-sufficient, but that begs the question why not open all grades like middle and high school too?

It’s a phased-in approach, focusing on returning the youngest and most vulnerable learners.

“The reason we’re starting slow with this is if we should run into some situations with our elementary students back and we have to pull back and shut things down, I’m not shutting our whole system down," Garner said.

Garner says they’re tentatively looking at November for middle school students and then look to bring high school students back after that.

To read the full letter from the district, click here.

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