Flint Community Schools’ Board to discuss returning kids to classrooms

The Administration is expected to brief the Board of Education at Wednesday’s meeting on what’s been done to ensure everyone is safe.
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 5:25 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (3/10/2021) - They’re one of the last school districts in Michigan to still be fully remote, but we could learn Wednesday night when exactly Flint students will return to the classroom.

The Administration is expected to brief the Board of Education at Wednesday’s meeting on what’s been done to ensure everyone is safe.

The United Teachers of Flint had a number of requirements and they have been met.

Three weeks ago, the district had pushed back its February 22nd return date, because there were not enough sneeze guards for every desk. That was one of the union’s requirements.

ABC12 has learned the final shipment was rushed to Flint and the shields are being installed on every single desk at every single school.

“You know I work with a lot of districts, and Flint is up at the top when it comes to their collaborative approach. They work with all of the groups, whether that’s you know food service, whether that’s parents or teachers or administrators. We’ve all worked together as kind of a central leadership team to discuss the issues and the fears and the the things that needed to be done,” said Bruce Jordan, a Uniserv Director with the Michigan Education Association.

He explained because of that, teachers feel more comfortable now with students returning to their classrooms soon.

It will be the first time in a year.

“We talked about some dates; but, you know, at the other end of the spectrum the board’s got to make that determination,” he said.

The district could decide to phase the students back by grade, like other area districts have done, according to Jordan. He said the Administration is bringing several ideas to the Board.

Jordan does expect the district to run a hybrid model - with half the class at school two days a week and at home the other days. Then, everyone will be virtual for that 5th day.

That’s how Jordan explained the District will maintain social distancing in the buildings.

And while he said around half of the teachers are hesitant about this next step, they’re willing to make it work for the students.

“It’s not just academics that they’re losing out on,” Jordan said. “There’s a lot of social aspects of public education ... your well being, your mental -- your mental wellness. All of that really needs to be taken into consideration I think face-to-face does that.”

As for extra supplies, the Union said right now every teacher has plenty of masks, hand sanitizer and wipes for their classrooms

But, they are still waiting on an order of air purifiers for classrooms and for every teacher that wants it to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

For families who want to stick with virtual learning only, the District is keeping that option available.

Click here to attend Wednesday night’s School Board meeting. It begins at 7:30 p.m.

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