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Flint Community Schools returns to virtual learning amid COVID-19 increase

The district reopened schools about three weeks ago
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 7:27 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Barely a month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal for all schools in Michigan to offer an in-person learning option for all students, some Mid-Michigan school districts are switching back to remote education.

Flint Community Schools and Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools both announced a return to completely virtual education as the number of new COVID-19 cases remains on the rise. A statement from Flint schools references a nearly 20% coronavirus test positivity rate in the city.

Flint Community Schools plans to switch back to remote learning beginning next Monday and shut down all athletics until further notice. The district was among the last in Michigan to reopen schools about three weeks ago.

“In partnership with the health community, we have determined that positivity rates should fall below double digits in order to have scholars in school,” Assistant Superintendent Kevelin Jones said in a statement.

Flint Community School board member Danielle Green has been outspoken critic of the district’s decision to bring back students into the classroom. She was the only no vote by the school board when the district was considering a return to face-to-face learning last July.

“This made sense to me, that we should have never went back,” Green said.

As the mother of three girls, she empathizes with parents and the impact of students not taking part in face-to-face learning. But Green said the stakes are too high.

“I get it, but the consequences of that, we can go back and figure this money thing out. We can do some extra things with what that is. I’m not sure, but COVID is a killer. There’s no coming back from that and it’s such a big gamble that we stand to lose too much so with this money thing we gonna have to do some things,” she said.

Representatives from the Flint teachers union could not be reached for comment about the change back to remote learning Tuesday.

Several other Mid-Michigan school districts are temporarily shifting back to virtual learning.

Carman-Ainsworth made the switch back to virtual learning on Tuesday with plans to resume face-to-face learning for all grades in two weeks on April 19.

Caro Community Schools students also will be learning at home for the next two weeks.

Both of those districts say the switch back to virtual learning is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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