Return to school postponed, midterms canceled
On Nov. 6, GPPSS announced the postponement of the return to in-person learning for high school students to the tentative date of Jan. 25. Since the entirety of the first semester will occur remotely, the district has also decided to cancel midterm exams. In order to be able to return on the set date, Deputy Superintendent Jon Dean stresses the importance of strictly adhering to Covid-19 guidelines set by the government and public health officials.
“This is a terrible time with (Covid-19) right now,” Dean said. “We as a society have to get that taken care of. We have to wear our masks and be socially distant because we all want to be back to school.”
Face to face, hybrid plan approved when return to school occurs
Although high schools will not be returning to face-to-face learning until 2021, the district-proposed hybrid plan for middle and high schools was approved at the school board meeting on Nov. 9. The plan involves dividing students into two cohorts, with one cohort attending school in the morning and the other attending school in the afternoon. Dean says the Wayne County Health Department approved plan contains numerous safety measures in order to mitigate any chance of spread of Covid-19, including having students eat lunch off-campus.
“We worked with the high school people, and we heard feedback that it was really important to them that they’d be on a half day schedule so the students aren’t eating lunch…in the high school building,” Dean said.
District withdraws proposed remote plan from board consideration to receive more student and teacher feedback
On Nov. 6, GPPSS released a proposed remote learning plan that included seven 50 minute Zoom classes four days a week. After backlash from students, teachers and community members, the district asked the board not to vote on the plan at the Nov. 9 meeting. Instead, they promised to revise the plan to include more input from student surveys and meetings with teachers and building administrators. Dean contends that with every plan the district administrators design, the best interest of students is always at the heart of it.
“Our goal is always the same thing, which is to help students academically, socially and emotionally,” Dean said.