SAGINAW, MI – Saginaw Public Schools students will switch to daily Zoom classes with their teachers when the spring semester begins next week, and will return to classrooms in a hybrid model come March.
The Saginaw Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved an amended continuity of learning plan at its Wednesday, Jan. 20 meeting, which included the two changes proposed by Superintendent Ramont Roberts. The new semester begins Monday, Jan. 25.
The first change will shift the district’s remote classes into full, five-day-a-week online classes with teacher instruction through Zoom, Roberts said.
“It’s important that we are doing everything we can to make certain that we are instructing students (well) in the midst of a pandemic, and I think we’ve gotten to a point where we can increase the instructional time for our students in this current model,” Roberts said. “If we can place our teachers in a situation where we increase the time that they are in a structured environment with students, then we know that our students will respond to that. Our data right now is not bad, but we know that we can do better.”
The return to face-to-face instruction on March 1, as recommended by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, will begin in a hybrid model like the district’s earlier plans for returning students to classrooms. The district’s previous model called for two groups of students switching off in-person and remote schooling each day. The board will reevaluate the hybrid model over time and make adjustments based on the state of the pandemic, Roberts said.
The district will continue to offer a virtual option for families uncomfortable with bringing students back to in-person classes, Roberts said. He previously said the option will not be a semester-long commitment, and families should be able to switch out if it’s not working for them.
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