Northern Michigan School Districts Prepare for Possible Closure for Remaining School Year

School districts across northern Michigan are waiting on a decision this week from Governor Whitmer on what happens to schools.

There is a possibility she’ll order schools to remain closed for the rest of the school year.

Benzie Central Superintendent Matthew Olson says if the state decides to close schools for the remainder of the school year, he’d like clarification on requirements for students moving on to the next grade, or graduating. He also has some questions on how funding for districts would work.

“Once those ones are answered, a lot of the things beyond that are the things that I keep hearing from lots of concerned families and parents, what are we going to do about a lot of the social milestones, commencement is the big one on everyone’s mind,” said Olson.

Districts may also have to look at ways to continue virtual learning, a challenge for schools in rural areas like Benzie Central and Baldwin Community Schools.

‘There are going to be some difficulties at all of the schools throughout the state because every community, every school district, faces some type of challenge for whatever order comes down so there’s going to need to be some flexibility,” said Baldwin Superintendent Rick Heitmeyer.

And with no next step confirmed, schools are discussing several ideas for the coming months.

“We’ve done a little bit with Google Classroom and some things like that but we’ve never as a district dove into a platform and said hey, we’re going to learn how to do this,” said Heitmeyer.

“The biggest thing I think, message I would send to my families is bear with us. We’re doing the best we can to change a pretty massive structure on the fly and we’re going to need help, we’re going to need grace as we work through that,” said Olson.

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Categories: Coronavirus