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Flint, MI—Confusion spread through several Flint community Facebook groups on Wednesday about claims that the Flint Schools Board of Education voted to return Flint kids to face-to-face learning. According to school officials, these claims are untrue, and Flint Schools will continue virtual instruction as planned.
“We [want] to keep the kids remote as long as we possibly can, that’s our goal. We want the kids to stay remote. We want the kids to stay healthy…Every board member is on board about not wanting the kids to go back to school right now,” Casey Lester, president of the Flint Schools Board of Education, said.
Flint Schools Governance Subcommittee met Tuesday where they discussed the possibility of sending kids back to school, but no vote was taken, Lester said.
“We have to have conversations, obviously everybody has to have conversations across the state, about what does the plan look like because I don’t want to be caught without a plan when the time comes. So, we’re planning for everything, and we’re planning in accordance to health officials and in accordance to [state] regulations,” he said.
In July, the board approved the district’s Safe Return and Recovery Plan which outlines several courses of action that mirror Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s six-phase MI Safe Start Plan. Each phase impacts the way K-12 schools can conduct learning.
At present, Michigan is in Phase 4 which means schools have the option of in-person learning or virtual instruction. After a spike in COVID-19 cases in August, school officials determined it was unsafe to return kids to school.
If Governor Whitmer moves the state to Phase 5, schools will be required by law to resume face-to-face instruction.
Flint students will not go back to school unless the board holds a vote, Treasurer of Flint Schools Board of Education Danielle Green, said. A vote on this matter has not been scheduled.