Flint, MI–Flint Community School officials announced Feb.19, 2021, that schools will not reopen on Feb. 22 as originally planned.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous board meeting on Feb. 17, during which board members argued about sending students back to schools while preparations hadn’t been completed.

“Unfortunately, there were concerns regarding the sneeze guards—an additional safely measure that, while not a requirement for in-person learning, is something our Board members, families and staff have expressed a strong desire to have in place,” said FCS Superintendent Anita Steward in a letter to students and families. “For that reason, we are delaying the return to in-person learning until the issues regarding the sneeze guards have been resolved. In the meantime, all scholars should plan to continue with distance learning on Monday, February 2.”

The board adopted a hybrid, in-person learning plan on Jan. 20 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set a statewide goal for districts to offer an in-person learning option no later than March 1. 

The plan passed 5-1 with Treasurer Laura MacIntyre as the sole ‘no’ vote. Board trustee Diana Wright abstained.

“When we do resume hybrid learning, we will be adhering to all of the health and safety guidelines outlined in our Safe Return and Recovery Plan, which was developed with the input of administrators, teachers, staff, community partners, board of education members, union representatives and parents,” Steward said. “It is our belief that this plan will guide the continued academic, social, and emotional growth of our scholars while maintaining, first and foremost, our commitment to safety and well-being.”

Read Steward’s full letter here.

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

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