Grand Rapids Public Schools have announced their plans for the upcoming school year, and are deciding to start off, they will not be doing in-person learning.

WOODTV reports that the first 9 weeks of the 2020-2021 school year will be done virtually. But that the plan could change at any time during that time if the coronavirus is contained before the 9 weeks are up.

The school district which has around 15,000 students did two different surveys one in June which WOODTV says 71% of parents were in favor of virtual or distanced learning was the safest route to take and then another survey earlier in July that found 48% of parents still wanted distanced learning whereas a hybrid or in-person learning both were around only around 25% each.

School officials told WOODTV they'd be continually assessing their options with the goal to be 100% back in-person learning, but only when it was safe to do so.

form WOODTV,

“We said that the health, safety and the well-being of our students and staff would be our top priority in our decision-making,” Roby said. “I believe starting with distance learning is practicing what we preach and is by far our safest approach to the start of the 2020-21 school year.”

School officials also say they are making sure each student will have whatever devices they need to take virtual classes, including hotspots for the internet. They are also creating "Digital literally training" to help parents feel more comfortable troubleshooting the virtual learning equipment as well as a new helpdesk to help parents and students with tech support.  They also say they'll have hard copies of lessons for students that online learning isn't a good option.

Two more things, the first 9 weeks will end on October 21st and secondly, before school starts, GRPS will hold a virtual town hall meeting on August 5th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm to help make sure parents feel at ease with the start of the school year, according to WOODTV.

This announcement doesn't change sports for the school district, which they say are going off the guidance of the Michigan High School Sports Association, which earlier this month said fall sports will start on time as previously scheduled.

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