Kalamazoo school board votes in support of in-person learning this fall | #Education

KALAMAZOO, MI — The Kalamazoo school board voted Thursday in support of in-person learning this fall.

Kalamazoo Public Schools will offer full-time in-person school and an entirely virtual school option for families for the 2021-22 school year, the Board of Education said Thursday, April 22.

After a presentation from Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri on the plans for both in-person and virtual school next year, the board voted unanimously in support of the return to the classroom and a fully virtual option.

KPS was one of very few school districts across Michigan to remain in virtual school for the entirety of the 2020-21 school year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: 5 things for Kalamazoo parents to consider when deciding between virtual or in-person school

Students will be automatically enrolled in face-to-face learning beginning Aug. 31, and no action is required if parents want this option, Raichouduri said during her presentation.

Parents who prefer to keep their children in virtual school are asked to sign a opt-in form. Those wishing to keep their children in virtual school must return the opt-in form by midnight Sunday, May 2, the superintendent said.

Parents who opt in for virtual learning can change their mind before June 6. A parent is also able to transition their children to in-person school at the end of each trimester, but must provide four weeks of notice to the district.

The superintendent also outlined safety precautions that the district will implement for face-to-face learning. Masks will be required for all students, staff and visitors on school grounds at all times, the superintendent said. Masks are required for all grade levels, including elementary students, Raichoudhuri said.

Parents should be aware that social distancing will be practiced “to the extent possible based on the number of students who choose in-person schools,” the superintendent said.

Parents and guardians are also required to sign a commitment letter prior to the school year, promising to screen their children every morning for symptoms of COVID-19. Parents are also committing to keeping their children home in the case of sickness or exposure to COVID-19, the superintendent said.

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