LCS to Push Back Start Date, Return to Online-Only Instruction Before Planned Return to Classroom

Lapeer Community Schools will begin the 2020-21 school year with full-time virtual instruction for all students starting September 8, 2020. This is a departure from the Return to School plan approved by the LCS Board of Education earlier this month, which included a return to face-to-face instruction for all students on August 31.

The goal, moving forward, is to begin offering phased-in face-to-face instruction starting October 5.

In spite of rigorous safety precautions embedded in the Plan, concerns remain regarding the large number of individuals in a building at one time and the inability to limit movement throughout the building. Because of this, the timing was not right to return to face-to-face instruction as outlined in the Plan. In addition, it became necessary to push back the start date in order to re-tool for full-time virtual learning. Fortunately, guidance released this week by the Michigan Department of Education grants school districts significantly more flexibility in designing modified face-to-face return plans that can happen in a phased-in approach. This allows students to continue to experience some face-to-face interaction with fewer students in the building. 

“This new timeline presents the District with a unique opportunity to gradually move forward toward our goal,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie. “As you can imagine, our focus this summer has primarily been on returning our students to the classroom. In order to make a change of this magnitude late in the game, we needed a little more time.”

As the District continues to ramp up toward face-to-face instruction, our buildings will still be open for business. The following resources will be available to students and parents during the interim full-time virtual period:

  • Students will be permitted to attend Ed-Tech in-person (District will provide transportation)
  • Staff will be available during normal work hours to serve as resources for students
  • Approved afterschool activities and athletics (under MHSAA guidelines) will still be permitted

The Return to School plan’s policies and procedures for Phase 4 with respect to health and safety will remain in place, including those requiring the use of masks for students and staff.

“Our earnest goal, all along, was to give our students and parents normalcy, by offering the opportunity for all students to return to the classroom,” Wandrie said. “Even though our plan has been pushed back a month, our commitment to returning students to the classroom remains as strong as ever.”

Summer Putnam, President of the Lapeer Community Schools Board of Education, said the collective focus of the District must be on what’s best for students and working together to get them back where they belong.

“We know how important this is to so many of our parents – I’m one of them,” she said. “I hope everyone in this community understands that the leaders in this organization continue to do everything we can to achieve this goal. Now, we must turn our attention to giving our students the best experience possible in the online environment while we continue to prepare for a return to the classroom.”

The District’s virtual learning plan will be in effect until the planned October 5 transition to phased-in face-to-face instruction. The plan, which was crafted in preparation for the possibility of the region regressing to Phase 3, will be more comprehensive and robust than what students and parents experienced in the spring.

All orientations, open houses and registrations scheduled for the week of August 24 will still be held as scheduled. The week of August 31 will be used to prepare our teaching staff for the rollout of virtual learning. The District will also bring students into school in smaller groups starting September 8 in order to get them on board with the full-time virtual curriculum.

Next week, the District will release detailed information regarding student schedules and the virtual learning plan. We will continue to keep students and parents informed throughout this transition and to offer support services to keep our students engaged in the process.

For more information, e-mail Jared Field, Director of Communications, at jfield@lapeerschools.org.

lapeercs

49 thoughts on “LCS to Push Back Start Date, Return to Online-Only Instruction Before Planned Return to Classroom

  1. Unbelievable. Way to bow down to the liberal political nightmare that this election season has brought. I can’t overstate my disappointment. Our kids will never be the same. Mark my words, this will be “the lost generation.”

  2. This is ridiculous. Kids want to get back into school. We as parents work full time jobs and pay the school System to teach our kids face to face. There is no time for virtual learning in our household as we both work full time during school hours. The schools should refund our taxes if we have to do the teaching in our homes. There is no regression to phase 3 so why are we backing up. Everyone out in the community works in the public nonstop with no problems. These teachers are sissys if they can’t return to work. Living in fear is not the answer. You should find teachers that do want to teach in person and terminate the ones who want to sit home. Turrill tough is now considered turrill scared in my book. What a terrible way to live life!!

    1. I think it’s a shame that you feel like calling teachers sissies is the answer. The goal is to keep everyone safe as a whole, and if they can’t do that face 2 face right now, then this is the best plan B. I personally would love and would have much preferred face 2 face. I am not happy about this change. But….. I am not going to call teachers sissies. That is ridiculous. I know plenty of teachers personally that were looking forward to teaching in person. I am seriously just stunned at your statement and the fact that people agree with you is disgusting.

    1. “Sheep” is so over-used. Perhaps it’s time for the name calling to cease, and we can be adults since we are in this situation where we have to home school. It is what it is, and we aren’t going to change it by being less than nice. I hope your home-schooling time goes easily for you, and is a great experience.

      1. I just heard this quote a few days ago… if you can choose to be right or kind in any situation always choose kindness.

        you may not like the decision our Lapeer school district decided on but in the end they are trying to do whats best for our kids. times today are not normal and very uncertain but they are trying. I completely understand the stress that us as parents have to deal with especially the households that both parents work full time but in the end just remember we all are in this together and trying to navigate this new norm that we all live in. just keep being patient and always always be KIND TO ONE OTHER.

  3. Disappointed with this decision. My child does better in a classroom setting and was looking forward to getting back some sense of normalcy. E

  4. This is absolutely unacceptable. We have went through one of the most stressful and difficult times to buy our kids school clothes and all things necessary to return face to face. This was such short notice to first of all to inform us they were going to be learning in person. Then now 11 days before you as a system was to execute your plan, you change it with the same exact information that we have had for weeks and weeks. The entire time everyone was questioning and debating on whether Lapeer would follow suit. This is just so disappointing and beyond frustrating you would wait this long to come to this conclusion. I have to refrain myself to put these words down without being overly aggressive in the timing of this announcement and decision. How could this school system be unable to forsee this like the rest of the state. I’m extremely upset, not of the decision itself. But to not forewarn or forsee this , is just ridiculous and unbecoming for body of people making These decisions with this timing

  5. Why are we getting this news a week before school was set to start. The school’s had all summer to come up with a plan. They could have come up with something to have small classroom or staged day why didn’t they work on this all along. Blows my mind!!

  6. Jesse, No where in any of this letter did I see that the teachers are afraid for their safety. These decisions are made by a group of individuals who don’t work in schools coupled with the administration of the district. This is a no win situation. If they did start school and someone (adult OR child) gets very sick, the district gets crucified any way. While I am of the mind set that we, as a whole are falling prey to the fear mongering, and I believe that we should be able to return to life as normal because the cases are low and the morbidity rate is low, how can we blame the powers that be for erring on the side of caution? Just my opinion. I am a teacher, ready to return to school, take my chances and do what I love to do. Please don’t bash the people who have no say in what happens in ANY school district.

  7. It’s a huge disappointment that everyone is so scared of the “what if’s” that you won’t even give the face to face a chance. My child struggles in some areas and does so much better in a classroom setting. All the families that are able/want to do the virtual schooling have already signed up for it. I always thought I had picked the right school district for my children, but clearly I was wrong.

  8. Although my child would certainly learn better with face to face, I respect the difficult decision the school board and administration have reached. I would rather we were overly cautious and no one dies rather than plow forward and lose children, staff, and family members. This decision was based on the science and looking at what is happening with returns to live instruction all over this country. I would rather not play Russian roulette with my son. Parents should be overjoyed that the school system has put their children’s LIVES before politics. Will it be easy for us? Absolutely not. I’m a single mom who works. It will be difficult. But my son is worth it.
    Get some perspective people! If your child died from going back too early, spending money on school clothes or believing non-medically based propaganda won’t be what’s on your mind.
    The kids come first. The school got this one right!

    1. I respect your opinion but You have always had the option to sign your child up for virtual learning. Many of us do not share your fears. Stay well.

    2. I couldn’t disagree with you more. All the policies the school was going to put into place, the daycare has already done. Every day there is a “classroom” full of kids interacting with one another. Masks being worn by everyone! Not once in the months that they have been attending regularly has anyone on the staff nor the children have had an issue. Keep our children safe? How is school so much different than daycare? Explain it to me, because clearly I don’t understand.

  9. This is absolutely awful for everyone involved. I am so sick of being frustrated by this news (and so are the kids) now for the second time. You all need to get your stuff together before u make an announcement. I am a single mom and I base my work schedule around my kids school schedule. This is awful. Shame on you LCS!! U need to rip off the band-aid and get the kids back to school. Your online learning program is subpar and not an option for many parents.

  10. I cannot believe we are going virtual. It was a complete joke the end of last year and will continue to be so. The kids learned absolutely nothing, and was a complete waste of time. The teachers are too worried about this, I have worked in the front lines of the COVID epidemic and have seen first hand it all and closing face to face is ridiculous!! I guess I’m unclear as to what makes teachers not essential workers and needed to help our kids. I work full time my husband does as well and now I guess I will add homeschooling my child to this! The virus is going nowhere it will be normal like the flu, MRSA, and many other opportunists that affect more of the weak. I was so proud of lapeer for opening, I’m ashamed knowing they are not staying strong and following the heard, knowing what’s actually best for the kids is being in school.

  11. Better safe than sorry!!!! The fact that our district put the safety of the kids first makes me glad I’m in this district.

  12. We do not have cable based internet available at our home. Will there be instruction options that do not involve Video meetings and the video heavy contents of Google Classroom?

  13. Will there be Wi-Fi available from all the schools and if so can all the parents show up with all the kids that want face-to-face to show you how many of us want to have our kids back in school. If we still have to pay for these buildings to be maintained then we should get use of the playground. I’ll bring a football. This news is like a kick to the stomach. My initial anger has turned to utter disgust. So disappointed for my children.

    1. I think we should all snow up at the superintendents house on Monday the 8th to protest virtual learning and show them we want face to face.

    1. No they don’t. Anyone who wants virtual already choose that option. This is about MONEY that Whitaker is offering districts for full time virtual openings.

  14. Thank You Lapeer schools!! While the kids do need to be in school, we need to just give this some time and see how it spreads in other places. Hopefully we will soon be through the worst of the spread. I am a childcare provider and can tell you kids don’t like masks and they do not know how to social distance. Furthermore, I have exactly 6 school age children in my care and all 6 go to different schools! Odds of one of these schools having a spread of Covid-19 are high. Odds of it entering my home are very high. I am not comfortable with these odds!

  15. So glad I didn’t do like the rest of you and relied on the school to give me a break from my kids. They’ve been signed up for virtual since July. I don’t have tome to wait on others to make decisions for me. I made sure I had MY plan in order and executed

  16. Clearly this decision did not take into account the necessity of parents that work! Little notice and poor planning! The school district may not need to worry about too many kids in school as parents find alternative placement options a necessity! Wow, unbelievable😡

  17. We need a chrome book and a concise plan. Have been trying to get a schedule for our child for a week. Have left messages, emails and even gone to Zemmer in person. No response. Our child was a Year Round Student and as of Tuesday August 18, the school had not included any of those 65 students in the schedule. Come on! I just need a functioning schedule and the tools to complete the work.

  18. All I am asking for is an explanation of why it’s ok for my kids to practice saftey measures at daycare and be around a bunch of children of all ages all day, and that’s ok? But going to school and getting an education? Watch out. My kids might die?

  19. If I would prefer to keep my child out of school and do virtual. Do I still need to sign up for virtual or will you phase in only the students that want to attend face-to-face come October?

  20. Glad I stumbled across this on the website since the information has not yet been sent to my household or email, not even a robo call. We were fully expecting school to begin on 8/31. Saying they are giving that week to the teachers to prepare to teach virtually has me concerned about how well this is going to go. I feel for everyone that has multiple children and perhaps no access to Internet. Prayers we can all get back soon and our children do not suffer emotionally and mentally from this.

  21. I feel so bad for the kids! They need normalcy, they need socialization where they can get it! They need their sports- happiness and joy. I’m so thankful I decided to send my child to St Paul, because as a second grader, he needs this interaction desperately. But my high schoolers, who need social interaction and face to face instruction are screwed. I knew this decision was coming though, just seeing people’s reactions to this- fear. Fear has frozen the world, at least until the election is over… This pandemic has left much more damage mentally and financially then as a medical issue- from- RN on frontline Covid unit.

  22. Is it the fact your child’s safety and well-being is being attended too ? Or is this about your personal inconvenience and anger ? I myself wonder, where would we be if as a country every time a perceived inconvenience occurred we all yelled, stomped our feet and threw a fit ? I’ll tell you where living like “sheep” in north Korea or Russia. And if blaming the governor an any one with your child’s safety at the core of this decision upsets you, your free to protest an write in or email. But one thing you can’t do is blame. So buck up, relax an remember the buck stop at the national level. Thank you LCS for looking out for our children.

  23. What a display of self-entitlement and lack of personal responsibility in these comments. The outrage at this decision is completely ridiculous. So what that you work? Almost all of us certainly do. Considering the entire nation’s populace are operating under unusual circumstances, if you get fired for having to take care of your child, then congratulations on the open-and-shut wrongful termination lawsuit you will surly win. That’s not going to happen though, so just enjoy your extended unemployment benefits for any lost hours from work, and try to enjoy spending time with your children for once; they are after all *your* responsibility. How about some of that “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality you conservatives claim to be so fond of?

    I suggest you worry less about your children’s education momentarily and spend some effort educating yourself if you are actually still ignorant enough to believe this pandemic is a hoax. We have near 200,000 dead in this country from this virus, and we’ve handled it so badly that practically all of the rest of the world’s nations have a travel ban on Americans entering their countries. Simply because children have a lower mortality rate than the elderly doesn’t mean that they’re immune to the *permanent* organ damage the virus inflicts. Have some common sense and show a little concern about the welfare of your own children; this is embarrassing.

  24. The moderator of this site allows inflammatory remarks through as long as they have a conservative bias, while blocking ones that are even less evocative that seem to lean the other direction that conservative rhetoric. I’ll make sure word gets out.

      1. I know. That’s why I said it.

        Just kidding. I’m sure you meant to say “not true at all”, but you did block my first comment, and it is much less colorful than some of the conservative posts here. I believe one even went so far as to attack teachers with homophobic slander, and that made it through. After I called you out on moderating with a bias it seems that only then you let my comment through. Hope I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem that way…

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