LINCOLN, Mich. — For K-12 students, classes may be coming back sooner than they think. In fact the school year is set to resume on Monday. Governor Whitmer’s decision to close down school buildings may have been misinterpreted by some. The order did not cancel the school year. It only closed campus buildings.
While things are certainly going to be different, students still have some work to do. However, Superintendent of Alcona Schools Dan O’Connor says that this first week will be mostly checking in with families. “Monday and most of next week will be spent contacting students and families,” he said. “Teachers will all be personally contacting students whether they are in small groups to do video, if they can sustain that, or one on one phone calls, just trying to do a check in and make sure they have what they need.” This includes making sure families are doing alright with food, looking after mental health needs, and getting them ready for the rest of the year.
The following week is when students will resume their actual learning activities. “Basic learning activities, trying to review material that we maybe covered before the end of break, trying to collect missing work, and then we’ll probably take it week by week at that point through the end of our scheduled school year which is June 1.”
O’Connor acknowledged that online learning will present something that many of their students are not familiar with, and that’s why when course work does resume, they’re going to take it slow. “The majority of our students have never taken an online class,” he said. “Not only to ask them to take one online class, but potentially seven, or four for some of our younger learners if we’re just focusing on the core. That’s a lot. So we’re trying to take teeny tiny baby steps next week and then we’ll accelerate if we can.”
Parents should keep an eye out for an email from the school for information on how to navigate this new system. They’re also leaving voicemails, and O’Connor said if parents see some strange phone numbers calling from out of state, it could actually be teachers trying to get in touch.