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GRPS is latest school district to announce it will be online-only in the fall

BES Photos / flickr

Grand Rapids Public Schools says it plans to have online-only instruction for the first nine weeks of the school year.

Superintendent Leadrianne Roby says the district will follow the state’s guidance and decide whether to return to in-person teaching in October.

“It won’t just be one metric,” she said in an online press conference Monday.  “We’ll use multiple metrics and decide where we are, and if we will continue with online, or if we will look at possibly bringing in a small cohort of students and then doing a hybrid model.”

Roby says the district will provide devices to students that need them, and students will still be able to get breakfast and lunch.

More than 14,000 students attend GRPS, and 80% are considered “economically disadvantaged,” according to the state.

In a survey sent this summer, GRPS gave parents and staff three options for school in the fall: in person instruction, online instruction or a blend of the two. Roby says 48% of parents picked the online-only model as their top choice. She says 53% of teachers chose the same.

Lansing and Ann Arbor public schools also plan to be online-only for the start of the school year. The Detroit Public Schools Community District plans to hold in-person classes. 

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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