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Gov. Whitmer talks with Flint school superintendent about district's indefinite virtual learning

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she spoke Thursday with Flint’s public schools superintendent about the district returning to in-person instruction.

Earlier this month, Superintendent Kevelin Jones announced classes would remain virtual indefinitely amid the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

Whitmer wants districts, like Flint, to give a sign they plan on returning to the classroom.

“Perhaps announcing a date certain when the goal is, I think would go a long way toward conveying to people that the community is focused on meeting the needs of our students,” Whitmer told reporters in Flint.

Whitmer says she offered the Flint school district the assistance of state health department officials.

Flint Community Schools officials confirmed the call but did not offer any other details on the district's plans.

"Flint Community Schools is committed to returning to in-person learning, but we will continue to follow the counsel of our local health experts as we have done throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety and well-being of our school community," Superintendent Jones said in a written statement.

Jones said the district has developed a return to in-person learning plan that is dependent on seeing a decreasing trend line of COVID cases across the community.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.