Saturday, September 26, 2020

East Lansing Public Schools superintendent recommends the school year begin remotely this fall

July 28, 2020
East Lansing High School on July 19, 2020.
East Lansing High School on July 19, 2020. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

East Lansing Public Schools Superintendent Dori Leyko will be recommending to the ELPS school board that the school year moves to remote learning this fall.

The ELPS school board will be briefed on Leyko's recommendation and plan in their July 27 meeting. Leyko’s plan needs to be approved by the school board by Aug. 15, or at least seven days before school starts.

In order to stay in line with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's current executive order, Leyko's plan calls for ELPS to go fully remote until at least Sept. 30.

Remote learning will be more rigorous than when classes where transferred online in the spring due to COVID-19. Even though classes will not be in-person, the school district will count letter grades as well as take attendance.

In order to accommodate online learning, all pre-K to second grade students will receive an iPad, and all third 3rd- to 12th-grade students will receive a Chromebook or a laptop. The plan also says that ELPS will provide families with hotspots or other internet connectivity support if they lack high-speed internet. The district will also still distribute and deliver meals during remote learning.

Leyko's plan will include both screen time and non-screen time activities and assignments. Synchronous time with teachers and classmates will also be scheduled to keep students connected.

The plan said that ELPS has not made a decision on sports and extracurricular activities yet but will monitor the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) guidelines if they decide to hold any of these activities.

Once ELPS decides it is safe to return to in-person classes, the transition will take 2 to 3 weeks and will be done in multiple phases. This will begin with younger children and special populations returning first.

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