FARMINGTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Farmington Public Schools' Board of Education on Tuesday voted to have elementary students return to school for in-person learning.
The Board voted 4-to-3 to begin elementary in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 9 with an a.m./p.m. half day schedule. They say the split schedule will follow health and safety standards.
The administration presented two options to the Board to consider prior to the vote. Voting in support of the a.m./p.m. half day schedule were Jessica Cummings, Pam Green, Terry Johnson and Richard Mukamal. Board members not in support of the plan were Zach Rich, Angie Smith and Terri Weems, according to a release from FPS.
This vote followed the Board of Education’s decision in August to start the 2020-2021 school year remotely for all FPS K-12 students until at least October 30.
According to the FPS, "the guiding principle for the elementary in-person planning was to create teaching and learning conditions that maximize instructional integrity and teacher efficacy along with the capacity of the system to mitigate risk in order to create meaningful student engagement."
District administration recommended to the Board the a.m./p.m. hybrid structure due to the following key benefits:
● Consistency of daily in-person guided instruction and support.
● Reduces teacher planning load in designing remote instruction.
● Increased integrity of cohorting.
● Consistency daily schedule for students.
● Reducing the learning support required by families.
Here's how the schedule would work
In the a.m./p.m. hybrid structure, students are split into two groups (AM and PM). AM (A) and PM (B) groups attend in-person instruction for half of the day with remote instruction the other half of the day. Student Group A will attend in-person instruction Monday - Friday in the AM and Student Group B will attend in-person instruction on Monday-Friday in the PM.
Remote learning occurs during the opposite half-day block to the in-person instruction. Four or five days of instruction will be provided.
Families who are not yet ready to return to in-person learning can continue with distance or full remote learning.
Some of the key process highlights for in-person instruction include:
● Staff will follow the daily self-screening process that is currently in place.
● Parents sign an FPS Agreement indicating their acknowledgment of and willingness to follow safety protocols including daily self-screening, facial coverings, etc. Staff will take temperatures of any student exhibiting symptoms.
● Buildings develop and communicate arrival and dismissal processes. Students on the bus wear facial coverings and follow buildings protocols for arrival and dismissal.
● Students wear facial coverings in school except for when eating. Room arrangement provides for social distancing when eating.
● Quarantine rooms will be present in each building for students who show signs of symptoms associated with COVID-19. Students who report symptoms will be quarantined and parents will be contacted to pick up their child. Parent pick-up will be required with appropriate follow-up and guidance of next steps.
● In the event of positive COVID-19 results, the Oakland County Health Department reporting process is followed. Any quarantining, and the extent thereof, is determined by the health department. Ill and quarantined students will continue to receive instruction remotely.
● Buildings collaborate within and across buildings to develop staffing plans for hybrid and fully remote models.
The school says more information will continue to be shared with staff and families as they move toward Nov. 9. Also on Tuesday, the Board heard a report on the Secondary Phase-In Planning Process and will vote on that plan at a later date.
More information can be found on the District’s website here.