C-A to start school year with full in-person learning and mask mandate

FLINT TWP. — When Carman- Ainsworth Community Schools resumes in-person learning next week, students and staff will be required to mask up.

CACS, which mostly utilized virtual learning and a hybrid format last school year, is planning to return to a traditional five-day schedule of in-person instruction on Aug. 30. As part of its back-to-school plan, the district will require masks for staff and all students five years of age and older, regardless of vaccination status while they’re indoors and riding district transportation.

In a message to parents on Aug. 12, CACS Superintendent Cathy McGilvery said that the district’s mask policy aligns with universal masking recommendations in school settings from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD).

“With the steady increase of new cases of COVID-19 in Genesee County over the latest 14-day period and knowing that many of our families experience special health considerations, Carman-Ainsworth Schools will require universal masking of students and staff (as medically tolerable) as we begin the 2021/2022 school year,” she said. “I believe this requirement provides the safest possible environment for our students, staff and families at this time. As has been the case in all our decisions throughout the pandemic, we are following the guidance of the CDC, MDHHS, and the GCHD, and will remain fluid in making changes/updates as warranted.”

Carman-Ainsworth will also continue to follow mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC, which include masking, physical distancing, encouraging proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing and cleaning and disinfecting daily.

In addition to in-person classes, CACS will offer the same 100 percent online learning option for students that it had in place in the 2020/2021 school year. McGilvery said that students must have demonstrated success in the 100 percent online program last year to continue with it this year.

Currently, the district is staffed to accept approximately 200 students in its 100 percent online program.

“This year, our goal will be recouping any learning loss incurred during the past school year of digital learning and continuing the focus on academic excellence for all students,” McGilvery said. “Carman-Ainsworth has a strong staff willing to work together to learn and grow but also eager to have high-level expectations, accountability and to provide a safe and caring learning environment.”

To see more district updates, visit carman.k12.mi.us.