Carman-Ainsworth approves start dates for in-person classes

FLINT TWP. — Carman-Ainsworth has laid out its roadmap for bringing students back to the classroom in October.

At its Sept. 15 meeting, the Carman-Ainsworth School Board approved an extended COVID learning plan for the 2020/2021 school year. As part of the plan, the district will be bringing special ed students back to class starting on Sept. 28 and allowing K-Prep and kindergarten students to return on Oct. 5.

According to the tentative plan, special ed students will return for self-contained classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (with no attendance on Wednesdays). Some special education and diagnostic services will be allowed by appointment.

K-Prep and kindergarten students will be back for class in a hybrid format, with students divided into two groups based on the first letter of their last name. Students with a last name beginning with the letters A through L (BLUE Group) will attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays. Students with a last name beginning with the letters M through Z (GRAY Group) will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be reserved for remote learning only for both BLUE and GRAY groups.

Elementary students in grades 1-3 are scheduled to return to class on Oct. 12, followed by the return of students in grades 4-5 on Oct. 19. Both cohorts of students will follow the same hybrid schedule as the K-Prep and kindergarten classes.

Carman-Ainsworth Superintendent Eddie Kindle said that return dates for grades 6-12 will be determined following the implementation of in-person learning for grades 1-5. Online classes will also be available for students and families who wish to continue with remote learning throughout the school year.

Kindle said that the hybrid plan is intended to provide the district with flexibility as it transitions back to face-to-face classes.

“All decisions that we make will be prioritized for what’s best for our students,” he said. “This will take students, teachers and administrators rising up to meet the challenge.”

The hybrid class model will also utilize reduced class sizes to allow for social distancing. Face masks will be required for all students and staff unless they are unable to do so for a health or developmental reason. Any student who cannot medically tolerate a facial covering must provide signed medical documentation substantiating this claim.

Families are encouraged to check their child’s temperature at home every morning before classes. Students with a temperature of 100.4 or greater should stay home, and the presence of any symptoms, including cough or shortness of breath, should prompt the family to keep the student home from school.

Symptomatic students who are sent home from school must stay quarantined until they have tested negative or have completely recovered according to Genesee County Health Department guidelines.

School lunches will be scheduled and staggered to eliminate crowding. If needed, schools will utilize additional building spaces as lunchrooms. Students will be required to wear masks as they travel to and from lunch, and staff will disinfect tables between lunch periods.

Additionally, all district libraries, computer labs and other hands-on classrooms will undergo cleaning after every class period with an EPA approved disinfectant.

Recess will still be part of the daily schedule for elementary students and will be conducted outside whenever possible with appropriate social distancing. If more than one class is outside, students will wear facial coverings.

Family members or other guests will not be allowed in school buildings except under extenuating circumstances determined by district and school officials. All guests approved to enter the building must complete a health screening form and wear a facial covering.

To read more about Carman Ainsworth’s extended COVID learning plan, visit carman.k12.