Carman-Ainsworth releases return to school plan

FLINT TWP. — Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools is preparing to launch its reopening plan for the first day of school on Aug. 31.

In a letter to parents, CACS Superintendent Eddie Kindle shared the district’s Preparedness and Response Plan, which is based on the MI Safe Start Plan and MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2021-21 Return to School Roadmap.

Kindle said that students’ return to classes will depend on which COVID-19 containment phase Genesee County is in by the start of school. Currently, Genesee County is in Phase 4, reflecting improving conditions in the state’s effort to contain COVID-19.

If the district remains in Phase 4, then in-person instruction with required safety protocols and a hybrid/online learning option will be available. But if Genesee County returns to Phases 1-3 (uncontrolled growth, persistent spread or flattening), then CACS will proceed with a fully remote instructional model.

In any event, Kindle said that the district’s 100 percent online option will be more robust and rigorous than what was offered in the spring.

“If we return to Phase 3, full remote learning, our program will be far more comprehensive than what we were able to provide last spring when we first begin remote learning,” he said. “No matter what phase we are in, if you want your child 100 percent remote learning for the entirety of the next school year, we will have that option available as well.”

Kindle said that students will be required to learn new material online and should plan to spend a minimum of four hours each day working on coursework. Participation, two-way communication with the teacher, assessments and projects will be mandatory.

Additionally, students must commit to a full semester and will be required to attend virtual class sessions daily and complete online assignments as outlined by the teacher. Kindle said that students will be held accountable to essential standards and skills and will need to demonstrate mastery of those skills.

Carman-Ainsworth Schools has also increased technology access by providing a device for all students in grades K-12.

With many parents feeling anxiety over their kids’ return to classes, Kindle said that the district will do everything it can to monitor the health and safety of students.

“There are some people who are very concerned about students returning to school in the fall, and there are others who are ready for their students to come back tomorrow,” he said. “It is your choice to decide which decision to make; neither is right or wrong. It is important that you know we respect your decision and support you in every way possible.

“Please know we are monitoring the data on a daily basis, and we would not return students to an environment that is not safe. We ask you to be patient as we collaborate with our local health department, the state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control.”

More information on the district’s reopening plan is available at carman.