Carman Ainsworth returns to virtual format after surge of COVID cases



FLINT TWP. — Carman Ainsworth Community Schools has returned to 100 percent virtual learning following a surge of COVID-19 cases in Genesee County.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Eddie Kindle said that the district is pausing its hybrid in-person format for at least two weeks “due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Genesee County and Governor (Gretchen) Whitmer’s recommendation encouraging schools to be virtual.” The announcement came just as Carman-Ainsworth students were set to return to the classroom on Tuesday after getting a week off for spring break from March 29 to April 5.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Kindle said that the move to remote learning is being made to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 in the district— particularly as students return from spring break.

“Throughout the county, our COVID numbers are higher than when the Governor made the declaration to stop in-person instruction in mid-November,” he said. “After looking at the data and coming back after spring break, we thought that we should follow a path to go remote for at least 10 days and see if conditions change. We know it’s a tough decision, but we’re going to stay the course and continue with a consistent approach to mitigating the virus.”

Kindle said that the district intends to return to hybrid face-to-face learning for all grades by April 19.

According to Carman-Ainsworth’s COVID-19 data, the district’s most recent positive case was a student from Rankin Elementary School on March 31. Altogether, nine students tested positive for COVID-19 in the district from March 19 to March 31, including five high school students and four elementary students.

Additionally, the Genesee County Health Department has reported that up to 25 percent of new cases in the county are among individuals between the ages of 0-18. Residents between the ages of 0-19 are currently accounting for 14 percent of all cases in the county.

As of Wednesday, the county’s overall positivity rate for COVID-19 cases rose to 17.5 percent, with over 200 cases being reported per day since the start of April.

Despite the return to remote learning, food distribution in the district will resume on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all Carman- Ainsworth school buildings, except The Learning Community and Woodland School. An evening pick-up will be held at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School only on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

To see updates on Carman-Ainsworth’s instructional plans, visit carman.k12.mi.us.