Flushing Community Schools releases instructional survey for parents

FLUSHING — Flushing Community Schools is looking for feedback from parents as it plans for the 2020/2021 school year.

To aid in its planning purposes, FCS has provided an online survey for parents to gauge the district’s overall instructional model preferences. Due to COVID-19 concerns, FCS is considering distance learning and/or blended learning options for students if in-person classes can’t be safely conducted in the fall.

The survey can be found at docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScBuuWgmLWcZsxA5UH6cbN2MqT4zHZVBAgfbjWgISLZasAgQQ/viewform.

In a letter to parents, FCS Superintendent Tim Stein said that all possibilities need to be explored in case a second wave of COVID-19 arrives and disrupts in-person learning.

“While we can all agree that our preference would be to safely return to face-to-face instruction this fall, depending on the state of the pandemic and the guidance we receive from the State of Michigan this summer, we have been told to plan for all contingencies,” he said.

FCS is also planning to ensure that each K-12 student in the district receives a Chromebook at the start of the next school year.

“We will be moving to a 1:1 instructional model, providing a device to each student and developing a new curriculum delivery system that will offer a more structured and engaging program than we have had the capacity to offer before,” Stein said. “With these changes, we will have the ability to offer the full range of instructional models for our students.”

Parents who take the school survey will be given three learning options to choose from: face-to-face instruction, distance learning and blended learning.

According to the school survey, face-to-face instruction means the “return to a more traditional school setting where students would meet in person with their teachers and classmates on a regular schedule.” While this is referred to as a return to “normal,” face-to-face instruction would include different procedures regarding new hygienic protocols to avoid the spread of germs and viruses and the possibility of reducing or eliminating excessively large gatherings such as school assemblies and lunch/recess procedures.

Distance learning, as defined in the survey, would involve a fully interactive distance learning experience with a highly trained teacher. The model would include attendance, grades and structured coursework.

Blended learning would consist of students coming to school in smaller groups two to three times per week to have face-to-face instruction with a small group of students and their teachers but would also include an online component. This model would provide more of an opportunity for parents looking at smaller groups of students with flexible contact times, while still offering some face-to-face interaction for students.