PORTAGE, Mich. — The Portage Public Schools Board of Education approved a limited face-to-face learning option for high school and junior high students, if COVID-19 health conditions allow in the 2021 semester.
The board updated the Return to Learn Preparedness Plan during its Nov. 23, 2020, meeting.
According to the plan, the district would consider the COVID-19 infection rate, the number of families who select face-to-face, and staffing considerations.
An all-virtual option would still be available, and a hybrid plan could still be considered.
Families in the district could opt in to the face-to-face model, allowing their students to attend in-person learning Monday through Thursday with an asynchronous workday on Fridays.
Mike Huber, director of curriculum and professional development, said virtual town halls would be available for families to ask questions on the two enrollment choices.
Families of high schoolers could join town halls scheduled between Nov. 30 - Dec. 3. A town hall for middle school families would be available Dec. 1.
Parents would have a deadline of Dec. 3, Huber said.
Teachers indicated mixed feelings bringing sixth through 12th graders back into the classroom, according to a survey in October.
When given the choice to stay virtual or move to hybrid learning, 54% of Portage families said they prefer hybrid learning.
However, a majority of teachers said they would not be uncomfortable teaching hybrid or fully face to face.
As of Nov. 23, all students in high school and universities were learning online or virtual, per the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ epidemic order, or “three-week pause.”