April 19, Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts said that parents have a choice of whether to send their child to school or have them livestream from home. About 30% of high school students in the district livestreamed April 19.

April 19, Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts said that parents have a choice of whether to send their child to school or have them livestream from home. About 30% of high school students in the district livestreamed April 19.

File photo by Brandy Baker


Chippewa returns to full-time face-to-face learning

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 26, 2021

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases over the last couple of weeks in Macomb County, Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts said there’s hope the community is over the peak.    

At the April 19 Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education meeting, it was approved, in a 5-2 vote, to reconfirm the extended COVID-19 learning plan. Trustee Jolene Andriaschko and Secretary Beth Pyden voted no.

“If it stays true to how these numbers have played out in the past, hopefully we’re seeing signs of it coming down the back side of the peak,” Roberts said.

Looking back on the school year, which began in a remote setting, Roberts said one of the major concerns was from a social standpoint.

“That’s so important to their education,” he said. “We can keep them away from school and each other, but then we have a more difficult time providing a social experience.”

When the district operated in a hybrid model for parts of the year, Roberts said that over time, the feedback was that it was good and that proper spacing in classrooms was maintained to the maximum extent possible.  

Also on April 19, Chippewa Valley Schools returned to full-time face-to-face learning. For almost a month, the district operated with students attending in person four days a week.

“Middle and high school students got out early each day with no lunch in the building and shorter class periods,” Roberts said. “Our elementary moved to a more traditional approach, but with a remote Friday.”

With lunches now being offered on a wider scale across the district, he said lunchrooms have been modified and expanded.

Roberts also commented on the district’s decision to offer livestreaming of classes, which began March 29.

“Parents have a choice with their children of whether to send their child to school or have them livestream from home,” he said.

The livestreaming option is available to students and families in quarantine or who don’t feel comfortable with in-person learning.

“As we move forward into next fall, I think it’s critical for us to do a more comprehensive livestream, with two-way communication,” board Vice President Denise Aquino said. “There’s a lot of people doing jobs that aren’t their jobs to make this work.”

Examining some district statistics as it relates to COVID-19, Roberts said from March 15-22 at the elementary level, 25 COVID-19 cases were reported, resulting in 124 quarantines. The following week, those numbers were eight and 98, respectively.

At the middle and high school level the week of March 15-22, there were 50 cases each, with 921 and 608 quarantines, respectively.

Since the return from spring break from April 12-14, 23 cases were reported at the elementary level, with no quarantines. For middle school, there were 14 cases and four quarantines, while at the high school level, the district reports 52 positive cases with 17 quarantines.     

Looking at attendance figures at the district’s dozen elementary schools, all have less than 9% of students attending via livestream.

On April 19, 27% of Chippewa Valley High School students and 32% of Dakota High School students utilized the livestreaming option.   


Recall update
Macomb Township resident Terry Prince, who heads the “Recall CVS” effort recently said that the deadline to collect signatures is a moving target.

In late January, Prince said the goal is to gather at least 12,000 signatures.

The petition is aimed at recalling Board President Frank Bednard, Aquino, Pyden and Trustee George Sobah from the Board of Education.    

A minimum of 12,000 signatures is needed to warrant a special election.

“The older signatures go stale after the 60 days,” Prince said. “It’s not a hard stop, which is 180 days from the time petition language was approved to the time you have to turn everything in to the county clerk.”

That deadline is in July, Prince noted.

His basis for starting a petition stems from an August meeting, where the board determined that, among other points, the district would not reopen for in-person instruction at the beginning of the school year, opting for virtual instruction.

Prince said he doesn’t have an updated figure on how many signatures have been collected.

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