Hybrid learning resumes at Chippewa Valley Schools

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published January 25, 2021

 Earlier this month, the Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education approved a move to re-enter a hybrid learning model. Elementary students returned to in-person hybrid learning Jan. 20, with secondary returning to in-person hybrid learning with the start of the second semester, Jan. 25.

Earlier this month, the Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education approved a move to re-enter a hybrid learning model. Elementary students returned to in-person hybrid learning Jan. 20, with secondary returning to in-person hybrid learning with the start of the second semester, Jan. 25.

File photo by Alex Szwarc

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — After two months of remote learning, Chippewa Valley Schools have re-entered a hybrid model.

As part of the Jan. 11 district Board of Education meeting, it was agreed in a 6-1 vote that elementary students would return to in-person hybrid learning Jan. 20, with secondary returning to in-person hybrid learning with the start of the second semester, Jan. 25.

The lone no vote came from new board member Jolene Andriaschko.

“I don’t think it’s the right time to return to in-person,” Andriaschko said. “Especially when we’re on the cusp of having our staff being vaccinated.”

Board Vice President Denise Aquino said her heart goes out to parents and the students who have experienced isolation during the pandemic.

“I think this is a good first step and hope that we can, as people become vaccinated, hopefully return to full-time sometime in the next few months,” she said.

A message sent out to district families following the meeting indicated that, in the hybrid learning model, cohort A of students will attend school on Monday and Wednesday, with cohort B attending school on Tuesday and Thursday. Fridays in the hybrid model will be modified to increase the number of days that students receive direct instruction from their teacher. Fridays will be a remote learning day, which the district says allows the entire class to come together for an additional instructional day.

Elementary Creative Learning Program, or CLP, students; Early Childhood Special Education, or ECSE, students; and the Great Start Readiness Program, or GSRP, returned Jan. 20. Those groups will attend school four days a week, with a remote learning day on Friday.

Middle and high school CLP students returned Jan. 25, four days a week.

Prior to the vote, Superintendent Ron Roberts said that, in October, when the board voted to return certain levels of students to school, 193 COVID-19 cases were reported in Clinton Township in September, with 211 cases in Macomb Township. At that time, the positivity rate was 5.1%. By the time the Oct. 19 decision was made to return high school students to class Nov. 9, Roberts said the positivity rate was 6.4%. On Nov. 2, the board voted to delay the high school return, with a positivity rate around 14% by the end of October.

On Nov. 16, the board voted to return K-5 students to remote.

Roberts said based on current trend data, it’s estimated that, in January, there will be 600 cases in Clinton Township and 450 in Macomb Township.

“Remote learning has been successful for many of our students,” he said. “Parents have been able to create conditions to make this work, and it’s been positive for them. I feel very positive about the effort our staff has made to meet the needs of our students.”

On the other hand, Roberts acknowledged that remote learning has limitations for many students.  

He hinted that if vaccine rollout gets moving, a return to full-on traditional learning could be possible later this year.  

Also at the meeting, Roberts noted that Dawn Graham, a resource room teacher at Huron Elementary in Clinton Township, had died.

“She was a special teacher,” Roberts said. “A mother to two students and left behind a husband. Dawn was employed in our district for 14 years, 11 of those at Huron.”

Graham died Dec. 31 at the age of 49.

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