By David Fleet
On Nov. 16 Governor Whitmer announced that, due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases and the burden this has placed on our hospitals, front line workers, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has moved the state back into a “modified” Phase 3 for at minimum of the next three weeks.
While the order only has to impact Michigan high school students, Goodrich Schools has decided to close all buildings and transition into remote learning for all Preschool through 12th grade face-to-face learners effective Nov. 18 until Dec. 9.
“I strongly believed that as long as we masked up, maintained proper physical distancing when possible, and practiced good hand hygiene, school was the safest place for our students to be,” said Wayne Wright in a statement to the district. “But the one factor that was beyond our control was the activities of our families and staff outside of the school day. Even with our buildings closed, I cannot stress to you the importance of eliminating gatherings that bring individuals from separate households together, and unfortunately this includes the holidays.”
As of Wednesday, Nov. 18, there were 14 individuals including six bus drivers in the district out due to COVID-19, said Wright.
“We were doing double bus runs to get our kids in,” he said. “Finding subs (for the drivers) is just about impossible right now. We really don’t have many COVID cases. It didn’t make sense to keep K-8 open if we are closing 9-12. If it’s not safe for 9-12, it’s not safe for K-8 (either).”
Wright said 18 of the 21 schools in the Genesee Intermediate School District has went to virtual. As of Wednesday only Clio, Montrose and Lake Fenton K-8 remain open.
“The best education I believe for our kids is right here at school,” said Wright. “We’ll need to see how it goes over the Thanksgiving break.”