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St. Gerard Catholic School plans to end online learning option

The school currently offers in-person and online learning options for students
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 5:14 PM EDT
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DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - A local school appears to be making major changes to its Back to Learning plan.

News 10 was the first to report Tuesday that a teacher at St. Gerard Catholic School in Delta Township tested positive for COVID-19. All junior high students at the school are now quarantining and learning remotely until Sept. 21.

The school currently offers in-person and online learning options for students, like many in mid-Michigan.

Under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Return to Learning Roadmap,” schools needed to come up with plans for different phases of economic reopening. Mid-Michigan is in Phase 4, so in-person learning is allowed as long as certain precautions are taken.

At St. Gerard, that means everyone is required to wear a mask, desks are spaced out and plastic shields are between teachers and students.

In a letter sent to St. Gerard School parents on Sept. 3, that will be the only option after October 30 if the region doesn’t move backwards.

The letter states teachers and administrators determined it wasn’t practical for teachers to continue both learning options long-term. Parents who have students taking advantage of the online learning option said they were upset because the decision was made on the fifth day of the new school year.

Those parents are now looking for other virtual learning options for their students.

The letter also states the school will be closed for in-person learning on four Friday’s for a deep cleaning. This also allows time for teachers to get caught up with online lessons.

News 10 contacted the Diocese of Lansing to get clarification about the letter, and what is happening at St. Gerard School. News 10 was able to obtain the following statement:

“Due to the unsustainable workload placed upon school staff to simultaneously provide in-person and online learning, it is the stated intention of Saint Gerard School to gradually move towards in-person only learning by building confidence among all our families that this option is both safe and best for children’s education," said Principal of Gerard School Ray Rzepecki. “However, given the events of recent days, it seems only appropriate to reflect upon that decision before communicating with our families as to how we will go forward together as a school community.”

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