The third and final trimester of this unprecedented school year begins Monday, March 15. I know a heavy burden has been placed on all of you this school year. Parent and guardian partnership in your children’s education has never been more important. I hope that one positive outcome of this terrible pandemic is that the relationships between home and school will be stronger than ever. We need each other to provide every opportunity to every child, every day.
As you are likely aware by now, Kalamazoo Public Schools will remain virtual for the remainder of this school year. I know the decision to remain fully virtual disappointed many students and families and was a welcome relief for others. My heart truly goes out to everyone in the KPS family for the challenges faced this school year.
One of the struggles of this year has been the lack of social interactions. To address that (and also to take advantage of warmer weather), every school is creating meaningful, safe, and socially distanced in-person events during Trimester 3. These events will be voluntary but will provide students an opportunity to interact in-person. Your respective schools will be reaching out to you with more information on these social events.
Finally, I am giving our KPS community my personal guarantee that all KPS schools will offer five-day-a-week, in-person instruction starting the first day of the 2021-2022 school year. Every child who wants full-time, in-person learning will have that option. All staff who want to be vaccinated will have been vaccinated by then, which will allow for in-person learning. Depending on how many children choose the in-person option, we may not be able to socially distance, however, other safety measures will be in place.
Those parents who are not comfortable with in-person learning for next year or who decide that virtual learning is a better educational model for their child can choose an all-virtual option.
Parents will be surveyed throughout the process as we finalize plans for the coming year. Before the start of the new school year, the district will provide parents with detailed information about both models before they are asked to choose between full-time, in-person learning or a yearlong virtual model with an option to move to in-person instruction at the start of each trimester.
I wanted to explain our upcoming plans and to offer this personal assurance to families to put to rest any anxiety, fears, or concerns about next year.
Best wishes to you and your child(ren) for the remainder of the school year. Sincerely,