By Adam Hartley
Fenton Area Public Schools superintendent
Flexible, fluid, transition, pivot, patience … these are words used by many of us these days, especially educators as we prepare for the fall. I sent a letter out this past week to our FAPS families announcing our goal to return to school August 25th and communicated a few of the requirements and recommendations from the state’s Return to School Task Force. Along with the goal of returning to school, we are offering a viable and quality virtual option for our families. We know that this is a lofty goal and there are many factors that could get in the way of us starting the school year together under the same roof. Despite the barriers in front of us, we will continue to work toward our goal of returning to school.
While we are developing our plan to return to school, like all public schools across the country, we know that flexibility is a must. During the next six weeks, much can happen and change is inevitable. Along with our return to school plan, we will have transition plans in case we must pivot as a district and transition to another instructional model, such as virtual learning for all. We will also have transition plans for families if they choose one model and want to transition to another. We know it is essential for us to include fluidity in everything we do this next school year.
Our patience has been, and will be tested. In my letter, I noted that details will be sent out as we develop our plan of returning. There are many questions out there, including what happens if a child or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19? These protocols, which will be part of our plan, are not set by us, as a public school system, but rather the health department and medical experts in the state. We know that the plan we are developing now may change overnight based on factors we do not have control over. Patience is a virtue
Flexible, fluid, transition, pivot, patience … these words are not comfortable words but are needed to be successful in today’s educational landscape. I am looking forward to continuing to work together as a school community as we navigate through these unprecedented times.