By Jessica Mathews /

Once again, the Fowlerville Community Schools Board of Education has re-authorized the district’s extended COVID-19 Learning Plan.

The board met virtually Tuesday night and approved the plan, which must be done once a month by law and addresses the implementation of learning for students during the current school year. The board has had to readopt the plan every month since last September when it first went into effect.

As has been the case, there was nothing new and no changes to the plan in terms of mitigation strategies moving forward. However, Superintendent Wayne Roedel told the board and others in attendance what to expect for the next school year. He said they should start getting in the mode that the district’s plan in the fall is to have face-to-face instruction five days a week. Roedel said there will be an online option for parents but it will not be set up the same as this year where they’re asking classroom teachers to teach a class face-to-face and also maintain a Google classroom for those students that want to be online.

He said they will have staff who will still maintain a Google classroom because that’s the best instructional practice, saying they found it really reduces the work of staff when kids are quarantined or out sick for extended periods of time. Roedel said they’ll use the Fowlerville Online Learning Academy exclusively for students in grades 6 through 12 who want to be online and then they’ll have some other options for elementary-age students who might want to have an online experience as well. However, Roedel stressed that the plan right now for the bulk of students, which he would think would be the vast majority, would be a face-to-face experience next year for five 5 days a week – which would equate to a fairly normal school year for students.

As for the COVID-19 Learning Plan; in addition to establishing math and reading achievement goals that must be reported to the board twice a year, it mandates monthly updates on how implementation is going. The district must also publicly share engagement data for students learning online. Virtual students are required to have two-way communication with a staff member at least once per month. Roedel reported that that the district achieved 99% during the month of April. However, he said the district strives to have online students have at least two, two-way communications with a staff member every week. For that standard, Roedel said the district hit between 89-90% in April in terms of getting in touch with students.