By Jessica Mathews /

The Hartland Consolidated Schools Board of Education has approved back-to-school plans.

The board met Monday and plans were adopted as presented. The plans are said to provide clear options for ease of transition depending on different comfort levels with in-person instruction and any uncontrollable events such as moving back to Phase 3 of the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan. Superintendent Chuck Hughes told WHMI this has been a very difficult process that is no fault of anyone. He says they’ll work through the process of returning children to school with an understanding that things can change overnight so flexibility is essential.

Regardless of what phase or plan the district is in, students will be placed in classrooms and courses as in any typical school year. Students are assigned teachers and courses that they will stay in regardless of whether they are learning remotely or face-to-face. Hughes says that will ensure consistency in instruction, keep students in front of familiar Hartland teachers, and enable the district to smoothly transition from one plan to another (remote learning to face-to-face), depending on COVID phase, without losing instructional and learning momentum. The current Phase 4 requires that those riding the school bus, attending school, and participating or watching extracurricular activities engage in social distancing, wear face coverings, regularly wash their hands, and do not attend school or events if sick. Surfaces and touch points in all facilities and buses will be sanitized regularly per the guidelines and deep cleaning will be performed as often as possible.

A memo states this phase will be the most difficult as teachers will be providing both face-to-face instruction and remote learning for those choosing not to or are unable to attend. Buildings will be closed to non-essential individuals, meaning that parents will arrange via contact with the office when they need to pick-up or drop-off children or items essential for schooling. Meetings with teachers will be held remotely or via phone if possible. In this phase, the district will be in session Monday-Thursday with all students engaging in remote learning on Friday. The first day of school for Hartland students is Wednesday, August 19th. More information is available on the district’s website, under the COVID pop-up tab.