By Jessica Mathews /

The Huron Valley Schools district is implementing a hybrid learning model for the start of school.

The Board of Education held a special meeting Monday night and unanimously approved a plan that includes some form of in-person instruction versus a fully virtual model – which is what officials say a vast majority of HVS families prefer. Students in Junior Kindergarten through 7th grade will begin the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, August 31st in a face-to face hybrid option with two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote learning while the State of Michigan is in Phase 4 of the Governor’s MI Safe Start plan. Details regarding programming at the Apollo Early Childhood Center are said to be forthcoming. Students in grades 8-12 will begin the school year with two weeks of remote instruction and will transition to a face-to-face hybrid schedule on Monday, September 14th. All HVS students have the option to enroll in the Huron Valley Virtual Academy for a full online experience.

In finalizing their decision, board members noted that by implementing the hybrid model, only half of the student population will be in a school/classroom at any time and fewer students in a building allows for maximum social distancing. On a typical day in the hybrid setting, elementary classrooms will have between 10 and 15 students per classroom and secondary classrooms will have between14 and 18 students. Support staff from buildings that begin fully remotely may also be redeployed to assist in other buildings for the first two weeks of the school year. Finally, a phased in approach to starting the school year will allow the district to assure proper support for all of the new actions/activities required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Officials say they’ll work to communicate detailed information to families regarding implementation of the plan, including expectations for students as everyone returns to school buildings.