Kent Intermediate Superintendents Association shares planning process for re-opening schools

Exact plans haven't been released
Posted at 5:51 PM, May 28, 2020

GRAND RAPDIS, MI – Kent Intermediate Superintendents Association (KISA) met Thursday morning to share the re-opening plans that are being developed for the Kent Intermediate School District.

The group brings leaders in health, business and community together to help ensure a safe plan for continued learning for the new school year.

“Schools are essential to reopening the economy and the community,” said Kevin Polston, Superintendent of Godfrey-Lee Public Schools and chair of the KISA Future Committee. “We are working with the Kent County Health Department to guide our response to the COVID-19 pandemic which abruptly ended in-class learning this spring. We are using their guidance and expertise to inform our decisions, keeping safety and the health of our students, educators and the West Michigan community the first priority as we plan for the next steps to keep learning going.”

The KISA Future Committee is made up of the following individuals.

  • Kevin Polston, Superintendent, Godfrey-Lee Public Schools & KISA Future Committee Chair
  • Dr. Adam London, Administrative Health Officer, Kent County Health Department
  • Dr. Heidi Kattula, Superintendent, East Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Dr. Ron Gorman, Interim Superintendent, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Rick Baker, President/CEO Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
  • Tina Freese Decker, President/CEO Spectrum Health
  • Dr. Ron Gorman, Interim Superintendent, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Dallas Lenear, Chair, Black Impact Collective
  • Shantel VanderGalien, Regional Teacher of the Year, Wyoming Public Schools

The group says parents can expect to see some sort of 'hybrid learning' for the start of the school year in the fall. That could include a combination of in-person and distance learning or staggering classes.

Leaders did not say when they'll have a clear plan for parents, but said they have multiple plans and are working with Spectrum Health and the health department to make the best decision on how to move forward.

Dr. Adam London with the Kent County Health Department said, “We're never going to get to zero risk and I think that's important for everyone to know whether it's in school, or the grocery store or, or any place, even at home. We have we're not going to get to zero risk of transmission. It's important that we're smart about this, that we incorporate the best science, latest information, and the best case studies from around the world to make it as low risk of environment as possible.”

The Kent ISD will be sending out an email survey to parents in the coming days to see how distance learning has been going and take note of their concerns for the upcoming school year. Answers from the survey will play a large role in shaping the upcoming school year.

That survey will need to be completed by June 10th.