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GRPS: Virtual learning helping bring district into 21st Century

Posted at 4:36 AM, Aug 25, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tuesday marks the start of the school year for students at Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Students will be learning virtually for at least the first nine weeks, and then officials will reconsider what to do based on cases in our area.

The district says its goal would be to try to bring the students back to the class later on in the school year or use a hybrid model for parents who choose to keep their kids home.

GRPS says it believes the use of technology could enhance teaching and learning for K-12 public schools.

The district also says it has a plan to make online learning successful for their students.

"We are requiring three times to four times more synchronous learning," said John Helmholdt, executive director of communications for GRPS. "That's where the teacher is remote but is actively engaged with students, using video conferencing and other means."

"We've also expanded the number of office hours," he said. "So there will be a couple hours of office hours each week that are available to students and parent."

GRPS expects to receive about $1.5 million from the state's $65 million Emergency Education Relief Fund, which was passed last week.

There will also be 16 meal sites set up for all GRPS students to get two meals a day three days a week.