GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, MICH. — Jenison Public Schools made a tough call this week, but school officials say they had no other option.
The district says students who are attending their temporary extended traditional learning, the virtual learning program they created amidst the pandemic, are failing at a higher rate than students attending school in person.
“We had about 25% of our students that were learning remotely that had failed at least one course,” Jenison High School Principal Brandon Graham said.
Their data also shows COVID was not being transmitted at school.
“We tracked every related COVID case and contact since the middle of August,” Jenison superintendent Tom TenBrink said. “We can show the COVID-19 virus is not being spread in our classrooms. We have a whole semester of data to prove that."
This information prompted the school to send a letter home to parents, tightening restrictions for who can learn remotely. Remote learning will still remain an option for students who have had success with online school. For students who have failed a class, they will be required to return to in-person learning.
School activities that require in-person attendance, such as sports or extra-curricular activities, will remain only available to students attending school in person.
“We do know that there are barriers there. The reason for the letter was really to make sure the students that weren’t making progress in the online mode of learning were back in the traditional in-person setting, so we can make sure they’re reaching their graduation requirements,” Graham said.