Officials with Farmington Public Schools to recommend fully remote learning model

New learning model named Learning at a Distance

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – After much discussion, feedback, and planning, officials with Farmington Public Schools will be recommending that the district begin the school year in a fully remote learning model that is named Learning at a Distance. 

The recommendation will be made to the Board of Education at its Aug. 11 school board meeting.

The announcement comes after Southfield schools announced remote-learning for the fall. West Bloomfield schools are shifting to online, hybrid learning for the fall.

Rationale for this Recommendation

In the MI Safe Schools 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap document, school districts are required to be in a fully remote learning model in Phases 1-3.  Local districts were given some choice in providing face-to-face instruction beginning in Phase 4, continuing through Phase 5 and Phase 6. Currently, we are in Phase 4 and Michigan continues to see an increase of COVID-19 cases.  

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 81,621 as of Friday, including 6,199 deaths, state officials report.

Friday’s update includes 734 new cases and 8 additional deaths.

“We do not feel that at this time that the science and data support a safe return of all our students and staff for in-person instruction,” stated Superintendent Bob Herrera.  “We also took into account all of the feedback that we have been receiving from our families and staff in making our decision.”

“Our world changed practically overnight in March 2020 and our staff stepped up and continued to provide instruction to our students,” added Herrera.

Some of the differences will be:

  • Increased Live Meets with students
  • Increased expectations for learning
  • Content that will be graded
  • Formative and summative assessments will be administered
  • Attendance for students will be required per State guidelines

The District’s new Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas, will serve multiple purposes in the Learning at a Distance Plan, including:

  • A space for teachers to establish an online presence, develop instructional content, provide effective feedback, and collaborate with their Professional Learning Teams (PLT).
  • A digital classroom in which students access instructional content, manage and submit their work, and engage with their larger class.
  • An opportunity for meaningful partnerships for learning among teachers, students, and parents/guardians.
  • A communication tool for teachers, students, and parents/guardians. 

“The return to in-person learning will be dependent on when data supports a safe return to in-person instruction and when we have clear and consistent guidelines from our local health department,” said Herrera.  “We know that we will not go from offering remote learning to in-person instruction overnight. We will continue to work on a phased-in approach in anticipation of returning to in-person learning.”

“As we open our “virtual” doors to our schools on Monday, Aug. 31, I know that we will be prepared to provide our students not only with a quality education where we can continue to build positive and supportive relationships with our students and our families,” assured Herrera.

The District will submit their final plan to Oakland School on Friday, Aug. 14 as outlined in the Governor’s Plan and post it on the District’s website.

To learn more about Farmington Public Schools, visit

Recommendation for fully remote learning:

About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.