Michigan school districts struggle over decision to go remote

Michigan school districts struggle over decision to go remote

NOVI, Mich. – There’s a tug-of-war emerging between school boards and educators over which decision is best for kids.

April 16, 2021: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 779,777; Death toll now at 16,771

Thursday night, the Board of Education for the Novi Community School District showed data showing COVID cases going up inside school buildings, showing the same number of cases per school in the last three months.

111 students are currently quarantined, 25 students have confirmed COVID cases and four teachers too.

Superintendent Dr. Steve Matthews did what many superintendents are doing: crunching the numbers, doing the math and making recommendations.

“We have about 2% of our students at the high school who are in person who have tested positive recently and we have about 5% of those students who are coming back to the high school who are in quarantine,” Matthews said. “My first recommendation was to move our kids back to hybrid. I felt that that was a good recommendation because it would give us an opportunity to spread kids out a little more, to make sure that we had that social distance. That’s where we’re getting in trouble.”

“One thing that I personally feel is that although the governor made a recommendation for schools to close and for youth sports to be shut down at the moment, two weeks prior there was recommendations for testing and there were so many hoops that schools and other youth sports organizations worked through to make sure that they were following that mandate and making sure that only healthy kids are able to compete,” said Dr. Danielle Ruskin, the president of the Novi Board of Education. “And then in the next breath to have that overturned to take a pause.”

Matthews made three different recommendations Thursday night -- go to hybrid learning, go to full remote education or stay the course. The school board voted to stay the course for in-person learning.

MORE: Return to School section


About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.