Kalamazoo school board approves online-only start to the school year

Students have the option to take classes online before phasing back into in-person classes or go online-only for the entire school year.

Kalamazoo Public Schools students have a choice to make: Take classes online for the rest of the 2020-21 school year or start out with online classes before phasing back to in-person classes.

The KPS Board of Education on Thursday approved the back-to-school plan that has already been introduced to district parents and teachers.

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The phased plan would have students attend classes online for the first third of the year. After Thanksgiving break, students would attend classes in person for two days per week and online for three. The final third of the year would be entirely in-person.

KPS Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri said in-person classes would be dependent on COVID-19 data. If infection rates continue to be a problem, the district would rethink its plans for returning to school.

Other school districts have also decided to take classes online initially, including districts in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Lansing. Neighboring Portage Public Schools is not one of them. That district voted Wednesday night to send elementary school students back to the classroom while maintaining online classes for middle and high school students.

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