Flint Public Schools extend remote learning indefinitely
Public schools in Flint, Michigan will stick to remote learning indefinitely, Flint Community Schools announced Wednesday. The decision reverses last week’s announcement that schools in Flint would reopen on Jan. 24. The promised reopening would have marked the end of three weeks of distance learning that followed the district vacation, which also lasted three weeks.
In his first homeschooling announcement to parents on Jan. 9, Flint Superintendent Kevelin Jones cited the level of community transmission of the omicron variant of COVID-19 as a reason to continue remote learning.
“As you know, the safety and wellbeing of our scholars, families, faculty and staff remains our top priority,” Jones wrote. “By moving to remote learning, we are mitigating the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to provide learning continuity. to our scholars and focusing on their academic, social and emotional growth.”
He added, “We understand the burden this may place on our families. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and sincerely believe that in-person learning is best for our scholars.”
In one January 12 school board meeting on virtual learning, Jones explained that “it’s just not safe” to resume school in person and that “we’re going to catch up, educationally, for a while anyway… We’re going to have to catch up, but the world isn’t over. We’re going to keep going and keep educating.
However, data shows that virtual learning has cost children dearly. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study suggests that virtual learning has harmed the physical, mental and emotional health of children while placing additional stress on parents and causing some to cope by consuming alcohol and drugs. A McKinsey & Company report says the average learning loss for remote learners during the pandemic was 6.8 months. Black students fare significantly worse with 10.3 months of learning loss, a relevant statistic given that the Flint school district is 74.2 percent black.