PUBLISH DATE:  August 6, 2020

Over the past several weeks, we have been developing our re-entry strategy, which will be known as the Rockford Return to Learn Plan.  I will present our plan to the Board of Education on Monday, August 10.

We have been carefully monitoring the status of the coronavirus and, while I had hoped for better news by now, the Grand Rapids Region is still in the Medium High Risk category.  As you know, it has been my position to base decisions on advice from experts and scientific evidence.  The fact that we are still at Medium High Risk for the virus, along with feedback from parents and staff, and silence on the part of the Governor about any impending directives regarding the start of school, I have determined it is the best interest of our students and staff to begin the school year with 100% remote instruction for all students and to do so for the first three weeks of school (August 24 through September 11).*

Remote instruction means that teachers will be physically present in their classroom delivering instruction to students at home via video platform.  Students will not be in the classroom. This will allow for students to receive Rockford’s established curriculum with real time interaction between teachers and students. Details about start/end times, device pick-ups, etc., will be provided in the coming days:

My team and I will continue to monitor the status of the virus.  We hope this additional three weeks will provide time for the virus to stabilize or subside.  If this happens and the criteria to remain in Phase 4 is still met, we will implement our Return to Learn Plan offering families the option of face-to-face instruction or Rockford Virtual starting on Monday, September 14.

In summary, on Monday, August 10, I plan to recommend the Board of Education approve the Rockford Return to Learn Plan with the first three weeks of school delivered remotely as described above.  Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we continue to work in your best interest.

*No school on August 28, September 4, and September 7


Dr. Michael Shibler  |  Superintendent of Schools