Educators, state leaders prepare to adapt to distance learning

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Every Michigan school district now has the power to decide what’s best for their students as they go through the COVID-19 closure. But for a lot of these school leaders, it’s going to be a tough challenge.

“This is a shock to the system without a whole lot of notice or opportunity for planning,” says Jamey Fitzpatrick of Michigan Virtual. “We’re asking our teachers and our students and our parents to really change everything we know about education.”

Despite the challenges of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s decision, educators say it’s still the best move. The Michigan Education Association (MEA) issued a statement in support of the governor’s order, saying “Distance learning can never fully replace face-to-face time…but we must do the very best we can under these unprecedented circumstances.”

“We want our parents to have patience with both their teachers and their students,” says MEA spokesperson David Crim, “as we work through this, district by district, building by building basis.”

Other organizations are asking everyone to be flexible and focus on what’s important.

“Our academic priority needs to be sure that every student can regain the lost learning that has happened over the past few weeks,” says Beth DeShone of the Great Lakes Education Project, “and that they will be able to recoup any lost learning that will continue in these new circumstances.”

The governor says she’s committed to working with these school leaders through the next few months to make sure that this school year and the next school year are as smooth as possible.

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