KPS Asks For Advice On Reopening Schools

Jun 28, 2020

Kalamazoo Public School Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri
Credit John McNeill / WMUK

The Kalamazoo Public Schools are working on ways to open classrooms this fall as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri says one proposal would give parents a choice.

"Including face-to-face instruction, a full virtual option for those families who are not yet comfortable sending their children back to brick-and-mortar schools, and a hybrid model with both in-person and remote learning."

The district plans to hold five online public forums using Zoom to get public comment on reopening schools. They are set for 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, June 29; 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30; and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1. Registration to attend the forums is required and people can also call in my phone. The district and the Northside Ministerial Alliance will cosponsor another forum at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Kalamazoo on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. It will be shown on the church's Facebook and Youtube pages.

Raichoudhuri says the district wants to hear from as many people as possible during the forums.

"The district is intentionally partnering with an outside organization to ensure that the sessions are open and unbiased. Community facilitator Mia Henry will lead the public, parent, and teacher input sessions."

Henry is the former director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. Raichoudhuri says the sessions are being held, "With a very deep consideration for equity and listening to all of our stakeholders and ensuring that we have measures in place that will support our families to return back to school."

COVID-19 has temporarily ended an experiment in year-round classes at two Kalamazoo elementary schools. Raichoudhuri says the pilot projects at Washington and Woodward Elementary schools will be suspended for a year because of the pandemic.

"Staff and families have been notified that the two schools will be on the same calendar as all other KPS schools for this upcoming school year."

The schools began year-round classes in 2019 under an agreement with the state to improve student test scores.