Grand Rapids Public Schools has decided to keep learning for the first full semester all virtual after the Kent County Health Department issued a public health bulletin on Friday, October 16.

The school district was prepared to start a hybrid model of virtual and in-person learning starting next Monday, October 26th, but after the bulletin came out stating that positive cases were on the rise, up to 4.5%, which as the press release from the school states, “a significant increase from the previous weeks, officials changed course. 

In the press release, which was a joint statement from GRPS, Grand Rapids Board of Education, and GR Education Association, the decision to stay virtual was viewed as necessary especially after the health department also said that hospitals in our area are at capacity with “both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.”

This means that students will continue to learn at home through the holidays with the start of in-person learning happening when school resumes for the second semester, January 4, 2021.

The GRPS press release states that the health bulletin from the Kent County Health Department recommended that all districts should consider keeping schooling virtual because of the rise in positive COVID-19 cases.

As the press release from the school districts read,

We have said all along that the science and data will drive our decision making. The reality is the data is headed in the wrong direction for Kent County and the back and forth with potential closings will be more disruptive than just staying virtual now.

As for parents that are worried about their child's progress while virtual learning the school district tried to reassure you that they're working every day to improve the virtual learning experience,

We want to assure students and families that we will continue to find ways to strengthen and improve the virtual learning experience and the supports for all students, particularly those with the greatest needs.