Howell starting school year with in-person and virtual options

The school year begins with the Howell Public Schools District offering in-person and virtual options for its students. In-person classes are set to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 19, with a half day of classes; the district won’t return to a full five-day-a-week school schedule until the week of Sept. 14.

The enrollment window for the Highlander Virtual Academy closed on Aug. 3. For more information and to be placed on a waitlist, click here.

“This gradual start to the school year will significantly benefit our students and staff,” said Howell Public Schools District Superintendent Erin MacGregor in a message to district parents.

“The calendar adjustments will allow us to ease back into school as we learn and adjust our routines to meet the new safety requirements and protocols,” MacGregor wrote. “Additionally, it will provide our schools times during the first week to debrief their building level plans to see what is working well and what needs attention.”

You can view the HPS calendar here.

MacGregor’s back-to-school message can be viewed here.

The district is also moving to block scheduling at the upper levels in an effort to reduce person-to-person contact, as well as the number of classrooms students visit, and the number of passing times. The in-person classes will be offered as long as the region remains in Phase 4 or Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan; if the region is in Phases 1-3, it will go to mandated distance learning.

Several districts around the state — including Ann Arbor and Lansing — are opting for all remote learning. No district or charter school in Livingston County has yet announced an all-remote-learning plan.

There’s still a chance that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will require all schools to go remote in the fall. That would likely trigger a confrontation with the Republican-led Legislature, which controls school funding.

For more information on the Highlander Virtual Academy, which is open to all Livingston County students, click here.

You can read Howell’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan by clicking here.

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