East Lansing schools release draft of reopening plan

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Community members waiting to hear about a plan to return to in-person instruction at East Lansing Public Schools won’t have to wait any longer. A draft reopening plan along with health safety protocols for in-person learning was released Oct. 11. 

Two public members playing tennis at an empty East Lansing High School campus on Oct. 16. The district chose to continue remote learning through the end of Oct. 2020.

On Sept. 28, parents expressed concerns about the lack of a plan from East Lansing Public Schools at the school board meeting held via Zoom. The reopening plan was scheduled to be brought up at the Oct. 12 school board meeting, but a late cancelation of the scheduled night changed that. 

East Lansing High School math teacher Nate Feldpausch said, not everyone’s wants and needs will be satisfied in 2020. However, he said the plan was well communicated and kept people’s safety as a priority. 

“If we’re going back to school, this is what it’s going to look like,” Feldpausch said. “I know that in consideration of all of the requirements, social distancing, mask-wearing, avoiding common spaces, there’s just a lot of moving parts but the plan reflects the district’s priority of keeping people safe.”

Fifth-year journalism and English teacher Cody Harrell supports the plan.

“It’s scary to think about going back, but I think we’ve waited the time that is necessary to at least put a plan together,” Harrell said. “I have not been displeased with the pace that we are taking as a district.” 

An unoccupied bicycle left behind at East Lansing High School Stadium on Oct. 16.

The freshman English teacher said there is no sweeping hybrid opportunity.

“I’m sure that there may be some students that take hold of some sort of hybrid when schedule overlaps don’t work.” 

The district will continue to offer remote learning through the end of the school year 2020-21 for families who wish to remain online. 

If the Board of Education takes action to resume in-person instruction at its Oct. 26 meeting, elementary school could return Nov. 16 on the first day of the second trimester for the elementary. Meanwhile, the middle school and high school could begin in-person instruction on Jan 19, while they remain online for the 1st semester.

The middle school and high school will likely implement a block schedule (around 75-minute classes every other day) to reduce the number of daily transitions and exposure.

Superintendent Dori Leyko will be sharing more information about the draft reopening plan at the Oct. 26 meeting. The reopening draft can be found here:  ELPS Draft Transition to in-person Instruction Plan

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