Farmington Schools to offer virtual K-12 school among fall options

Farmington Public Schools (FPS) has developed plans for a range of scenarios for the 2020-2021 school year, including a virtual K-12 school.

Families interested in the full, distance learning option have until July 29 to register at forms.gle/QVGHVhxL87WfX413A and must commit to either a semester or full year online. The “Virtual Learning Path” uses an FPS curriculum facilitated by district teachers, and students can still participate in extra-curricular activities.

District committees working on aspects of the 2020-2021 school year plan have developed four options aligned with the state’s recently released Return to School Roadmap. Each depends on the severity of the pandemic, as measured by Michigan’s Safe Start program:

  • Fully remote Instruction, in Phases 1-3 (uncontrolled growth, persistent spread, flattening)
  • In-person Instruction with required safety protocols with the potential for hybrid
    instruction, in Phase 4 (improving)
  • In-person Instruction with limited safety protocols, in Phase 5 (containing)
  • Traditional in-person instruction, in Phase 6 (post-pandemic)

The Virtual Learning Path is available to families in all phases.

Most of Michigan, including the Farmington area, is in Phase 4. If that holds through the start of the school year (a date not yet determined), the district is exploring at hybrid attendance scenario, with students divided into two groups:

  • Student Group A attends in-person instruction on Monday and Wednesday. 
  • Student Group B attends in-person instruction on Tuesday and Thursday. 
  • Off days are Learning at a Distance days (remote instruction).
  • Friday is a Learning at a Distance Day for both groups.

Hybrid instruction includes safety measures like required facial coverings for staff and students, hand-washing protocols, social distancing in hallways with one-way traffic, and frequent sanitizing in buildings. If Michigan’s climate improves to Phase 5, students will be in class five days a week, with similar safety measures.

If Michigan moves back to Phase 3, remote learning would be more structured and standards-driven than at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Students would have more instructional time, more accountability for attendance, and traditional grading.

According to a district press release, “the foundation for all of the models is for the District to invest in a Learning Management System (LMS).” The system is expected to provide “a more robust digital learning environment” for students, while allowing parents to better track student progress, receive notifications from teachers, and use a single sign-on for every student in the family.

Families are invited to take a brief community survey to help guide the process:

Learn more at farmington.k12.mi.us/domain/1550.

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