FPS candidates on return to school: Claudia Heinrich

Editor’s note: Farmington Voice readers have asked that we pose one more question to Farmington Public Schools candidates: Where do you stand on sending students back into the classroom? We’re publishing responses as they are received. 

Claudia Heinrich (two-year term)

My position on sending students back into the classroom is that the school board members should take into account the opinions and needs of the students, parents and staff when making a decision. My personal feelings should not be the basis for my decision.

I have been following the process that the school district has been presenting to the board of education, listening the comments and concerns that the community is bringing to the board of education and understand that this is a daunting task.

Here are some of my observations:

  • Farmington is constantly changing the back to school plan and this is causing frustration. Rather than presenting one plan to the school board it came with two options:
    • A two day in person hybrid model for K – 5
    • A half day in person hybrid model for K – 5
    I have been following what neighboring school districts are doing and my opinion is that the districts that began with one plan to transition from virtual to in person are making it work with modifications as needed. Farmington initially developed the two day hybrid model then changed to the half day model.

I got the impression that even though both models were presented to the board of education, the half day model was preferred.

  • Parents lack clarity with the options presented: in person, remote or virtual.
  • Staffing & student placement in classes should have been set up with a transition plan in place. Assign students to a class and teacher for transition to in-person with the same teacher. Assign students to a class and teacher that would continue remote learning without disruption.
  • The return to in person for the middle schools and high schools was set for January 25. Now there is discussion on bringing the middle schools back to in person in November. Again, this causes confusion for the families. The high school schedule was not set up to allow for the transition to in person learning. This was poor planning. I taught in Livonia and follow what they are doing. They began the year virtually with a schedule and plan to transition to in person in October. It remains to be seen how it will work out, but at least they began with a plan.

In summary, based on the feedback from the community the Farmington School District has a responsibility to provide an in person school option along with a remote learning option.


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