Ishpeming creates return plan for fall school year

MARQUETTE — It’s all about safety. That’s what Ishpeming Public schools are stressing as kids start prepping for the school year to return, but this school year will be different.

Students who wish to not return to in–person classes have an alternate option.

“A lot of parents have concerns about sending their kids back to school this year; rightfully so,” said Matthew Byce, Elementary Principal at Ishpeming Public Schools. “So we as a district wanted to be able to offer an online option for those families so they can feel safe, and receive a quality education.”

The online program is called GenNET, and the platform is called Canvas. It will be pre-loaded with a curriculum, and students who choose this option will be assigned a mentor to help guide them through the year.

“The nice thing about being able to use Canvas is we can supplement the activities that they’re doing, with some things they’re doing in the classroom as well to make it still feel like they’re a part of the Ishpeming Public Schools family.”

For the students that will be attending in-person classes, new safety precautions that will be in place include masks being required for students and staff during the day, but mask breaks will be taken; lunches will be boxed and lunch periods will be sectioned off by grade level; classrooms will be more spread out; hand sanitizer stations will be outside of every classroom, and buses will be cleaned in between and after routes.

One thing Ishpeming schools is not getting rid of is the Physical Education class. It will not look anything like it has in the past, but the school stressed that they still want their students to be active during the day.

“As much as possible, we are going to have our Physical Education classes outside,” Byce said. “As weather permits, we’ll take the kids outside and do their Physical Education out there. If there is inclement weather and we do have to be indoors, we will maybe adjust the activities that we’re going to be doing so that there’s not as much huffing and puffing.”