Baldwin releases draft of fall reopening plans

Board of education to approve plan Aug. 10

BALDWIN -- Baldwin Community Schools released a draft of its preparedness plan Friday, giving area parents and students a look at what next school year will look like.

As part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Return to School Roadmap, Michigan school districts must come up with plans that correlate with each of the state's reopening phases.

In phase four of the Grand Rapids region, Baldwin would be required to enforce face masks for staff and students in sixth grade or older, increased sanitation practices and more.

According to the draft, Baldwin will meet all of these requirements, plus all highly recommended items in phase four.

This means the typical school day may look a little different for Baldwin students.

While students sixth grade and older will be required to wear masks throughout the day, younger students also will have to wear them when not with their class.

"There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others," the district stated in the plan, noting that for this reason, they would be implementing the use of face masks whenever possible.

Students also will have lunch delivered directly to their classrooms as a way to limit the amount of students in contact with one another.

For students using Yates Dial-a-Ride, some safety measures also will be enforced.

Students riding the bus will have to wear their masks at all times, and those who do not will not be allowed on the bus.

For additional safety measures, the bus windows will remain open during appropriate weather conditions and immediate families will be assigned seats together.

While looking at the current phase, the plan also covers what would happen if the school district were to fall back into phase three. In this case, all students would be required to learn remotely.

"Baldwin Community Schools has gathered feedback from families, teachers, students, school board members, local bargaining units and school leaders about their experiences with remote learning through online surveys and personal communications in order to prepare the most effective district remote learning plan for the school year," the plan stated.

Learning will be done through Google Classrooms. However, accommodations also will be made for students who do not have internet access.

"Given the lack of technology for many of our students, our district will mail hard copy instructional materials to homes," the plan stated. "Teachers, counselors, and administrators will work with students and families through phone calls and personal check-ins to ensure that they have the necessary resources to participate in remote learning."

Also included in the plan is a way to monitor any potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

"Baldwin Community Schools will cooperate with the local public health department if a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified, and in particular, must collect the contact information for any close contacts of the affected individual from two days before he or she showed symptoms to the time when he or she was last present at the school," the district stated in the plan.

While it is currently only a draft, the Baldwin Board of Education will meet to approve the preparedness plan Aug. 10.

In the meantime, parents and students may view the completed draft on the school district's website at