NexTech High School unveils Return to Learn plan

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Dan McMinn, school leader for NexTech High School NexTech High School

NexTech High School rolled out its Return to Learn plan that details three different scenarios for the 2020-21 school year.

The scenarios for the public charter school that services students in Grand Rapids are based on coronavirus phases in the region.

The first scenario is a blended model that is designed for Phase 4 or above. Students will be on campus for four hours per day, four days per week. There will be separate morning and afternoon sessions with additional learning online. Increased social-emotional support will be provided. The school will follow the social distancing and PPE requirements for the state of Michigan.

“We will continue to work with state and local government and health officials to

develop plans that keep our students’ safety at the forefront of what we do,” said Dan McMinn, school leader. “Being a blended learning environment already allows us to keep class size small, maintain social distancing and allow quick transitions between scenarios from in-person to online with little loss of learning opportunity for students.”

The second scenario is remote learning, which is available for all students with a signed and approved Ed Development Plan. Students will be able to participate in scheduled classes through remote options, and they can switch between the first and second scenarios any time during the school year.

“Because we always have online components to our blended learning, we’re not scrambling to figure this out,” McMinn said. “Our students, families and teachers know how to create meaningful online experiences. When we’re able, we’ll supplement those with face-to-face instruction in a socially distanced, safe environment, but our experiences in March really demonstrated how seamless the transition from blended to remote is, and what a difference remote learning experience makes for the students.”

The third scenario will be implemented if the region moves to Phase 3 or below. As required by the state, all students must complete their classes online. Students will have the option of remote one-on-one support in addition to regular class interactions.

“Through all our scenarios, we’ll continue to fulfill our mission to provide a personalized and transformational high school experience,” McMinn said. “Our goal is to prepare each student academically and emotionally for success in college, work and life. And we know right now, students are learning really hard lessons in life. Because the ‘new normal’ is really our normal, our focus is on providing coping and academic supports but also providing stability and quality when it comes to remote learning.”

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