GLADWIN – School starts in Gladwin on the 31st of August and Superintendent Rick Seebeck feels that the Gladwin Community Schools are ready. “The Gladwin Community Schools could not be in a better place to pull this off,” said Seebeck. “The start may not be perfect, but we are in a great spot considering the circumstances.”

“We have all of our safety materials in place or on the way. It will all be in place by the time school starts.” Many things are definitely going to be different this year. One is the format for Open House. It will be done virtually this year. Each teacher is putting together a video that will introduce students and parents to the class. The videos will be available for the parents to watch at their leisure.

A significant number of students (26 percent) have chosen the online option rather that face-to-face instruction. All of the students that have decided to go online will be providing their own internet and devices although there will be wifi available in the parking lots of all the schools in the district. The signal has been strengthened to provide a better experience.

When asked what the start of the school year would look like Seebeck said that they are going to keep it “super simple.” With all of the logistical complexity, they didn’t want to “bite off more than they can chew.” One-way hallways, six feet of spacing, sanitizing stations, temperature checks the list is enormous. “We have a pretty good track record so I think we will be fine as we move forward.”

The biggest logistical problem is probably with the high school schedule.  High school students cannot stay in cohort groups all day meaning that there is more movement than at the other schools. Seebeck says that the Master Schedule is in place and the passing times have been worked out. Kids will be able to move through the building safely while not passing face-to-face in the hallways. “Adjustments will probably have to be made,” continued Seebeck. “We have a really good group of staff and will be able to pull it off.”

“We will have to be flexible and nimble. Our plan is not to be so rigid that we can’t change it depending upon the situation,” he said. He closed with some words that we should take to heart as we embark on this journey into the unknown. “Just because it is going to be different doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad.”

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