Forest Park prepares for opening of school


CRYSTAL FALLS — Being early August, the clock is ticking in the lead-up to the start of a new school year. Normally not much to ponder, just part of the routine of the yearly calendar.
    But the preparations for the start of the 2020-21 year are anything but routine. As school districts plan for what will be an opening like no other, teachers, students, families, school administrators and staff are engaged in very serious discussions about basic facts of school life like student, teacher and staff safety and how will teachers even go about providing a proper education for their students.
    Yes, life with COVID-19 has pretty much upended everything in our world. And there are few more basic obligations in our society than educating our children.
    The Forest Park Board of Education met on July 27 to discuss the district’s run-up to the start of the school year, planned for Aug. 25. New superintendent Christy Larson and K-12 principal Jackie Giuliani informed school board members on the status of the planning at this juncture.
    Currently, the Forest Park School District, along with the other schools in the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District, is planning to open for face-to-face instruction on time as long as the Upper Peninsula remains in its current phase of the Michigan’s Safe Start Plan and its Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap.
    Larson began by stating that options are crucial to educating in the midst of a pandemic.
    “We surveyed our parents to gather more information to try to get a feel for how many students we could anticipate that are not coming back to face-to-face learning,” she said. “Because that’s going to highly impact what type of instruction we are providing and how we will allocate our staff to be able to serve our students.”

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