Beecher Schools made the official announcement that they would be starting school virtually on August 17th.

Beecher is one of the few area schools that have committed to a virtual start for the school year. The Flint Community Schools made their virtual start announcement last week. I would expect that the flood gates are about to open up, and more schools will be announcing what their school start will look like soon.

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A virtual school year is overall safer for the kids, but it presents an entirely new set of challenges for teachers, parents, students and administrators. One of the biggest problems for schools is making sure all of their students are able to get online.

When Beecher made the announcement, they put out the call to local businesses that could help them make sure their 700+ students have the ability to learn virtually. Beecher Superintendent Marcus Davenport talked about what they are trying to do to make sure the school year is successful.

We would love to be able to start the year off being able to go one-to-one with each student - we are going to need some assistance from the business world as far as making sure these students do have internet access and the ability to have one device per student

This is obviously not the way that anyone wants school to start, but Beecher does have a bit of a head start. They have been running virtual summer learning programs since school was released, so students have had more time to adjust.

I would expect that more schools will adopt this fluid plan with a virtual start, and in person learning as soon as it becomes safe for both teachers and students.

It seems like not going to school would be something most kids would love, but it does create a lot of anxiety for students. Both of my kids are hoping to be back in their buildings when school starts, but nobody knows for sure. Virtual learning is tough on everyone from students to parents, and especially the teachers.

I know this is not easy, but I have to salute the people making these tough decisions. They have kept the safety of everyone involved at the forefront of this the entire time. As a parent, I appreciate that and want to say thank you.