Yes It’s True: Otsego and Plainwell still doing hybrid

“And you know, something is happening, but you don’t know what it is… do you, Mr. Jones?” — Bob Dylan, “Ballad of a Thin Man.”

I suppose everyone has had at least one experience in which he or she has totally misunderstood something that was told. I see evidence of that phenomenon every day on Facebook.

But I have to plead guilty and offer up a sincere mea culpa over my horribly wrong-headed interpretation Monday night of a Channel 3 (WWMT-TV) report about Otsego Public Schools restarting classes after the holiday break.

I don’t recall hearing the word “hybrid” in the report and I surmised, wrongly, that broadcasters were reporting Otsego was switching to in-person learning five days per week. They were not.

Otsego Schools Communications Director Holly McCaw e-mailed to inform me my story, which actually was supposed to be more about the latest Covid death figures, was wrong about Otsego’s situation.

Otsego Public Schools went back into session Monday on the hybrid approach. It will have half of its students attend classes in person on Mondays and Thursdays, the other half Tuesdays and Fridays and Wednesdays will be set aside for all virtual learning and catch-up sessions for students who need extra help.

This model is being practiced at Wayland, Hopkins Allegan and Plainwell schools, and it has been in force since late August. I wrongly thought the Channel 3 report had Otsego, and even Plainwell, was turning to all in-house learning five days a week, like Martin.

So it was fake news, indeed, but not intentionally. I was “an understandable mistake.”

My biggest regret is that it gives phony ammunition to those who maintain schools should be open five days a week and abandon the hybrid model that is in place for the health and safety of students and staff. I believe no less a figure than outgoing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said that this past weekend.

So this is the scoop: Otsego and Plainwell remain in a hybrid approach because of Covid-19. Jeff (not James) Haase is the name of Otsego’s superintendent, who appeared in the Channel 3 report.

My humble apologies for any misunderstandings that may have resulted.



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