ANN ARBOR, MI - Despite improvement in some of the metrics it identified to guide its return to in-person classes, Ann Arbor Public Schools is continuing remote learning.

District leaders expressed concerns over a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and a state-reported 80% rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide in renewing its commitment to virtual learning at the Wednesday, Oct. 14 Ann Arbor School Board meeting.

Of its five metrics, the district appears to be at least approaching the range of cases in three of those where it would begin to consider transitioning into hybrid learning, while one metric doesn’t have specific targets.

While AAPS is above its targeted number of COVID-19 cases per 1 million residents, the district’s cases per 100,000 residents and cases in the area were down from its Sept. 30 school board update.

Some district parents continue to press the board and AAPS on whether its metrics are realistic for guiding a return to the classroom, while others continue to reveal their frustrations with virtual learning.

Kai Cortina, a University of Michigan psychology and education professor who has two teenagers attending AAPS, said he believes it is not only younger, elementary-aged students who are struggling with online learning.

“Recent public commentary has focused understandably on kindergarten and elementary school, but let me emphasize that middle and high school kids are struggling with online education as well,” Cortina said. “There was great hope that technology might solve the problem of schooling in the age of COVID. But the reality is: Crashing platforms, frustrated teachers, and disengaged students. In front of our eyes, educational quality has taken a nose-dive in Ann Arbor.”

Read the full article at MLive.