**Correction: The original version of this story stated that Forest Hills middle and high schools were moving to virtual learning, which is incorrect. The schools will be moving back to a hybrid model. We regret the error.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Forest Hills Public Schools announced that its middle and high schools will be moving back to a hybrid learning model starting Monday through Thanksgiving.
While the schools use a hybrid learning model, half the student population will learning in person while the other half learns virtually. They will then alternate.
The district made the decision with the Kent County Health Department to lower density in those buildings since COVID-19 cases have been increasing across the region and state. They say data shows low risk of coronavirus transmission right now within the district, but officials want to take precaution as that could change.
“We think this is the safest way to go through this period that we’re in right now,” Superintendent Daniel Behm said. “They call it de-densifying the population.”
A parent of two students in the district says he knows the district is doing what’s best for the kids.
“I agree with the decision,” parent David Fermin said. “As a physician, I see the rising number of COVID cases and as difficult as it can be moving kids back and forth from hybrid and in-school, I think it’s necessary.”
Behm says elementary buildings will operate the same because the district has seen far fewer coronavirus cases amount that age group.
FHPS says everyone should be prepared to temporarily shift to full remote learning if needed.
Middle school and high school principles will provide more details on the hybrid model.