Before the start of the school year, Lansing parents were given the option of signing up their children for in-person classes or remote instruction.


And now, Lansing principals have the authority to allow students signed up for remote instruction to switch to in-person classes.


Members of the Lansing Board of Education voted Monday to give administrators this authority.


Students already had been allowed to switch from in-person classes to remote instruction. But the district’s reopening plan prevented students from switching from remote instruction to in-person classes.


During Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Dan Wessel asked for leeway for remote instruction students.


He said the district cannot have students switching back and forth from one day to the next.


"But we have some hardships on families," he said.


Wessel said some parents have indicated remote instruction is not working out for their children.


"It has to work for our families," he said.


Wessel said he does not anticipate a large number of students will make the transition.


"We’re really looking at the hardship cases," he said.


About 80% of Lansing students already are signed up for in-person classes.


Board members voted 5-2 to modify the district’s reopening plan to allow remote instruction students to switch to in-person classes. Board members Pete Robinson and Cheryl Runnebaum voted against the motion.


Some districts are using what is referred to as a hybrid model for in-person instruction. Such models allow only about half of the student body into school buildings at any one time.


However, the Lansing district is not using this type of instruction model for in-person classes. In Lansing, all students signed up for in-person instruction attend on-site classes four days a week. And they all utilize remote instruction one day of the week.


Wessel reviewed class sizes during Monday’s meeting.


With many classes having around 20 students, there is not enough space to allow six feet of social distancing in classrooms.


With existing class sizes, students are spaced three feet apart, Wessel said.


"We can’t have six feet in our classrooms until you get down to about 13 kids," he said.


The Lansing public schools are taking other measures to help limit the spread of the coronavirus such as requiring students and staff members to wear masks.


The superintendent announced Friday that a student at Lansing Middle School had tested positive for the virus.


Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR