The following is a response to our call for people to share thoughts and concerns about Michigan schools returning to in-person learning this fall.
“The learning can wait. Schools are not daycare centers, and teachers and school staff are going to be contained in small rooms with many children. Even if all are wearing masks, the potential for the virus to hang in the air and infect many is very high. Teachers are adaptable, and students will catch up. Online learning is hard and ensuring all students have access is definitely an issue. However, this should not be political. It is a public health crisis. Lives are on the line. Wait for a vaccine, and the government should be assisting all citizens instead of playing chicken with the lives of students, families, and staff. Teachers are innovative, creative, and able to produce distance learning experiences that can still be meaningful. We want to go back, but only when it’s safe. Containing so many people inside is going to be almost impossible to do safely. I feel like I’ve finally reached my limit for what I’m willing to give up for my students. I spend my own money, I work more hours than I’m paid for, I take my job home with me because I care for my students. I am not willing to bring this virus home to my family when there are other options until it is safer.”
-- A Concerned Teacher
View more: School Confessionals
Michigan school districts, colleges and universities are working to prepare for a return to in-person classes this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In-person classes were stopped in March when the virus swept through Michigan. On June 30, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revealed her plan to help schools across the state return to in-person learning this fall. The “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap” is a 63-page document that outlines coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols for each phase of Whitmer’s reopening plan.
The governor’s order requires each school district to adopt a COVID-19 plan that lays out how it will protect students and educators across the various phases of the Michigan Safe Start Plan. Whitmer’s roadmap is to be used as a guide.
This has everyone -- parents, teachers and students -- wondering whether this is a good idea, how well it can be accomplished, how safe everyone can be kept, and what exactly the best to do this will be.
Please share your thoughts and concerns about returning to in-person learning this fall -- we want to hear from you:
- Here’s what Michigan school districts have planned for the fall amid the pandemic
- A look at how Oakland University is preparing campus for fall return amid pandemic
- What the new school year will look like for Detroit public schools
- A look at how Eastern Michigan University is preparing campus for fall return amid pandemic
- Return to School section