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.
“Yes, despite comments to the contrary, we, as families can choose to live in bubbles or small bubble clusters. Parents and educators have a variety of options. Most families will find ways for their children to continue learning academic and social skills even in this abnormal time. As descendants of explorers and pioneers ... and builders, we have creative intelligence and innovative capabilities that allow us to determine a learning system for our children and pursue it. I’m guessing that after multiple rounds of quarterly assessments of in-home learning, teachers will find that most remotely-schooled students make adequate progress or better. Most children are resilient and able to adapt to unfamiliar and less-than-ideal arrangements, whether those arrangements are in schools or homes. Here’s a mini-example of unlikely learning: Before there were such innovations as preschool and kindergarten, my Mom, who accompanied her mother to work every day in a movie theater, learned to read by deciphering the captions in the silent movies when she was only four and five years old. One of my little grandsons greatly enjoys his cellphone. One of the ways he’s learning to read and write is through video games and texting. Our children will keep learning just as the children of our indigenous populations, our settlers and our pioneers learned -- by watching their parents, by copying their parents and by receiving instructions from their parents and other adults in their community or bubble-cluster.”
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: