Michigan State University publishes guide for K-12 schools reopening amid pandemic

MSU hopes to help educators prepare for an unprecedented school year this fall


EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University’s College of Education released a guide to help K-12 educators prepare for the upcoming school year amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

June 17, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 60,393; Death toll now at 5,792

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that K-12 schools will be allowed to reopen in the fall after being closed to in-person lessons since the pandemic hit in March. School districts were forced to shift to remote learning during the unprecedented school closures, which many weren’t prepared to do.

Whitmer says the “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” will be released on June 30.

MORE: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to outline next steps for schools to reopen this fall

In the meantime MSU has compiled an array of recommendations and guidelines from the CDC and other research, officials said.

Recommendations include the familiar social distancing guidelines in addition to limiting classroom sizes and constantly transitioning from remote to in-person learning. Officials suggest staggering individual students’ schedules so that some are studying remotely while others are in the physical classroom to limit interaction among students.

“We have a very short time to get ready for the complications of teaching during a pandemic in a way that minimizes the chance of a resurgence of the virus,” said Nicole Ellefson, an outreach specialist and one of the report’s co-authors. “COVID-19 came suddenly and forced a shift to remote education for everyone, but we can’t claim to be surprised going forward.”

The report also highlights the need for equitable learning, especially after learning disparities and differences in students’ access to technology became abundantly clear as districts shifted to remote learning in the spring.

MORE: Metro Detroit teachers prepare to navigate new normal when school returns in fall

MSU officials are urging educators to begin planning for the upcoming school year right away, and their guide may be useful as schools await Gov. Whitmer’s official “roadmap” to be released at the end of the month.

Click here to read MSU’s Re-Opening Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic report.

KEEP READING: Reopening Michigan amid the COVID-19 pandemic

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.