Educators and students react to face-to-face learning resuming in Metro Detroit

Population density still a concern for schools

In-person learning resumes in Metro Detroit school districts

ROMEO, Mich. – Romeo Community Schools hit another milestone on Monday as students returned to full class schedules.

Elementary school children returned two weeks ago.

On Monday, it felt like fall for the middle and high schoolers who got that back-to-school feeling for the first time in more than a year.

The excitement of a return actually started last week as teachers prepared to welcome cohorts back to Romeo High School.

“I almost feel like this is our fall, having them all in the classroom, I can feel it,” said Kim Ruhlman, a teacher.

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Monday was the day a return to full days, full-time face-to-face learning for high school and middle schoolers finally happened, which means 80 percent of the district’s students are physically back in class.

“It was the best thing ever walking through that bulldog. We had the music going,” said Baily, a student.

Rick Boggio, an academy coach at Romeo High School also said Monday felt like the first day of school.

“It is the first day that we have brought both groups of our students,” said Boggio.

The high school operates with a learning system called the Academies at Romeo in which students decide on an area of interest and attend micro-and macro-focused learning that gives real world experience in their area of interest.

Still in keeping with safety precautions, students, Logan Wenz and William Gilbert in the high school video production academy took on inside news gathering as they became our eyes, ears, and video production crew as their first day back assignment.

Color coded masks were deployed to 9th graders to create a sense of team work, so they can identify who was in their academy. The color coded masks make it fun for students to wear their masks, but also gives them a visual in the hallways of who is in their particular academy.

The population density is a concern. It will be hard to fully separate students and the onus is on the families to keep track of temperatures and health screenings, but those students who have returned to face-to-face learning full-time, will see differences in how they must conduct themselves to keep the pandemic out of their building.

Read more: Return to School stories

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.