Whitmer: Michigan schools announcement coming next week

Schools remain closed amid coronavirus outbreak

(Photo by Klaus Pressberger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images) (Klaus Pressberger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

All K-12 Michigan schools have been ordered closed since March 16 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s original order indicated the shutdown would be lifted by April 6, but now a return date is unclear due to the surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the state and nation. During an interview with WWJ radio Friday morning, Whitmer said it’s very unlikely students will be able to return to classes this school year.

UPDATE March 30: Live at 10:15 a.m.: Michigan Gov. Whitmer to hold coronavirus news conference

“We are working diligently to come up with a plan to meet the needs of our kids. I think anyone who’s watching what is happening globally with this pandemic knows it’s probably very unlikely they’re going to get back into school before the end of the year," she said. “I haven’t made that call yet because I want to make sure we’ve got a plan to meet the needs of our kids, and that’s what we’re working on.”

In a statement released after her radio interview, Whitmer’s office said an announcement is coming next week about “plans to ensure our seniors graduate and that no child is held back."

Here’s the full statement from the governor’s office:

“Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has made students one of her top priorities, which was evident when she took unprecedented action to order the closure of schools to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. We are absolutely committed to ensuring the needs of our students, parents, and families are met as we navigate these uncharted waters. The administration is working together with teachers, administrators, and education experts to fashion a solution that upholds the health, safety, and education of Michigan students. Next week we will announce our plans to ensure our seniors graduate and that no child is held back as a result of a district’s ability to provide face-to-face instruction during the COVID-19 school closure."

Related: Online school work won’t count toward curriculum, state officials say