Michigan governor announces return-to-school plan for Fall 2020

Michigan schools prepare to return for Fall 2020 amid pandemic

Empty classroom
Empty classroom (Pixlr)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released the “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap” on Tuesday, calling it a “comprehensive document to help districts create local plans for in-person learning in the fall” as the state navigates reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-142 requires school districts to adopt a “COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan” in which they lay out how they will protect students and educators across the various phases of the “Michigan Safe Start Plan.”

Whitmer says her roadmap offers guidelines for the types of safety protocols that will be required or recommended at each phase.

“In recognition that these protocols will cost money, the governor also announced that she was allocating $256 million to support the districts in implementing their local plans as part of the bipartisan budget agreement the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the governor announced yesterday,” reads a statement from Whitmer’s office.

The safety protocols detailed in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap includes guidance on the use of PPE, good hygiene, cleaning/disinfecting, spacing in classrooms, screening for symptoms, athletics, and more. The Roadmap also recognizes the impact COVID-19 has had on students’ and educators’ mental health, and offers guidance on how schools can address this issue, the governor’s office said.

Meanwhile, a report from the University of Michigan found one-third of parents surveyed don’t plan to send their children back to class in the fall.

The governor shut down all K-12 schools in March, then in April officially suspended all in-person learning at the schools.

Since March, the state was under a stay home order that was lifted June 1.

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