Schools Sorting Out How To Reopen – Or Stay Closed
Some smaller and mostly rural public school districts in Michigan are back in normal settings with in-person classes. Governor Whitmer has announced that she wants schools to begin reopening by March 1st. Battle Creek schools plan to return grades K-5 to full in-person classes starting next week. Grades 6-12 will switch to a hybrid plan on the 25th. That involves two days of in-person and three days a week with virtual learning.
But when it comes to Detroit Public Schools, the return to in-person classes may be some time. The largest public school district in the state also has the largest teachers union. Terrance Martin is the President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. He tells FOX 2 in Detroit, that as soon as the Governor made her school reopening announcement, the phone at his office started ringing. He says the overwhelming majority of the teachers in the union are opposed to returning to classroom settings right away. Martin tells FOX 2, "I thought it was a pretty lofty goal at this point considering where the numbers in and around the state are." He goes on to say, "Teachers want to go back but we want to go back when it is safe and the virus is under control."
Fox 2 reports the teachers’ union and Detroit public schools agreed last fall to look closely at the community infection rate as a guide to reopening. They agreed it needs to be lower than 5 percent to safely reopen. Now the community infection rate in Detroit is estimated at around 7 percent. Estimates are as high as 75 percent of Detroit public school teachers and parents alike don’t think now is the time to resume normal classroom instruction.