3 Milwaukee Public Schools to return to virtual learning due to COVID cases

NOW: 3 Milwaukee Public Schools to return to virtual learning due to COVID cases

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Three Milwaukee Public Schools will return to virtual learning due to COVID-19 cases. The announcement was made Wednesday, April 28. 

The three schools are Garland Elementary, Eighty-First Street School, and Milwaukee German Immersion. 

"This was entirely predictable and our members frustration and anger and anxiety and worry continues to grow. As we said before the B117 variant is spreading rapidly in Milwaukee and especially amongst children," said Amy Mizialko, president of the MTEA. 

The protocol for MPS is that three positive COVID cases in a two-week span forces the school to go virtual. Schools remain virtual for two weeks. 

This comes just 14 days after the first MPS students began in-person learning. 

Grades 4-8 returned to school last week, and some high school students returned to the classroom just two days ago. 

The Black Educators Caucus MKE protested the in-person learning situation over the weekend. They had concerns before the school closures. 

"There are a lot of questions and a lot of concerns about safety within the building, the way that positive COVID tests are being handled, classroom closures and other things of that nature," said Angela Harris, with the Black Educators Caucus MKE. 

Harris said in person learning in the district is generally a concern for a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

“We could become a super spreader in the black and brown communities," Harris said. Particularly in Milwaukee. We know a lot of our students are in families that are intergenerational.”

Mizialko said some of these cases are being reported by the families, which are testing their own children, and MPS is falling behind the testing schedule approved by the school board.

“The very simple measure of testing that was promised to this community – to students and families, and to members is behind," Mizialko said. Lagging behind significantly.”

Milwaukee Public Schools released the following statement: 

“Milwaukee Public Schools confirms the transition to virtual learning for Garland, Eighty First Street and Milwaukee German Immersion schools for 14 days due to three positive COVID-19 cases reported, per district protocol. MPS remains committed to a safe and healthy environment for students and staff, while providing the best education possible whether virtual or in-person. Based on public health guidance, we encourage all our families to monitor themselves and their children for COVID-19 symptoms and to stay home if either sick or exposed to someone who tests positive.”
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