MPS school board to vote on in-person schooling plan

NOW: MPS school board to vote on in-person schooling plan

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Milwaukee Board of School Directors met to consider a proposal to return students and staff to in-person learning, more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close.

The plan rolled out by Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) proposes a phased-in return with staff returning on March 29, followed by pre-K through second grade on April 12, third through eighth grade on April 19 and ninth through 12th grade returning April 26.

Students that do return to in-person learning would attend school four days a week with one day designated for virtual learning. There is also the option to stay with virtual learning for the remainder of the year.

“We have worked with the school community, our key stakeholders in the district to provide input on this roadmap to readiness,” MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley told reporters ahead of the board meeting. “And we feel comfortable about what we are proposing to the Milwaukee school board of directors tonight.”

City leaders also back the plan.

“I believe that MPS should move forward with its plan,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a COVID-19 county briefing. Barrett said the city worked with MPS to ensure staff could be vaccinated and have a recovery time following a second dose.

“I told them if you give me specific dates as to when you will return, I will flip backwards somersaults to make sure everyone has a vaccination and has a recovery period,” Barrett said.

But the district’s teachers’ union – Milwaukee Teachers Education Association – said the plan from the administration falls short.

“This is insufficient” MTEA President Amy Mizialko told CBS 58 in an interview. “And you know at the worst it’s haphazard, there’s nothing here, there’s not enough here for a school board member to say ‘yes’ to.”

Mizialko said there are still concerns about classroom safety protocol and if staff have enough time to complete their vaccine series.

“MTEA is calling on the school board to demand a responsible serious plan from the administration,” Mizialko said.

Parents believe a return to the classroom is long overdue.

“These kids are falling behind,” Jolene Reit, a parent to multiple MPS students told CBS 58. “It’s not just mine. I know there are thousands of other parents that’s going through the same thing and MPS has to figure something out because these kids are falling behind.”

The MPS meeting can be watched HERE

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