Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the MI Safe Start School Initiative Roadmap which outlines safety protocols for schools to reopen in the fall.
“We cannot predict precisely how this virus will change in weeks or months ahead, but we are going to do everything we can to increase the likelihood that we start and stay in a phase of the pandemic that enables in-person instruction,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer’s plan is more than 60 pages long.
“Every district must develop three plans,” Whitmer said.
Each plan created by the school districts will follow guidelines that aligns with the phase the state is in according to Whitmer’s Start Plan. Michigan is currently in phase four.
If the state regress, remote learning is required, and sports will be suspended.
Whitmer said schools must enact food programs, she also feels they should help to provide students with mental counseling.
If the state continues to remain in phase four and in-person classes resume, the following things are required:
- Masks must be worn in hallways and on busses
- Protocols for screening staff and students
- Athletics returns with strong guidelines
If the state moves into phase five, the requirements will become strong recommendations and if the state moves to phase six, life will go back to its new normal.
Paula Herbart with the Michigan Education Association said the best way for kids to learn is in the classroom face-to-face. She said the new plan could make that happen safely.
“If parents want students back in school buildings, it’s what we’re going to need to do. And teachers are used to make sure dress codes are enforced, getting to class on-time is enforced, and no running in the hall is enforced. This is one more thing,” Herbart said.
The new plan calls for more than $250 million in funding to help districts with their plans.