Many Michigan schools are busy planning for a return to the classroom this fall. But with coronavirus cases on the rise across the state, it remains to be seen whether — and under what conditions — parents will allow their children to return.
While the state’s health systems are in better shape today than during the first months of the pandemic, polls show that many parents are leery of a return to in-person instruction.
Some districts have already decided against a return to in-person learning. School leaders in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Hamtramck have said they would resume exclusively online instruction in the fall.
In Detroit, a small in-person summer school program sparked controversy, as protesters, many of them teachers convinced that it’s still unsafe to meet in person, have sought to prevent classrooms from reopening.
At the same time, top Republicans are pushing to require all Michigan elementary schools to offer in-person instruction to students in grades K-5. But it’s far from clear that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, will sign off on that proposal.
There’s also the question of whether Whitmer will allow school buildings to reopen at all. After expressing optimism early in the summer about a fall reopening, Whitmer has warned more recently that it won’t be possible if new cases continue to rise.
This is where you — teachers, students, and school staff — come in. Do you want your school buildings to reopen? Under what conditions would you feel comfortable returning to work at a school or sending your children back to the classroom?
Chalkbeat wants to hear from parents, students, and school staff. Tell us your feedback, concerns, and lingering questions below.
(If you are having trouble viewing this survey, go here).