Virus Outbreak Distance Learning

In this April 9, 2020, file photo, Sunnyside Elementary School fourth-grader Miriam Amacker does school work in her room at her family's home in San Francisco. Teachers across the country report their attempts at distance learning induced by the pandemic are failing to reach large numbers of students.

(The Center Square) – Milwaukee schools are looking at bringing kids back for in-person classes under its new reopening plan. But school leaders are also looking at keeping school buildings closed until further notice because of the coronavirus.

Wisconsin's largest school district unveiled three scenarios for reopening school in the fall. 

  • Scenario One: School would be closed to in-person classes. Students would learn from home.
  • Scenario Two: Schools would open, but social distancing would be required. Class sizes would be lower. Students would attend classes on a rotating schedule. 
  • Scenario Three: Schools would reopen as normal. Parents would have an option to keep their children home. 

There are also three scenarios for when to start school

  • Scenario One: An early start  on Aug. 17
  • Scenario Two: The traditional start on Sept. 1
  • Scenario Three: A late start on Sept. 8

“We are  trying to make sure we make the decisions to meet the needs of all of our families,” MPS Superintendent Keith Posley said Thursday night. 

Posley did not say it, but the MPS reopening plan reinforces the notion that in-person classes are best for students. 

"Because studies show that students learn best with face-to-face instruction, MPS will make every effort to offer instruction in the traditional classroom setting for the full 2020-2021 school year," the reopening plan states. 

But MPS said that may not be possible. 

Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction on Monday released its recommendations for schools to reopen. DPI did not include a five-day school week in its plan. DPI also did not include any guidance as to what a school year should, or will look like for individual schools. 

The Center Square Correspondent

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.