Whitmer to end Michigan school year; seniors graduate, others move up

Michigan students won’t return to their classrooms this school year, according to an executive order Whitmer is expected to sign this week. (Bridge file photo)

Official April 2: Whitmer closes Michigan classrooms for school year due to coronavirus
Related: What Michigan’s coronavirus school closure means for you

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign an executive order in coming days that will officially close public and private K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, according to several people directly involved in the drafting of the order or who have been informed of its contours. 

Details of the order were still being finalized Monday, but many of the major elements appeared to be resolved, sources said. While sources said that last-minute changes remain possible, the order is expected to say:

  • School buildings will be closed for the remainder of the school year, which typically ends in June
  • Schools will provide some form of remote learning for students through the remainder of the school year. It was unclear whether that learning would involve grades or be mandatory for students.
  • What that learning looks like — online education, printed packets of school work that students can work on at home, or a combination — will be developed by individual school districts and approved by intermediate school districts based on the resources available in schools and in student homes.
  • High school seniors will graduate, even if they were still taking courses required for graduation by the Michigan Merit Curriculum this semester, as long as their school district determines they were on pace to graduate before the state-mandated shutdown March 16. Several school sources said they anticipated statewide graduation rates to be as high or higher than normal.
  • Students in grades kindergarten through 11th grade will advance to their next grade at the beginning of the next school year, assuming their school district determines they were on pace to advance before the shutdown.
  • Schools will receive their full state funding through the end of the school budget year, which runs through June 30. State funding to school districts is determined by the number of students enrolled. 
  • To get that state funding, schools must agree to continue to pay school employees, including teachers, through the end of the school year, which ends June 30
  • Michigan’s third-grade reading law, which recommends third-graders who are more than a year behind in reading be retained in third grade, will not be enforced this year. This would have been the first year the law went into effect. Even if students had returned to classrooms April 14, as had been the plan, third-graders would have missed a critical four weeks of reading instruction before taking the M-STEP, Michigan’s standardized test. Reading scores on the M-STEP were to be used to identify struggling readers for retention. 
  • Current high school juniors will be given an opportunity next fall to take the SAT at the expense of the state, to make up for the state-funded college entrance exam they would have taken in March if schools had not been closed.

A spokesperson for the governor declined to confirm outlines of the order on Monday, telling Bridge the Whitmer administration was “reviewing the issue” of whether schools should reopen this school year, and “when we have more to share we will update the press and residents.”

Details of the plan were given to Bridge by two people familiar with the drafting of the executive order and four people who have been informed of the draft’s outlines.

One high-ranking school official said the order remained “fluid,” and changes could be made before it is announced.

The order most likely will be announced Tuesday or Wednesday, sources said.
 
[Monday night, after this article published, Whitmer communications director Zack Pohl criticized Bridge on Twitter, writing: "This is really sloppy reporting by Bridge. Lots of inaccuracies. No final decisions have been made. Irresponsible to publish anonymous gossip like this during a crisis."] 

The order does not include extra money from the state for school districts to develop and carry out remote learning programs for the next two months, several people familiar with the order said.

It was unclear whether the remote learning for the last two months of the school year would be required of students or voluntary. It was also unclear whether the continued learning would advance curriculum in subjects, or merely reinforce learning that took place before the school closures.

One person involved in meetings with the Whitmer administration called the draft order “the best it can be at this moment. We can only deal with what we can deal with. We’re in a pandemic. None of us have been here before.”

Whitmer initially ordered schools closed from March 16 through April 5, and last week tacked on an additional week as part of a statewide stay-home order that runs through midnight April 13. She recently said in a radio interview that schools are “very unlikely” to reopen this school year.  

Several states, including Kansas, have previously closed their schools for the remainder of the school year.

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Comments

Melanie
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 6:19pm

As a public school teacher, I am very infuriated that you would publish this before it is officially announced. This is already going viral with my high school students and causing so much anxiety and misinformation for families all over the state because it is not yet official. Irresponsible journalism!

Ed Haynor
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:52pm

I agree. Jumping the gun in this case, doesn't appear to be the responsible thing to do.

Jeff McRierdon
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:57am

Jumping the gun? Ha! It was supposed to be shut down from the beginning because at the time there were no cases, which have spread like wildfire. Its not about soap, its about nobody listening to simple instructions plain and simple. No amount of handwashing is enough because as soon as you touch something or someone, you're contaminated and have to wash your hands yet again. Misinformation is a joke! Our government doesn't care about anyone or anything so let's be clear about that. If they truly did, we have would bé on lockdown quarantined 6 months ago.

AD
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:20am

That would have been quite some foresight considering that the very first case was reported 4 months ago.

Michael Z. Will...
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:50pm

If the government cared, they'd tell the at-risk elderly to shelter, use the Guard to provide them with shopping and support, and not crash the economy to the tune of a trillion dollars so far, with official projections of being worse than the Great Depression.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:08pm

The elderly are not the only ones at risk. Try to stay informed.

Joe
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:59pm

I'm with Melanie. As a former reporter, let me advise you against spreading rumors. What was the old yellow journalism saying, "you supply the pictures, I'll supply the war"? That's exactly what today's media is doing, despite Gov. Whitmer's admonishment against fomenting fear. In case you missed it, she was talking to you media types.

Joe again
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:04pm

Ladies and gentlemen, I can tell from workplace experience that even high school basketball stories are dishonest. That is why I left the profession. If media writers have 2 honest words in their vocabulary, they are incapable of putting them together in the same sentence. How do I know? Enough of my words were changed in my own articles, I couldn't take the bull s*** any more. Nothing you read is the straight truth.

Tom Pain
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 2:08pm

Turns out it wasn't a rumor and was true. Huh. It was an example of good reporting. Looks like someone (Joe) has egg on his face now, doesn't he?

Paul Hogan
Wed, 04/29/2020 - 1:20pm

Joe and Melanie- no wonder you were so horribly wrong with everything you said- you're former reporters! Everything you said turned out to be wrong- do you have any regret? All of your advice proved to be a lie- I wonder if you ever face any consequences for your failures? People reported the news, the news was correct, and you went on here trying to call it 'fake news'- and revealed that the real phonies were you. No one listen to Joe and Melanie any more- they're fools.

Anonymous
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:31pm

Totally agree with you that this is unethical reporting!

Tjk
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 6:56am

No, it’s not unethical due to the first paragraph. Read it again please.

Seth
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 2:59pm

Fine, not "unethical" but completely irresponsible and a far cry from real journalism. People deserve facts, not 4th or 5th hand hearsay.

Tjk
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 6:53am

Nowhere in this article did they say this was the final order. They said it was still being finalized. Maybe you should read it again.

Outraged
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:57am

What's causing so much concern for families is the complete breakdown of our ridiculously fragile society. America is no better than Sudan.

Why were we so unprepared for this at all levels? The answer is that we worship money more than anything else. Some said now we know what is essential: food, medicine, healthcare, police, fire. Well, what about education and critical thinking???? How do you get doctors, medicine, and innovation to care for our society without education? How do we raise smart compassionate citizens and leaders without schools and teachers or train our first-responders?

I hope to God that the teachers will continue to teach the children online during this time and even through the summer because of all the disruptions, if only on a part-time basis with some flexibility. We also have to be supportive of teachers in their efforts during this horrific time.

Just as we now have ongoing issues with invasive species destroying our environment, we have to be prepared for the ongoing spread of global viruses, with seasonal resurfacing and mutations. We need to be prepared, not just say this has all been so unforeseeable and unprecedented ad nauseum. People are literally dying because our leaders failed us, We the People . We are the leaders and we're lazy enablers of lobbyists that run this country.

I'm glad that Bridge wrote this article because many concerned parents and probably teachers have probably been wondering for a while what is happening to the learning of our children. Is Netflix going to do the job? Most parents have no training in homeschooling and many can't because they have to work, even now. That said, so many children don't even have the means to learn online. As a country, we need to reevaluate our priorities.

If anything, this pandemic should be a wake-up call for all Americans to question who our leaders represent and whether they reflect our values as human beings and whether they see each of us worthy of a ventilator. We the People ultimately are the government we criticize and deserve. Take your vote seriously. Vote your conscience and don't buy the propaganda. Be a critical thinker.

Anna
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:51am

Calm down, you sound insane. Yes people have their priorities of medicine, food, shelter etc...however, realize what is going on here. You are going off about some major problem, like it's the end all be all as they say. It's April, and school would have been out in a few months. 3 months of learning can be made up and no one is really going to be that behind because of it. Because several lessons were missed that doesn't mean children won't get back into it the following year or head on to college to become amazing things. It will all be ok. Just relax. Children are resilient and this time off may be good for them. The big picture here is being healthy. Whatever that looks like.

Erin
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 6:55pm

Is she doing anything for Higher Education Students who were planing on taking the GRE or any college students who’s schools won’t refund them for things they are missing out on that they paid for?

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 6:19am

^^^^

Rich get richer
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 11:58am

Many students left apartments to shelter at home with their parents where they can care for each other and are stuck paying rent on empty apartments. This is so awful. Landlords are giving $75 discount on rent of $2,000!

Nick
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:45pm

2000 a month rent just wow , would have to be rich just to rent!

mary
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:24pm

NOT good to just promote without achieving proper skills. Time to realize this not a social thing but critical for one's survival in the real world. Kids will be negatively impacted in the long run.

Norma
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:38pm

I haven’t seen ANY homework come out of the school for my senior!

Chris
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:54pm

Teachers were instructed NOT to give homework. Incredible, I know.

John
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 7:47am

We teachers in my district were told that no work could be mandatory, or come with a grade that counts. This was presumably because a certain number of students would not have equal access to the online schooling, or even the paper copies we were preparing. The state, or at least many districts, considered this illegal. Discriminatory. Thus, to avoid the unfairness of some not learning, almost nobody’s learning. The assignments I am giving, only a small portion of kids are doing. They are the ones whose parents make them. So things are more UNequal now.

AD
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:09am

I agree with you John, except on the idea that kids who do not do the work are being treated unequally. If they all have the opportunity to do the work, then this is equality. We can only guarantee equal opportunity - outcomes are the responsibility of the individual.

Joseph M Lenard...
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:43pm

How about we make every year a 1/2 year going forward?!?!
The less time they have to INDOCTRINATE our Children, the better chance they may still have some Common Sense left when they turn 18.

Jamie
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:10pm

What a foolish comment.

Chris
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:55pm

Good plan...or send your child to a private or charter school.

Mitchell Robinson
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:52am

Did you ever notice that the people who criticize the public schools as “failing,” and teachers as “lazy Union thugs who only went into teaching for the summers off” are the same people who seem to believe that those very same teachers have the power and sway with their students to “indoctrinate” them with their “liberal beliefs”?

Sorry, folks. It’s got to be either one or the other. You must choose: we teachers are either stupid, lazy “takers,” or all-knowing, super-powerful Svengalis who are corrupting our youth.

Given that I can’t even get my students to read the syllabus, I’d say it’s somewhere in between the two.

Independent
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 8:19am

Are those "people" who are so critical really in favor of promoting a better system of learning ; OR just looking to get what they want out of the system , and making it their Cash cow makes it a "great" system (Betsy Devos) ??????

Not seasonal flu
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:41pm

Joe, speaking of indoctrinating, you seem to be parroting FOX News and the folks who gave us Trump and perpetual gaslighting. Would it be better for our children to listen to the evening indoctrination devoid of truth wherein journalists are scolded for asking nasty questions, not singing the great leader's praise? The reality TV president holds office when the real news is scheduled to broadcast. Is this now a dictatorship? Did Putin win?

Robert Tulloch
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:46pm

How pathetic. You must be one of "those" teachers. MAGA 2020

John
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:04am

Been teaching in the schools for 18 years, and Joe has spoken true. Some of the indoctrination is incidental: public schools naturally parrot the culture (higher ed./media/entertainment dogma). Some of it is overt: we teachers tend to be left-leaning, with the younger ones coming out of Colleges of Education accepting the most extreme beliefs regarding sexuality, socialism, and so on.
Btw, my own kids in 1st grade and high school, are getting lots of work and interaction from their poor, small, Christian schools. My own students, though, are MIA in spite of all my efforts, because of our public school policy.
John

Seth
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 3:01pm

What a travesty that the schools indoctrinate children before you get the chance to make them retarded.

Joan
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:44pm

I think you meant “contents”.
“ according to several people directly involved in the drafting of the order or who have been informed of its contours. ”

Person
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:47pm

Schools should open! Schools necessary! Or just wait a little more for things to settle down and start school in may and have summer school instead of shutting schools down for the whole rest of the
year

lexi
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:17pm

school's*

Robin
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:37pm

I dont agree. I refuse to put my kids in a position to get this crap. You so worried about you should be teaching your kids at home. So they stay in touch with their education.

Robin
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:37pm

I dont agree. I refuse to put my kids in a position to get this crap. You so worried about you should be teaching your kids at home. So they stay in touch with their education.

AD
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:06am

Totally agree!! So the message is that summer vacation is sacred, but a full school year is not. Why shouldn't we continue the school year into the summer. We are sending the message that summer vacation is more important than preparing kids with a good education.

mary
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 11:25am

AGREE....school does not need to be SEASONAL. Education is the key to a better future. If a kid cannot graduate or have a party when they thought they should, delay it....but do not lessen the criteria. That will only hurt their future, and ours.

Independent
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 8:30am

If anything else were to be done to try and address a possible shortfall in educational development ; my thought was that IF the threat this virus represents eases enough that possibly (?) , like a couple of weeks of summer school be engaged in/carried out to try to help "bridge the gap" which may occur ??? But to do this right could take quite a bit of prior evaluation and planning ???

Brian
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:53pm

Why are we so far behind Florida on this issue who wiped the year off the books and is allowing kids in 11th grade and under to repeat their grade. Why push kids to the next grade or let them graduate before giving them the proper foundation . Horrible plan by the gov.

Julie
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:55pm

Schools closing rest of year and student allowed to move up (expected):
What about students who are failing? Why would they be moved up? Won't next year be even harder for them to learn since they are not learning what they are supposed to this school year?

Mary
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:58pm

According to the article, students who were not on track to pass when the closure started should not receive credit. If the student was passing, they will receive credit for the year. Online assignments can not just me made mandatory when there was no time to plan for this. Some students do not have internet access. Schools are doing the best they can, given the circumstances and the fact that they have had no warning. Teachers and other staff are literally finding out via the news, not from the district. The school districts have no control in this situation and most are doing what they can to support students as much as possible in this mess.

Kathy
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:56pm

If you read the rumored proposed article it states they will ONLY advance to the next grade IF they were on track to move up from when the closure was first announced. Also parents must have some accountability in their child’s education.

Kathy
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:56pm

If you read the rumored proposed article it states they will ONLY advance to the next grade IF they were on track to move up from when the closure was first announced. Also parents must have some accountability in their child’s education.

Terry
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:02pm

So none should move to the next level. I don't care what kind of distance learning they've been doing, it doesn't replace 2 months of direct instruction....especially for most high school classes that should have been the more difficult skills of those classes.

David
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 2:24am

Oh please, high school is bullshit. Only a percentage of a hand full actually care about the curriculum, and most just jump through teachers' hoops to get a grade. Grades do not reflect intelligence and only shows how submissive you are to being thrown constant assignments teachers just pull off of the web. As a graduate, I remember the massive multitudes of people who would cheat and plagiarize and never get caught. Two months are not going to hurt anyone. The only school levels I'm concerned for are elementary and a bit of middle school, due to their foundational concepts. Any parent can teach 2 months of 3rd grade in a matter of days, especially because of one on one teaching as opposed to teaching a packed class of 32.

Annon.
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:02pm

So...is she going to put more money in parents pockets now that they are going to be forced to technically homeschool (play teacher to) their child(ren) ON TOP OF working full time?! Lets just keep adding more and more to a parents plate. Are the students REALLY going to get the proper education this way to advance them to the next grade?! For older students if they were failing prior to the shut down, they don't get the chance to make up for that and automatically get held back?!

5inhouse
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:36pm

I would much rather see this option than the alternative. It is unfair to these seniors to be held back because of the virus.

The teachers are getting paid during the school year - unlike other jobs, they are not eligible for unemployment.

Kate
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:04pm

Read the proposed plan. They it states that children who were on track to advance prior to the closures will advance, those who weren’t will not. Also parents should/need to get involved in their children’s education, they should have a bigger vested interest in their child’s education anyway.

Kim
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:50pm

Why should a parent get paid to step up and parent their own children? Just wondering...

Scott
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 7:18am

Being a parent and being a qualified educator are two very different things.

Heather
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:56am

Thank. You I am a great mother but a horrible teacher. My elementary kids need in class instruction.

Robert Tulloch
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:53pm

And therein lies the problem. Your elitist attitude. My daughter in law home schools and by far excels what the public schools have to offer.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:02pm

Kim, to ask such a question shows how little you know about anything, let alone education.

Anonymous
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:12pm

You would think they would transition to online learning first, especially for high school students who already utilize the technology. To just cancel the entire year is another knee jerk reaction by this administration. Also, see where the virus is in another week or two and perhaps those districts with low rates could resume.

Annette Miller
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:07am

I love the way people automatically blame the Governor for this mess! As she said numerous times, nothing like this has ever happened before, so they are scrambling to make this whole thing work. Opening to soon is just a disaster. Educate yourselves before making uninformed comments. Our govenor is doing a great job. Give her a little credit, even if you're a Republican.

Be Best!
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:08pm

I agree. Some teachers tried teaching online with Zoom, like businesses. There was one case where the platform was hacked and the kids saw things they shouldn't have seen. Everyone needs to stop being an armchair expert and keep an open mind to the complexities of the problem. The governor is do a great job trying and could use some constructive support from the federal government and the people of our state.

Sabrina C
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:02am

They have remedied this. They set out security emails. Now you have to approve entry.

Mar
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:00pm

So you assume the people that criticize the governor are uneducated, uninformed Republicans?

Peggy
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:18pm

Why the rush to close ? They could go part of May and then June.

Mark
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:17pm

This virus isn’t going to peak till mid April at the earliest. Even with the peak, there will still be spread, just not higher rates, through May, June. No need to risk the health of many.

Random
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:54pm

Yup you r absolute right. Or I just believe that the 2019-2020 school year should be repeated. And also students want to see their friends and probably ❤️ too that they can’t meet outside of school. So it’s very sad for them

Rob Lynch
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 7:31am

You can’t repeat the school year. There isn't enough room for the all the new kids starting school. So all the 5 year olds have to wait till their 6 now to start kindergarten for the rest of time?

AD
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:17am

I see your point. If the choice is between advancing kids who are not prepared or graduating a year older, you might choose the former if we really value education.

Must not have kids
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:15pm

Maybe some of the kids had troubles in school because they unknowingly had COVID19. They could have been good student who got a few bad grades. They shouldn't be held back a whole year. Besides some of these students may still be great students who would have to pay even higher tuition if they wait an extra year to go to college. Everyone has to do their part, but these kids should not be treated so severely. They may have missed 3 out of 9 months. Why force them to complete an extra year, when there are so many ways to allow them to get up to speed online, if given the opportunity?

"senior" in hig...
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:47pm

This is so true. I'm a senior in high school right now, and I can really see both sides to this. Yeah it's going to be sad, I'm missing prom and my senior orchestra concert. I don't get to see all of my teachers one last time if it passes. I have good grades and I'm in good standing with my education. Most of us seniors (at my school) only have one or two core classes they are taking right now. I think that this is the right decision. I would rather skip three months then spread the disease.

Mark
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:20pm

This makes sense and allows parents to plan accordingly. This article basically reiterates what she said a week ago that it was “very unlikely” that students would come back this year.

Eris
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:38am

I was waiting on someone to bring this up! She said it was unlikely a few days ago.
No students should not have to repeat the entire school year.

Mark Higbee
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:28pm

I am amazed that few or no commentators on this post have a clue as to what the story is all about: Governor Whitmer is acting to save the lives of Michigan students! If schools resume before the pandemic is over, more kids will get sick and some of them will die! This is the story, folks. It's science, public health, not politics that must be comprehended here.

Kim
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:25pm

That is exactly right . Missing school the last 90 days of school is not going to set back the kids that much . My child’s health is most important . Going in my child’s high school in Chippawea School
district with 2700 kids in the building just to take a few more test is not worth his health .

Heather
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:00am

It sets my first grader who already repeated kindergarten way back. He has learning disabilities and without his speech teacher and reading and writing teacher he is going to be forgotten. I’m not skilled to teach him. I am a mother and a horrible teacher of elementary reading writing and phonics.

Chris
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:59pm

This is not a practical plan, it will save no more lives than if they were together. Are we going to be kept in our houses until the end of June, then? If not, what.is the purpose of closing school? She is in way over her head.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:25pm

Many students have underlying health problems, so being with other children can kill them. Some may not even be aware of their underlying health problems. You totally don't get the whole concept of blunting the curve to put less stress on the healthcare system we all rely on, let alone those most vulnerable. Just because some people may not die from the virus, it does not mean that they may not need to go on a ventilator that is in short supply. You may want to finish school and get your GED or just review online material about science, math, and critical thinking. Otherwise stick to comedy and leave practical planning to people with basic understanding about current events.

Jennifer
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:39am

I agree with you and I am glad she is thinking about saving lives and not putting kids at risk ! My son and I are both high risk with are asthma!! I already lost one child because she was born too early! I will not lose him over this!!!

Jennifer
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:39am

I agree with you and I am glad she is thinking about saving lives and not putting kids at risk ! My son and I are both high risk with are asthma!! I already lost one child because she was born too early! I will not lose him over this!!!

Gayle
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:56pm

I wonder how many people have done research on 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Millions of people died. It wasn't until actions were taken like social distancing that things started to improve. We need to stop worrying about the few months put on hold so we can go on living when this horrible thing finally passes.

MPHS-48858
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:41pm

I understand everyone’s concern.. but I’d rather my child be home where I can provide my Senior from catching this damn virus. Ending the school year now rather than in June to me would be an ideal situation considering the state We are in now with this pandemic. Can you honestly say with full 100% confidence that our children will be safe and won’t be a chance in hell for our students to become ill with the Coronavirus? If you can’t say that your are then why are the risk. Ending the school year now is what 2 months early... come on people ... I’d rather know my child who is senior , is safe at home for two months than to take the risk of sending the kids back , all. It would. Take is one infected person to turn our schools into a war zone! Seriously , Gov. Whitmore is a mother herself I give her credit for standing up and taking this position to protect out school aged children.. #protect-our-kids

MPHS-48858
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:41pm

I understand everyone’s concern.. but I’d rather my child be home where I can provide my Senior from catching this damn virus. Ending the school year now rather than in June to me would be an ideal situation considering the state We are in now with this pandemic. Can you honestly say with full 100% confidence that our children will be safe and won’t be a chance in hell for our students to become ill with the Coronavirus? If you can’t say that your are then why are the risk. Ending the school year now is what 2 months early... come on people ... I’d rather know my child who is senior , is safe at home for two months than to take the risk of sending the kids back , all. It would. Take is one infected person to turn our schools into a war zone! Seriously , Gov. Whitmore is a mother herself I give her credit for standing up and taking this position to protect out school aged children.. #protect-our-kids

Josephine
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:04pm

I agree with you 100 percent. Why take a chance with our children lives. Any parent that is involved in their child’s education will do what ever it takes to make sure they work with their child at home. Remember we are our children first teacher.

Josephine
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:04pm

I agree with you 100 percent. Why take a chance with our children lives. Any parent that is involved in their child’s education will do what ever it takes to make sure they work with their child at home. Remember we are our children first teacher.

Patty irwin
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:42pm

This is bullshit kids need to be in school pulling them out early is bullshit there not learning anything get your shit together get them back in school stop messing with my kids.

Local parent
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:19pm

Your kids likely better off in school where they can't hear your language

BJ
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:45pm

Maybe YOU should be in school to learn how to use punctuation and the right form of “they’re”. Calm down. Everyone is trying their best.

Random
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:56pm

Yup you r absolute right. Or I just believe that the 2019-2020 school year should be repeated this September And also students want to see their friends and probably ❤️ too that they can’t meet outside of school. So it’s very sad for them

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:31pm

Nonsense, think how sad it was for kids during the Great Depression and WW2. Grow up!

Trailsy
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:49pm

This irresponsible governor is out of control. Other states are taking a "wait and see approach" to whether students will return to the classroom. As a runner, I personally have seen bands of preteens and teens spending aimless hours in local parks and recreation areas. What structured academic and extracurricular activities will keep these students engaged for the next few months? How will they makeup essential grade level standards for an entire quarter?

Ramdom
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:58pm

2 quarters if they close school for the rest of the year. That’s basically 1 semester so 1/2 of a year. That’s so much material that kids missed out on . 2019-2020 school year SHOULD BE REPEATED!

raNdom
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:51pm

What is your proposal for the next batch of incoming kindergarten children?

Random3
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:02pm

Test kindergarten registrants to assess whether they meet beginning of year kindergarten benchmarks. If not, keep 'em home with their parents, so parents can continue working on foundational skills. School districts would not be forced to play the "catch up" game year after year with students who enter K-8 system behind benchmarks.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:19pm

There are no kindergarten benchmarks. Kids go to school to learn.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:03pm

It is the job of parents to set early literacy, language and math foundations. Parents also establish the social foundations that contribute to positive behavior at school (i.e., "play nice in the sand box"). This prior learning sets your child up for success in kindergarten so they are ready to learn grade level expectations, and do not detract from the learning of other students.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:39pm

Hey Trailsy, are you suggesting we follow the governor of Florida? No thanks! When this settles, you'll see that Florida suffers the most casualties. I appreciate how Governor Whitmer more conscientious and rationally-measured approach.

Anonymously
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:30pm

More like witless and shortsighted political posturing— Florida’s casualties will primarily include the fugitive SE Michiganders who fled south to escape the governess.

Jeremy Hartman
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:52pm

Why can't you wait till this actually happens?

Resmi
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:56pm

Seriously? School and college that can be easily changed to online learning is the most essential for Whitmer ? Everything worse is essential and open for business. Have you stepped out and monitored how the stay home is going in this state. People are out enjoying their paid leave !!!

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:43pm

Where's that, Nancy? Are you talking about the irresponsible snowbirds coming back from Florida and Arizona? Everyone I know is taking this seriously, but maybe the people I know are different from those you know.

Nancy
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:59pm

It is absolutely ridiculous to close at this point for the year. There is plenty of time for them to go to school. This is the easy way out so Whitless doesn’t have to do anything.

Jennifer
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:00pm

These seniors are devastated already and now your taking away Prom, Project Graduation, Award ceremonies, spring sports, Spring break, and the finale... Graduation??!! Let things settle down and when it does, resume school and let these kids finish and then start a new year of school. Go year round after that to catch up!! Ask the kids what they want!! They... ARE OUR FUTURE!

Random
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:59pm

Very true! Ur absolutely right

Teach your Chil...
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:56pm

All those things seem less interesting when you're on a ventilator or you lost your family, friends, etc. Hard to get excited when there are mass cremations on a daily basis and you are trying to be supportive to everyone because they're so distraught that they can't hold funerals. Do any of you see the news in other countries? Do you want to open school in June for a few weeks when this could still be happening?

Jim Ross
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:19pm

Hear! Hear! (A voice of reason!)

Mar
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:00pm

Why wouldn't you transition to on-line learning, especially for high school students as they are already utilizing the tecnhology. Then, if some districts are seeing a slow down or have had very low infection rates, allow them to go back or extend the school year. This is just another knee jerk reaction by an administration that tends to follow rather than lead.

Jennifer G
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03pm

So we are going to pay all of these people to not work PLUS they get a $1200 check from the government!?? I'm all for making people whole in this crisis, but don't give them a benefit on top of it. Roll back any raises for the next 2 years and deduct $1200 this year. Make them accountable for making sure they are still "teaching" during this down time too. I'm sure they will hire triple the number of summer school teachers- who will expect more money! Need to rotate all teachers through summer school as part of this deal - unpaid.

We've still got time before next school year starts, take some more time to figure this out so education still takes place for k-11 in a face to face environment. Seniors are pretty much done after the 1st semester anyway. Saying you can forgive 25% of school days and things will go on as normal next year is ridiculous,.

Jamie
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:27pm

You sound pleasant.

Anonymous
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:41pm

I agree with you that school employees should not be getting full pay for nothing. Someone else said that teachers can’t get unemployment but I’ve known teachers who get unemployment and if the schools close then all school employees should have to file for unemployment just like everyone else in the state. Making them work summer school or freezes raises is a good idea.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 7:59am

Teachers are eligible for unemployment. They just cannot file during the summer “gap months” between school years because their 10 month salaries are spread across the year.

Donna S
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:00pm

Obviously you are not a teacher. They are still being required to supply the students with learning materials and online resources. They are going out and distributing food so the students will still have a breakfast and lunch program. They are utilizing technology to reach out to their students via Zoom, the list goes on and on. Teachers are not sitting on their butts and collecting a paycheck.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:16am

In our northern MI area the teachers are sitting on their asses. The kitchen staff and bus drivers and working and distributing food to the kids. The teachers were told they are NOT allowed to send class work to students in any form, so they are doing NOTHING. That doesn’t warrant a paycheck!

Teresa
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:01pm

I am in Northern Michigan as well and so discouraged that no plan has been set in place for the children. My child reached out to the teachers and they said that they were not able to assign homework at this time??? Hoping to hear something this week as a path forward. It is so frustrating so hang in there!

Matt
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:23pm

Do you have proof? Do you see teachers sitting around doing nothing? Let's see the pictures. Otherwise your words are not worth the two seconds it took you to make this up and type it. I want you to provide evidence to support your statement, otherwise it's just noise. But you seem like a noisy person who likes to complain rather than make things happen. Good day, Anonymous.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:51pm

My child’s math teacher sends random links to online games with no clear connection to the curriculum, and gives us updates about all of the quality time spent with her family. A full paycheck for this nonsense? A uniform plan to deliver remote instruction with accountability to all students should be next steps if school year is cut short.

nicole
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:24pm

Same here, they send links to educational website some free, some not. I can do the same google search.
Or activities we can do with our kids. Completely out of touch, I'm working full time from home I can't do those things with them now.
Will the state reimburse the parents for the workbooks and other materials we have had to buy to "homeschool" our kids now?
The expectation should be that the teachers teach into the summer to make up for this lost time. They can count these last few weeks as part of their "summer" break. Either that or give us back the tax$ and make us whole again for spending out of our pockets to obtain instructional material for our kids!

Donna S
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:04pm

Obviously you are not a teacher. They are still being required to supply the students with learning materials and online resources. They are going out and distributing food so the students will still have a breakfast and lunch program. They are utilizing technology to reach out to their students via Zoom, the list goes on and on. Teachers are not sitting on their butts and collecting a paycheck.

Brian
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:43pm

It is premature to close the schools for the rest of the year Wait 3 more weeks and than make the call. When you look at the data provided by the state Kids under the age of 20 only account for 1% of the cases. If they are allowed to go to school and back home this would allow them to finish their year of learning, while still keeping them away from the high risk groups. DO NOT OVER REACT TO SOON.

Terry
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:51pm

I agree this age group makes up
Such a minuscule group. Allow them to go back to school! Perhaps do online school until May 1st and then finish the year as proposed already.

Random
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:01am

Ur right!

Peggy
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:11am

if we could only find a bunch of teachers, nutrition workers, school bus drivers and support staff in that age range [20 and under] this could work!

A middle school mom
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:48pm

You clearly don’t realize the anxiety children are experiencing regarding this issue. To announce ahead of the Governor was irresponsible and unfair.

Middle schooler
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:04am

Yup, as a middle schooler I feel this. I’m very frustrated about my grades and I didn’t even get a chance to get it up. If schools are closed then I will lose my 4.0 GPA because of one A- that I couldn’t get back up to an A because of this virus. Also i couldn’t get to say bye properly to my besties. Or I just believe that the 2019-2020 school year should be repeated. And also students want to see their friends and probably ❤️ too that they can’t meet outside of school. So it’s very sad for them

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:02pm

Does your mom do all your writing for you?

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:03pm

You use hearts emojis just like Random. LOL

Toni
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:41pm

Absolutely irresponsible to spread this headline before it’s official. The headline is what appears on social media shares, and it states it as if it’s fact. Upon reading it, “expected to sign” and “last-minute changes remain possible” appear in this release, meaning it hasn’t been signed yet. People are jumping to conclusions, mourning, being angered, and sharing it as “final” because of your headline. Even if it appears the decision is imminent, either state that it’s “likely” in your headline or wait until it’s official to state as much.

Anonymous
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:45pm

This is in total contradiction to Betsy Devos’ statements the other night that she mandated that all schools including k-12 to continue educating our students, in some form or another such as online, even if school buildings do not open back up for the rest of the school year.

In that case
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:05pm

Then this MUST be a good thing!

Anonymous
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:45pm

This is in total contradiction to Betsy Devos’ statements the other night that she mandated that all schools including k-12 to continue educating our students, in some form or another such as online, even if school buildings do not open back up for the rest of the school year.

Christian Young
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:52am

It actually isn't. Multiple districts and teachers are utilizing technology, software and video conferencing to work with their students remotely. Likewise, if this order DOES happen, the Governor will expect all districts to come up with a plan for distance learning that incorporates those elements I just listed.

Kim
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:47pm

A state senator was just quoted saying this is not true...Who shall we believe?

Kristina
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:57pm

I am a K-12 teacher and publishing this prior to the official executive order from the Gov. is very irresponsible. The article even states things are fluid. I would hate to now see those in power being rushed/forced to make decisions quicker than they wanted, or without all the info because of this “leaked” article. This helps no one. Getting the story first with leaked/unnamed sources isn’t good journalism. There was no greater good/public good served in this case.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:27pm

Come on, enough of the righteous indignation, sounds like your union is still negotiating. HA The governor does not have to act until she wants to do so. The publishing of this article doesn't force her to do anything.

Catherine Wolpert
Mon, 03/30/2020 - 11:02pm

Doesn’t sound like leadership to me - what a hopeless message to send to Michiganders. Fluid data should equal flexibility. Not getting my vote.

RC
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:44am

Some of these comments are so crazy to me. People who are angry about being responsible for their kids education on top of working full time - I understand that can be an exhausting and difficult situation for a parent to be in, but this is to SAVE PEOPLE’S LIVES!!! How is that NOT the most important thing right now? And no, you do not deserve to be paid as a teacher for helping YOUR OWN CHILD’S education during a global pandemic. That is so preposterous. Yes this situation sucks. No it is not ideal. But this is where we are. And parents should be involved in their children’s education to a degree anyway, as another person commented. In addition there are TONS of resources online right now that have made their services free of charge - worksheet printouts, educational games, etc etc.

And those of you who are talking about sending kids back to school because kids are only at a very low risk of contracting COVID19 - those kids could still easily carry the germs that cause the virus back home to the adults they live with, because even if the kids were at zero risk of contracting it (which they are not), other kids are not the only people who would be in the school building with them. Do you know how many adults are necessary to run a regular school day? Are you guys seriously willing to put people’s lives, potentially YOUR family’s lives in danger just so your kids can go back to school?? I do not understand that mindset at all. The only thing that would accomplish is to keep this virus spreading even more rampantly than it already is.

And, just looking at the statistics, it is really highly unlikely that this will actually slow down enough for it to be safe for our kids to return to school this year. Do some of you truly believe that three weeks from now, everything will be hunky-dory and we will all be returning to life as we knew it before the pandemic? Unfortunately I feel that is very unrealistic if you look at the patterns of the virus in other areas of the world so far. Whether people here want to admit this or not, several other country’s governments have already warned them that it may be 6 months before they can even begin the process of trying to return to normal life.

Maybe instead of getting so outraged right off the bat, think about the safety and well-being of everyone.

Mark
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:49am

Spot on!!

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:05am

I totally agree with you RC.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:41am

This “pandemic” has been fatal for .002% of Michiganders, yet even the most intelligent Americans are willing to shut down the economy and follow the herd as mindless consumers of mainstream propaganda.

Jamie
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:00pm

It's not propaganda. Listen to the actual scientists rather than Rush Limbaugh.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:16pm

Wow, not even Trump or FOX News is peddling that garbage anymore. Are you off your meds?

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:39pm

Just keep mindlessly collecting your free guberment check and spewing personal attacks. Don’t ask questions—just listen to the media and a governor with clear political motives.

A Parent
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 11:04am

Thank you for that summary of the conditions from every area of this pandemic. This is several states not just in Michigan trying to find a solution for a problem that we as a country never had before.

Sigh
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:17pm

Thank you, RC! You are so right!

Matt
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:39pm

Finally, Someone with a brain. I was worried for a bit. Thanks for letting me know that smart people are out there, you just have to weed through the mouth breathers to find intelligent life.

Christian Young
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:43am

Thank you. Not to mention that many students, especially Pre-K-8 age, are germ magnets and could have underdeveloped immune systems themselves. In my district alone, there are 20 confirmed cases, with five deaths. How many times have you gotten sick from one of your kids?

That being said, I do agree that it is highly irresponsible to publish this article before an official announcement from the Governor.

Nate
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:28am

I'm curious why we don't finish the school year in July/August and move grades in September.

Rosy
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:39pm

Probably has to do with the way the budgets are done and possibly union issues, but it's an interesting idea, given the circumstances. I suppose many people would want to enjoy summer outside though, especially after all this and our tourism industry would need the boost.

MI resident
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:33pm

Schools do not have air conditioning. Those summer months would be unbearable for the students and staff. It’s not just the high temperatures and humidity. The brick buildings hold heat and have low air flow.

Jay
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:37am

It’s irresponsible reporting because it makes Whitmer and her people have to spend time responding. I’m pretty sure they too are working crazy hours just keeping up. Does it really help to break this story when full clarity is coming this week? Put yourself in their shoes Bridge staff. Shouldn’t you have some consideration in these exceptional times?

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:35pm

A lot of the governor's critics here don't believe there is a pandemic because it hasn't hit them, their family, friends YET. Did you see how Trump changed his tune and got a little emotional yesterday when he learned COVID19 affects a friend of his? "Don't it always go, you don't know what you got 'til it's gone..."

Arjay
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:44am

I lost track of how many duplicate comments there are in this “discussion”. I’m not talking about comments that are the same idea as what has been presented by someone else, but duplicate word for word by the same author.

Premature Decision
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:44am

This article comes across as the state throwing the idea out to the public to gather an idea of how people would feel if this were to be the actual decision. It just doesn't make sense to make the call at this time, why not hold off and gather more information. Also, don't forget that many people with younger children would now be responsible for unexpected child care costs when they go to work.

G
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:53am

Low income children, isolated in their places of residence will fall behind academically; have no access to public resources like libraries & community centers; cannot go outdoors to the playgrounds in their neighborhoods; have less access to reliable internet and online learning; are living in a tense time when substance abuse and domestic violence in the home are likely to increase; face greater risk of neglect without interaction and observation they receive at school; have less access to quality food; are sequestered with family members in close living conditions increasing the chance of physical and sexual abuse. All students are affected by the school shutdown and have lost a sense a normalcy. Low income students, though, face certain trouble that others don't. Get these vulnerable children living in high-risk situations back to school as soon as practical.

Naw
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:13pm

So what happens during the summer to all these kids? You might be right to some extent, but do we have to assume the basest of circumstances as the norm? Maybe spending time together during a pandemic might cause people to care for each other a bit more, learn to be nice.

CRT
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:42pm

Your comment demonstrates how biased your thinking is toward "low income" households. Not all low income parents are sitting at home smoking a crack pipe or committing felonies. Criminalizing parents based on their income status is highly irresponsible. I hope you do not work in education or child welfare with such low expectations for poor communities.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:56am

Your gov. Is pos don't give a damn about the whole state of ichigan were from Ohio go buckeyes.

Okay
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:00pm

You just stay there!

Greg
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:04am

I have no issue with Whitmer ordering schools closed for the remainder of the year, but why do her emergency powers extend beyond the emergency? When it comes to decisions on grade promotions, etc., the legislative branch should have some involvement too. I think she's beginning to exceed the scope of her authority.

Easy
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:02pm

That's an easy one. Can I answer? The legislature is GOP dominated and they just want to preserve church gatherings, not stop the pandemic. Next!

Matt
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 11:04pm

The legislature cancelled their scheduled session. She has to act alone because they won’t meet.

Brandon Phenix
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:23am

As an educator and school leader, I agree that publishing this article before the governor's official announcement is irresponsible. While I'm sure Mr. French and the editors at Bridge are enjoying the additional clicks and page views, there's likely a reason the LSJ or DFP declined to run this same story - namely, that during a global health crisis, these sorts of scoops and speculations can spread misinformation and contribute to the problem.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:04pm

Maybe the governor and legislature can read the comments here and get a better idea of what the citizens want.

Matt
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 7:47am

Believe me, this is the last thing they’ll be reading to help formulate their plan. Besides, this is going to be more about what the governor wants and can do within executive orders. The legislature isn’t even meeting for the foreseeable future. Why aren’t they meeting? Because if the threat of Covid-19. Do you really think that if they don’t want to meet, they are going to put school back in session? Keep dreaming. Honestly, shame on you for even thinking it’s a good idea.

Eris
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:32am

It would be easy to dismiss this... if the media did not announce everything before Whitmer AND been correct in recent history. It is best to wait until it is official because students and parents are going nuts about this.

Kevin Grand
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:41am

Simple solution. Completely unnecessary.

What's preventing the shortening of summer vacation to make up for all of this lost instruction due to Huwan?

Shifting the instruction time will allow students to actually have face-to-face interaction time with their teachers and given them a better idea on their progress.

Plus, you'll have significantly less hand-wringing arguing over all of the problems mentioned above.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:31am

It is premature to close the schools for the rest of the year Wait 3 more weeks and than make the call. If they are allowed to go to school and back home this would allow them to finish their year of learning, while still keeping them away from the high risk groups. DO NOT OVER REACT TO SOON.

Jeff
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:12pm

My wish for our students and communities is that the Governor suspends school for the next 4 weeks, allows schools some time to continue to provide extended opportunities ( this is not online learning nor a replacement for face to face instruction). IF we are able to return, all schools will extend the year by 2 weeks and next year ALL schools will return August 17th. This gives some possibility for closure for this year, time for districts to plan for next year. This will help families plan for the end of the year, focus on the family and health/wellbeing for the next four weeks and plan for some changes for next school year. This will allow MDE to get some of the political items resolved, allow the Governor to focus on health and well-being and districts some time to develop content. We still have a divide when it comes to access, technology and human capital to support learning at home.

nicole
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:45pm

Bridge...please run some reports showing what other states are doing. Look what Florida has set up with their "Florida Virtual School". Why are we having each school district come up with their own plan? Why not utilize same online teaching platform like what Florida has done then reinvent the wheel?
Furthermore if remote learning will take the place for the rest of the academic year, then extend it in to the summer to make up for these lost weeks!

LOL
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:30pm

Oh NO, you've obviously never heard all the Florida jokes and I'm from Florida! Not the brightest bunch, but they are much more in shape, don't have to pack on the winter-warming blubber. Plus they sweat a lot. Many of them still think this is just seasonal flu. They have preachers getting arrested defying restrictions on religious gatherings! Here's the thing, it's not like just a crazy preacher. It's a whole congregation of fools that follow him and spread the virus to thousands of others. These are the same dimwitted people who elected Trump protege, Doo Doo DeSantis governor, who refuses to take action against COVID 19.
Florida Is Facing a Coronavirus Catastrophe: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/03/ron-desantis-coronavirus-flo...
Catastrophic!

nicole
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:35pm

Granted they do have a d-bag of a Governor in Florida but my point being is this...they set up this virtual school a few years ago (to prepare for hurricane season/disruption to schooling) which they can now tap into during this crisis. Instead in our state, or "leaders" in all forms of Gov't and at the MDE are sitting on their bums with NO emergency plan in place. We had all those snow days last year. Did anyone stop and think that maybe some long term planning should be done to come up with a remote learning plan? What the hell are these people getting paid to do??? It's an absolute waste of time, energy, resources to have each and every district come up with their own plan for delivering "online" learning. Why not tap into what Florida did, so at least we are consistent in the state with everyone using the same platform?
Each school can still tweak their curriculum. But the method the instruction gets delivered would be consistent across the state.
Start there at least. Why the hell isn't anyone between MDE and our worthless ISD's looking into this????

John Chastain
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 1:00pm

The response to the pandemic is understandably fragmented and haphazard. Our government on all levels was woefully unprepared for a crisis like this. There are many reasons for this that I don't want to go into right now. The one that matters to me right now is the fallacy that we can end this school year with online learning. For families that live in financial difficulty, systemic poverty or have special needs children this is an unrealistic expectation. Online learning is for the most part a style of learning that is most effective for the self motivated student with superior resources and for the most part upper middle class & wealthier lifestyles. For the struggling students that make up a large portion of the working class this is a minefield of expectations that cannot be met and overworked adults who simply cannot be teachers and counselors while struggling to simple get by. This is very personal for me, the grandchild I am striving to help needs the resources that this crisis has now put out of reach. The online program that her school system (AAPS) has put in place is inadequate to her needs and the needs of students like her. This is also true of the mental health systems and the overwhelmed medical care facilities and personal. I'm not blaming the organizations that are unable to met those needs only the expectation that families that are already in crisis can somehow replace those services at home. I don't know what the governor can or should do about this right now. It is a complicated question that we are poorly equipped to answer. I do know that I will not be able to do more than meeting basic needs at this time. Like many grandparents taking care of grandchildren while our adult children continue working I am not nearly healthy enough myself and have neither the skill set not abilities to substitute for the professionals who do these tasks day to day. I'm sorry that some feel this article is ill timed or premature but I for one need to know what is under consideration before the decision is made. This will effect the current and future of the children in question. If online learning is the course being taken for the end of this school year than it will not serve the needs of many of the students involved and again will be a case where the privileged are served and the rest of us can simply make do.

LB
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:16pm

Don't close it yet.. take April off and feel it out.. we have only been closed 16day with stay at home now for 8days.. give it time... If you close now then that is 11more weeks off and then add on 11 more for summer time... Parents will not have any opportunities to find care for the summer..

The children need closer for this school year. Teachers need the closer also.

Just hold out for a few more weeks before this decision is made...

IDK
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:47pm

The kids are really just doing busy work now, no grades, no corrections. It's a state in limbo. Online work is okay, but the teachers seem to be AWOL trying to home-school their own kids. Whether online or eventually in person, the students deserve better, whether they are rich, poor, or somewhere in between.

Leni
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:41pm

What a bozo is you people have as governor. No words.

Mirror
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:49pm

They say it takes one to know one.

Michael Z. Will...
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:48pm

So they're admitting 12 weeks of the school year was irrelevant.

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:53pm

No, they're admitting there is a world wide pandemic and we can blunt the curve if we shelter in place to reduce the otherwise anticipated 100-200K deaths. As Trump would say "Don't be a cutie pie!" with such comments.

Rich Toth
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:07pm

What if your son or daughter is taking a required class and they don't go back to school for the rest of Europe has canceled do they get credit for that class or do they have to retake it

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:15pm

The MEA is telling its union members to push back on this article and deny it. Apparently they don't want the public to know anything about these important policies until the Governor announces them as the new law of the land, instead of these potential laws being debated and discussed in an open and free society. Notice how many comments are from "teachers and educators" and they all echo the same criticism about how this was published "before it was final"- that's because unions sent out emails to their members instructing them to do this. I got the same email from my union too.

False hope
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 6:03pm

Probably all true, but why tell students that schools will reopen when they won't. Many families, especially with daughters, will be stressing about buying prom dresses, graduation clothes, that they will probably not use or need to buy. Instead the students should be learning about patriotism, what it means to sacrifice for your country, something that most commenters here also need to think about. It's easy to stand for the national anthem or wave a flag, but what are you personally doing to help your fellow Americans during this pandemic war?

John Dunmore
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:54am

That is a lie, and you are a liar. That is why you have posted your lie under the name "Anonymous."

abe bubush
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:28pm

It's really important to overreact just like children after misreading the article and putting your own presumptive spin on the LEAD sentence.
"...is expected to sign..."
As to graduation:
"...they were on pace to graduate before the state-mandated shutdown ..."
But go ahead and slam the best news source in Michigan.
Pathetic.

R.L.
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:54pm

It always amazes me the diversity of opinions and ideas people have about a problem. First off where I live many teachers are helping with the very intensive food delivery and prep. Teachers are electing to receive pay over 12 months even though their contract is for 184Days. Many of these people who are most critical of education and teachers should have gone into education so they could enjoy the "gravy train". I agree if we are to shut down the schools lay off the teachers and Administers and let them apply for unemployment. This all won't register with most people until it hits home. Love to hear from you. R.L.

R.L.
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 3:55pm

It always amazes me the diversity of opinions and ideas people have about a problem. First off where I live many teachers are helping with the very intensive food delivery and prep. Teachers are electing to receive pay over 12 months even though their contract is for 184Days. Many of these people who are most critical of education and teachers should have gone into education so they could enjoy the "gravy train". I agree if we are to shut down the schools lay off the teachers and Administers and let them apply for unemployment. This all won't register with most people until it hits home. Love to hear from you. R.L.

socalpair@aol.com
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 4:29pm

How are you planning on honoring the high school seniors who are being robbed of their graduation governor?

Anonymous
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:53pm

No sane or moral person, would subject their child to risk catching or spreading this deadly virus to others, over missing the last two months of school.

Kathy Ann
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:56pm

No sane or moral person would send their child to school & risk them catching this deadly virus or spreading it to others, over missing the last two months of school. That's just Preposterous!

yeshuaschild
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 6:04pm

And I just bet that Governor Gretchen Whitmer will make the residents of Detroit wait. The Detroit City Schools will be last on the list. Gretchen Whitmer shouldn't you be concerned with masks and the water shut offs taking place, that is the overall health of the citizens of Detroit! And sign the order to get Duggan voted out as it is protocol for you to sign and then the citizens vote on it! Last but not least, pay back the more than 6 million dollars in tax payers money!

Scott
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 8:31pm

I'm wondering if it ever crossed the minds of our leadership to hold everyone back rather than move everyone forward a grade.

2 months
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:07pm

A typical Spring for students in Michigan schools involves at least two weeks of disrupted instructional time per grade level due to mandated standardized testing, MStep. In addition there is the time lost taking the additional mandatory test that is required in the fall, winter, and spring (NWEA, iReady etc...). This closure included a spring break of 1 week as well. and will include 2 days off in May for Memorial Day. Closing the buildings and offering remote learning opportunities may not be the best in a perfect world. However, this is not a perfect situation. The teachers must be permitted to continue to engage the students during this crisis whether online, via the phone, snail mail packets etc.... During this crisis, students need to have "agency", something to which they have a responsibility to accomplish, a sense of control over, and something they can tend to.

Some students will thrive under these conditions. Some will find it anxiety producing and with support of family and the district support staff and counselors available by phone and other means, they will find a way through. Some will have a directed purpose. They may put more effort into learning than they had previously. Sure some students will blow it off and rebel just as they would in the brick and mortar building. However, the students need to continue to be engaged and safe.

If this was a military invasion, and not a viral threat, would people still insist students return to brick and mortar buildings? Would you force families of special needs students with serious pulmonary issues to decide whether to miss school to stay safe or enter a crowded brick and mortar school?
Families and districts can't plan if the decisions will be made on a "we will see every 2 week basis".

Jack
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:06am

As a school board member in Northern Michigan - we have many families without Internet access at home, some low income families can not afford it and for some the only access is satelite services like HughesNet - which is quite expensive. Some families even lack cell phone access - so no optional "Hot Spots." So challenging to deliver "On Line" education to all of our students.
And in an absolutely absurd comment, the Michigan Education Department issued a statement that it would not recognize on line education as meeting the requirements for a legal day of instruction (for state aid reembursement purposes) even in areas with adequate Internet availability and also does not think the days should be made up in the summer time. So the proposed solution is to just waive the number of days needed to receive state funding. It is no wonder that the Michigan Education Department is not held inhigh reguard.
I believe these days should be made up in the summer, but there is no discussion of doing that. Our staff will be paid - I have no problem with that - it s a contractual obligation and it is not their fault that they are not able to deliver the needed services to kids in their classrooms. Some are trying with varying degrees of success. By summer the Coronavirus "curve" should be "flattened," and it may fade away in the warmer summer temperatures. By not making up these days we are shortchanging both the kids and the taxpayers. About 25 to 30% of our budget - about $3,500 per student will have not had services delivered fully. That is about 5 billion dollars, again not the fault of teachers or other school staff.
I hve no problem with Bridge reporting on this issue.

South West
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:46am

Years ago in some South Western states, districts recognized the lack of internet access in many neighborhoods hindered many student's ability to do homework. Their solution was to create mobile hotspots using school buses. These buses were equipped with the necessary hardware to transform them into very reliable neighborhood hotspots. After dropping students off, the buses would then be parked in neighborhoods. Working with carriers and ISPs, these districts were outfitted with equipment that would allow large areas access to the internet with only one 1 bus per area.

It is my understanding that many phone service companies have already offered to send individual family's the individual hardware hotspots for use for free for 3 months. Maybe as a district, the board could request the right sized equipment to be donated for the 3 months to try some of these other solutions. If there is a lack of cell coverage- then ask the local ISP to allow some poles in the area to be outfitted with point to point access points (some have a 20 mile range). There are many options,. Maybe ask the local companies and IT companies if they have old computers they can donated to students that have no devices or access to a computer if the district lacks available devices to hand out.

John Dunmore
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:59am

I applaud Governor Whitmer for doing the right thing. This is the only fair and equitable solution during this crisis.

Student
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 2:50pm

Seeing grown adults argue over this in the most child like and uneducated way is hilarious to me.

James
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 4:11pm

As a parent I’m upset that it seems like there is no thought about working families. What the hell are we supposed to do when/if we do re start the economy and people go back to work? I guess we’ll have to choose between paying our mortgage and taking care of our kids.

What if this virus starts back up in the fall during normal flu season? Are we shutting it all down again? This is insane!

Trish Smith
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 4:50pm

This is a very misleading article. When this was published it was only being considered.

Wayne-Oakland
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 6:25pm

My daughter's best friend's grandmother is currently hospitalized with coronavirus. All of the essential businesses open and hospital janitor jobs available are often where low income single parents and low income minority individuals are working and placed. They work and their parents care for their kids and eveybody else's kids. Closing schools might have just compromised the lives of all of those people who care for the children of all of those workers who make sure all of us are fed and the hospital is clean. The poorest of the poorest of the poor and the homeless children sleeping on the street at greater risk the next 6 months with no lessons..where is the plan for them..or do they nist not matter becuase they aren't going nowhere anyway.

The spreading i...
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:07am

With schools open, students spread it to each other. Then it is brought home and spread to the parents and family. Family goes to work (Essential jobs- low income jobs included) and spreads it to their co-workers. Coworkers bring it home to their children who probably attend different schools in different cities and counties. Those kids spread it at school. Those new cases spread to their homes. Those parents spread to their co-workers..... Do I need to go on? It is my understanding that day care is open to and available to essential workers which include the people you mention. What do these parents do during the summer?
I am a single parent that has been underemployed working 2 jobs most of the years I was raising my son. I am also educated enough to see the flaws in the argument made in support of opening the schools. I am considered an essential worker in one of my jobs. I am currently still working in one of my two jobs. My income has been reduced by over 800 a month with not working the second job... Sacrifices are being made by everyone. Please KEEP our schools closed and keep sending our kids class work!

Math Sux
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:16pm

Here is education for the emotionally based thinker, and a refresher for those operating on a cold-hearted mind...

With a $2.2T recovery bill, the government COULD have cut a check for $1.1M to the surviving family of 2 million CoViD19 deaths, or $2.2M if only 1 million deaths, OR (exceptionally horrific) $440,00 to the survivors of 5 million deaths. Of course, the economy was sliding BEFORE the CoViD19 panic as Russia and Saudi Arabia wanted to play f'around with crude supplies.

We seem to have forgotten that little gem since we focus on sensationalism...rather than facts. Then again, I don't know if my sorry butt is worth even $440,000; lots of offroad miles in my life. The trade-in value is a bit low on my chasis. Again, cold hearted...but those are the numbers.

Rick
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:41pm

They keep saying how many cases of the virus are in Michigan, but why not also mention how many cases are in Oakland and Wayne county. The whole state is paying for the virus in two county’s. Why is that?

Anon
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 4:44pm

Why are teachers continuing to get paid? They should have to apply for unemployment like everyone else not working. Full time people work 2080 hours a year, teachers only about 800....at 50k a year that's about $62 an hour. No wonder people hate unions.

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