MILWAUKEE - A red carpet and many special guests – including Gov. Tony Evers – welcomed students at Rogers Street Academy back to class Thursday, Sept. 2.
Around 45,000 Milwaukee Public Schools students returned Thursday.
"It was imperative that we do everything we can to make sure our kids could have classes in schools," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
After an unprecedented school year, Barrett, Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes attended the red carpet kickoff.
"I want to thank our kids for showing amazing flexibility and resilience. They’re stronger than they’re given credit for," said Evers.
Gov. Tony Evers welcomes MPS students back at Rogers Street Academy
As much as the return event was about the students, special guests had to give a shoutout to staff, too.
"All the educators, administrators, everyone who makes the lives of our students that much easier in these trying and uncertain times – thank you," said Barnes.
MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley talks to students at Rogers Street Academy.
Once everyone was inside, MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley paid classes a visit before getting into the first lesson of the day – not only reminding students of all the COVID-19 protocols in place, but encouraging them as they embark on a new year.
"When we all do our part, we can safeguard the health and safety of our schools as well as our students," Posley said "We welcome all of you back to the 2021-22 school year. This will be the best year ever."
MPS COVID-19 guidelines
All staff, students, and visitors of MPS will be required to wear a face mask on buses and inside school buildings except when eating or drinking. Face coverings are not required outdoors.
In all schools and district buildings, distancing of 3 feet between individuals will be promoted to the greatest extent possible.
All individuals age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which is widely available. MPS encourages students and families to get vaccinated.
Milwaukee Public Schools has taken active measures to ensure appropriate air quality in schools. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units will continue to maximize the flow of outside air. The systems will continue to run two hours before and two hours after buildings are occupied. Electronic HEPA filtration units have been placed throughout schools and district buildings.
MPS may consider flexible scheduling if 3 percent or more of a total school population tests positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period.