'Lessons learned:' MPS holds drive-thru enrollment for fall classes; reopening plan set for vote 

MILWAUKEE -- With doors at Milwaukee Public Schools locked, families who would normally come to the district building to enroll their children are now registering for classes curbside due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With no physical contact and being confined to their own personal space, social distancing for MPS staff and families has already begun. The drive-thru enrollment process may very well be the last time families see staff in person for a while.

Milwaukee Public Schools drive-thru enrollment

MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley released a 256-page "Roadmap to readiness" that details the 2020-21 school year's reopening plan.

"We are going to do everything we possibly can in the midst of this pandemic, and all the blows that we have been dealt around the pandemic, to do everything we can to make sure students receive a quality wholesome education," Posley said.

The phased-in reopening recommendations include three scenarios:

    Milwaukee Public Schools reopening proposal

    Parents who spoke with FOX6 News showed their support for the plan.

    "I am very afraid for my child to go back to school knowing that everyone is not sure who is infected and who is not," said parent Sheka Lowe. "I don't want to take any risks."

    However, some also realized the struggle many students and families dealt with in the spring.

    "It concerns me. I want her to be able to get that hands-on experience to be able to learn better and get that help because I don't know how to teach kids," said one parent.

    A major goal in the proposed plan is the movement from one scenario phase to the next, which will be dependent on monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and health and safety guidance.

    "Everything is going to be based on science and so, therefore, that's what we are looking at, looking at the numbers to go downward so that we can have our young people be safe," said Posley. "Also, looking at CDC guidelines and what that looks like."

    The transition will be costly. From added technology to PPE and sanitation, transportation, staffing and signage, making certain adjustments could cost the district more than $90 million. Perhaps covered by grants and some emergency relief funding, Posley said the plan would ensure the model is a success.

    "This is a growth process, we have lessons learned that we have worked on all summer long," said Posley.

    Posley added that the plan was made after compiling all the information from students, families, staff, surveys and other stakeholders and workgroups to figure out how to return to schools safely and successfully.

    The three-phase recommendation will be voted on during a special board meeting on Thursday, July 16. The pandemic and thoughts of how to navigate school in the future remain under consideration.