'More online learning opportunities:' 3 weeks into closure, MPS superintendent offers status update

MILWAUKEE -- Three weeks and counting, Milwaukee Public Schools have been closed since mid-March. With the continued spread of the coronavirus, many are wondering how the school year will play out.

Starting Monday, April 6, all 12-month employees will be returning to work remotely. The MPS superintendent tells FOX6 News that staff is dedicated to supporting students in every way possible. Out of their classrooms and into their homes, the way of learning has changed for students.

Keith Posley

"We pulled together instructional packages with a virtual platform inside of the instructional package that goes along with instructional materials as well as instructional materials children can take home and do on their own," said Dr. Keith Posley, MPS superintendent.

Posley said the packets are being picked up at one of the 20 "Stop, Grab and Go" sites, mailed out and even delivered to homes. Phase two of the instructional plan will begin on April 14.

"In phase two there will be more online learning opportunities for young people," Posley said. "That is something we are excited about."

"Also incorporating art, music, physical education, mindfulness, yoga, things of this nature."

Posley said the material is for enrichment purposes and will not be graded, but wants to make sure all students still have access to the lessons -- making sure each student is equipped in their own way.

"Starting on the 16th of April, passing out Chromebooks to our students that may need them to stay actively engaged in the learning process as we go forward," he said. "Our special ed director has been working with us and pounding the pavement and making sure all of our special needs students are receiving what they need."

Posley offers support and encouragement as we are all now learning how to navigate around a pandemic: "We will get through this together. Stay healthy, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you back in the Milwaukee Public Schools soon."

Posley also pointed out that seniors will graduate in some way, shape or form -- perhaps even virtually. As for the buildings, he said they are all being deep cleaned based on guidelines from the CDC and Milwaukee Health Department.