MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Public School board unanimously voted Thursday night, July 16 to move forward with a virtual start of the 2020-2021 school year — Phase 1 of the proposed 3-phase plan.
The board voted 7-2 to pass the district's recommended 2020-21 calendar. Early start schools will begin on August 17, while traditional calendar schools will start on September 1.
The district did not collect Chromebooks after the 2019-20 school year unless kids graduated or left the district. MPS says they will distribute Chromebooks on August 3 during Welcome Week.
In the meeting Thursday night, 92 people called in to testify, another 286 pieces of written testimony.
While some people cried while asking the board to vote for and against the plan, a few families even threatened to leave the district if the schools didn't open to students. Many parents expressed concern about being about to work if MPS was totally virtual.
In a release, MPS said:
Milwaukee Public Schools' phased-in reopening recommendation for the 2020-21 school year was unanimously approved by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. The Board also approved to maintain the early and traditional start calendars for the school year.
The phased in approach includes, Phase 1-full remote learning, Phase 2-hybird learning, and Phase 3-face-to-face learning with virtual option.
MPS will start the school year with virtual learning for all students. As the spread of COVID-19 decreases, students will return to schools for two days each week for face-to-face learning and virtual three days each week. Phase three will allow all students to return to the classroom five days a week, when conditions are healthy to return. MPS will monitor public health conditions to determine movement between each phase.
“To help preserve the health and well-being of our students and staff, we believe virtual learning is the best scenario at this time," MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley said. “This was a difficult decision but a necessary one as we work diligently to provide the best education for our students. We look forward to returning to in-class instruction but only when we can do so safely.”
As details continue to develop, the district will provide information to students, families, and staff regarding the upcoming school year. Families are encouraged to stay up to date with information about the fall semester by visiting the MPS website, downloading the MPS App on their smartphones, and following MPS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
To enroll, visit mpsmke.com/enroll, call 414-267-5100, or take part in Curbside Enrollment at MPS Central Services on August 3rd and 4th.