Return to in-person learning did not go smoothly for 1 MPS family

After more than a calendar year, some students are back in class in Milwaukee. But not everyone is satisfied with the handling of Milwaukee Public Schools' return to in-person learning. 

Valerie Sherman is the mother of 6-year-old LaShawn Parks. Sherman said her son started his day excited to head back to class. 

"I did the survey online for him to return back to school," Sherman said. "He was ready and then to have to go and pick him up and then ya’ll sit him in the classroom by himself."

Valarie Sherman

Valerie Sherman

Sherman dropped her son off Wednesday morning, April 14 at Milwaukee French Immersion School only to return a short while later. 

"They said that it showed in the system that he was still signed up for virtual learning instead of returning to school," Sherman said.

She said the principal told her to contact the school board.

"The school board is telling us, call the principal of the school because the principal is the only one who can overturn the decision of whether they return to school or not," Sherman said. 

Irritated and feeling helpless, Sherman said her son needs in-person learning. 

"He’s not doing so good with the virtual learning," Sherman said.

Milwaukee French Immersion School

Milwaukee French Immersion School

As FOX6 News previously reported, MPS sent all parents a survey in late March. District-wide, 59% said they wanted their kids to return to in-person learning. 

Sherman said she filled out the survey. An email came Tuesday evening reminding her to be on the lookout for an additional email with more forms to fill out. Those never came.

Milwaukee Public Schools responded with the following statement:

"All MPS families were sent communication with directions to fill out the survey. Results from the survey were used in the mitigation strategy to help maintain physical distancing in school buildings. Whether virtual or in-person, students will not miss out on the opportunity to receive the best education possible."

Along with students and teachers returning to class, the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA) has not been supportive of the plan. 

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MTEA released a statement that said in part, "Our students, our members and all MPS families’ health and safety depend on us getting it right. MTEA will be a watchdog for health and safety concerns for MPS staff, students and their families."

The superintendent of MPS said Wednesday morning that hand sanitizer, masks and gloves are available to all staff and students.

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors president said a special work session will be called Thursday, April 15, "to provide the opportunity for board members to ask questions and give the superintendent additional direction for opening schools." 

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