MILWAUKEE - For the first time since March 2020, Milwaukee Public Schools teachers are dusting off their desks, preparing for some students to return to class starting Wednesday, April 14. Still, the district continues to receive backlash from the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association about its plan.
The president of the teachers union said she has received numerous complaints from educators and staff who don't believe schools are prepared to reopen. On Monday afternoon, April 12, however, Superintendent Keith Posley held a news conference and said the district will be ready.
"We will be 100% ready to move forward on Wednesday," said Posley.
Posley said classrooms will be safe for students who are returning to in-person learning.
"In our schools, students and staff will find plexiglass barriers in classrooms, air purifiers, hand sanitizers and all PPE that is needed to help keep staff and students healthy," said Posley.
But Amy Mizialko, MTEA president, said her concerns are growing over new COVID-19 variants. She believes more needs to be done to protect students and staff.
"The B.1.1.7 variant changes everything and again is now the most prevalent variant," said Mizialko. "We continue to demand a clear plan that outlines and answers the multitude of unanswered questions."
Posley on Monday evening announced Milwaukee Board of School Directors President Larry Miller requested a special board meeting and work session Thursday, April 15.
"We are always looking to adjust and adapt any time that it is necessary to do so," said Posley.
Mizialko said the union wants to hear clear-cut preparations from the administration.
"MTEA is preparing to be the watchdog to ensure the highest standard of COVID-19 safety is being adhered to in every Milwaukee public school," said Mizialko.
Posley said roughly 30,000 students have opted in for in-person instruction, which is about 42 percent of the district's 72,000 students.