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Milwaukee private schools start new year in-person during pandemic

Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 19:45:32-04

MILWAUKEE — Some private schools in Milwaukee are getting back to their new normal Monday, with new COVID-19 protocols in place.

Milwaukee Montessori Schools opened its doors Monday morning for full in-person learning five days a week. Parents are largely excited for it.

“I’m very happy Milwaukee Montessori has a plan and approved to reopen,” Michelle Schopp said. “It’s important for children to form those friendships and relationships. Without school, she’d be lacking a lot of that.”

“I am fine with him coming back,” Candice Smith said. “They’ve done a great job putting together a plan that is safe as can be.”

Milwaukee Montessori first day

Children will operate in something the school refers to as bubbles. They’ll have small clusters of students stay together throughout the day to limit exposure while still allowing for face-to-face learning. Regular cleanings are happening throughout the day and kids are bringing their own water bottles to limit interactions with highly trafficked things like the bubbler. They seem like small adjustments, but they mean a lot for parents’ peace of mind.

"It would have been very, very hard, pretty much impossible for us to come back had it not been for such clearly articulated and laid out communication from them about what they were going to do and how they were going to do it,” Brett Swanson, a parent said. “It’s all about mitigating risk."

"We wash hands every hour as part of our transition,” David Swanson, a 4th and 6th grade teacher said. “Take temp checks before they’re out of the car and again at noon. Masks of course and mask breaks as well.”

Masks in school

David Swanson said for these kids, those mask breaks are integral to making this as normal as can be so they can learn appropriately.

"If we need to, in the middle of class, go take a quick 5-minute mask break, that’s what we got to do,” Swanson said. “We have to tend to the child.”

It's a small step to making sure the kids get a quality education, but Swanson is just glad to have the kids back in person.

"It’s really great to be back,” Swanson said. “I don’t care what way we’re back, the fact we’re back and we’re back to building each other and collaborating, I think it’s powerful.

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