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'A whirlwind of preparation': Milwaukee teachers, staff prepare for return to in-person learning

Milwaukee Public School district sign
Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 21:48:58-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools teachers and staff finally made their way back into school on Monday.

Inside of a classroom at Longfellow School, plexiglass and dividers were put up to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s been a whirlwind of preparation for us,” said Tyrone Nichols, principal of Cass Street School.

Nichols says despite the whirlwind, he looks forward to seeing many of his kindergarten through grade 3 students coming back into the building Wednesday.

“This will be the first time that we’re all back in the same building,” Nichols said.

Sarah Gruettner, a nurse at Lincoln Center School, came back to an air filter in her small office space. As a nurse, she will be making critical decisions when it comes to sending symptomatic students back home. That is part of the reason she’s looking at the district’s re-opening efforts with many questions and a critical eye.

"Personally, I feel like something is going to be missed and I’m terrified that something might be something detrimental," Gruettner said.

“For example, we were told ‘When you come to pick up supplies, you’ll get two disposable gowns, and if you need more just let us know.’ Well, I have 250 kids coming back. If 30 of them on day one have symptoms, what am I supposed to do with the other 28 kids, because I don’t have the proper PPE?” Gruettner said.

Parents will have the option to decide whether or not their child will have to return to school for in-person learning.

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