Milwaukee Public Schools transitioning to virtual learning after 'influx' of positive COVID-19 tests among staff

Posted at 8:22 PM, Jan 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 13:41:39-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools will transition to virtual learning beginning Tuesday, January 4 due to an increase in staff testing positive for COVID-19, the district announced Sunday.

"MPS was scheduled to resume in-person learning on January 4, 2022, but due to an influx of reported positive COVID-19 cases among district staff, this emergency safety measure is being implemented," a news release from the district says.

According to the latest numbers on the district's website, 136 teachers tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of December 27-31.

The district says its goal is to return to in-person learning on Monday, January 10.

Students and staff who want to be tested for COVID-19 can do so on Monday, January 3 at six MPS locations, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. See those test locations here.

One parent who brought her two children to be tested at the Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education said she appreciates the access to testing, but empathizes with parents who are frustrated with a return to virtual learning. "I know it's inconvenient for the parents, however, I also think safety is important," said Nicole Finley. "I don't know how well we can do both at the same time — to offer the families what they need and keep them safe at the same time."

Finley's son said he'd prefer to be back in the classroom and misses one-on-one time with his teacher. "It's harder to work from home because she (the teacher) is always helping other people, said Peyton Finley, who is in 5th grade. "When you're in the school you just have to raise your hand and she'll see you. So, it's harder for me to learn (virtually) because some of the stuff I don't know because it's new."

An MPS teacher showed up to be tested at Obama SCTE out of caution and hopes other educators follow suit so kids, like her 4K students, can return to the classroom safely. "They don't understand. It's been very hard to keep them at a social distance because of the age group that they're in," said Amanda Lewis.

The district says that when in-person learning resumes, testing will be available for students and staff at each MPS school location.

Student meals will be provided daily at "Stop, Grab & Go" locations from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

MPS says more information on student meals will be posted on the district's website, school websites, as well as social media.

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