MPS board votes unanimously, pushes back January hybrid learning start

Posted at 10:12 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 23:12:51-04

MILWAUKEE — A 9-0 vote to hold off on hybrid learning sends Milwaukee Public Schools back to the drawing board to find ways to safely return to class.

This comes as the state sees some of its worst COVID-19 numbers so far.

The unanimous decision to revisit the plan comes with a lot of questions about what safe hybrid learning looks like as this pandemic continues.

The MPS administration met with a lot of push-back as they presented their plan.

Jan. 18. That's when Milwaukee Public Schools leaders hoped to begin phasing-in face-to-face learning.

"We believe we are able to stand shoulder to shoulder to ensure health and safety for all students and staff,” said MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley.

Phase 2 of MPS’ “Roadmap to Readiness” plan utilizes a hybrid approach, meaning students will work from home some days, and in-class on others.

"I don't think we could've predicted we'd be in the position we're in today. Your encouragement has not gone unnoticed,” Dr. Posley said.

Under the plan, students are being divided into three groups, or cohorts. Cohort A would come to school on Mondays and Tuesdays. Cohort B would do in-person sessions on Thursdays and Fridays. An optional cohort C would remain all virtual and all three cohorts will do virtual learning on Wednesdays.

TMJ4 News asked parents what's most important when it comes to taking their kids back.

“A Cure,” said Kalvin Thomas.

Justin Darling, another parent, said the same.

“As soon as they think it would be safe, would be the best,” Darling said.

The January proposal was met with some pushback. Some teachers cited burnout and fears of students coming after a holiday season when COVID-19 cases are expected to surge.

The board ultimately voted to revisit moving forward on Jan. 18.

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