MPS board members to submit top questions to administrators ahead of April reopening

Posted at 10:25 PM, Mar 24, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Members of the Milwaukee Public School Board will each submit their top ten questions Thursday for administrators to answer, before students and staff return to the classroom next month.

The MPS administration will have to respond on March 30.

Board members discussed some of their questions during Tuesday night's seven-hour meeting, and administrators were able to address some of the queries.


Under the plan, staff will return on April 12, and certain students will start returning on April 14. Class sizes will be limited to 15 students, or 18 if the room allows for six feet of distancing.

"I would like to understand the specific guidance around are we going to then prioritize students with 504 IEPs, students that have seen the biggest drop in grades?" board member Megan O'Halloran asked.

"Our goal is to split those classes right away, with those numbers, to the best of our ability around this whole thing of social distancing," said Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley.

The Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association said it still believes the plan lacks details, particularly when it comes to classroom size. Administrators will send out a survey to parents to find out how many students intend to return to in-person learning.

"That means that with 80 percent of the school year completed with their teacher, they will now not have that teacher," said MTEA President Amy Mizialko. "They will be placed with a substitute teacher or a paraprofessional or maybe a teacher from central office, and it's families who need to know what they are saying yes or no to."

Administrators said in Tuesday's meeting that a substitute teacher survey shows out of 269 respondents, 189 are interested in returning face-to-face.

Board members also probed about social distancing at recess, lunch and on the bus. Posley said bus drivers are eligible to get vaccinated, and they are planning to have about 30 students per bus.

"I feel like there are just a lot of issues," said board member Erika Siemsen. "What is the state testing going to look like? There are so many concerns I have, I just want people to know why I won’t be supporting the plan."

Parents still have the option to keep their students learning virtual for the remainder of the school year.

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