'We need to be able to do it safely': Mixed reaction to MPS' decision to return to in-person learning

Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 18:47:52-04

MILWAUKEE — For the first time in a year, Milwaukee Public Schools students will soon head back to class.

MPS voted in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday to return to in-person learning. Class sizes will be limited to 15 to 18 students, depending on available space.

"It was more enjoying, because I'm sick of the computer,” said student Travionna Holloway, a high school senior.

Holloway got a sneak peek of in-person learning: she took her ACT test in-person. Her dad, Travis Wilkerson, picked her up. He feels his children learn best in-person.

"Virtual, to me, I think was a disappointment. You don't get what you would get inside the classroom,” Wilkerson said.

Under MPS' plan, Kindergarten through third-grade students will return April 14. Fourth through eighth-graders return April 19. High school seniors return April 26.

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors will remain virtual, except those at risk of failing one or more classes.

Parent Roniah Johnson shared this cell phone video of students filing in for ACT testing Wednesday.

"This is only at quarter capacity coming to take the ACT test,” Johnson said. "I can only imagine when the school is at half capacity how it's going to be."

Johnson also spoke out against the option to return at the school board meeting Tuesday night. She said she feels it's too soon to begin bringing students back.

"I understand the need to want to get kids back in school, but I also have a seventh-grader, but we need to be able to do it safely,” Johnson said.

All parents with in-person-eligible students are being given the option to have their kids stay virtual if they choose.

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