Ludington Superintendent Discusses Rural District Needs as School Reopening Talks Begin
Governor Whitmer has set up a Return to Learn advisory council to help her COVID-19 Education Task Force put together a plan to safely reopen Michigan’s schools in the fall.
The advisory council is taking input from suburban, urban and rural work groups and the superintendent of Ludington Public Schools is part of the rural workgroup.
Ludington Superintendent Jason Kennedy starts meeting this week with other rural school district superintendents to talk about what the state should consider when it comes to reopening this fall.
“Transportation is going to be a key issue for us in assessing how is it that you physically distance, you socially distance on a school bus when transporting students to and from school is critically important to our infrastructure,” said Kennedy.
There’s also the question of how to practice social distancing in school buildings, what cleaning procedures to follow and who should use PPE.
“There is a ton of work that school districts will need to do, but I’m hoping the work of these work groups will make the work of local school districts significantly easier,” said Kennedy.
Budgets will also be something schools and the state will have to watch closely,
“When we’ve had budget cuts over the last 20 years, school counselors, social workers all of those have been cut in many districts to keep those cuts away from classroom teachers. Those jobs are going to be needed more than ever as kids come back to school with trauma they’ve faced,” said David Crim, Spokesperson for the Michigan Education Association.
All factors that weigh into a plan that must come together in just a couple of months.
“Planning for the start of a new school year takes time, and so to think that guidance may come during the month of June and that schools will have July and August to prepare for a post Labor Day start to a new school year, there’s a lot of work that would have to be turned around in a short order,” said Kennedy.