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Gov. Whitmer expected to close schools until end of school year

NILES, Mich. - This week Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to shut down all public schools for the rest of this school year. Sources telling ABC57 it will not affect those students graduating or moving up a grade level.

Michigan schools were set to be closed until April 13th because of Whitmer's stay-at-home order announced last week. However, with this expected executive order closing schools until June, parents in Niles say they’re worried.

“I’m worried for the kids. I don’t know what this means for them, the seniors that would be graduating this year or I have a 5th grader who is graduating going into 6th grade, I’m just concerned for them that they’re not going to get the most out of their school experience,” One parent who wishes to stay anonymous said.

“My 17 year old you know he’s a junior. He’s got to take the SAT’s so that’s one of our concerns, when is he going to be able to make that up and when is he going to really be able to start planning for his future,” Jaime Kast, another parent said.

According to our sources, students who were on track to move to the next grade level or to graduate will still be able to. High school seniors would also be able to get their diplomas.

It’s still unclear what this means for struggling students and if summer school will be an option.

“With my 3rd grader I worry because he’s already behind with his IEP like he’s on a first, second-grade level so I worry he’s going to miss this huge, 4th grade is a huge step,” Kast said.

“For me, that’s frustrating because I do have one of those kids that were already struggling and I was already in the process of getting her an IEP before school closed and now that schools are closed and doctors office is closed, it’s not possible for me to get that in place for next year,” another parent who wishes to stay anonymous said.

Several questions popping up leading parents and students asking, what’s next?

“They’re just worried about what they have done as far as packets that are sent home. They do have credit recovery, how is that going to play in if the school closes for the rest of the year,” Brown said. “So there’s a lot of questions that I can’t answer for them right now.”

But even with the worries, parents say they think this is the best move for the health and wellbeing of their kids.

“We have children to protect,” Karrie Hardesty, one parent said. “My biggest thing is I would rather have schools close because the children sit right next to each other.”

“To me the kid's safety and all the employees at the school. That’s the priority,” Maria Brown, another parent said.

Whitmer is expected, again, to make the announcement this week. We will keep you updated on-air and online when that happens.

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