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Parents respond to Gov. Whitmer's decision to close schools until June

NILES, Mich. - Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Thursday suspending all face-to-face learning at K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year.

“It’s just trying to figure out this new normal and how this is really going to play out and continue to look like as we teach her from home,” Tashia Thornton, one parent said.

Teachers, parents, and students are now asking what’s next after Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that all K-12 schools are closed for the remainder of the school year.

“This doesn’t mean our kids will stop learning. Each district must develop an alternative learning plan for students to continue their education during this time,” Whitmer said at the press conference.

“I think it’s going a little far to close schools down for the rest of the year,” Vanessa Commins, one parent said.

“It’s been, it’s been hard,” Thornton said. “I think that right now it’s definitely scary because we don’t know with the virus, what’s going to happen especially with more cases coming up in our area so I think it was a tough decision but I think it needed to be done.”

“There’s no sense putting the kids at risk to have them going to school,” Demarko Smith, another parent said.

“I think they’re losing a lot. They’re not getting the value that some of those kids need. I am glad they are trying it and there’s something out there for them but I think they’re losing that connection and help that they may need,” Karla Eaves, another parent said.

State officials are working on a continuity of learning plan for schools to use going forward.

If the plan relies on online instruction, the district will have to make sure each student has access to it and if families are not able to participate in the schools’ alternate learning plan, they will not be penalized.

“It’s hard to know what this is going to look like for the kids and I think a lot of them might need the extra time with a teacher or someone to work with things with them,” Thornton said.

Students who were on track to advance grades or graduate will still be able to, which isn’t sitting right with some parents.

“They’re technically missing what 3 or 4 months of school. I think they need to be evaluated to see what their actual academic scores are,” Eaves said.

As for any big tests like the SAT, those have been canceled with the next opportunity to take it in October.

More details regarding at-home learning should be coming up soon. We will keep you updated when we know more.

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