Return to classrooms brings relief, optimism to SWMI schools

NOW: Return to classrooms brings relief, optimism to SWMI schools

WATERVLIET, Mich. — As school starts back up, the pandemic is still at the top of minds, but students and staff have become pretty well equipped to handle the changing conditions of COVID-19. 

Watervliet was among the Southwest Michigan school districts to return Monday and most of their students did so in the classroom.

The district isn’t offering a hybrid learning option and had only a handful of students opt-in to a fully virtual semester. 

Masks aren’t required for students, and staff can be mask free unless Berrien County is in high transmission, which it is right now.

Watervliet is well aware of how quickly things can trend in the wrong direction with COVID-19, though. 

If one student tests positive for the virus, the entire school will mask up for two weeks.

That student’s close contacts will quarantine and the district already has a setup prepared for remote learning days. 

“Every kid has their own computer, we have a learning management system where teachers can push course material, videos out and then kids can work at home, then if we do have a significant number of kids out, teachers will set up times where they can make some contact with those kids,” said Ric Seager, Superintendent at Watervliet Public Schools.

Remaining districts that did not start Monday will be back next Tuesday, just after Labor Day weekend. 

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