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As COVID-19 Cases Increase In Washtenaw County, AAEA Wants AAPS To Remain A Virtual School District

Ann Arbor Public Schools

The Ann Arbor Education Association continues to encourage Ann Arbor Public Schools to remain a virtual learning district during the pandemic.  

Fred Klein is the president of the Ann Arbor Education Association and says the increase of COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County is proof that it remains unsafe to offer in-person instruction at the district.  Klein says the union is not opposed to eventually returning to in-person instruction, but that, as of now, face-to-face interaction could put both students and teachers at risk of being exposed to the virus.

Fred Klein: We have members who are older and have underlying health conditions and it would be unsafe for them to be put into classrooms for full days with students that could potentially be carriers and spreaders.

In a statement sent to WEMU, the district said they’re currently reviewing COVID-19 health metrics on a daily basis and will inform the school board when they believe it’s safe to return to in-person instruction.

Below is the full statement fromAnn Arbor Public Schools:

We have shared the process for considering when to return to in-school learning listed below in all public meetings of the Board over several weeks/months, and this process remains consistent. During this current surge of COVID-19 when availability of testing, timely results, prompt contact tracing, and other needed components to support public health are strained across our Ann Arbor community and Michigan, the AAPS remains in a virtual learning status. Each week, we review and update current data to the AAPS Data Metrics dashboard, and will notify the AAPS community when improvement in the rates of infection that would allow a return to in-school learning are achieved. The return plan involves those students who are the youngest, and those students most challenged by virtual learning to return first in the earliest phases of the return of students to in-school learning. During this time, we will continue our focus in the AAPS to ensure as strong a virtual education experience as possible, and we will also continue our work to ensure our plans and buildings remain fully prepared for the return of students to in-school learning. Daily Review & Monitoring & Weekly Posting of Metrics Status: AAPS team reviews public health metrics daily AAPS team will review metrics with the Board of Education in a briefing at least once weekly Posting/update of AAPS data dashboard to a2schools.org website each week Once overall metrics are achieved to be considered safe to begin transition to in-school learning, AAPS team will brief the Board, AAPS team, & share information with parents and community AAPS team will monitor during the intervening 14 days to ensure metrics hold AAPS will continue work to ensure readiness for the transition to in-school learning

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu

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