COVID-19

Kalamazoo teachers union: In-person classes not safe

The union representing Kalamazoo Public Schools teachers is urging the district to go back to online classes this fall.

The Kalamazoo Education Association said there is no way the Kalamazoo Public Schools can reopen safely in the fall and it is urging district leaders to go to an online-only model for at least 12 weeks.

“We want to respect our KPS families and staff by not asking them to risk their lives to reopen schools prematurely,” said the union in a letter to the district.

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The union represents more than 800 teachers, counselors, nurses, and other professional staff. It said teachers will not return to the classroom unless they agree to a safe return plan based on recommendations by “governmental and professional health and science organizations.”

KPS Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri on July 9 announced a dual-option school start – parents could decide whether their children would return to in-person classes or take lessons from home through a to-be-developed online education platform.

The union points to districts like those in Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Battle Creek that have decided to hold classes online for the first 12 weeks of the fall.

KPS’ preparations for in-person classes are already underway. MLive reports that the school board approved a $190,200 expenditure to buy disposable masks for staff and students. And administrators are hoping to finalize school reopening plans by August 3.

You can read more on MLive.