Schools staying closed leads to frustration

Kalamazoo's schools opted to remain remote for the rest of the year. Other districts may follow suit. That's putting districts at odds with parents ... and science.

Kalamazoo’s school buildings will remain largely empty for the rest of this school year. That’s after the district announced last week that classes would continue to be held virtually through June in a move that has frustrated many parents.

The decision also flies in the face of science, as several studies have shown that with proper precautions, in-person schooling seems to be relatively safe. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidance saying that schools would be safe to reopen based on transmission and positivity rates in the county.

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Nonetheless, several large school districts in Michigan – in Ann Arbor and Lansing – are poised to follow Kalamazoo’s lead in remaining in virtual mode until the end of the school year.

At same time comes evidence that nearly a year of remote learning has led to educational declines and increases in mental health issues among young people.

“They need contact with classmates,” said Nicholas Bagley, a father of two in Ann Arbor, according to an article on Bridge Michigan. “They need to be in a room with their peers and not just be looking at a screen all day.”

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