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Majority of Racine students plan to return to in-person learning beginning March 1

WISN Milwaukee logo WISN Milwaukee 2/23/2021
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Students in Racine are set to begin a phased-in approach to in-person learning March 1.

Monday night school board members quizzed administration officials about plans and whether the district was ready to begin bringing students back into the classroom.

“When all staff have two shots of the COVID vaccine in their arm, we’ll go back,” Travis Eales said at a news conference before the school board meeting, a Racine teacher.

The head of the teacher’s union also wouldn't guarantee teachers would show up.

“That remains to be seen,” Angelina Cruz said, president of Racine Educators United. “I think the key to anything we are talking about doing moving forward are seeing that plans are approved by the health department … I think if they are approved from the respected health departments, that will go a long way in relieving anxieties, so we’ll have to wait and see. There’s a lot of unknowns right now.”

The plan will bring back students from pre-K through sixth grade March 1 along with high school freshman and seniors, followed by seventh and 11th graders on March 8 and eighth and 10th graders March 15.

District administrators said Monday evening 53% of students planned to return to in-person learning.

“I really feel like we are so much better prepared than schools were in August that have been open all year long and haven’t had to close,” Kimberly Granger said, the district’s health services supervisor. “So we’re going to be OK. We just need to remember what the rules are.”

Racine is one of a handful of districts statewide, including Milwaukee, that haven’t returned to at least some in-person learning as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said teacher vaccinations should be a priority but not mandatory for re-opening.

READ MORE:Majority of Racine students plan to return to in-person learning beginning March 1

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