School leaders worried about COVID outbreaks when students return from spring break

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Spring break is approaching for many schools in Mid-Michigan.

Many administrators are worried about outbreaks when students return to the classroom.

According to the CDC, Michigan ranks only behind Florida in confirmed cases of Covid-19 variants.

Local counties like Eaton and Jackson have both reported cases of Covid-19 variants and the variants have even been found in local schools.

Grand Ledge Public Schools reported an outbreak of just under 50 people last week.

The spread of variants, coupled with the fact Michigan has one of the highest rates of new cases in the country is leading to concern from administrators.

“I’m really concerned that after spring break, we’re going to see high numbers of quarantines,” said John Deiter, DeWitt Schools Superintendent. “That’s definitely stressful as a superintendent because, you know, your goal is to keep kids in school and keep staff in school.”

They’re especially nervous because the days of closing down entire school buildings because of two or more cases may be over.

School leaders tell News 10 that this has been a big concern for them heading into the break because they know some people will travel and gather in congregated areas. They have a lot riding on their ability to continue offering in-person instruction.

“My preference would probably be to continue in a reduced capacity model, which the CDC calls for, but then that runs into the mandate from the state to offer 20 hours of in-person education so we feel like we’re in an untenable situation of either give up our funding or follow the CDC guidelines,” said Potterville Schools Superintendent Kevin Robydek.

Now, spring break could jeopardize their ability to stay open.

“We’ve requested that families who have traveled to quarantine when they come back and we’re making content available on our google classrooms,” said Superintendent Kevin Robydek.

Potterville schools are splitting up their students into two groups for two weeks after spring break and willing to close if they have to.

“We’re gonna lose out about $66,000 and, you know, and we really felt like we have been preaching all along that safety and health is our number one priority. And I did not believe, and as I brought this to our committee, our committee really did not believe that then going back to our community and saying on aside money is more important than health and safety,” said Superintendent Kevin Robydek.

DeWitt Schools are also taking advantage of free rapid testing provided by the state health department.

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