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Michigan teachers prepare for in-person learning

(WMTV/Sanika Bhargaw)
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 10:54 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The State of California announced Wednesday that it will require teachers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall, or they must get a weekly test. That requirement hasn’t hit close to home yet, but rising cases of the highly contagious delta variant seem to be leaving more questions than answers when it comes to the return to school.

However, there is one group who feels ready and confident to welcome students back: The teachers.

Many districts are requiring all students and staff to mask-up regardless of vaccination status. Lansing Middle School teacher Kristan Small says, even though it’s not ideal, she fully supports the decision.

“I’m disappointed. I think that it’s great when the kids can see a smile and I want to see theirs. But our other option is to be online,” Small said.

The president of the Michigan Education Association, Paula Herbart, says teachers have been doing everything in their power to make sure they’re teaching to a room full of students, and not a computer screen.

“We want to make sure that communities are really aware that educators are doing everything they can to be prepared for an in-person and face-to-face school year in September,” Herbart said. “Nothing says that like the statistic that says 85% of our members who qualified for vaccination had received them. That number has gone up. We’re about 90% right now.”

Whether it’s the UV lights, the air filtration systems or the masks that they’re going to be providing teachers and students, Small says she feels comfortable returning back to the classroom.

Small said, “Lansing has done a bang-up job getting ready. I feel very confident. I have the older group and many of the kids were shooting me texts and saying, ‘I got my shots!’”

This all comes as some health experts warn that kids are perhaps the most vulnerable group right now in the pandemic. That’s mostly because kids under twelve are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and because the delta variant is impacting children harder than original strains of the virus.

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