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Nearly all UP high schools to continue with face-to-face learning after Whitmer recommendation to go remote

Schools and coronavirus.
Schools and coronavirus.(WLUC/CDC)
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 6:17 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Most high schools in Upper Michigan continue with face-to-face learning this week, after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged a two-week suspension of in-person classes because of a surge in coronavirus cases statewide.

The governor stopped short of ordering restrictions Friday. She asked for voluntary compliance when she requested a two-week pause of in-person high school classes, all youth sports and indoor restaurant. Michigan has the worst rate of new virus cases in the U.S. over the previous two weeks.

Norway-Vulcan High School announced it is switching to remote learning, and North Elementary in Iron Mountain is doing the same. Those are the only changes to U.P. schools that TV6 & FOX UP is aware of.

In a letter to parents, Marquette Area Public Schools Superintendent Bill Saunders explained his decision to continue with in-person learning at Marquette Senior High School.

Message from Superintendent Saunders

Dear Parents and Guardians,

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on April 9, the Governor held a press conference and announced a recommendation for high schools and athletics programs to close/suspend activities for the next two weeks. This was only a recommendation, leaving the decision to local school districts. The announcement came with no warning and leaves little time to make a difficult decision and communicate with families.

I spent the remainder of the morning consulting with area superintendents, our Board of Education, Marquette County Health Department, and reviewed our current data. We currently have three active cases reported on our dashboard. I believe MAPS faculty and staff have done an outstanding job of providing face to face and virtual education. Our staff, in concert with all our students, have followed safety measures keeping our schools, to the best of our knowledge, free from COVID transmission. We have built in the flexibility for students and families to learn virtually if school feels unsafe or for any health or unrelated reason.

With no data to suggest any transmission of COVID is happening within our walls; with few current active cases on our dashboard; with our local health system not currently strained by COVID, and with a student/parent option for online learning at any time; I have made the decision to keep our high school open for face to face education and continue with athletic participation until the data suggests this isn’t a prudent move.

I am most proud of the ongoing dedication of our entire staff and the sacrifices they’ve made this year. We would not be where we are today without our supportive parents and community. We appreciate your continued support for Marquette Area Public Schools.

Sincerely,

William Saunders,

Superintendent

Marquette Area Public Schools

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