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West Michigan superintendents weigh in on Gov. Whitmer's back to school plan

Posted at 8:32 AM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 10:25:13-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Superintendents in West Michigan are weighing-in on Governor Whitmer's plan to get kids back in school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

FOX 17 spoke with three localsuperintendents who are serving on the COVID-19 Task Force on Education, which provides recommendations on when to open public schools throughout Michigan.

"There's a lot of work to do," said Rane Garcia, superintendent of the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System.

Garcia says she has already heard from parents who are both excited to get their kids back in class and parents who are nervous about sending their kids back to class.

Tom Livezey, superintendent of Oakridge Public Schools, says there is no doubt there are will be challenges with the plans.

When it comes to school lunches, Livezey says schools are going to have to figure out how to prepare box lunches for students instead of having hot meals prepared. "What I was most concerned about was the hybrid model, bringing half the kids to school one day and the other the next day," he said. "That is not an approach we want to take."

Livezey said face coverings are at the top of parents' minds.

"We're going to pull together as a community, and I think we're going to have a school year," he said.

Dr. John Severson is superintendent of the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, serving 12 school districts, charter, and private schools located in Muskegon County.

He says the district is working to make sure kids can get back in class in the fall.