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'It gives us the direction we really need.' Metro Detroit superintendents pleased with state's 'MI Safe Schools Roadmap'

'It gives us the direction we really need.' Metro Detroit superintendents pleased with state's 'MI Safe Schools Roadmap'
Posted at 9:43 PM, Jun 30, 2020

Superintendents in Novi and Walled Lake are both happy with the requirements and recommendations laid out in the MI Safe Schools Return to School Road Map.

RELATED: READ HERE: State releases 'MI Safe Schools Roadmap' for kids to return to school

Direction is provided for three phases of COVID-19 infection, and districts are asked to put together three separate plans. Many elements in the roadmap, districts have already been planning for. Things like cleaning, social distancing and face masks, but now they know for sure what will be required.

“I like it. I appreciate the work the governor and task force did. My initial reaction is, it gives us the direction we really need,” says Kenneth Gutman, superintendent of Walled Lake Schools.

Dr. Steve Matthews, Superintendent of Novi Community School District agrees.

“We have been ordering masks, we’re going to have masks available, so it’s something that’s very doable, but there will be challenges as we approach the fall,” Dr. Matthews said
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“We’re heading into a year where our needs will be far greater. Not just in terms of PPE and social distancing, but also the emotional needs of our staff and students,” says Gutman.

RELATED: Here's what the MI schools roadmap says about face masks for students, teachers

“There’s going to be a real focus on the social and emotional health of our students as well as the academic part of their lives,” says Dr. Matthews adding that is on top of the additional cleaning, social distancing and PPE.

“All of those things cost money because they require people to implement,” Dr. Matthews said.

“Now, we just have to find out if we can afford it,” Gutman said.

Gov. Whitmer announced $256 million will go to Michigan schools to be used for additional cleaning supplies, PPE and additional staffing. That money will be divided among districts and is meant to be in addition to the budget set by the state. Districts still haven’t been told what their base operating budget will look like, just that they could be a major shortfall.

“We don’t have a budget for the 2020-21 school year that starts tomorrow,” Gutman said.

Both say they will have plans ready to release in a couple of weeks and they hope funding from the state will come through by then.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.