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Lansing schools may resume in-person instruction this year, but officials can't say when

Posted at 2:40 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 14:42:33-05

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has urged all the schools in the state to offer some form of in-person instruction by March 1.

But Lansing Public Schools officials are saying there are still a few things that need to happen before in-person learning can resume.

"Honestly, a lot would need to happen before we could go back in person, and we have set the safety of our staff as priority," Gabrielle Lawrence, president of the district’s Board of Education.

Since last spring, more than 1,000 teachers have turned their homes into virtual classrooms. Lawrence said that has allowed teachers to feel safe while doing their jobs.

“We know that they are one of our greatest resources,” she said.

Michigan teachers are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine and school officials hope vaccinations will allow them to bring in-person learning back faster.

“Our teachers and staff will be receiving the COVID-19 vaccination within the next couple weeks,” Lawrence said.

Next, officials with the district said, they need buildings to be cleaned on regular basis and a detailed plan for how to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks

As the new semester starts, Lawrence hopes students, parents and staff can remember one thing.

“I want people to remember to have grace with each other,” Lawrence said. “We're all in this together.”

Officials with the district are not releasing a date when they hope to resume in person learning, but say they haven't ruled out having students back in the classroom this school year.