MORRICE, Mich. (WJRT) – Spring break has arrived for many students in Mid-Michigan, giving them and their families a week away from their studies.
Warm weather destinations are packed this month with busy beaches and bustling streets. Miami Beach in Florida was forced to declare a State of Emergency earlier this month due to the large crowds.
Mid-Michigan school administrators are worried that students will bring back more than just a souvenir if they travel over spring break. Some schools are going virtual for a week or considering a mandatory quarantine for returning students.
Morrice Area Schools aren’t planning any additional COVID-19 measures when students return. Superintendent Michelle Falcon said the decision has to do with what happens in the classroom versus what happens at home.
”Virtual environments at home — we can’t really control those and we can’t control when students are interacting with other students outside of our school walls,” she said.
Morrice students will be returning to school for face-to-face instruction next week. Falcon has heard of other school districts across the state considering quarantining students the first week back from spring break, but she believes in-person learning provides for better control of what happens during the school day.
“We are able to offer a very safe environment for students in terms of requiring masks,” Falcon said. “Our students, all of our students travel in cohort groups. We provide and have social distancing whenever and however possible we can make that with student’s interactions.”
She knows not every parent will be happy with the decision — and she understands their concerns. Fewer than 12% of elementary students and less than 30% of secondary students in the district are staying home for virtual learning, leading Falcon to believe the overwhelming majority of parents and students prefer to learn in-person.
“Not one size fits all. It just isn’t,” she said. “That’s not the way it is.”
Falcon said one Morrice student tested positive for COVID-19 last week and was sent home to quarantine. About 80 staff members in Morrice schools have received a COVID-19 vaccine and around half are fully vaccinated. Falcon hopes to reach 100% vaccinated soon.
As Shiawassee County students prepare to return to school, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will be hosting a free drive-thru rapid COVID-19 testing clinic from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Corunna Public Schools Transportation Department parking lot.
Free COVID-19 tests are available to anyone, not just students.
Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.