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Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the much-anticipated 'Return to Learn' roadmap for Michigan schools, saying she is "optimistic  that we will return to in-person learning in the fall."

The comprehensive 63-page document is designed to help school districts throughout Michigan develop individualized plans for each district to follow.

"Our students, parents, and educators have made incredible sacrifices during our battle with COVID-19. Thanks to our aggressive action against this virus, the teachers who have found creative ways to reach their students, and the heroes on the front lines, I am optimistic that we will return to in-person learning in the fall," The governor said in a press release. "The MI SafeSchools Return to School Roadmap will help provide schools with the guidance they need as they enact strict safety measures to continue protecting educators, students, and their families."

Whitmer went on to say that districts will be required to examine the data necessary to keep students in their school buildings safe from the virus.

Executive Order 2020-142 requires school districts to adopt a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan laying out how they will protect students and educators across the various phases of the Michigan Safe Start Plan.

The roadmap also provides details and guidance on the use of PPE, good hygiene, cleaning/disinfecting, spacing in classrooms, screening for symptoms, athletics, and more. 

The plan also outlines possible scenarios for each district, depending on the progress made in each of the state's regions during the summer:

1. Schools open for in-person instruction with minimal required safety protocols (MI Safe Start Phase 6).

2. Schools open for in-person instruction with moderately required safety protocols (MI Safe Start Phase 5).

3. Schools open for in-person instruction with more stringent required safety protocols (MI Safe Start Phase 4).

4. Schools do not open for in-person instruction and instruction is provided remotely (MI Safe Start Phases 1-3).

The full details of the Michigan Return to Learn Roadmap can be viewed here.