By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 13, 2020 at 6:45 PM Photography: Bobby Tanzilo

Milwaukee Public Schools has issued two documents that outline its reopening plan for schools this fall.

The 256-page "Roadmap to Readiness" report – and a 44-page distillation for presentation to the Board of School Directors at its meeting Thursday afternoon were emailed to families late Monday.

The board is expected to discuss the plan and potentially vote on it at the 5:30 p.m. meeting at 5225 W. Vliet St.

The administration of Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley is suggesting a three-phase plan:

  • Phase 1: Full Remote Learning
  • Phase 2: Hybrid Learning
  • Phase 3: Face-to-Face Learning

"The movement from one phase to the next will be dependent on monitoring the spread of COVID-19 as well as health and safety guidance," the report says.

Schools would open on their planned start dates (Aug. 17 for early start and Sept. 1 for traditional calendar) but with no students in school buildings and all instruction taking place virtually.

In the hybrid phrase, students would attend school for face-to-face
instruction for two days a week and participate in virtual instruction three days. Students would rotate between the two.

In the third phase, pending health and safety guidance, students would return to school for full in-person instruction, but a virtual option would be available for students who prefer not to attend.

MPS distributed surveys to stakeholders seeking input on a variety of options and concerns about reopening and a number of focus groups discussed specific factors, like the best ways to interact with, involve and inform parents during periods of virtual learning.

(Full disclosure: I was invited by MPS to take part in one of those groups about parent involvement.)

"I want to thank all our students, families, staff members, stakeholder groups, as well as our state and local leaders for participating and giving us feedback and input on our reopening plan," Posley said in a statement Monday.

"Our goal is to have students and staff return to school safely for the 2020-21 school year. We believe a phased-in approach will allow for teaching and learning to continue during this public health situation."

You can share concerns and thoughts with MPS by email, and you can listen to a broadcast of the meeting on Thursday here.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.