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Rep. Bellino: House approves Return to Learn plan
RELEASE|July 23, 2020

State. Rep. Joe Bellino and his colleagues in the Michigan House last night approved a plan to ensure the safety of Michigan students as learning resumes in the fall.


The Legislature’s plan empowers local school districts and health departments to work together to develop health and safety standards that are best for their unique areas.


“We must give our local schools flexibility to develop their own reopening plans that work best for students and teachers there,” Bellino said. “COVID-19 has hit various parts of our state in different ways, so how our kids go back to school will look different in other parts of the state. That’s just common-sense, which this measure is all about.”


Under the plan, school districts could begin instruction whenever is best for them without obtaining a waiver to bypass Michigan’s Labor Day start requirement.


The Return to Learn plan also:
• Redefines the word “attendance” to mean “engaged in instruction” rather than “physically present,” allowing schools to be innovative and give students the opportunity to learn outside the classroom.
• Utilizes benchmark assessments to provide detailed information to parents and teachers about where a student needs additional help, ensuring kids do not fall behind in the wake of the public health crisis.
• Requires school districts to work with local health departments to establish safety requirements for extracurricular activities and sports in addition to regular school safety measures.


“Our students must get back to school, whether that be in person or on the computer,” Bellino said. “Our kids are entitled to a well-rounded education, so let’s get them back in the safest way possible.”

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