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Parents and education leaders discuss the plan to reopen schools next month

Schools in West Michigan are on track to reopen next month as long as the region stays in Phase 4 but that could change if we see a spike in cases.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Like many parents in West Michigan, Jenny Cole wants her 3 kids back in the classroom but COVID has created a lot of confusion.

"It's almost like a game inside my mind on a daily basis of like 'ok you know what they are going to be fine, they will get on the busses they will be fine, they're gonna be clean', then I hear other people talking and I go 'no, no I can't just put them on a bus like that how do I know how that's going to work, I need to drive my kids to school'," says Cole.

Schools in West Michigan are on track to reopen next month as long as the region stays in Phase 4 but that could change if we see a spike in cases. Meanwhile the White House is saying that schools must open in the fall.

"The must part of that or the required part, first and foremost this is a pandemic, this is a health emergency," says Kent ISD Superintendent Ron Caniff.

"When you talk about must, making those demands it's more like a directive and I would like to hear our national leaders say it's important that school districts open up and that children are able to come back to schools," says Rockford Superintendent Dr. Shibler.

When students do return masks will be required in hallways and common areas for younger students, older students will need to wear them all day.

"I think it's important to wear masks but the reality of it is these little kiddos or these special needs kids, are they going to be able to keep those masks on?" says Cole.

"I can understand those concerns and I understand there are some students, elementary, who are going to be challenged to wear those but we have to adjust to that for now until there is a vaccine that is developed," says Shibler.

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