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Parents hoping for return to school during Northridge Academy drive-thru graduation

(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 9:51 PM EDT
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(06/18/20) - As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gets ready to lay out safety guidelines for returning to school buildings, parents are weighing in with some reservations.

At Northridge Academy's drive-thru graduation Thursday, the ceremony helped take the sting out of an otherwise painful year.

"It's exciting that they have this going on for the kids since they couldn't have an actual graduation," said parent Kamisha Webster.

Webster's daughter is graduating kindergarten, and Webster said she's ready for her to return to the school building this fall.

"As long as they're going through the safety measures they need to have in place I'd be OK for them to attend next year," Webster said.

The Sinkaiyes, parents of an eighth-grade graduate, feel the same way.

"We look forward for them to go to school. They ought to go back," said parent Olufami Sinkaiye.

They wouldn't consider keeping their student home in the fall if the schools open as hoped.

Schools like Northridge Academy are already working on their plans as they wait for the minimum safety requirements from Whitmer, which she expects to release on June 30.

Niyaja Frierson's family plans on making sure she has everything she needs to stay safe.

"Yes, with a lot of precautions, hand sanitizer, masks. Try to protect her as much as I can," said great-aunt Earley Collins.

"How is it going to be with all those children, how are they going to seat them and everything? That's a concern," said great-grandmother Mazie Moore.

Teachers cheered loudly while handing off diplomas through car windows. The students wore their blue caps and gowns. Some of them peered through sunroofs and held up bright signs.

One mom said she thinks the celebration would be a good idea next year, even if the students are back inside classrooms.

"I think it would be something good for the kids next year," Webster said.

If they have to, however, Webster said she's also just fine with returning to online learning only.

"They had an excellent program put in place as soon as this happened so she was able to still get her work done," Webster said.

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