‘We have our kids’ well-being at heart:’ MPS principal connects by phone amid COVID-19 closures

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MILWAUKEE -- Gov. Tony Evers on March 17 extended the closure of all public and private K-12 schools indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic, and with kids out of school, educators have been working hard to ensure students don't fall behind, but also, to make sure they're OK.

Like so many adults, the coronavirus has meant working remotely for students. On Tuesday, March 24, FOX6 News got an inside look on how the principal at Grandview High School is making sure they stay on task.

Principal Debi Harry

Principal Debi Harry

Principal Debi Harry made the rounds on Tuesday -- calling each of her students on the phone.

"Do you have what you need to be successful?" Principal Harry asked a student.

Principal Harry had a full workday -- in an empty building.

"To not have the kids here, see them, feel their energy, and being able to work with them at the level that we're used to, it's hard," said Principal Harry.

Across the country, the coronavirus has left hallways and classrooms vacant -- and Milwaukee Public Schools teachers and principals making sure students don't have issues with e-learning.

Grandview High School

Grandview High School

"Can you log in for me and get your work done?" Principal Harry asked a student.

It's evidence of educators' dedication to their jobs -- in more ways than one.

Grandview High School

Grandview High School

"I think we're all hunkered down, doing what we can for each of our buildings," Principal Harry added. "We really want you to do the work, because that's how you're going the credits, but also a priority is, how are you?"

Principal Harry offered a message to all students:

"Be kind to yourselves," said Principal Harry. "Give yourselves a break, as you're knowing and doing differently than you ever have before."

It's a lesson she said she hopes will last.

"We all have our kids' well-being at heart," said Principal Harry. "You can't go wrong when you work from that foundation."

Grandview High School

Grandview High School

The principal at Clark Street Academy on Milwaukee's north side said remote learning has its challenges, but they were working through them. She noted it's been an adjustment not being in the building every day, but said she wakes up and helps at food distribution sites.

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