Superior School Board Approves Response Plan for Reopening this Fall

Plan allows families to choose all-virtual, or hybrid of virtual and in-person learning.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- In their first in-person meeting since March, the Superior School Board Monday approved their COVID-19 District Response Plan on reopening schools this fall.

In the plan (found here), families can choose whether to continue having their children learn virtually at home, or attend in a hybrid setting with partial education at home and partial in the school building.

The decision about which scenario they use will be made close to September 1st according to the Board, and will be based on local COVID-19 transmission rates.

Sup Plan 1In the hybrid option Early Education students would attend two days a week, Elementary Students (K-5) would attend four days a week and learn at-home on Wednesdays, and Secondary Education (Grades 6-12) would come two days a week and spend three days learning virtually.

“Part of the reason that we’re able to bring students back at the elementary more days a week is because our class sizes are lower at the elementary which allows us to social distance,” said Superintendent Amy Starzecki. “We’re not able to social distance with all of our class sizes at the Middle School and the High School level so in order to properly social distant in the building we would need half the student population.”

According to the plan, schools will not take students’ temperatures before entering the building, so when possible they would be taken on the bus.

Any students who do have a temperature over 100.4 or sick with symptoms would be asked to stay home, or isolated on the bus and at school until a parent is contacted to take them home.

Sup Plan Temps

“The hope would be that the parent is at the bus stop and they can just take them,” Starzecki said in the meeting. “We wouldn’t leave a sick child on the corner without a parent.”

Desks in class would be six feet apart and face the same direction if the space allows.

In terms of face coverings, an amendment was made during the board meeting to require masks for staff and students when 6 ft of social distance cannot be maintained. Officials said that policy on masks was based on guidance from the state.

“I picture students in a class sitting 6 ft apart, they could take their mask off when instruction was happening but if they’re going to work together or if they are going to work with a teacher the teacher can require masks,” Starzecki said.

In addition to janitors, staff will also be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing their rooms and spaces. Officials said adequate supplies will be provided along with 9,000 masks from the state, along with face shields the district will purchase.

According to the board, health officials have advised them to start the school year with the hybrid option based on current COVID-19 conditions.

Also on Monday, teachers unions for Wisconsin’s five largest school districts asked Gov. Tony Evers and the state’s top health and education officials on Monday to keep schools closed at the start of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter was signed by union leaders for teachers in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine. It was sent to Evers, Department of Public Instruction Secretary Carolyn Stanford Taylor, and Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm.

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