THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Peshtigo School Board Hears Plans For New School Year
Issue Date: July 15, 2020
Forward Together was the tag line given by Peshtigo School District Superintendent Patrick Rau as he introduced the learning plan and re-opening of the 2020 - 2021 school year to the Board and audience at the Wednesday, July 8 School Board Meeting.
Rau said, "It is important to keep everyone safe, we have to go 'Forward' and work 'Together' and we need kids and teachers to be together. From Aug. 24 through June 2021, we want to be open everyday and it will take everyone to do their part. We will have positive cases of COVID but it is how we handle the situation".
We will be doing contact mitigation tracing, do distance spacing whenever possible, will go through temperature screening for adults and will be asking parents to screen their children at home for symptoms. Barriers will be installed for distancing between teacher and student for one on one conversations. There will be 6 foot distancing markers, hand-washing and hand sanitizers will be available in every classroom and routine hand washing will be practiced. Bottle fillers instead of bubblers are being added to each building.
There will be visitor restrictions, frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces will be completed every night. Facial coverings and other PPE (Personal Protection Equipment will be determined by the CDC, DPI, Wisconsin DHS and/ or guidance from Marinette County Health.
Grades K through four may have a small enough enrollment to assure 6 feet apart distancing. K - 4 do not learn well virtually, Rau said.
Rau then provided a power point presentation starting with key survey findings of which 71% of respondents are concerned about their childrens mental, social and emotional health with the loss of social interaction and lack of academic progress without returning to school. It is possible 57% would start with in-person and 41% would start virtually and or blended.
Limited risk plans will reflect the latest guidance that is feasible from the CDC, DPI and Wisconsin/Marinette County DHS. Multiple phases are being developed to maintain as much in person learning as feasible. Families will have a choice between a virtual instructional program or in person learning and communication will be timely, candid and easy. A commitment will be needed within a week and a half and a hard commitment will be needed by Aug. 10. We may have at home virtual learning with grade school level with a six week commitment and middle and high school would need a nine week commitment.
A timeline of events have already happened including, a Parent Advisory meeting June 8; Teacher feedback provided June 10; A parent survey completed June 18; The re-opening committee met June 23 and 24 and another Parent Advisory meeting was held July 7; July 8 there were Staff, Board and Parent presentations. Board approval will be July 22 with the Board approved revisions meeting to be held on Aug. 5 with the students tentatively reporting back to school on Aug. 24 hinging on the COVID-19 situation.
School closure will take place if there is a community spread on or off campus, if healthcare is at or above capacity, in the instance of teacher, bus driver and/or student absences. Those authorized to close schools include State and Local DHS and the Superintendent.
The current criteria for risk mitigation strategies include any confirmed case(s) that are symptomatic will be excused from school for 10 days from onset of symptoms and 72 hours symptom free; Confirmed asymptomatic (carrier but no symptoms) will be excused from school for 10 days from time of negative test result and if there was close contact there will be a 14 day quarantine even with a negative test result.
There will be a four phase opening plan depending on where we are at with COVID-19 as to which situation best fits the pandamic at the time.
Phase 1 would be In-Person with K-4/Special Education with 5 section grade levels including 5K through grade 4 with maximized learning and classroom cohorts, all subjects taught with-in the classroom. Use of facial coverings and distancing is feasible. Fifth and sixth grade teachers will rotate between classrooms maximizing use of the classroom and learning cohorts. There will be use of facial coverings when distancing is not possible. At the High School level, there will be use of facial coverings when distancing is not possible, there will be course specific precautions taken (Examples: Band, Choir, Art, Phy Ed, Etc.), use of learning cohorts within classrooms and distancing may be feasible at times.
Phase 2 will include a four day per week schedule and all phase one risk mitigation/prevention protocols will be used when in person. Students will attend school on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday with Wednesday being a virtual learning from home day. This will give the cleaning crew a chance to do thorough cleaning There will be small group support and remediation and enrichment available. There will also be individual attendance by appointment for high risk students.
Phase 3 will be a two day per week schedule and will also include all phase one risk mitigation/prevention protocols to be used when in person. There will be Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday groupings with students attending in person and days of attendance will be assigned by the district. Instructional format will be determined by building/ grade level and subject. New material will be in-person and enrichment / remediation will be virtual. Wednesdays will be virtual learning day with small group support and remediation/ enrichment available. SWD (Students With Disabilities) will follow the Phase 2 four day per week.
Phase 4 will be remote learning from home with students participating in virtual / remote instruction. Instructional days will be developed at building levels and the platforms used will be Google Classroom grades three through 12 and SeeSaw for grades K through two, all grades with increased instructions and learning expectations.
Rau stated, "We don't know what to do with service and sports. We will start with Soccer, Cross Country and Volleyball as a sport but there will be no competitions. Drivers Education will be allowed with a limit of no more than 10 students in a classroom. It is a controllable risk with being able to clean the cars in-between drivers and have limited contact. The weight room will be closed due to being such a small confined area, it is not safe at this point to allow 15 kids in the room. Locker rooms will be closed as well".
Rau addressed the audience stating he will collect all questions and feedback and will provide answers to all the questions. Along with that, Kate Willet will be working with the Elementary Team to answer questions as well.