Howard-Suamico releases draft of school reopening plan

How students attend school will look a little different, depending on the student's grade level.
Howard Suamico School District visits reopening plan
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 11:07 PM CDT
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SUAMICO, Wis. (WBAY) -Action 2 News is getting a better idea of how the Howard-Suamico School District is planning to reopen for the up-coming school year.

In a district wide survey, 75 percent of parents who responded say they intend to send their kids back to school in the fall.

“I can’t say that we thrived, we just kind of did enough to get by to get to the end of the school year,” said Monica Veley, reflecting on what was likely the strangest spring semester she and her three kids have experienced.

Veley says her kids are ready to go back to school.

“I definitely take that into consideration. What are their needs? What is their mental health like? What are we going to do at home to mitigate any further spread if they are going to school?”

How students attend school will look a little different, depending on the student’s grade level.

The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a recent report that really put a lot of stress and emphasis on the social and emotional needs of students particularly in grades K-6,” said Damian LaCroix, superintendent.

That’s why elementary students will go in person five days a week, but middle and high school students will operate under a hybrid model.

Students will be divided between two cohorts, A and B.

Cohort A will attend school in-person on Monday and Wednesday, while cohort B will attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other days will be digital learning days.

“Then Fridays, we’ll be using that day to meet individual student needs, learning needs, opening up labs for example,” said LaCroix.

District officials say by having middle and high school students attend in cohorts, there will be less students in the buildings at one time, allowing for proper social distancing.

“Certainly, with the older students there’s a greater maturity level on their part to handle the blended or the online learning option; and of course they don’t require the same child care needs at younger children. So, that’s part of the thinking factoring into the planning process,” said LaCroix.

Elementary school students will also be distanced in the classroom. There will also be a full time digital learning option for those uncomfortable attending in person.

Schools will also close once a month for deep cleaning.

Veley says she’s doing her best to prepare her kids for any scenario.

“I’m also trying to be very aware that it’s not just my kids or kids in general in school; but there’s teachers, there’s faculty, their health is important too,” said Veley.

District leaders have not yet decided if staff and students will be required to wear face masks.

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