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Neenah School District asks community to follow COVID-19 prevention protocols

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 8:27 PM CDT
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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - An area school district is asking for the community’s help in its efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so that in-person classes can continue five days a week.

Unlike other districts, which have had to close schools because of outbreaks, Neenah has been an exception - so far - prompting the question if anything is being done differently to keep the doors open.

The five days of in-person classes make the district stand out alone among area districts, and the school board president wants to make sure that doesn’t change.

On the same day school started in Neenah, the school board also passed a resolution advising the entire community to follow COVID-19 prevention protocols, especially since 80% of the district’s more than 6,700 students opted to attend class in-person.

“While we do have limited influence over kids while they’re in school, outside of school we really don’t have any influence on them. So, the more our community can come together to stop the spread of COVID, the more likely we will be able to keep our schools open longer,” said Brian Epley, the President of the Neenah Joint School District.

Even schools operating hybrid learning models have had building closures because of positive cases, including three in Oshkosh.

It’s a scenario Neenah hopes to avoid.

“So far I think we’re pleased with the start we’ve had over the first couple of weeks,” said Jim Strick, the district’s communications manager. “We’ve had a few cases here and there but families have done a great job of alerting us to that right away. A lot of them have been quarantining even before they tested positive so they really had no close contacts in the school.”

Any change in the plan is tough, for both students and faculty.

“It’s really important to keep them all in-person continuously,” said Epley.

The district tells Action 2 News it has also had success in getting students to wear a mask, which is another reason they believe there hasn’t been a major classroom outbreak.

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