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Howard-Suamico schools switching to virtual learning due to COVID-19 spread

Bay Port High School
Bay Port High School
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 12:37 PM CDT
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HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) - The Howard-Suamico School District will transition to all virtual learning Sept. 30 due to community spread of COVID-19.

The district announced Friday that all Howard-Suamico schools and 4K programs will make the transition. In-person classes will not resume until the situation improves.

“I am writing with a mixture of deep disappointment and incredible pride as we announce all HSSD Schools and 4K programming will transition to our Plan C virtual learning model beginning Wednesday, September 30 and until community health conditions improve. We will maintain our current schedule Monday and Tuesday, September 28-29 to allow staff, students, and families time to prepare for the transition. Further updates will be forthcoming from our principals and teachers regarding daily student schedules as we transition next week,” reads a letter to parents from Superintendent Damian LaCroix.

LaCroix continues, “Evidence points to unsafe behaviors in our community as the source for the surge in COVID-19 infections. After meeting with leaders from Bellin and Prevea in the last 24 hours, I learned that hospital staff and capacity in our community are burdened and at the point of crisis. I learned that, in their words, ‘Not a single instance of community spread has been due to schools being open.’ Rather, it is the persistent spread of the virus outside our schools that is putting the safety of students and staff at risk. While I firmly believe that schools are the best and safest place for our children, the guidance from our local healthcare leaders makes it clear that even an exceptional COVID-19 mitigation plan in schools cannot withstand the current levels of community spread.”

CLICK HERE to read LaCroix’s full letter.

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard shows seven positive cases among staff and 47 staffers in quarantine as of Sept. 24.

Among students, 11 have tested positive for the virus and 249 are in quarantine as of Sept. 24.

HOWARD-SUAMICO COVID-19 DASHBOARD: https://www.hssdschools.org/community/covid19/dashboard

Last week, the district announced a teacher at Bay Port High School had passed away after contracting COVID-19. Heidi Hussli had been with the district for 16 years.

On Friday, Brown County health officials announced nearly 8,000 people had tested positive for COVID-19. Hospitalizations are spiking. Bellin Health reports three-quarters of intensive care unit beds and two-thirds of medical unit beds are filled by patients battling COVID-19.

“Our emergency department has experienced unprecedented surges of patients since last Friday and more recently, this week, when the need was so great that we had to hold patients on gurneys in the hallways to provide necessary care to them,” said Chris Woleske, Bellin Health CEO.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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