Middle school moves to hybrid model
Weyauwega-Fremont students in classrooms two days a week
By Angie Landsverk
Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School students are moving to a blended/cohort instructional model on Monday, Oct. 12.
The district’s high school students switched to that model on Monday, Oct. 5.
“Waupaca County and the district continue to see an increased number of positive COVID-19 cases,” District Administrator Phillip Tubbs said in an Oct. 7 letter to district families.
He said the health, safety and well-being of the students and staff are the district’s top priorities.
“At this time, the county has seen a total of 507 positive cases of the virus in the past two weeks,” he said. “That is a daily average of 36 cases.”
While many schools in the area and throughout the state have moved to virtual teaching, Tubbs said W-F staff members are working hard to find ways to keep students in school for in-person instruction.
“While there is no ideal replacement for in-the-classroom learning, the high school staff has worked exceptionally hard to provide educational opportunities that are robust, challenging and will help students achieve academic growth,” he said.
Instead of moving to an all virtual instructional model, as originally stated in the Return to Learn Plan for the high school, the district is adjusting Alternative Plan 2 to have a blended/cohort model for grades 6 through 12, Tubbs explained in the communication.
“This change in instructional model will help slow the spread of the virus and allow the district to continue to offer in-person learning as long as possible,” he said. “We know this change is not easy for students, staff and families.”
W-F’s Return to Learn Plan
The district’s Alternative Model Matrix is a guide to help it make decisions.
When the district’s Return to Learn Plan was adopted last summer, the district did not know how the start of the school year would go, nor did it know how it would be able to limit the spread of the virus, he said.
Due to the district’s safety guidelines and procedures in its Return to Learn Plan, “we have successfully been able to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus,” Tubbs said.
He said being able to do so is a “reflection of the tremendous response from students and staff rising to the challenge of following all of the district safety guidelines.”
Under the blended model for grades six through eight, how the students are divided into A/B cohorts will mirror what is in place at the high school.
Students who have last names beginning with A to L will receive in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday.
Those who have last names beginning with M to Z will receive in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday will be a virtual instruction day for all middle and high school students.
Siblings with different last names will be in the same group.
Tubbs said this will limit the number of students in the building to slow the spread of the virus.
It also allows for in-person instruction for the identified grades, he said.
Tubbs noted districts in an A/B cohort/blended model have seen a significant lower number of positive cases in their schools.
“It is our goal to allow students to receive face-to-face instruction as long as possible,” he said. “We will use an all student virtual model as needed at building levels or district-wide due to increase positive cases of students or staff. In addition, we may have to move to an all student virtual model, district-wide or building level, if we do not have enough substitutes for staff.”
Tubbs said the district will continue to re-evaluate based on the conditions in the county and district.
“I am hoping that we will be able to stay in this current model for the next couple of weeks until our next determination meeting and implementation date,” he said.
The next determination date for districts in the county is Wednesday, Oct. 21.
If changes in instructional models are needed. the implementation date is Monday, Oct. 26.