Students return to classrooms
In-person learning four days per week in Clintonville
By Bert Lehman
Middle school and high school students in the Clintonville School District will return to in-person learning four days per week starting Jan. 11.
The Clintonville School Board approved the return to in-person learning when it met Dec. 14.
Elementary school students in the district are already doing in-person learning four days per week.
While discussing the return of middle school and high school students for in-person learning, Superintendent David Dyb said, “When you decide to bring the middle school and high school back to four days, which is your next phase up, you should anticipate there may be times where you’re going to need to quarantine larger groups of kids, just because of not being able to social distance as well amongst the kids.”
Quarantine has been an issue in the district.
Board member Ben Huber expressed concerns about the number of students needing to quarantine increasing if middle school and high school students are allowed to return for in-person learning. He said this could actually lead to students receiving less in-person learning.
“Having consistent virtual school was working for most kids, not all, but most,” Huber said. “Going part-time in virtual and in-person has helped in some places. I’m not against having kids in school.”
Board Vice-President Laurie Vollrath said all students need to be receiving in-person learning four days per week.
She added that the district needs to change its quarantine policy, as well as its illness policy.
Vollrath said she doesn’t agree with the district’s policy of keeping all the kids from a family home if one kid from the family is out sick, but not COVID positive.
She added that this may encourage parents to send sick kids to school.
Dyb said most school districts are doing that. It is referred to as the Sibling Exclusion.
“Then we’re going to have parents on Facebook saying, don’t tell anybody your kid has symptoms because they want to keep all their kids home,” Vollrath said.
Board Treasurer Kris Strauman recommended, because of the incubation time of COVID-19, the district bring back middle school and high school students for in-person learning four days a weeks seven days after the holiday break ends.
“Then we’ll find out if the cases have skyrocketed and we’ll have time to check out the data,” Strauman said.