Blair-Taylor schools staying the course through COVID

The district has not had to close any of its schools throughout the entire school year

BLAIR, Wis. (WKBT) – Most schools have had to close at some point this academic year for a variety of reasons.

But Blair-Taylor schools stayed the course all year long.

In this day and age, there’s nothing wrong with trying to learn differently.

“I found myself struggling with doing it online and just procrastinating on stuff,” freshman Easton Arneson said.

“It’s like different because you have to just watch and not be in class,” freshman Emma Nyen said.

“It (learning online) just isn’t the same as being in-person,” freshman Gavin Shefelbine said.

Coming back and learning in school was an easy choice for these U.S. History students.

Blair-Taylor high school social studies teacher Dessa Karl is more than happy to be with the kids every day, in the auditorium.

“It’s been really nice,” Karl said. “Honestly, I mean the kids need to be in the classroom.”

And in fact, Blair-Taylor Schools have been in session all year long.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” middle-high school principal Dana Eide said.

Students are spaced apart during class and lunch, hallways are one-way avenues, and water fountains are covered up.

“Everything has had to change,” Eide said. “And we came up with some really good solutions that are working.”

Eide says a low number of students have had to quarantine this year.

And teacher shortage has not been a problem for the district.

“We’re here. We’re plugging along. It’s felt good,” Eide said.

Karl is teaching up to 25 kids in her history class, most of them electing to learn in a bigger-than-usual classroom.

“It seems a little more like a college class where you’re a little more spread out, and you have the big stage to be able to talk on,” Karl said. “But after a while I’ve been in here, it does feel like a normal class, too.”

Doing homework with a mask on is different for sure.

“It’s not usually the most comfortable thing, but after a while you just kind of get used to it,” Gavin said.

Like learning in a new, safe and creative environment.

Eide says all middle and high school students learn remotely every Wednesday to give teachers the opportunity to connect with the kids learning virtually full-time.

But that will change starting after next week because the number of students learning remotely has dropped.