La Crosse schools tap Harvard health unit guide to plan learning mode beyond Oct. 5

The La Crosse School District committed to virtual learning until Oct. 5
Getty Covid Teach

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The La Crosse School District opted to use the Harvard Global Health Institute guidance for schools to determine how it will provide instruction after Oct. 1.
Based on HGHI metrics about COVID-19 saturation, the district remains committed to virtual learning for all students, according to a news release the district issued Friday.
“We are committed to virtual learning until October 5, 2020,” the release said.
The district decided to use the HGHI guide “in lieu of specific state or county guidance,” the news release stated.
The institute at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., bases its guide to risk levels on the case rate but says that other factors also should be considered.
The HGHI method features a matrix that can indicate whether to move to a more restrictive environment or switch to a less limited teaching atmosphere, according to the news release.
“Regardless, schools will maintain a two week stability period before moving to a more or less restrictive learning environment unless ordered to shut down by the state or county health department,” according to the release.
Secondary metrics will help determine the mode of learning anticipate the future risk level.
Classrooms and schools will move to virtual learning for a period of time if a significant percentage of students are absent because of COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms to be determined in cooperation with the La Crosse County Health Department, the district’s news release says.
“Schools may also be closed as a result of staffing shortages that prevent safe operations or the inability to conduct contact tracing by the following day,” it says.
Starting next week, the school district will provide a weekly update on Wednesdays about COVID-19 conditions in the county and the anticipated future learning mode for students.
Those updates will be posted on the district’s website and Facebook page.
Secondary metrics indicate that COVID-19 conditions in the community are not improving, the news release said.
Beginning on Sept. 23, the district will provide information on the anticipated future mode of learning two weeks from that time.
Between Aug. 28 and Sept. 5, the school district had four positive cases in the district and three close contacts of a positive case in the district, the release says.