Lemonweir, Tomah Area School has first suspected student COVID case

Less than a week after reopening their doors, we have learned that a student at Lemonweir Elementary, part of the Tomah Area School District, is a suspected positive case for COVID-19. Families were notified by a letter from the superintendent.

“Whenever we receive information that there’s a suspected or a confirmed COVID case we’re going to walk through our procedures. And a suspected case is when a student is awaiting a test becuase they’ve been in proximity with a person that’s been confirmed and also is symptomatic,” said Mike Hanson, superintendent of Tomah Area School District.

Lemonweir took steps before the school year started, like moving desks around for socially distanced seating, and put hand sanitizer stations in every room.

“We’ll continue with our mitigation practices like hand washing, highly recommending to wear masks during the day, that cohort methodology, so that we limit the transitions with our students back and forth,” said Hanson.

Lemonweir is still not requiring students or teachers to wear masks in the classroom.

Other school districts are paying attention to the decisions at Lemonweir, one specifically is the Holmen School District.

And their plan for reopening..

“Six feet of social distancing, requiring masks,” said Jill Mason, director of student services at Holmen School District.

And for parents who are wary of sending their students back into the classroom, especially after this suspected COVID case.

“I know that Tomah does have a virtual option.. our school districts in La Crosse have the Coulee Region virtual academy that we created so we are as school districts are trying to get really creative with what we’re offering so for families who don’t feel comfortable sending their students have a place.. have another option for high quality instruction,” said Mason.

And across the state educator unions are calling for schools to reopen virtually. Union leaders from Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Racine sent a letter to Governor Tony Evers urging him to require that schools reopen virtually.

According to La Crosse School District Officials, their plan for COVID positive students remains to be thought out, “Things are very fluid right now, and our student services and nursing staff is still working on what those protocols are and will continue to make changes to that work as we wait on additional guidance from the La Crosse County Health Department this week.” -La Crosse School District.