Onalaska schools tweak plan to resume in-person classes Jan. 19

Pma;asla Dostroct

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — The Onalaska School District has updated its plan for a successful transition to in-person programming beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, after extensive virtual classes because of COVID-19.
The plan, which the school board approved Monday night, calls for all elementary students to attend daily, while middle school and high school students will begin with a blended model of Group A on Monday/Thursday and Group B on Tuesday/Friday.
New information in the plan indicates that it is safe to conduct in-person programming when mitigation measures are used as much as possible, even when community spread of the coronavirus is on the upswing, according to a memo from Superintendent Todd Antony to parents and guardians.
Decision-making is focusing on internal measures related to the virus and the success of the district’s mitigation strategies, the memo says.
“The first strategy is to please keep your child at home if they are experiencing symptoms of the virus, notify the school and have your child tested,” Antony wrote.
Other strategies include universal mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand washing and other hygiene expectations, and enhanced air quality measures.
“It is important to know that we will have students and staff members who test positive,” he wrote. “When that happens our response will be to conduct contact tracing to determine any close contacts to the positive case(s) and work with those individuals and their families on necessary isolation and quarantine measures.”
At other times, groups of students may need to stop in-person classes because of COVID-19, he wrote.
“We will do everything possible to communicate these situations in a timely manner,” according to the superintendent. “However, families should be ready with a Plan B for their children at any time.”