EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Roughly two weeks have passed since the Eau Claire Area School District re-opened its doors. The school district is currently offering all virtual learning or hybrid learning, which includes two days of in-person and three days of online learning. First News at Nine’s Phoebe Murray has more on the progress seen so far.
Matt Bessen, father of two middle-schoolers said, “They won’t admit to it but they are happy to be back in school, seeing their friends, all be it behind masks.”
Bessen’s two middle schoolers are in a hybrid learning cohort that attends in-person classes two days a week and are virtual for three. His second grader is in-person four days a week and is virtual on Wednesday’s overlapping with her brothers.
Bessen said, “I’m an educator by nature and I go back to just the turmoil that happened last March of how much pressure, educators and teachers and administrators were under trying to get a system in place.”
Working in real estate and as the UW-Eau Claire Assistant Basketball Coach, Bessen says he is fortunate to work from home.
“Well they get along to a certain extent plus we have a brand new puppy at home, it is a little bit chaotic, I’m home with them on Wednesdays, but they do have some good direction and they are on task. The teachers have done a wonderful job this is not easy for the educators as well,” said Bessen.
Director of Administration Kim Koller says two new positions have been added to help with the new methods of teaching and learning.
“Those two administrators will be charged really with monitoring the 100 percent virtual program in the district, supporting the staff that are a part of that program and more importantly supporting the students and families that are a part of that program,” said Koller.
Adapting to both the pandemic and a new normal for education in the badger state.
Bessen said, “If there’s any silver lining in any of this it may be that we can look at this and recognize the hard work and the commitment to our kids that we see out of our teachers and administrators and staff workers at our local schools.”
The Eau Claire Area School District website has a newly implemented “yourvoice” feature where families can send feedback on their both at home and in-person learning concerns.
Koller says the school district on a day to day basis tries to keep their finger on the pulse of where things are going with both student and staff so that they can be responsive to those needs moving forward.