School District of La Crosse explores transition plan for in-person learning

Local News

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, schools continue to yearn for normalcy. First News at Nine’s David LaClair shares what one district is doing to return to a full in-person week.

Learning in a hybrid model has been an adjustment for Logan Middle School parents like Tim Miller.

“Everybody had to learn something new, a new mold, a new way. I was blessed to be able to work at home, which was also kind of tough. I had to balance working, and the boys’ school schedules, but we made it work,” said Miller.

Since the beginning of February, middle and high school students in the School District of La Crosse have attended classes in a hybrid fashion.

Dr. Aaron Engel, School District Of La Crosse Superintendent said, “They’ve been two days a week in person, two days virtual and the Wednesdays have been a virtual learning day for all.”

Monday night, Superintendent Dr. Aaron Engel shared the district’s plan to transition back to 5-day, in-person learning.

“So far, we’ve seen very few cases of COVID-19 in our schools, and when we’ve seen positive cases there’s been extremely few close contacts,” said Engel.

Some challenges the district face are maintaining proper distancing and contact tracing…

Engel said, “Once we double the current population in our buildings, we won’t be able to guarantee six feet of distance between students in some of our classrooms and in the halls.”

With the right precautions in place, Engel says he’s willing to take the chance while being as careful as possible.

“We know that coming back in a hybrid model adds a bit of risk for parents and certainly coming back five days a week, but as things improve in our community, as there’s less covid in our community, that decreases the likelihood there will be any spread at school,” said Engel.

Parent Tim Miller said, “Both of my boys love being at school in person, I don’t think there’s any way you could replace that face-to-face interaction between friends and teachers.

It’s a solution that the district believes will please parents, teachers and students.

In La Crosse, David Laclair, First News at Nine.

Dr. Engel says the School District of La Crosse hopes to have a plan in place this week and will provide more info on the district website when it becomes available.

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