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State Releases Guidance For Return-To-School Options This Fall

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Four-day weeks and two-day student rotations are some of the suggested templates for Wisconsin schools returning this fall.

On Monday, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) put out an 87-page document with recommendations and guidelines.

State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor says she expects schools to reopen this fall, but “they will undoubtedly look different.”

She’s encouraging every district to plan for both in-person classes and remote learning.

“We’re hoping that school districts use this guidance to talk to their local health authorities as they look at what strategies and decisions they need to put in place to create an environment that is as safe as possible for students when they return to school in the fall,” said DPI Senior Policy Advisor Jennifer Kammerud, who helped devise the document.

The state education department says districts could consider four-day weeks and other methods to separate students.

One option would have elementary students attend in-person while older students would stay online.

“The Department really doesn’t have the authority to tell people, ‘You have to do it this way, you have to do it that way.’ Our role is to provide schools with the best information we can so they can make the best decisions for their school and their community,” Kammerud said.

The Department of Public Instruction will use federal CARES money to help districts offer better virtual instruction.

“Depending on the resources available, the internet access available, the platforms available to do remote learning, those things will look different in different places,” Kammerud said.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He then contributed with periodic stories until 2024. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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