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Wausau Schools To Be Virtual To Start The Fall

WAOW Television

The Wausau School Board decided schools will start the fall semester virtually as concerns about COVID-19 linger.

"We decided to go with the more cautious option. You know we're always focused on the health and safety of students and staff," said Superintendent Keith Hilts about the decision.

The board said it will reexamine the way in which schools operate on a monthly basis. So, if the COVID-19 situation improves, students could end up back in the classroom later this year.

Hilts said more details about the plan will be released in the next week. But students and teachers can expect virtual learning in the fall to be different than it was in the spring.

"It will look different from the spring because we've learned a lot in terms of educating students in a remote setting. So there will be more structure. The teachers will get additional professional development related to flip learning or virtual learning," Hilts said.

However, many have expressed concerns about the virtual learning model especially when it comes to internet access.

Hilts said access to internet is something the administration is working on going into the fall semester.

"We are completing the development of a hub model which will serve specific needs of students and certain classes.  We can identify families who need additional support and give them a space with adequate internet access," Hilts said.

Amanda Ostrowski with the Marathon County Health Department called in to the meeting to answer board member questions. She also said it would take the entire Wausau community working together to get students back in the classroom safely.

"It's not the sole responsibility of the school to bring kids back to school. We need everybody, business owners, parents, non-parents, community members, everybody to be practicing the preventative measures," Ostrowski said.

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