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COVID-19 Forces Rhinelander Elementary School to Close

School District of Rhinelander

UPDATE: Since this story was published, additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at Crescent Elementary. District Superintendent Eric Burke said instead of bringing students into the building tomorrow, they will be letting parents know children should stay home the remainder of the week. A schedule will be sent out for distribution of Chromebooks on Friday, Oct. 16.

COVID-19 has forced the closure of one Rhinelander elementary school for two weeks. School District of Rhinelander Superintendent Eric Burke said the decision to close Crescent Elementary School was made on Wednesday because COVID-19 quarantining has created a staffing shortage. The district had been moving staff to buildings where teachers were needed, but it reached a “tipping point” where that was no longer feasible.

Students will attend school Thursday to prepare for remote learning and to get their Chromebooks and other materials. They are expected to return to in-person learning Nov. 2.

Burke said he and Crescent Principal Gayle Daniel will be communicating with families Wednesday via social media and will provide details such as school breakfast and lunch distribution. Daniel put out a letter to Crescent families Tuesday, indicating that a positive test result from the school led to additional staff and students having to quarantine, including Daniel.

“Keeping the students safe with in-person learning is our absolute priority,” Daniel stated in the letter to Crescent families. “Having stated this though, it will be important that all families are prepared for the possibility of closing Crescent School for a time period if more positive cases present themselves over the next few days.”

She emphasized the importance of “the 3 W’s” of wash hands, wear a mask and watch your distance.

“It’s important to communicate to our families that we’re taking a team approach with the community,” Burke said. “What affects the community affects the schools and  the schools affect the community. We’re in this together.”