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Lakeland Looks Ahead to In-Person Learning for 2021-22

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The school year may be winding down at Lakeland Union High School, but officials there are already looking ahead to the 2021-22 school year that will be in-classroom learning for the most part.

“I would love to make it,” said school board member Barb Peck, when board chairman Gary Smith asked for a motion to return to face-to-face learning. As Pam Carroll seconded the motion, someone exclaimed, “We all would like to second that motion.” The motion passed unanimously.

Depending on a student’s circumstances, remote learning may be allowed for some next year. However, the board is not authorizing synchronized learning. In that latter education option, the student is home following along live via an Internet connection as the teacher gives the daily lesson plan.

Administrator Rob Way noted that in-person learning provides the best outcome for students. He heaped praise on the staff, administration, students and parents for persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it has imposed. “It’s been a courageous year,” Way said. “It’s been an excellent year.”

“It has been a real tough year,” Smith said. “I really want to thank the administration, the students, the parents who helped the students...everybody involved.”

In line with preparing for next year, Carroll asked principal Justin Szews if he has sufficient resources this summer to provide credit recovery for students who are behind academically. He does, he replied, adding they will also make a special effort to encourage students not already notified to jump on board if they feel they need extra help.

In additional remarks, the principal said this year’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 6 would be held outdoors on the school grounds. If severe weather threatens, then they will move the event indoors. Each senior will receive five tickets for family and friends to the graduation. If COVID restrictions are further lifted, then more tickets would be made available, Szews said.

This is Szews’ last year at Lakeland. He has accepted a principal job at Three Lakes School District. The school board in special session last Thursday decided to open the position for the high school principal vacancy to outside candidates also.

It was also announced Monday that board member Matt Kock has submitted his resignation. The board is accepting applications for the position.

In another matter, Way announced that the Wisconsin Advanced Placement Advisory Council has recognized Lakeland as “a Level III Advanced Placement Pacesetter School for impressive student AP access and excellence in AP exam scores in the State of Wisconsin during the 2019-20 school year.” Way thanked the administration team and staff for making the recognition possible.

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