Wisconsin teachers unions call for statewide virtual learning

Coronavirus

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Teachers from two unions came together on Wednesday to call on the Department of Health Services to move all schools to virtual learning.

Members of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association and Madison Teachers, Inc. called on DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to order all schools to hold virtual instruction this year.

“We cannot rely on individuals to make good decisions in a pandemic. It requires a systemic response. It’s why we have government, it’s why we pay taxes. We’re calling on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to do their job and protect our students, educators and families,” says Amy Mizialko, President of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.

Many schools across Northeast Wisconsin have had to transition to virtual learning in response to a growing number of COVID-19 cases.

The Oconto Unified School District and the Pulaski Community School District most recently announced their transition to virtual learning.

Notre Dame Academy shared a letter with families on Monday, saying the move is in response to “health and safety circumstances surrounding COVID-19 in the Green Bay area.” Virtual learning will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

The Denmark School District announced its transition to virtual learning in response to new and increasing cases of COVID-19 Monday afternoon. According to a letter shared with families, there are 20 staff members out due to close contact quarantines or positive cases. Student absences have risen above 200.

The Gillett School District has also announced it will transition to virtual learning, as will the School District of West De Pere.

Last week, many Northeast Wisconsin school districts announced they would transition to remote learning.

On Friday, the Ashwaubenon School District announced it will transition to remote learning on Thursday, Oct. 1, in response to COVID-19.

According to a letter shared with families, the decision was based on many factors, “including the significant community spread of COVID-19, local hospitals being burdened by critical numbers of hospitalizations, and the overall safety of our students, staff and community members.”

Across Northeast Wisconsin, Crivitz School District has also announced a transition to virtual learning due to staffing shortages created by mandatory quarantining for staff.

The Howard-Suamico School District says they will transition on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Virtual learning will remain in place “until community health conditions improve.”

The Unified School District of De Pere also announced the transition “due to new cases of COVID-19” and “the resulting need to quarantine a large number of students and staff.” The decision was also based on local hospitals reporting that they have reached a critical stage with the number of hospitalizations they are experiencing.

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