FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Menasha back-to-school plan combines online and in-person learning

Fox Valley Regional News

MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) — The Menasha Joint School District has released a tentative plan for the upcoming school year.

School officials worked to develop the plan with the Menasha Board of Health, taking input from parents into consideration.

“Over 80 percent of our parents want kids back in school, to some degree, most of them, they want them full-go back in school,” Chris Vander Hayden, Superintendent of Schools for the school district told Local 5.

The plan recently released by the district shows elementary students returning to the classroom full time.

“We’ll try to limit their movement,” Vander Hayden said. “I would guess specials like art, music, will come to the classroom, just to try to minimize the interaction of students with other students.”

Class sizes at the elementary level average between 15 to 18 students.

Vander Hayden says the district has been working with the Health Department to work out a way to best arrange classrooms to allow for social distancing.

“We’re having to move some furniture out to create that space in the classroom but we feel that we can do that comfortably at the elementary level,” he said.

Even bigger changes are in the works for high school and middle school students.

Those pupils will only attend in-person classes twice a week.

“We have about 1,000 students at the high school,” Vander Hayden said, “so that means we’d have about 500 per day that would be there.”

The student body will be split into two groups.

Both groups will attend class in-person either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday.

The remaining weekdays will be dedicated to online learning.

“We are working on providing some training to our teachers to hopefully get to a level of proficiency with the learning management system that will help them deliver the online, at home instruction,” Vander Hayden said.

It’s the plan they have in place right now, but officials with the district say the situation is fluid.

“This is most likely going to change some between now and the first of September,” Vander Hayden said.


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