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Gillett School district releases back-to-school plan

Local News

GILLETT, Wis. (WFRV) – The Gillett School District has released its plan for students to return to the classrooms in September.

According to a letter sent to parents on Thursday, district officials plan to reopen on September 1, full-time and five days a week.

“Due to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the pandemic, we may very well be told how we must do school by a higher authority, but in the absence of any such directive, the Gillett School District will hold school in-person, five days a week for all grade levels.”

The letter says that the Gillett School District has partnered with Acellus to provide online and in-person instruction “to allow for a smooth transition between face to face instruction and virtual
instruction” while keeping the grading system intact. This will be used for all grade levels.

The school district will also require students to wear masks while riding a school bus, upon entering and exiting school, and whenever social distancing is not possible or when physical barriers aren’t practical. Masks won’t be required during physical activity or if a student has an underlying health condition.

All adults in the Gillett School District will be required to wear masks. This includes all staff and those who may be entering schools throughout the day.

“We must all take the face-covering measure seriously to prevent a total building closure,” Superintendent Todd Hencsik says in the letter. “I will suggest if you have not done so already, that you begin to practice appropriate personal hygiene and face-covering protocols with your children.”

The Gillett School District will serve single lunches according to the guidelines they have received. At the start of the year, the district will have closed campus for lunch, but this could be changed as the year goes on.

To mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the school district says it is requiring masks in common areas, distancing students during transitions, lunch, classroom, and recess, and cleaning the buildings.

The letter goes on to encouraged parents to keep children home if they have symptoms, to be prepared “for an ever-changing situation and flexible in order to activate back-up plans on your end,” and to continue practicing safe hygiene habits.

The Gillett School District says it will begin contact parents and guardians in August to gather additional information in order to plan for fall instruction. The letter includes a list of questions the district will ask to gather information:

  • Do you plan to transport your child to and from school?
  • Will your child/children be attending in person or virtually?
  • How many students will be using wifi simultaneously?
  • Are there changes in your internet service since we last contacted you last spring?

“In our ever-changing environment, these plans may change and we may need to pivot on a moment’s notice,” Hencsik says.

In Northeast Wisconsin, the Unified School District of De Pere, Notre Dame Academy, the Howard-Suamico School District, and Menasha have released their back-to-school plans. Some districts, like Milwaukee and Madison, have already announced students will start the school year virtually.

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