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Menasha goes virtual due to COVID-19 spike

Local News

MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) The COVID-19 outbreaks in our schools are evidence of how fast this virus is spreading and the Menasha Joint School District is the latest to send kids home.

Nancy McKenney, Menasha Public Health Officer says, “The case rate for Menasha is 370 cases per 100,000. It was 330 cases per 100,000. That’s high. That’s very high.”

To prevent uncontrolled community spread, the Menasha Joint School District is switching to all virtual learning.

Chris VanderHeyden, Superintendent of the Menasha Joint School District says, “We know this is not a decision we take lightly. We labored over this and we know this is difficult for some of our families and the reality is this has been the message from the beginning.”

Another factor in going all virtual was the district’s concern over staffing levels.

VanderHeyden says, “We’ve seen our ability to provide substitute teachers decline. Those items along with working collaboratively with the health department to do what’s best for our community have led us to this decision.”

Also, the safety measures students undergo in schools are not always followed once they leave.

McKenney says, “Children wearing masks in school is great, however, if they’re not doing the same thing out in the community after school, then we’re going to see some transmission.”

VanderHeyden says, “We’ll keep looking at the numbers and our hope is that they’re going to come around and in the right direction. We would like more than anyone to get back to at least this hybrid model that we’re at right now and then eventually get all our kids back in school.”

Classes and activities will continue through Tuesday of this week and virtual instruction will begin for all students on Friday, September 25th.

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