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Oshkosh Area School Board to discuss back to school plan

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oshkosh Area School District has scheduled a Special Board Meeting to discuss this year’s back to school plan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the agenda for the meeting, there are four models the School Board says the District is prepared to shift into as needed:

Model 1: Full Face-to-Face Learning

  • In this model, students are fully in school and learning face-to-face with the teachers.
  • No restrictions are required.

Model 2: Face-to-Face with Partial Virtual Attendance

  • Most students are attending face-to-face, but some students are participating in learning activities from home due to quarantine/isolation.
  • New safety precautions are in place to ensure distancing and cleaning.

Model 3: Hybrid Learning

  • Half of the students are face-to-face while the other half are learning from home.
  • This would be part of an A/B schedule to cut face-to-face attendance at any given time to 50% of the student population. Students would alternate days at school and at home.
  • Learning activities at home could be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of the two.

Model 4: Fully Virtual Learning

  • Fully virtual learning would take place in the event if a district-wide or school-wide closure.
  • All teaching and learning would take place virtually, from home.
  • Learning activities at home could be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of the two.

The School Board says the Oshkosh Area School District’s eAcademy, which is independent of the traditional school environment, is also available. This is a fully-virtual option offered to families who opted not to return to face-to-face school in the fall. Students participating in Academy committed before the start of the school year and will not be included in classroom teachers’ rosters unless they enroll in face-to-face classes at semester break.

Reopening recommendations have been suggested for each level of schooling.

According to the agenda, Model 2, or modified in-person learning, is recommended for students in Pre-K through 5th grade. Model 3, or hybrid learning, is recommended for students in grades 6 through 12.

The School Board is also slated to discuss safety guidelines for students, staff, and visitors. These include face coverings, health screenings, social distancing, transportation, procedures when an individual is exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19, and more.

The Oshkosh Area School District says it sent out surveys to parents and guardians as well as staff to gain insights when creating its proposed return to school plan for this year. Staff surveys showed the majority of the 972 that responded are “highly concerned” about safety and health risks, cleaning and disinfecting practices, enforcement of safety protocols, and unknown factors regarding their job.

Results of the parent survey showed:

  • 83 percent would send their preschool or elementary school child back to school
  • 85 percent would send their middle or high school level child back to school
  • 63 percent would send their child on a bus that may not allow for social distancing
  • 65 percent say they would prefer elementary students to do all learning at school
  • 43 percent say they prefer middle school students doing all learning at school
  • 44 percent say they prefer high school students alternating between a day in class and a day with real-time hybrid learning

A motion by the School Board is required to approved the 2020-21 school year plan. The Board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, at the Perry Tipler Middle School Gymnasium.

Here’s a look at the full plan and additional details provided by the Oshkosh Area School Board:

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