GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Unified School District of De Pere releases “Return to School” plan

Local News

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – With roughly five weeks to go before the start of the new school year, another school district is releasing a draft of its return plan going forward. Kris Schuller spoke with parents in the Unified School District of De Pere to get their thoughts on the school’s recommendations.

In roughly five weeks the school year begins again in the Unified School District of De Pere. And Gerald Cornelius says his daughter will be returning to a classroom.

“My child personally will be going to school, so they can have that social interaction with other children that is truly essential growing up,” said Cornelius.

She’ll be able to under the recommendations laid out in this “Return to School” plan, just released by the school district, which many parents are still trying to digest.

“As a parent we are respectful of the teachers and the school board for having to process through all this,” said parent Jeff Foote.

What they are trying to do is return kids to the classroom, while making student and staff safety a top priority.

Under the plan there are multiple scenarios suggested. Grades 4K-6 would return to a classroom and be in-person every day. Grades 7 through 12 would be divided into two groups – with each group at school two days a week with online learning the remaining days. But parents would also have the option, no matter their child’s grade, to enroll them into full-time online learning.

“There are some kids that would be able to do that and it would be a lot safer that way, until people are just more comfortable with being able to just leave,” said parent Kyle Plzak.

“I like that there are options available to us, so it’s just not one way – we’re going to explore every option,” said Cassandra Cornelius, Gerald’s wife.

Also recommended – all K-12 students and staff returning to school wear face masks and if the pandemic evolves, the district would have the ability to adjust plans quickly.

“I think it was definitely a tough decision. But I think they have everybody’s best interest at heart just trying to keep everybody safe,” Cassandra said.

A plan for moving forward for these parents and the school district as they deal with these uncertain times.

“Everybody is trying to figure out something, they’ve never had to figure out before,” Foote said.

The plan now heads to the district’s school board for a vote – August 3.

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