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State offers school reopening options

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on Monday released guidance on reopening K-12 schools in the fall, mainly giving school districts a range of options on how to conduct hybrid in-person and distance learning instruction.

The guidelines call for Center for Disease Control social distancing, use of masks when appropriate and giving custodial staff one day during the weekday to “deep clean” buildings.

None of the guidelines are mandatory.

Here are the scenarios laid out for school districts to consider:

_ The Four Day Week. Here, all students attend school in-person for four days. Students have a single day of virtual education when their school is disinfected.

_ The Two Day Rotation. Half of students report to school two full days (such as Monday/Tuesday), while the other half report on two other days (Thursday/Friday). Students will be provided with both standard in-class and virtual learning materials.

_ The A/B Week Rotation. Half the student body attends school one week, the other half of students attends the following week. When not at school, students will have virtual lessons. These are four day weeks. A fifth day is used for school cleaning and teacher preparation.

_ The Elementary Face-to-Face Plan. In this option, elementary students will get in-school instruction across multiple buildings (including, for example, a middle school) to reduce student-teacher ratios. Students in the upper grades will get virtual learning.

The DPI guidelines call for “the timely isolation and removal” of students or staff who are sick with COVID- 19, but don’t describe a scenario where a school needs to close due to illness.

The guidelines say that schools need to take care to meet the needs of special education, gifted and talented and English Learning students.

The guidelines do not address extra- curricular activities. Nor do they address how to handle bus transportation of students to keep social distancing.