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New quarantine policy

Stratford school board wants all students in-person by next semester

The Stratford Board of Education on Monday voted to work toward eventually having all students return to inperson learning in the school buildings during the second semester of this school year.

For this to occur, the school board approved the school district administration’s recommendation to have students follow the Marathon County and Wisconsin health departments and the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) new seven and 10-day COVID-19 quarantine options in place of the 14-day quarantine. School board president Chris Dickinson was excused from attending Monday’s meeting.

Under the new COVID-19 quarantine options, people who get tested for COVID-19 on the sixth or seventh day after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 could end their quarantine after the seventh day, as long as the person tested negative for COVID-19 and isn’t showing any symptoms. People who don’t get tested for COVID-19 after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID- 19 could end their quarantine after the 10th day if they aren’t showing any symptoms.

Scott Winch, schools superintendent, said he realizes some schools will refuse to play against Stratford’s sports teams because the Stratford School District is following these new COVID- 19 quarantine options, but he said it’s a risk the school district is willing to take in order to get all its students back to in-person learning.

“The goal would be to have everyone back in the buildings for the fourth quarter,” Winch said.

He said the Athens varsity boys basketball team wouldn’t play against Stratford on Friday, even though eight of the nine Tiger players who were quarantined got tested and were negative for COVID-19, because Athens School District is still following the 14day COVID-19 quarantine protocol for its students. He said the Mosinee and Wausau Newman varsity boys basketball teams, however, were fine playing against Stratford before its 14-day quarantine ended.

Janeen LaBorde, Stratford middle/ high school principal, said she discovered in her e-mail exchange with area school districts that Athens, Abbotsford, Edgar, Marathon and Prentice are still following the 14-day COVID-19 quarantine.

Stratford School District’s reopening plan consists of attempting to have as many of the 60 students who are currently studying virtually from home return to in-person school when the third quarter begins on Thursday, Jan. 21. The school district’s administration then hopes to have all its students back in the school buildings when the fourth quarter starts on Tuesday, March 30.

In other school news:

_ The school board voted to revise the high school’s graduation requirements. Students will now need to complete the following list of requirements to graduate from Stratford High School: a letter of recommendation, resume, cover letter, two artifacts from each year in high school for a total of eight and one artifact reflection from each year in high school for a total of four.

LaBorde said examples of student artifacts are an English essay paper or a project in the metals and woods shop.