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Abby K-12 stays 4 days through first semester

The Abbotsford School District will continue instructing students in person four days a week while keeping Wednesdays virtual-only through at least the end of the first semester on Jan. 24.

Superintendent Sherry Baker did note that some schools in the state are already moving towards five-day-a week in-person instruction, but felt that the district needed more time before approving such a decision.

“For the time being we’d like to maintain it,” Baker said at the Dec. 21 school board meeting. “I think everybody would like to see kids go back to five days a week, but give us a little bit more time.”

With COVID-19 cases still high, Baker said virtual Wednesdays give the custodial staff time to sterilize classrooms and create a “firewall” between students and a potential COVID-positive person.

“Our recommendation right now is to continue to doing this through the end of the first semester,” Baker said. “I can say that the principals specifically feel very strongly about having that Wednesday be a firewall between Monday-Tuesday contact and Thursday-Friday contact.”

The board also discussed potentially limiting the amount of time needed to quarantine from 14 days down to 10 days after new information was provided by the CDC, but Baker said the district cannot do that yet with cases in Marathon and Clark counties still remaining high.

Baker also said that Gov. Evers’ mask mandate also remains in effect through January. The board’s next meeting will be Jan. 18, and Baker recommended the board wait until then to revisit bringing students in for five-day-a week in-person instruction.

“Your next board meeting is the 18th; we can bring it back again and see what you want to do, and where we are with cases in the district and the state,” Baker said. “If you decide as a board to move forward with five days, this gives parents at least a good week to get ready — which I think most already are ready.”

The district will still offer virtual only instruction for those families that want it, though high principal Ryan Bargender noted that students with poor academic performances may be required to attend in-person instruction to improve their grades, with those students to be informed in the coming weeks.

Other business

_ The board approved hiring Jonathan Piva, Fletcher Henrickson and Ean Rau as JV boys basketball coach, along with Brent Faber as a volunteer basketball coach.

_ The board approved a request from Abbotsford/Colby wrestling head coach Steven Wozniak to conduct a fundraiser for wrestling. For more information regarding the fundraiser contact Wozniak via e-mail at [email protected]

_ The board approved a proposal to make March 9, 2021, a virtual learning day for middle school students to accommodate for ACT test-taking activities.

_ The board approved a request to allow the Colby boys basketball team to play a JV2 game against Ashland at the Abbotsford gym. This is a one-time exemption because Colby Middle School’s gym is being refurbished.

_ The board made a motion to approve Saturday, May 21, 2022, for the class of 2022 graduation ceremony.