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Parents from Wausau School District hold press conference about in-person learning

Parents from the community feel unheard during virtual return to school
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 10:17 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - On Wednesday families from the Wausau School District discussed some of their issues with the virtual start to the 2020 school year.

“I have four children in the district, and I want them back in school. I’m not a teacher,” Wausau School District Parent and event organizer Jonathan Creisher said.

Wausau School Board president Tricia Zunker says that the Board wants students to return in-person as well, but only when it is safe enough.

“That’s why we’ll frequently evaluate this decision. But even today we had our first case of COVID-19 in our buildings,” Zunker explained.

During the press conference, the group stated that they wanted to keep students safe, as well as protect people who are at risk. But the group believes that with preparation, students can return to school safely.

“We are not opening up and we have not taken any precautions, and the CDC said it’s safe for our kids to go back. Why the inaction by the Wausau school board?” Wausau School District parent Charles Burger asked.

“To sit and be the only school district not back in school, in this county, that’s inaction,” Creisher added.

Before the school year started, the parents in the Wausau School District received a survey with how what start would be the best for their situation. Today parents said they feel unheard even after the results.

“80% of the respondents wanted their kids back in school, that should have been a pretty important piece of information for the board to consider, getting kids back into in-person learning,” Creisher said.

The Wausau School Board president says that all of the items will be addressed at the next meeting.

“There have been some repeated requests to address that (the virtual start). We will address the modality of instruction at our September 14th board meeting,” Zunker explained.

The group also received over 400 signatures to have an in-person meeting with the School Board before the September 14 meeting date. But according to Zunker, the bylaws state that the meeting can only be called with the School District and not the School Board. The Wausau School District does not discuss whether students learn in person, how instruction is given to students, or curriculum.

The only way for the group to be heard by the board will be at public comment during the September 14 meeting.

To make a public comment during the open session at the Wausau School Board meeting, you can send an email to the clerk here. To have the email read, you must have “public comment” in the subject line.

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