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School districts providing COVID-19 plans for parents

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 6:32 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Parents in the Merrill School District are confused after receiving a virtual schedule from the district. Superintendent John Sample answered that confusion saying the schedule sent out was the District trying to be proactive.

“No indication right now that we are going to be shut down, but we want to be prepared in case we do. This was an opportunity to be out in front of this as much as possible,” Dr. Sample said.

Merrill will be staying in person despite having a few positive cases within the last few days. The district says that they plan to keep parents in the loop if there are any changes.

“We learned that it’s a very uncomfortable feeling not to be in the communication loop and not knowing what to expect, so we’re trying to stay out in front of this as much as possible now,” Dr. Sample added.

The importance of communicating is shared by other schools in the area like Stevens Point, which is using a hybrid learning model for their students.

“Should we have to move back into a virtual environment for a few weeks, we feel like giving folks the information ahead of time as much as possible,” Stevens Point Public School District director of communications Sarah O’Donnell explained.

One way that Stevens Point School District is keeping parents informed is with their online COVID-19 dashboard, which shares the positive cases inside of their buildings.

“We wanted to make sure that not only are we providing information for people that are in buildings to help them make decisions on what is happening in schools. But also folks may consider coming back into schools we wanted to provide them information as well,” O’Donnell stated.

Both Merrill and Stevens Point will remain in their classes for now. But if a drastic change is needed they will be ready.

“We are fully virtual if it were to happen for tomorrow, we’re ready to go. Our communication is going to be in place, our staff understands depending on the situation they might have to work from home, or there may be flexibility where they can work from home or come into the building,” Dr. Sample said.

“We know there are positive things happening in schools between teachers and students, and we’re looking forward to keeping that momentum going,” O’Donnell added.

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