First day back to in-person learning a success for Wausau School District

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 6:43 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Monday, Nov. 2 marked the first day back to in-person classes for students in the Wausau School District, after spending nearly the first three months virtually.

Wausau School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Hilts said on Monday that despite some minor issues, the day went very well overall.

“To see students again and to see staff excited to see students was wonderful,” Hilts said.

Students of all grade levels in the Wausau School District marched their way back to in-person learning, but heading back to school during a pandemic has its challenges.

“We’re doing a lot of things that we didn’t use to do and to do something new in your position has really become the commonplace right now, it’s the norm,” Hilts said.

He said the first day back at school was successful when kids enter school each day they’re required to sanitize.

Desks are also over six feet apart and masks are required at all times for anyone in the building as well.

Hilts said now is the time to work out the kinks and communication between the district, teachers, and families are going to be key in the success of students.

“Trying to help parents understand what in-person learning [will] look like, it’s not going to look like it did before and how will virtual [learning] continue and even trying to help staff try and finalize class lists,” he said.

Some families may have experienced busing issues on the first day back, Hilts said it’s an issue the district is aware of, but it can be difficult for drivers to figure out with many kids still learning virtually.

“They’ve been working fast and furious to make sure they know where all who is getting picked up, because obviously, a number of students are staying virtual as well so we just encourage parents to contact the bus company, they will work that out,” Hilts said.

NewsChannel 7 reached out to First Student for comment on potential busing issues but did not hear back.

Students in elementary school will meet five days per week, while secondary students are in a hybrid/cohort model, meaning students are split up by their last name.

Hilts said he hopes to continue this model in the district for the rest of the school year.

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