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No back to normal for school reopening

The Brillion News

This is a brief summary of a story that will appear in the Thursday, June 25, print edition of The Brillion News.

MADISON – The state Department of Public Instruction on Monday, June 22, issued an 83-page booklet on reopening Wisconsin schools in the Fall of 2020.

It does not advocate a full reopening using a pre-COVID-19 model, but suggests a mix of on-campus and remote learning.

In her letter of introduction, DPI Secretary Carolyn Stanford Taylor said the federal COVID-19 relief money – from the CARES Act – would be used to support remote learning options.

“Changes will need to be made as districts look at how they provide meals to students, transport students to and from school, move through their buildings, and gather to celebrate achievements,” she wrote.

The document assumes that no vaccine for the virus would be available for 12 to 18 months, and another wave of COVID-19 could occur, resulting in further changes to school operations or perhaps even another school closure.

It calls on schools to have a plan for going to all-virtual learning if needed.

The booklet said that some suggested actions might not apply to all schools.

But, it also assumes that all students and staff will be screened for symptoms; social distancing will be practiced in every school setting; and that students and staff who display symptoms of illness will be isolated and removed.

The models suggested are complicated. The plan mentions a four-day model, where schools are closed on the fifth day for deep cleaning, but with students doing “virtual learning” and teachers doing planning. Most schooling would be a mix, with half of the students doing virtual learning at home while the other half is is school.

The majority of the booklet is spent going into great detail about how education could be delivered under various models.

The whole document is available to read, download and print at

The booklet said that it is only guidance for local school districts as they set their own plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

One thing is clear: the “Education Forward” booklet offers no option for returning to “pre-COVID normal” schooling. The cover includes a logo reading "COVID 19 & Beyond."


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