The Shorewood School Board unanimously approved a plan on Tuesday evening, July 28, to begin the 2020-21 school year using a Virtual+ Learning Model district-wide. This model will be implemented from the first day of school on Tuesday, September 8, through the end of the first quarter, Friday, November 6, at which time the District will reassess using Gating criteria.
“The continued presence of COVID-19 in our region has altered all of our lives significantly and required our district to examine how to open schools safely while providing the high quality education all of our students deserve,” says Shorewood Superintendent Bryan Davis.
The proposed plan was recommended to the Board by Dr. Davis and based on feedback from over 1000 staff and parent surveys, the Shorewood School District Reopening Work Group, which was composed of 50 parents, community members, staff and medical professionals, and the Staff Reopening Work Group composed of over 50 staff members. This plan will provide the school district with guidance until we get a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.
The Virtual+ learning model will be very different from the “emergency learning” conducted last spring in a number of key ways. Virtual+ learning will provide:
- Live Video Classes - Structured schedules for students to attend synchronous (live) classes with teachers, along with time for teachers and students to check in on any questions and concerns that arise during the school year. Details of the new Virtual+ Learning schedules can be found in the attached report.
- Scheduled In-person Access to Staff - Scheduled in-person access to school buildings and staff for small group and individual education, therapy, and counseling services. Strict safety precautions such as masks, social distancing, and the cleaning of indoor spaces between uses will be required when students and staff are on campuses.
- Limited Student Supervision at School - Supervision at school for families who cannot be home during daytime virtual learning hours. Due to the District’s limited capacity, this service is only for students and families who have no other options for child supervision during the school day.
Similar to last spring:
- Students who need access to a laptop will be provided with a device.
- Students who need access to wifi will be provided with a device containing an integrated hotspot.
- Food service is available for breakfast and lunch each weekday.
Please note, the attached report is an overview and not a comprehensive plan. The District anticipates that complete, operationalized plans for each Shorewood school will be presented to the School Board at an August 11 meeting.
For the remainder of the summer, Shorewood teachers and staff will focus on the training and implementation of the Virtual+ Learning model. Staff will also continue to prepare school buildings for health and safety protocols, which will be put into place as staff return to the buildings in August and as individual and small groups of students return in September.
“As we move beyond the first quarter this year, I am hopeful we can reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community and region and move to a hybrid model of face-to-face learning and eventually into a full face-to-face classroom setting,” says Davis. “Any decision we make to move from Virtual + to a hybrid or face-to-face model will be based on guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, North Shore Health Department, and the Shorewood School Board. We are committed to continuing our tradition of excellence in education through whatever learning model we adopt to ensure the health and safety of our students, families and staff.”