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Durand-Arkansaw School District approves back to school plan

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 10:21 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Durand-Arkansaw School District officially has a back to school plan.

However, it’s being met with some push back from teachers and parents.

During a special board meeting Tuesday afternoon the Durand-Arkansaw school board approved its back to school plan, which will include five days of in-person learning with an all-virtual option for families.

The decision comes following dozens of community members lining the streets before the meeting to protest the plan.

The school board had originally planned to go forward with a hybrid schedule, but that was changed to five days of in-person learning at a board meeting last month.

The proposal approved Tuesday was put forward last week, and at first did not require students to wear masks.

Following the statewide mask mandate, the district is now requiring face coverings for all students, staff, and visitors.

Concerned parents still say the plan is flawed and doesn't protect teachers and students enough.

“Students will have the opportunity to take a 100 percent virtual option if their parents don’t feel safe, but we’re still concerned that that options doesn’t protect our teachers who have to be here five days a week teaching in classrooms without proper safety measures,” said Bethany Walker, who has three children in the district.

“The plan is created to follow the recommended guidance of the CDC, DHS, and DPI regarding physical distancing and protective materials. An effort to ensure a sustainable school year opening, and it’s also designed to mitigate the risk to the school district,” explained Durand-Arkansaw School District Superintendent Greg Doverspike.

To put the plan in action, the district says it needs to purchase clear screen dividers, more staff to help with the students who are learning virtually and to reduce class sizes, among other needs.

The first day of school for students in the district is scheduled for Sept. 1.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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