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Menomonie’s superintendent shares the district’s re-opening plan

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 7:28 PM CDT
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Menomonie, Wis. (WEAU) - Menomonie School District Superintendent Joe Zydowsky says this is a great time for parents, teachers, and students to model how challenging times can be handled in a productive

“Children need schooling, children need their teachers, children need our schools,” he said.

It's been six month since students and teachers have experienced in-person interaction. 

When Menomonie returns to school on September 1st, there will be five days a week in-person instruction. 

“We’ve hired additional teachers, we’re utilizing additional spaces and we’re able to prioritize strict physical distancing in kindergarten through age 6. However, 7th through 12th grade just do not have the space. So we will continue to monitor the data, there is a weekly report that comes out every Wednesday, if the data stays as it is today, we would start in-person for all students, however if the data suggests that it is just not safe, we will go to the blended learning model under the recommendation of the Dunn County Health Department,” says Zydowsky.

Zydowsky says the Menomonie school district is planning for the potential of an exposure during the school year. 

“We may have to close certain buildings, we could have to close the entire district.   We do have plans in place if there is an exposure on one of our buses. It just wouldn’t be responsible not to have plans but I do think the work that we’ve done with our staff and with the Dunn County Health Department has put us into a position where we’ll be able to contract trace and try to minimize any impact that a potential exposure would have in our school district.”

Menomonie has yet to make a final decision on whether the Mustangs will participate in fall sports. Zydowsky says while health officials will be consulted, the overall mental health of student-athletes needs to be considered.

“These are very difficult decisions because not only do we have to consider what is healthy and safe in terms of the pandemic but we have to also think about what’s healthy and safe for these students and their overall well-being.  For some of these students, missing out on activities and sports in school may be more dangerous than the pandemic itself,” said Zydowsky.

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