Osseo-Fairchild School District reopening plan

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 11:01 PM CDT
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OSSEO, Wis. (WEAU) - With less than a week until schools open their doors for the fall semester, one area district is ready for action.

Osseo-Fairchild Superintendent Lori Whelan says the district had been ordering PPE early-on into the pandemic and have found what will work.

“It’s called a Badger Shield Plus. It is a face shield with the mask portion underneath, it allows the teachers to be wearing a face covering at the same time it allows the students to see the teachers. We have ordered this for staff as well as student sizes for students who are having difficulty with a mask or need to communicate more effectively with our teachers,” Whelan explained.

As far as fall sports go, Whelan says that right now contact sports are being restricted because the county is at high-risk still but with declining cases. The district is moving forward with non-contact sports while the county will closely monitor when or if they get the go-ahead to begin contact sports.

Down the block at the district’s elementary school, Kalli Peterson, third grade teacher and mom to a second grader of her own knows how formative these early years for the kids can be.

“I just think that social and emotional growth—I mean that is so key in these years that a lot of our kiddos don’t have that support at home or they don’t have the structure and they just benefit from our routines from our consistency from day to day and it’s about the relationships,” she said.

At Osseo-Fairchild Elementary, 49 out of 365 students have opted for all virtual learning. At the high school 80 percent of students are coming back five days a week.

Joseph Phillips, a high school physics and chemistry teacher, says with providing three options of learning, either in-person, blended virtual or full virtual, they are ready for any scenario.

“I wouldn’t say that we have too many reservations here because we’ve covered so many bases, but I think it all comes back to the kids, we have so many services that our community depends on and we want kids to have access to that. As teachers do we know there’s a risk involved for sure, but we know that the kids come first,” said Phillips.

The support doesn’t end with academics, the school district has gone above and beyond to be there for their students during the pandemic.

“Over the summer since our school closures, our school district was able to serve 125,000 meals to our students in the Osseo and Fairchild communities. Just seeing that impact and what it has done for our community is pretty cool,” says Whelan.

On top of that, donations from local businesses flooding in have provided enough school supplies for early-childhood through 12th grade.

“We’re excited to have our students back, whether they’re on-site or virtual, I think it’s important they connect with their teachers and their staff,” says Whelan.

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