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La Crosse schools kick off return to in-person learning

A return to the classroom for in-person learning for Northside Elementary parents has been a...
A return to the classroom for in-person learning for Northside Elementary parents has been a day of anticipation.(WEAU)
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:36 PM CST
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -

Today marked a return to in-person learning for elementary school students in the School District of La Crosse.

In this year of COVID, parents and staff say now is the right time to go back.

A return to the classroom for in-person learning for Northside Elementary parents has been a day of anticipation.

“Our daughter who’s here today is thrilled to the moon and back,” said Regan Mueller. “She loves school, she loves her teacher.”

“It’s been rough since they haven’t been in school,” said fellow parent Jessica Jobs.

After virtual learning the entire first semester, Superintendent Dr. Aaron Engel says now is the right time to return.

“We were following Harvard Global Health Institute’s guidelines for opening schools,” said Dr. Engel. “Based on the ten months of research we have around COVID, we know now that with strict enforcement of safety protocols we can re-open for in-person, even at high rates of community spread. Fortunately, our rates are pretty low right now.”

With a gradual set schedule for each grade, the district looks to make the transition back to in-person as safe as possible.

“This short week, we’re bringing back Kindergarten through second-grade students, next week it will be 3, 4 and 5th grade students will be in-person,” Engel said. “The following week, our 6 through 8th graders will be here in a hybrid model, they’ll be here two days a week—and our last group, our high schoolers will be in hybrid model as well.”

“Even though COVID is still happening, I think it’s good everybody’s going back to school and we’re finally moving forward,” said Jobs.

“We’ve had time together as a family and I get a new understanding of what school’s like for each of our children, but this is where they’re meant to be,” Mueller added.

For both parents, they are just happy to see a return to some normalcy.

Dr. Engel says those students affected by COVID-19 still have the option of learning virtually.

Social distancing and mask guidelines are strictly enforced in each school building.

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