ECASD plans virtual learning day Thursday after in-person learning on Wednesday

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 6:00 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - While many school in the Chippewa Valley were closed because of the winter weather, the Eau Claire Area School District remained open on Wednesday.

ECASD superintendent, Mike Johnson, said keeping Eau Claire schools in-person on Wednesday was decided after assessing the road conditions and amount of snow fall Wednesday morning.

“The main reason why we decided to have school here in Eau Claire today when many other districts did not, as we took our time and looked at the forecast, we saw some of the models with a little bit less light or snow. At 4am this morning, when student transit had called me and said the roads look pretty good. We can we can certainly do this,” Johnson said.

Student Transit director of operations, Jim Fey, said transit workers checked road conditions early this morning.

“We went out and did our typical road testing, and the plow crews and townships and city were out doing their job. We felt we could make a make a run at operating safely,” Fey said.

Johnson said the school district tries to give students and faculty as much time as they can to prepare for virtual or in-person learning.

“We have to make that decision really by about 5:15 in the morning to get word out to families and our staff across the district,” Johnson said.

Fey said student safety is always the top priority when making that decision.

“Winter weather in Wisconsin, it’s something that we have to overcome, but we would never, ever take a chance with our most precious cargo,” Fey said.

Student Transit reports that everything ran smoothly Wednesday and only a couple of buses were delayed because of weather.

“We did have a couple of busses... one got stuck in on a hill in the city and one got stuck out on a county road, but we were able to get them going. We had other busses that were able to help where they needed, where they were getting delayed, so it worked out okay,” Fey said.

Buses were also prepared to transport students back home as usual. Johnson reminds families that ultimately it’s up to them whether they let their children come to school when there are weather concerns.

As the snow started coming down again Wednesday evening, the ECASD announced it will hold a virtual learning day for students on Thursday. The Chippewa Falls School District cancelled in-person classes Wednesday and Thursday, and sent home learning materials for students.