Grafton School District releases fall re-entry plan
By Ashley Haynes
GRAFTON — It’s up to Grafton School District families whether they want their kids in the classroom this fall or if they want to keep them at home. The Grafton Board of Education went through the district’s fall reentry plan this week, which shows that both in-person classes for the full week and virtual learning will be offered. And of course there will be noticeable changes that students will see when they get back to their respective buildings.
“I have no profound statement or thoughts relative to the action we’ve just taken ... this is truly uncharted territory that will have a profound impact on students and staff and on the community,” said board President Paul Lorge Monday night.
The re-entry plan shows that for students in grades 4K-5 that opt for virtual learning, each pupil will be assigned a homeroom teacher. Live virtual learning will be offered for core subjects and asynchronous instruction will be offered for noncore subjects. This involves recordings for independent learning at any time.
For students in grades 6-12, classes will be livestreamed for virtual students, who can tune it at their normally scheduled times. Canvas will be their primary method of accessing classwork and assignments and virtual students may be assigned alternative activities.
From Aug. 2 to Aug. 12, parents will be asked to select whether they want online or in-person learning.
According to Monday evening’s presentation, the school district has bought more audio and visual equipment to help with virtual learning this fall, including 150 webcams, classroom sound/microphone systems, and Chromebooks for 11th and 12th grade students.
Students will be required to bring a face mask to school each day. All students and staff will be provided with two each. Anyone in school buildings will be required to wear the masks when they cannot socially distance.
“I would be very concerned without the masks because we know that children can spread the disease and we’ve heard (about) all the droplets and face coverings and how important it is,” said board Clerk Jo Maehl.
She added she believed schools would have to close down “a lot quicker” if students are not required to wear masks at all time.
Superintendent Jeff Nelson said if the district were to require wearing masks at all times, the board would need to decide if there would be a punitive response for students who do not do so.
Maehl countered that requiring masks could be akin to enforcing dress codes.
The plan was amended to say that mask wearing will be up to each staff member’s discretion in the classroom.
As for cleaning school buildings, the district has expanded cleaning services. There will be periodic disinfecting of common areas and nightly deep cleanings. Each classroom will have sanitation supplies and the buildings will have upgraded air filters. Social distancing will be maintained whenever possible and students will be taught to stay to one side of the hallways while avoiding touching the belongings of others.
There will be new flexible seating layouts to replace collaborative tables. Teachers will use plexiglass partitions when talking with students.
Guidelines have been put in place for if a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, with students being assigned varying lengths of virtual learning and staff members being required to staff home.
To see the whole re-entry plan, visit www.grafton. k12.wi.us/for_parents/ reopening_plans.