(Beaver Dam) School officials in Beaver Dam have a plan in place to address non-education-related needs in the event they are forced to keep kids at home and implement virtual learning districtwide. In addition to an education, school districts have become ground zero for a host of other community offerings for children. Superintendent Mark DiStefano says school may be the only source of food for some, while others may have limits to broadband access, or childcare.
“We’d set up two to three locations in the district – schools – to use not as traditional schools but to use as community resource locations, in the event we are all-virtual, for students and families that have specific needs,” he says.
DiStefano notes that establishing community resource locations would be subject to any public health orders.
“We’re hoping that even in the context of an order to close school that we would be able to use schools as community resource locations,” he says, “and set them up in such a way that we would be able to allow the students with the most need the opportunity to come in and access resources, that they might not otherwise have available to them, that could negatively impact their education or well-being.”
Staffing the community resource locations would present its own challenges.
“If we’re not in person, and there’s a reason for that, I think requiring staff to show up in person every day might not necessarily be the best practice because we could be creating other needs or drains on resources,” DiStefano says adding, “I think they would have to come in for certain days…I definitely see support staff and other staff members here providing supervision and access to resources.”
Participation would be based on the most need and from there would be opened gradually to more students based on space availability. Possible locations referenced include the high school and Prairie View Elementary because they are climate controlled and are large enough for social distancing.