(Madison) The state Department of Public Instruction this (Monday) morning unveiled their plan for students to return to school this fall. The 87-page Education Forward plan is described as a “guidance document” for local school leaders to use as they make decisions.
The plan outlines several possible scenarios for local school boards to consider, to allow for greater physical distancing. That could include a four-day week where buildings are deep-cleaned on a fifth day. Also outlined is a two-day rotation, and a weekly rotation, where students are given the instructions in-person for virtual work assignments. Another potential scenario would see elementary students return across multiple sites, like the middle and high school campuses, while older students experience virtual learning.
The Education Forward plan notes that short-term closures of schools will remain a possibility until a vaccine is widely used. It says that teaching and reinforcing prevention behaviors will be highlighted. That includes hand washing and cough/ sneeze etiquette, while also promoting influenza vaccinations as an essential strategy in slowing the spread of infectious diseases. Frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces will also be needed.
When schools are reopened, it is likely operations will need to be modified to include: screening of students and staff for symptoms; social distancing in all settings; and isolation and timely removal of students and staff who are displaying symptoms.
Schools should plan for change throughout the next school year. The Education Forward plan says schools and districts should monitor guidance affecting their communities and be pre-pared to shift between in-person, physically-distanced, and virtual learning throughout the school year.
Read the Education Forward Plan here:
Image from www.dpi.wi.gov