OnFocus – At Wednesday’s Marshfield School Board meeting, parents addressed the Board to ask that students be allowed back to school full time.
“In-person education is so important,” Clorissa Schmidt, a parent to each a high school and middle school student, told the Board. “If these kids could teach themselves with a computer, we wouldn’t need schools at all.”
According to the school district website, details of a back-to-school plan are currently being developed, though it is unclear when those plans will be finalized. The delay is causing frustration for parents and students.
Parent Angela Faber provided data about Columbus, Loyal, Stratford, Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids, Owen, Granton and Spencer schools, noting the low COVID numbers despite being reopened.
“We are surrounded by these districts. Everybody can make it work, but we can’t and I want to know why,” she said.
Other parents expressed concern for their children’s mental health and the implications of not attending classes in-person.
“There is something changed about her that’s never been before, and it is entirely because she does not have that motivation, that reason to get up at 6:30 in the morning,” parent Ryan Kanitz told the board regarding one of his children.
According to district correspondence, officials for the high school are “exploring options to shift from our current four-cohort model (we have been operating at approximately 25% capacity) to a two-cohort model allowing us to operate at 50% and align with the current A/B model in place at Marshfield Middle School.”
“As we increase student contact days, please be aware we will have several classrooms that will exceed our current mitigation practice for socially distancing students. To date, we have been fortunate with a relatively low number of school-related student and staff quarantines because of our ability to maintain proper physical distancing at the 25% capacity. When we shift to 50% capacity in student attendance, please understand that the likelihood of your child(ren) encountering a “close contact” and needing to complete a 10 to 14 day quarantine, when positive COVID-19 cases occur in future, could increase significantly,” they stated.
Officials reiterated that they will continue to adapt to changing situations.
“As reiterated throughout the school year, we continue to ask that you please be prepared in the case that any major outbreak of the COVID virus would happen,” they wrote. “If it were to prevent us from safely managing the building, it could require us to temporarily close the building or revert to the four-cohort model. Likewise, as the winter season concludes, we will continue to monitor the situation and determine whether the entire building can be reopened safely at some point.”
We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!