West De Pere opening up to in-person instruction
By Press Times Staff
DE PERE – The West De Pere school district will return to in-person classes Monday, Oct. 19, according to a letter sent from Superintendent Dennis Krueger to parents and staff Oct. 13.
“Our goal is to return to in-person learning as soon as possible to meet the educational and social/emotional needs of students in a manner that is safe for both students and staff,” Krueger wrote. “After much consideration, we have decided that we will return to Scenario A beginning on Oct. 19. The amount of time that we were in Scenario C (remote learning) allowed for all individuals previously in quarantine to return to a ‘safe status’ unless they had an additional ‘close contact’ since that time.”
West De Pere was the last major school district in the Brown County metro area to transition to remote learning starting Oct. 1, when it announced the move in a letter Sept. 28.
“Increasingly as cited through studies, it is believed that schools in session are not significant contributors to community spread,” Krueger wrote Oct. 13. “While we believe it is safe in schools while using mitigation strategies, it is behaviors outside of the school environment that are most often a cause of concern. Please continue to practice safe behaviors at all times. We are committed to continuing our practice of mitigation strategies which proved effective during our initial start of the school year. In order for us to be able to successfully continue in-person instruction, it is imperative that each individual do their part to stay safe and healthy.”
He asked students and staff to abide by the following guidelines in the letter:
• Avoid potentially unsafe situations, particularly large group gatherings.
• Check your family’s health at the start and end of each day.
• Wash hands regularly.
• Wear a face covering (required in all school buildings).
• Maintain social distancing as much as possible.
• Stay home if you are not feeling well.
In the Brown County metro area, De Pere and Ashwaubenon have decided to stay virtual until through Nov. 6.
Green Bay has used a virtual model since the start of the school year.
There has been no word from Howard-Suamico as of Wednesday, Oct. 14 of when it will transition back to a hybrid model, and no date was given when it announced the move to virtual Sept. 25.
According to the Brown County COVID-19 dashboard, as of Oct. 13, the area had 118 hospitalizations, 16 percent percent positivity over the past 14 days, and 18 percent positivity over the past 14 days for ages 5-18.
“It is also our goal to be a good community health partner in helping curb the spread of COVID,” Krueger wrote. “The Health Departments no longer have the capacity to quickly identify positive case contacts in order to maximize mitigation efforts. As a District, we work quickly to identify potential exposure and work to quarantine close contacts. We know quarantining is a challenge for families and students, but it does help to limit exposure to others.”