School shifting away from hybrid instruction on March 2

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

After hashing through a range of considerations, including the latest COVID-19 positive statistics and health guidance, Waterford Union High School officials have opted to revert back to full in-person instruction.

At the cusp of the holiday season, the WUHS School Board gave Superintendent Luke Francois and Principal Dan Foster the authority to continue the hybrid model that has been in place most of the current school year with the caveat it be revisited before March.

When the School Board held its regular monthly meeting Feb. 22, Francois and Foster looked back at the past six months of the unprecedented school year and discussed their recommendations of how to proceed for the remaining three-and-a-half months.

WUHS had briefly flipped to a full in-person instructional model early this fall, but abruptly shifted back to hybrid with half of the students attending on alternating days after a growing number of cases of students testing positive for COVID-19 were reported.

The shift back to full in-person instruction does not mean it will fully be operations as normal. Staff and students will still have to wear face masks and adhere to other standard precautions, including social distancing and regular sanitizing efforts.

“Cooperation among students, staff and families regarding proper masking, disinfecting, hygiene and self-monitoring is essential,” Foster said.

The administrators also indicated they have and will continue to work in close consultation with the Central Racine County Health Department and review data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other resources.

The plan calls for the switch to in-person instruction on Tuesday, March 2. In the lead-up to the change, Francois said an already scheduled teacher in-service day will be devoted to making accommodations for the full student body.

“This is a significant shift that will take place,” Francois said.

Don Engler, president of the WUHS School Board, said he was pleased full in-person instruction was resuming, but also said he was concerned about the long-term impact of the actions taken this past year.

“I think keeping them out of school is going to hurt them for years to come,” he said. “Hopefully we can catch them back up. That would be the goal.”

To read the full version of this story see the Feb. 26 edition of the Waterford Post.