Waunakee School District reverses decision on all-virtual start to school year for K-4 students

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 3:33 PM CDT
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WAUNAKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - During a Board of Education meeting Monday, the Waunakee School District voted to reverse its decision on an all-virtual start to the school year for K-4 students.

In a 4-3 vote, the board voted to adopt a four-day in-person hybrid school week for students in grades K-4, with half days on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

There will be a.m. and p.m. sections, and Wednesday will be used for remote learning while the schools are cleaned. Members of the same household will be placed in the same section.

The board voted unanimously to keep students in grades 5-12 learning virtually for the beginning of the school year.

Parents of K-4 students will still have the option to opt for all-virtual learning.

Before the board voted during Monday’s meeting, many spoke up about their feelings on the issue including some parents who asked the board to consider in-person learning. One father spoke about his son having autism and how virtual learning has not been the best fit for the family. Another parent spoke, saying he has seen other districts with less resources decide on

NBC15 reached out to the district following the vote. Superintendent, Randy Guttenberg says it would have been impossible to come to a decision that would please everyone.

“We are trying to put forth the best educational opportunities for our kids,” said Guttenberg.

He says its been a challenging time for families and the district as a whole. “Speaking for my staff, we miss our students. We didn’t get in this business to work behind a computer screen...we came into this business to work with students,” he said.

He also says things need to be handled in the safest way possible.

While Governor Evers is denying claims that he is planning to mandate virtual learning statewide, we asked the superintendent for his thoughts on the matter.

“There’s always challenges with how to universally make a decision across an entire state versus an individual district but putting it on the local communities causes some big challenges.”

He says this has created division in the community. “Which is not what we’re about as an educational entity. We’re about bringing people together,” said Guttenberg.

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