Platteville Middle School students get used to the new normal

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 6:18 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Platteville School District has about 1,500 students in their entire district. 400 of those students attend the middle school. Students, teachers, and staff went back to school in-person August 31st. They are all getting used to the ’new normal.’

Everyone is required to wear masks when they are in the building, sanitize their hands before and after they leave the classroom, and head to the new ’triage’ room if they are experiencing symptoms.

Platteville Middle School has changed their scheduling from a traditional five-day in-person week to fifth and sixth graders attending classes in-person four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday then virtual on Wednesdays. Seventh and eighth graders are divided into two groups and attend in-person classes either Monday and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays.

The Principal of the middle school said they chose to do scheduling like this after speaking with their local health department and finding out that seventh and eighth graders are more susceptible to catching COVID-19. Plus, fifth and sixth graders have a harder time with virtual learning.

The Superintendent of the Platteville School District said that if there is a COVID-19 outbreak the cohort model the schools have created they believe that they will be able to quarantine the specific cohorts while the rest of the district can continue in-person learning.

Eighth grade reading and language teacher Sarah Droessler said that students are placed in a ’home room’ for the entire day. Other teachers will virtually teach lessons from their classrooms and they will be played for students in the single classroom.

“I have about seven students in my classroom all day,” Droessler said. “I hope we don’t have to do this all year but for now the cohorts help us keep other students safe if there is a positive case.”

Platteville Schools have also set up tents outside the school buildings for outdoor learning, music classes and fresh air. The schools have also had their HVAC filter systems updated to filter in as much fresh air as they can. There are air purifiers in classrooms and offices as well.

For more information about the Platteville School District safety measures click here.

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