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Transfer numbers increase at Waunakee private school

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 5:46 AM CDT
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WAUNAKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - Saint John the Baptist Catholic School only has about 130 1st-8th graders; 21 of them are new transfers this year.

NBC15 Investigates checked in with Principal Liz Goldman, who said there was a spike in the number of transfer applications after many public schools announced they were going virtual to start the fall semester.

Goldman said even after Gov. Tony Evers ordered all 3rd-12th graders, private or public students, to learn virtually across the state, her transfer numbers didn’t waiver.

“I feel most [families], it was because they wanted in-person instruction” Goldman said. “We told everyone from the beginning, we don’t know long we’re going to be able to do in-person instruction, but we’ll do it as long as we can, but I think there were a few who said ‘even if you go to a distance-learning platform, our students are going to get a lot more attention.’”

NBC15 News contacted the Diocese of Madison for the exact number of all transfers to Catholic Schools in our area. A representative replied that those numbers won’t be totaled until mid-September.

Tuesday is also the first day of school for all students. 4K-2nd graders will begin their year with what Goldman calls a “soft start.”

This means morning classes will take place in person for these younger students, but then they will learn virtually during the afternoon.

Goldman said building those connections in person is an important piece to student learning.

“Our focus will be literacy and math as well as religion, science and social studies, then in the afternoon everyone is going to have lunch and recess time, so enough time to get home and then, they’ll start their virtual lessons.”

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