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Monroe middle school students return to hybrid learning

After nearly two weeks of all-virtual learning, parents say they are glad their kids are back in the building.
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 5:07 PM CDT
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MONROE, Wis. (WMTV) - Monday marked the first day back in-person for students at Monroe Middle School, after nearly two weeks of all-virtual learning. The school switched to virtual after several students and staff tested positive for COVID-19 or had to quarantine.

“I was very happy when they said he could come back today,” said Crystal Andrews, a Monroe Middle School Parent.

Andrews said her fifth grade son has a learning disability, and he struggled when the school switched to all-virtual at the end of September.

“It was just a heartache trying to get him to do his homework, and it’s just so hard at home to to find a room where he can be by himself and not have any distractions,” she explained.

Other parents echoed Andrews' struggle.

“It’s hard being a working parent and having to help them,” said Karena Diaz.

Tom McLean, another parent, said it is even harder juggling multiple kids.

“We’re chasing around a 1-year-old and then schooling three kids, we’re ready for him to come back,” McLean explained.

The coronavirus pandemic is still a concern for parents, but some said they feel the school is doing the right thing.

“As long as stuff stays under control, I’m fine with her going back,” Diaz said.

Principal Brian Boehm said he and his staff are still enforcing masks, social distancing and several other precautions.

“It’s hand sanitizers, a whole regime of deep cleaning that goes on nightly and also over the weekend,” Boehm described.

As of Monday, the Monroe School District’s COVID-19 dashboard showed one middle school student tested positive for COVID-19. Three middle school students and two staff members are in quarantine, down from over 40 when the school switched to virtual.

The school is still hard at work limiting the spread.

“We work closely with our county and the public health in the county and then we have contact tracing that goes on,” Boehm explained.

Boehm said they are prepared to switch back to virtual quickly if it is needed, but parents and staff hope for the best.

“It’s really that balancing act, we want to keep schools open but we [have to] do it safely,” Boehm said.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is encouraging all school districts to continue working with their local health departments to make the safest plans for students and staff.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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