Madison parents flood MMSD with request for virtual learning option

After initially saying a limited number of spaces would be available, MMSD says it is now working to accommodate all elementary school students whose families said they were interested in virtual learning.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 8:36 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison schools’ interest form for elementary families to request virtual learning received so many requests for the option that the district had to add hundreds of additional spaces.

Madison Metropolitan School District spokesperson Tim LeMonds said the district was originally prepared for 150 4K-fifth grade students to participate in virtual learning, because that was the availability level of their staff. After receiving the interest form, they discovered around 750 students were interested in the option.

LeMonds said the level of interest exceeded the district’s expectations.

“Obviously there’s a lot that we need to work out to accommodate that number,” said LeMonds. “But we’re working very hard to make sure that all of our families’ needs are met.”

MMSD announced that they would be offering a virtual option for some elementary families on Friday, with the deadline of Monday afternoon for families to request the option. Families were supposed to find out on Tuesday, but given the higher than expected demand, LeMonds said the district is ironing out plans and hoping to notify all families Wednesday evening.

He also asked for patience as the district plans out the virtual option, saying they wanted to give it to as many families as possible.

“The school district has a goal of being equitable and this is certainly is in line with our equity strategy,” said LeMonds. “Many of these families have good reasons why the virtual option is best for their students and so we don’t want to leave any of those families unsupported and so we’re doing everything we can to accommodate their requests.”

LeMonds also noted that COVID-19 and the Delta variant “kind of has its own time schedule” and the district is just trying to stay ahead of the curve when making these decisions.

School starts on Thursday for some students and all MMSD students will start classes Friday.

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