Pardeeville Area School District goes virtual through end of week due to staffing shortage

The District Administrator says more than a dozen staff members tested positive or were exposed to COVID-19
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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PARDEEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - Just three weeks into the school year, the Pardeeville Area School District is back to virtual learning after more than a dozen staff members contracted or were exposed to COVID-19.

District Administrator Jason LeMay says 14 staff members were unable to attend school but it’s the lack of substitute teachers that forced the district to switch to virtual learning.

“We depend on staff who are retired or teachers who can’t get positions in other districts to be subs,” Lemay said. “This year we have people who work for us who do not feel comfortable teaching in schools with COVID-19 still around.”

Students will be virtual through Friday, and are expected to attend class via Google Classroom. LeMay says the district is providing students with the necessary resources for online learning; hot spots are available for those who can’t access internet.

After-school activities like sports are still taking place in-person, however. LeMay says not all of the coaches are on staff so they can still run practice as usual.

But reverting back to virtual learning -- even if for a couple days -- is a blow to the districts goal to keep students learning in-person as much as possible this year.

“The business we’re in is education and some of these other things get in the way of us doing the best we can for it,” LeMay said.

Still, a vaccine and mask mandate for all students and staff is not currently up for consideration by the district although masks are required for students in grades 5-12 after the district saw an uptick in cases, LeMay said.

“It’s one of those situations that I think can always change, its forever evolving and changing,” LeMay said. “Everyone wants a black and white answer to everything but I think it goes by the situations and making the decisions that are best at that time and as a board and administration we look at what best serves our community at that time and we make that decision accordingly.”

LeMay says he does not know the exact percentage of staff who are vaccinated because the district has not asked staff to disclose that information.

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