MILWAUKEE — Private schools in the City of Milwaukee are busy preparing plans for returning to school this fall during the coronavirus pandemic.
The city’s Health Department released the Guidelines and Safety Checklist Tuesday afternoon as many schools prepare to welcome students back in a matter of weeks.
Schools are required to have three options for learning. In-person, virtual remote learning, and a hybrid of both. The options would be dictated by the coronavirus situation in Milwaukee.
The guidelines include information on physical distancing, face-covering/masks, protecting vulnerable populations, protective measures, infection prevention, screening and monitoring for illness, handling suspected or confirmed cases of COVID 19.
The schools are also told how to handle confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.
One positive case, they can proceed as approved. With two cases the school must submit an in-person safety assessment by the Health Department and be able to transition to remote learning or have the entire population tested.
If more than three percent of the population tests positive, the school would have to transition to remote learning for at least 2 weeks.
Wisconsin Lutheran High School (WLHS) President Dr. Kenneth Fisher said his team has been working on a plan all summer.
“We feel like we’ve got all of the elements that they are looking for in our plan. Now it’s just trying to show them where they are in this 38 pages of single-spaced 10 point font that allows us to show all the protocols and expectations are being met,” Dr. Fisher said.
WLHS is scheduled to start school on the 26th of August so they planned to submit their plan immediately.
“We need to move quickly, we’re encouraged that they've given us the target. We’re no longer throwing darts in the dark,” he said.
Milwaukee Montessori School Head of School Monica Van Aken said her school will submit their plan right away also. Van Aken said the school got good practice during summer school. With 200 kids in summer programs, they had zero cases in students, but one in June and one in July in employees.
“A lot of what we were able to write about were things that we were able to practice over the course of the summer,” said Van Aken about the schools plan.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Tuesday he anticipates a quick turnaround on the school plans from the Health Department.