School District of Menomonee Falls pauses return to in-person learning due to spike in cases

Posted at 1:29 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 23:35:39-04

Menomonee Falls students 4K through second grade will not be fully returning to in-person learning yet, the district announced Friday.

In an email to parents, the School District of Menomonee Falls said that a local spike in positive coronavirus cases is the reason why 4K through second graders will not be returning to in-person learning as originally planned for Oct. 5.

The district said it would plan to continue in its current hybrid model for 4K through 12th grade, except for families who chose to go fully virtual.

"We are continually monitoring the balance between our commitment to student, staff, and community health and our obligations to maximize student learning. Our decision to pause returning to in-person instruction was made with a careful review of data in our decision-making matrix," the district said in an email. "This change is the direct result of increased activity that we see within our internal district metrics, which includes positive cases, students in quarantine, and staffing levels."

The district's dashboard shows 6 kids, who may or may not be SDMF students, living within its boundaries have COVID-19. 6 staff members were either absent or working remotely due to the virus.

"We feel like our mitigation efforts in schools the mask wearing, the social distancing, the hygiene, the cleaning is working. We’re not seeing spread within our schools but we’re seeing the impact from outside," said Golla.

Golla added the activity levels they are watching go beyond includes the number of positive cases. It includes the number of people in quarantine, pending test results, and contact tracing.

"I feel like the Falls has been doing a really good job of keeping all the kids really safe, and so we’re just kind of trusting what their decisions are right now," said parent Stacy Hampton.

"I hope that they will keep watching the numbers and if they can go back I’d love for him to go back full-time just because I know he needs that socialization."

"We’re hearing from families on both sides. Families who are happy that we’re going to remain in the hybrid model and families that are worried about how we’re going to manage next week," said School Board Vice President Keri Duce, adding they will continue to review the data.

As Menomonee Falls becomes the latest district to switch gears leaders called on the community to do their part.

"If people want us to stay open, they want to keep kids in school we need everyone to work together on this. I believe we can do it," said Golla.

Meanwhile, the district is implementing new technology they say will enhance their HVAC systems to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and the flu.

To view the metrics dashboard, click here.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.