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4 Milwaukee-area school districts move towards in-person learning

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Posted at 8:08 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 23:25:39-05

School districts in South Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls, Port Washington-Saukville and Greenfield all approved plans to move towards in-person learning Monday evening.

School District of South Milwaukee

The South Milwaukee School Board voted 6-1 Monday night to transition to a hybrid learning model, starting Jan. 25.

The Board went with the option to have elementary school classes return to hybrid learning for two weeks on Jan 18. They then hope to move to full, in-person on Feb 1. The middle and high school classes will start hybrid learning on Jan 25, and hope to move to full, in-person learning on Feb 8.

The district says they have about 20 percent of their students in a full-time virtual option currently.

The school district has been in virtual learning for most of the school year.

During Monday's meeting, the school district considered three separate phased option plans: two of the plans would return students to the classroom two days a week starting Jan. 25, the other option would return the students to the classroom starting Feb. 1.

The district said safety for the students and staff is a primary priority and their plans reflect the latest federal, state and local guidelines.

Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Weiss said in a statement, “The School District of South Milwaukee is proud of our high school students for finding a peaceful way to express themselves related to their desire to return to in-person learning. The administration and school board will be meeting again tonight at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the safest way possible to have students return to our school buildings."

School District of Menomonee Falls

Also Monday evening, the School District of Menomonee Falls Board of Education decided to send grades 3-5 back to in-person learning starting Jan. 19.

A press release from the school district states that:

  • Ben Franklin and Shady Lane students will continue with in-person instruction, five days a week
  • Riverside and Valley View will return to in-person instruction, five days a week, starting on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
  • North Middle School and Menomonee Falls High School will remain in hybrid instruction (A and B Day attendance) next week. Should COVID-19 internal staffing data remain healthy, SDMF may potentially consider a change at the start of second semester, Jan. 26, 2021
  • Families enrolled in fully-virtual instruction for the first semester and chose hybrid/in-person instruction will return on Jan. 26, 2021
  • Families enrolled in fully-virtual instruction for both semester one and semester two are not impacted by the decision to return to in-person instruction

Port Washington-Saukville School District

The Port Washington-Saukville School District approved 9-0 the plan to move towards a five-day in-person learning schedule starting Jan. 25.

Parents will be given three options: full-time in person, a hybrid of two or three days in person, or fully virtual.

Parents will be contacted by their school principal and will need to make their selection beginning Tuesday.

Greenfield School District

The Greenfield School District also voted 7-0 Monday evening to send grades 6-12 back to in-person learning starting Feb. 1.

Students call for in-person learning

Monday afternoon, a number of students from South Milwaukee High School protested, pushing for in-person learning.

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Students protesting in favor of in-person learning Monday afternoon.

Senior Aaron Henry helped organize the event. He told TMJ4 News' Adriana Mendez that virtual learning has been difficult.

“We just really want to be back in school. We feel it’s really important. In virtual learning, it’s kind of, I feel like I haven't learned much,” said Henry.

“I’m a hands-on learner and I’m doing science classes right now that I have labs for that I have to just watch,” said Isabella.

To view the school district's re-opening options, click here.

Correction. An earlier version of this article stated the South Milwaukee School Board voted 7-1. They voted 6-1 in favor of the hybrid learning model.

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