Waukesha School District board members voted to return to school in a hybrid learning model later this month. Earlier in the night, they rejected a plan for a phased-in return to school. The vote came at after 11 p.m. Wednesday night during the hours-long board meeting.
The hybrid plan will send middle and high school students to school for in-person classes 2 days a week in groups.
The groups would switch off and everyone would learn remotely on Mondays. Elementary school students will still go to school 5 days a week.
The proposed phased-in plan would have started students virtually and then transition to in-person learning when the COVID-19 positivity rate drops below 5% for 2 weeks.
Phase 3 would put all students back in school. That plan was rejected in a 5 to 4 vote.
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The proposal came after the board voted back on July 30th to move forward with in-person learning. Surveys completed by families and staff showed that 65% of respondents wanted in-person learning, while 25% wanted the option to have students learn virtually.
District Superintendent Dr. James Sebert said recent trends in COVID cases in Waukesha County led to his decision to make the new proposal.
Dozens of parents and students showed up to protest before the meeting. They wanted face-to-face learning when school resumes. Many of them spoke during the meeting. Others expressed concern with going back to school in person so soon and asked board members to consider the phased-in approach.