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Board votes to allow in-person classes, fall sports for Kenosha Unified School District

Posted at 10:54 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 23:54:22-04

KENOSHA — The Kenosha Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow for in-person classes beginning September 14, as well as fall sports.

The Board voted to rescind its July 28 decision of starting the year off entirely virtual.

Claps and cheers rang out as the board voted Tuesday night.

Board president Tom Duncan talked about how there needs to be trust in students and staff to take precautions as they return to the classroom and field.

"Truthfully, trying to do the right thing at the right time, and if it doesn't happen, as we've done tonight, we can re-work it, we can pivot," Duncan said.

Before the meeting, dozens of parents and students gathered to protest the Board's original vote of virtual-only instruction. Some gathered to fight for their fall sports seasons, and others came out to voice how virtual learning doesn't work for their student.

"I am a single parent of three kids, two of which have an IEP, they are special needs," said parent Candice Ohm.

Plenty of people spoke during the public comment section of the meeting. All of them pleaded for the board to consider giving parents at least the option of in-person or virtual learning, as well as the option to play sports in the fall.

One teacher with the Kenosha Education Association spoke at the meeting, advocating for keeping the virtual model and otherwise suggesting more work from home flexibility for teachers.

"For example, staff who feel physically well but are required to quarantine... can still serve students. Without the option to work remotely they will be required to get a sub," said Kathryn Andrysiak-Montemurro.

The Board also voted to keep fall sports this season. Some sports will begin August 24, and others—including football, volleyball, and soccer—will start September 7.

The Board also discussed revisiting the idea of all-virtual should it see a "surge" in COVID-19 cases.

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