MILWAUKEE — Following a rise in positive COVID-19 cases, students who started the school year off in person at Lancaster Public School are back to virtual learning.
"I was disappointed. Virtual doesn't work," said one parent, Michael Davis.
It was a sort of déjà vu moment for Davis, who spent his Monday afternoon picking up a Chromebook for his foster son, a device he needs once again now that Lancaster Public K-8 School has gone back to virtual learning.
"It's proven that virtual didn't work, but what are you going to do? COVID is back, so there's nothing you can do," said Davis.
The Milwaukee Public School District sent out the notice to parents Sunday night. Out of the more than 300 students and staff within the school, 12 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported. That's above the district's 3% positivity rate threshold.
"We looked at different practices around the country, and 3% was the one that was commonly used," said Bob Peterson, president of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.
Currently, health officials say symptoms of the COVID-19 Delta variant are appearing differently in children compared to previous strains of the virus.
"Patients are coming in with very mild symptoms. The children may be presenting with something simple as the sniffles and a sore throat, "said Dr. Kevin Dahlman, Medical Director of Aurora Children's Health.
Symptoms that doctors say could be mistaken for a common cold. And if children aren't tested, it could lead to the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
"If a student is exhibiting that kind of features - coughing, sniffling, whatever - then they are referred to the school nurse," said Peterson.
"If we see kids coming in the office with perhaps just mild symptoms, it really is imperative that we test the children before we return them to daycare or school," said Dr. Dahlman.
MPS officials add that after 14 days, they hope to have students back into the classroom.
Lancaster School staff will report to the building and work independently from their individual classroom or office space.
Students and families can expect additional outreach from their child's teacher on instructions for virtual learning.
Families should contact the school if they are in need of technology assistance.