RACINE COUNTY, WI — Students in Racine may be learning in classes this fall. However, they won’t be inside classrooms to start the year.
Friday, Racine Unified School District detailed its “Smart Start 2020” plan, a remote learning plan that will allow students to access classes virtually. Instructors will lead the virtual classes from their classrooms.
“I’d like to see my classmates virtually,” said Jace Hermosillo, a student at Walden III.
RUSD said it will begin the year remotely through November 6th. In October, it plans to re-assess the possibility of resuming in-person courses.
"This decision was not made lightly. An RUSD Re-Entry Planning Team made up of more than 150 District administrators, teachers, community members and parents, has been planning for a safe return to school since May. The team has worked tirelessly to put together a plan that meets the academic and social/emotional needs of our students while keeping everyone safe," the district said in a press release Friday.
The district said each student will be given Chromebooks. Its plan also mentions 500 Wi-Fi hotspots that will be assigned to anyone struggling with access to the internet.
“We know that face-to-face learning is best for our students,” Superintendent Dr. Eric Gallien said. “And we’re committed to doing so when we know it is a safe decision. In the meantime, we are committed to providing a robust remote learning experience for every student.”
“I think it’s smart to start virtually and see how it goes,” said Hank Hermosillo, Jace’s dad. “These kids need to be around other kids to grow socially.”
Online, a number of parents sounded off about the decision. Many praising the district’s safe approach to classes, while others argue it should be up to individual families whether or not to send their kids to class.
“I totally get why they have to go remote,” said Charles Bussian.
Bussian said he hopes when his son and daughter return to their respective RUSD schools, plans will be in place for them to learn as much as they can in an effective manor.
“I’m all for it but I don’t know about the plan when it comes to the teaching. I want, like, an actual schedule,” he said.
Detailed information will be provided to parents in the coming weeks, the district says.