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Two Menomonee Falls elementary schools to return full-time Wednesday

Posted at 10:23 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 23:43:54-04

MENOMONEE FALLS — 4K through 2nd grade students at Ben Franklin and Shady Lane Elementary schools will start in-person classes five days a week. The rest of the district will remain on hybrid or virtual models.

At a school board meeting Monday night, Superintendent Corey Golla discussed the need to bring some of the district's youngest students to the classroom. Golla pointed to low case burden rates among the age group, stability in other elementary schools in Waukesha County, and challenges with teaching the students to read.

"Kids need to be present, they need to see the other kids in the classroom, side by side, physically touch those books," said Ben Franklin Principal, Carlene Hansen.

4K through 2nd-grade students were supposed to return Oct. 5, but Golla said that plan was put on pause for contact tracing purposes.

Datafrom the Waukesha County Health Department shows 11 active child cases with the School District of Menomonee Falls boundaries.

Golla said more than 100 students are quarantining, and he said there is no evidence of internal spread within the school buildings.

"The hybrid model seems to be very effective at slowing the spread, so we can't be afraid to stay in it," Golla said.

At the meeting, the school board got to take a look at data from a survey of close to 3,000 students, parents and staff about how the year is going. A school district official said data from the survey shows many parents and students believe the hybrid model is going more smoothly. Staff made clear in their responses they are working harder than ever, and data shows most staff want to stay in the hybrid model, even though it is more difficult.

"As a parent, it is really, I have never been closer to my students' learning, that's not always positive," said board member Cathy Olig. "But it's hard to see your student, you know, struggle."

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