SHEBOYGAN — For the first time since Oct. 16, students in the Sheboygan Area School District will return to their classrooms on Monday.
Here's a look at what parents and community members should know ahead of next week.
Change in communication
The district shared that beginning Monday, it will be making adjustments to how communication is handled regarding a positive COVID-19 case in a school.
"By attending school in-person, your child has the possibility of exposure to COVID-19," the district letter states. "To help streamline our communication process, we will no longer be sending out Low Risk exposure notifications or calling all school families when there is a positive case identified in a school."
Instead, when a case is confirmed, only those identified as close contacts (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes cumulatively) will be notified. District staff will continue to complete that contact tracing and communicate with close contacts via email, phone and/or text messages with specific instructions.
Monitoring COVID spread
The district plans to operate on a more school-by-school basis when it comes to evaluating if schools need to close again. As of Jan. 4, the district reported 68 active cases in students and 19 active cases in staff according to its COVID-19 dashboard.
Attendance at schools will be monitored, and if more than 20-30% of students are absent due to illness and/or quarantine, the building will consider online learning. In the event a school's learning model is changed, families will be notified via School Messenger automated phone call, email and/or text message.
On Jan. 7, school nurses sent out a district letter on steps parents and families should take upon returning to in-person learning. The recommendation includes the following suggestions:
- Conduct daily screening of students including monitoring any symptoms
- Have plans in place if your student becomes sick. Make sure the school has updated contact information and have someone who would be able to pick them up if needed.
- Face coverings/masks are still required at school
Free meals plan extended
Meal pickup times for virtual students will also continue from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at North and South high schools.