SHEBOYGAN — Now that Sheboygan Area School District students have returned to classrooms, the next big question looms: What will it take for the district to see another closure?
At Tuesday's board meeting, Superintendent Seth Harvatine and the Board of Education addressed these concerns, setting a few guidelines they will be following over the coming weeks.
1. Student attendance reaches 20-30 percent
As previously mentioned, the district will be monitoring absences to help determine if a building needs to consider a change to virtual learning. If a school reaches 20-30 percent of students absent due to quarantine, other options will be considered, according to Harvatine.
However, Harvatine explained that reaching that percentage does not mean an automatic closure.
"It depends on what we've got going on. If we see build build build build and we aren't having students coming off of it, we can anticipate it going further because of contact tracing," he said in Tuesday's meeting. "But we will also know that tomorrow could be the end of a 14-day quarantine for a group of kids that will be coming back."
2. Three or more classrooms go virtual
The district will be returning to its model at the beginning of the school year—monitoring more on a building-by-building basis. This means that specific classrooms or programs are likely to move virtually before the entire school is closed again.
Harvatine said that if three or more classrooms is one building move virtual, it signals to them more action may need to be taken.
3. Staff attendance reaches 10 percent
The district will be offering extended sick leave time for staff to ensure they aren't forced to go to school when they aren't feeling well.
With substitute shortages and students more spread out than ever, the district needs adequate staffing to ensure a building can remain open. The district will continue to offer its increased rate of $200 for substitute teachers. This is up from $120 a day for daily subs.
Shortages in food service, custodial and transportation staff will also be managed very closely by the district, as they will not be able to remain open without being able to properly provide all three aspects to district families.