More families press for in-person learning at schools in SE WI

Tired of distance learning. From demonstrations to parent surveys, families are voicing their desires for kids to get back into the classroom. That seems to be the case now in several school districts in southeast Wisconsin after meetings Monday night, Jan. 11.

After protests outside of the South Milwaukee School District buildings, the school board answered the cries of the group gathered.

According to the South Milwaukee superintendent, "Elementary students are returning in a hybrid model starting on January 18th. They will move to in-person learning on February 1. Middle and high school students start in the hybrid model on January 25th. They will move to in-person learning starting February 8th. AND approximately 20% of students OPTED into a full virtual model."

It is a win in many ways for Julie Maurer and her son, who were out protesting.

"Student learning will be increased because they will have more access to their teachers. I'm also looking forward to students connecting with each other because a lot of them have felt so isolated," Maurer said.

Those reasons along with health metrics surrounding COVID-19 are allowing districts like Menomonee Falls to make changes with learning models.

Corey Golla

"We made the recommendation and decision yesterday to return all of our upper elementary students -- that would be grades three through five at Riverside Elementary and Valley View Elementary -- to full-time next week," said Corey Golla, Menomonee Falls Superintendent. "I'm proud of the model we’ve been in. It's been successful. But we know face-to-face is where students learn best. So we are looking forward to getting more students back."

The Port Washington-Saukville School District is also welcoming students on Jan. 25 -- which is the beginning of the second semester. They will be back five days a week for in-person instruction -- and there is a virtual option.

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Michael Weber

"This increases some options available for families and parents. It will also enable us to continue to have that close social, emotional contact with our students; help them academically, and also help move them along with the challenges that everyone is facing through this emotional pandemic turmoil," said Michael Weber, Superintendent of Port Washington-Saukville School District.

The Racine Unified School District will also reopen schools on Jan. 19. Staff and special education students who require in-person services will return to their classrooms on Jan. 25.

DHS: 2,790 new positive cases of COVID-19 in WI; 49 new deaths

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 rose by 2,790 Tuesday, Jan. 12, officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported, for a total of 511,136.