Racine teachers group calls for continued virtual learning

Record-breaking coronavirus cases have caused major concern for a group of Racine teachers.

That group has a request for the Racine Unified School District (RUSD) in the midst of planning for the second quarter of the school year.

Learning through laptops is a model that Angelina Cruz, president of Racine Educators United (REU), said needs to continue.

"It's going as well as it can remotely," Cruz said. "If we bring people back in unsafe conditions, I think that we are risking being in (a) perpetual loop of closing and opening."

Concerned about COVID-19, an REU re-entry survey of teachers and educational assistants, Cruz said, found that 95% were in agreement that virtual learning should continue.

Racine Unified School District (RUSD) virtual learning

Racine Unified School District (RUSD) virtual learning

"We are seeing a surge both across the state and also in our own county," said Cruz. "They felt it was unsafe to bring children back in the building for face to face instruction at this point.

"Seventeen different schools we have cases in with just staff."

While Cruz said some are worried about a potential spread, Stacy Tapp with RUSD said the percentage is low.

"We have about 2,500 employees working on-site right now, and when you look at our number of cases its 0.001% of our staff," Tapp said.

Tapp also said with nearly 1,700 teachers in the district, the REU survey only reflects the feelings of 730.

"The feedback we are receiving from families is very strong. We know that more than 70% of our families say they are satisfied with how things are going right now," said Tapp.

As for how long they will go the distance, Tapp said: "We will continue making decisions based on what in the best interest of our student, and we will continue that focus and continue to support students and families."

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RUSD continues to gather data and input from families, the health department and the re-entry team. It will announce the plan by Monday, Oct. 19.

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