807 East Avenue South | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608.789.7600

April 24, 2020 district communication

LA CROSSE, Wis., (April 24, 2020) – I wish to take this opportunity to thank you, parents and guardians, for being such outstanding partners in supporting your children and our educators. Last week, I recognized our teachers and students for their efforts in changing the way they teach and learn. It is a huge adjustment for them. I am aware, however, that this is a huge adjustment for our parents and guardians as well. Supporting your child in a virtual, remote environment is a lot different than asking your child, “What did you learn in school today?” Remote learning is yet another method to facilitate learning, and it’s not the same as face-to-face in our school classroom. Thank you for your flexibility. Should you have questions about the online environment and you are looking for guidance, you should first connect with your child’s teacher and then your child’s principal. Our District’s Library Media Specialists may be able to provide support as well.

We have received many requests to provide opportunities for video conferencing between district staff and students. I am pleased to announce that individual and small group video conferencing will be allowed in our Google classroom environment beginning Monday, April 27. Our Director of Information Technology, Michael St. Pierre, will send to all parents over the weekend a list of student and staff provisions that will be considered as we ‘flip the switch’. Some parents may wish NOT to have a camera on in their home, and we respect that. Included in the document you will receive is a process by which parents can ‘opt out’ of video conferences with district staff.

With the announcement that our school buildings are closed through June 30th, it brings clarity on some district planning. Our summer school classes in June are canceled EXCEPT for continue remote learning in high school courses for original credit or credit recovery. Depending on the status of the state’s Badger Bounce Back plan, it may be necessary to make changes to our July summer school plans as well.  But for now, summer school in July and August remains scheduled as planned.

For those families that are depending on school lunches each day, please note that our nutrition services staff, in partnership with our transportation provider, GoRiteway,  is now including additional food for the weekend each Friday. The routes and times for lunches are printed here on our district website.

We have designated the dates of May 26 – June 5 as the time frame for schools to create a systematic process for returning district devices and for families to pick up personal belongings from school. Your building principal will communicate the plan once it is finalized.

Finally, closure can be difficult for anyone. We all respond differently in these situations. While some people respond in anger, others respond in sadness, and others respond in fear. As your superintendent, I can tell you that my contact with our district staff has evoked all of those emotions and more. Mostly, however, what I see is sadness. For the remaining five weeks of the school year, it is my hope that all of us, parents, staff, and students, can connect in positive ways knowing that things will return toward normal sooner or later. My hope is that our teachers and students can leverage the individual and small group video conferencing in a way that brings people back together while we are physically distanced.

With our students in mind,

Randy Nelson

Superintendent of Schools