March 14, 2020 district communication
LA CROSSE, Wis., (March 14, 2020) – As you are aware by now, Governor Evers has directed a shut down of Wisconsin schools beginning at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18 until Monday, April 6. District administration has convened our health crisis team, and we are meeting daily to review new information and make district decisions that balance the needs of many. Please note the following decisions:
School will be in session as scheduled on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. These two instructional days will allow us to make final connections with students before a long, unplanned break. The two days will also provide the time for some of our parents to work out daycare issues they may be facing. The district will be excusing student absences on Monday and Tuesday if you were to decide to keep your child home. Please know, however, that we are monitoring student and staff absences due to illness over the last several days, and the number of absences is below average. We do not have any unusual increase in student or staff illness in the district at this time.
So that you can plan accordingly, please note that school will not be in session on April 6, 7 and 8. This will allow a longer period of time for deep-cleaning and disinfecting our schools to be prepared for the return of students. With the spring break already planned, this will mean that our students would return to school on Tuesday April 14. There will be no school, school activities, practices, or events for students in the School District of La Crosse beginning Wednesday, March 18 until, Tuesday, April 14. Based on health factors and the spread of the virus, it remains possible that state officials may extend mandatory closure beyond this time.
Our district’s nurses and health assistants help dispense medications to many students each day. Parents/Guardians may drop by your child’s school on March 16, 17 or 18 from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM to pick up those medications. After Wednesday, March 18 at 4 PM, our schools will be closed to the general public until school resumes.
Our district staff is dedicated to maintaining contact with students throughout the course of this interruption in the school year. Relationships matter. Students in grades 4-12 will be encouraged to take their district-assigned computing device home with them on March 17. The devices will be used for on-going communication and continuity with our staff. Our staff will be checking in with students during this time. Each student should receive at least one communication from a staff member prior to the end of the day on Friday, March 20. Through these connections, teachers will provide academic-based challenges, thought-provoking questions, or other resources to extend learning. Teachers will not be applying grades or scores to any work that is done. Our staff at grades K-3 will use a variety of tools to connect with learners.
We understand that school closing can have a significant impact on others. We are working closely to develop a plan whereby any student may receive both breakfast and lunch each week day that school is not in session. It is our goal to first provide this service on Wednesday, March 18. You will receive more information when the logistics are clear.
We will be sharing numerous resources, answers, and updates on obtaining healthy meals, free WiFi, online enrichment opportunities, and much more between now and when schools reopen. Expect to find this information on our COVID-19 webpage, lacrosseschools.org/coronavirus as well as on social media and in your email inbox.
This will be challenging for the entire community, but our district administrators have been working closely with the La Crosse County Health Department, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, state and local agencies, community organizations, and many of our neighboring school districts in anticipation of this. We will do everything we can to support our students, families, and staff through this challenging time.
Superintendent of Schools