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

March 27, 2020 district communication

LA CROSSE, Wis., (March 27, 2020) – Thank you, again, to all who are working through the daily challenges we are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. During the time of the required school closure, it is the goal of the School District of La Crosse to provide continuity in learning for all of our students. For the past several days, our educators have been doing just that. They have been connecting with students. They have been providing support for prior learning. They have been providing learning opportunities connected with the district’s classroom curriculum.

As we peer into the prospect of providing continuity through remote learning, there are many considerations. For the most part, our schools are designed for face-to-face interactions between students and staff. We believe that remains the best model to support children. Teaching face-to-face and teaching remotely are VERY different tasks. First, it requires a different approach to our curriculum. We have been working to streamline our curriculum to focus on the most important standards so that students are ready when school reopens. Second, it requires some different approaches to instruction.

In the next few days, our staff will be moving into Phase 2 of our work: Continued Learning. Our teachers will be engaging our students in continued curriculum that will be important for children to be ready for the re-opening of school. This process can look different from elementary school to middle school to high school, and so the next communication you will receive about moving on to Continued Learning will come from your school principal.

We have noticed that many secondary students have not connected with their teacher(s).  It is really important to do so as soon as possible. As our staff work to re-engage through Continued Learning, it is important that all students are connected. For secondary students who are not making progress through the final weeks of the year, summer school may be necessary to catch up.

Other Items of Interest:

  • Nearly 10,000 lunches have been served through nutrition services staff, several volunteers, and our transportation partner, GoRiteway. If you are in need of a meal, you can find the times and locations for delivery here.
  • Internet access is a challenge for some of our students. If you need help with this or if you know of someone who needs help with this, please fill out the “How can we help support you during the closure?” questionnaire located at the top of the district webpage, click on this link, or call your school. We continue to work on solutions within the school district. For instance, our WiFi signals in each of our buildings have been amplified so that a person who might be in the parking lot close to the building could have access.
  • We have received many requests from teachers and parents and students to allow for live video conversations. We understand fully the importance of connecting with others. However, we are first and foremost concerned about the safety and privacy of our stakeholders. Based on cautionary guidance from legal experts, we are choosing to limit this option right now.
  • If you have a district-assigned device, and it is in need of repair, we can help you with that. Let your teacher or principal know, and they will connect with our instructional technology department to make sure it is addressed as quickly as we can.

Thank you — each of you for supporting your children through this crisis. This is a trying time for all of us, and I hope you will join me in thanking your child’s teachers for their tireless efforts to maintain connections and continue learning in what is a new method of delivery for most of them. Our teachers are using their homes as their virtual workspaces and many of them are busy providing their own child care at the same time. Amazing things happen in the face of adversity, and I am so proud of our educators for their commitment to children and families during this crisis.

With our students at the forefront,

Randy Nelson

Superintendent of Schools