Wisconsin hopes To avoid another K-12 School Closure

Brianna Reilly:

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he would try to avoid another statewide closure of K-12 schools if COVID-19 outbreaks were to occur in classrooms during the upcoming school year. 

Instead, the former state superintendent — who ordered the closure of school buildings in mid-March — said if the state is effectively “managing the virus and boxing it in,” it’s likely any schools directly impacted by such an outbreak would be able make the individual decision to temporarily shutter to manage the novel coronavirus before resuming instruction as planned. 

“We would take time and effort to make sure we’re in close communications not just with county public health officials but also school officials to see how it’s working out for them and whether they need to take a pause or not,” he told reporters in a briefing Tuesday.

“Hopefully if we’re in a position where the virus is being managed in the state of Wisconsin, that we would more likely see individual schools or maybe a classroom taking 14 days to self-isolate at home rather than a statewide shutdown.” 

The Democrat’s comments come as education officials continue planning for the upcoming school year and state leaders work to distribute masks and thermometers to K-12 institutions in preparation for what the Department of Public Instruction has said “will undoubtedly” be a different-looking school year. 

The agency last month released its 87-page “Education Forward” guidance document that lists a series of recommendations districts should take to mitigate the risks amid the ongoing pandemic, including daily temperature checks or symptoms screening, modified schedules and more.