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In-person summer school classes, sport contact days and summer rec won't happen in July

School board cancels programming & activities

The School Board of Cashton met for a second time in June on Wednesday, June 24 in order to address the status of summer programming, such as summer recreation, summer contact days for school sports teams, and face-to-face summer school classes in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

When the board last met earlier in the month of June, they did approve face-to-face summer school classes for July, however they retracted that decision at their most recent meeting and voted to not hold any in-person classes, with the exception of driver’s education - which will continue as planned.

Members of the district’s administration have been monitoring and referencing tools and resources such as the regional Coulee COVID-19 Compass, which was launched in early June by the health department and uses county data to identify levels of risk related to COVID-19 in the area and offers guidelines and recommendations for individuals, businesses and organizations. This resource is updated weekly.

At the time of the earlier June meeting, this compass indicated that Monroe County was at a High Risk level, but has since increased to Severe Risk, prompting the board to reconsider their earlier decision to hold in-person summer school classes that were slated for July.

District Administrator, Ryan Alderson, presented a few different scenarios to the board including operating summer school, summer recreation and summer contact days on a week-to-week basis, depending on the status of the Coulee Compass - not holding events in the case of Severe Risk status, but potentially operating with sanitation measures and allowances in a High Risk status.

“It’s not consistent or clean, but it’s a way to offer summer programs during this situation,” said Alderson.

Alderson also noted that resources available to the district such as janitorial and nursing staff during the summer months are much more limited and that trying to operate programming on a week-to-week basis would likely detract from the preparation for fall by teachers and members of the administration.

School board member, Dana Meyers noted that if planning programming and activities on a week-to-week basis would pull from fall planning, she’s not in favor of it.

The decision to continue driver’s education was approved by the board due to the fact that the class provides a service to students that might otherwise be difficult to obtain or afford.

“It seems like not offering it would be doing a disservice to the kids who can’t afford to take a driver’s education class outside of what the school offers,” said board member, Sara Cook.

For the driver’s education class, full attendance of the three-week course is mandatory, so operating on a week-to-week basis was not an option.

The class will be split into two sections of approximately fifteen students and will meet in the high school cafeteria - a large space that will allow students to be spaced six-feet apart. Alderson noted that screening for symptoms will be completed and all attending students and the instructor will be required to wear a face cover.

School board members observed that the single class would be a smaller exposure and that it is not an activity-based class, like many of the other remaining summer school classes were.

The board also revisited the previously approved plans for an in-person graduation ceremony, but opted to wait until the July meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, July 13, to make a final decision.

High school principal, Jennifer Butzler noted that communication in the event of a change in plan could be sent out after next month’s meeting.

“It’s cutting it close, but it can be done,” she said.

Administration was directed to go ahead with planning as if the in-person ceremony will still take place as previously detailed, with the possibility that changes may be required.

The board also voted to not hold a summer recreation program this year and tabled a decision on summer contact days for school sports.

“I struggle with allowing contact days for sports, but not classes,” said board president, Dave Amundson.

“I think we say no to contact days today and keep it on the agenda for July,” agreed Meyers.


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