Students in the state’s second largest school district have been learning at home for a few weeks short of a full year. Earlier this week, some younger students in the Madison Metropolitan School District returned to in-person classes. And today, the district announced plans for a return to in-person instruction for all students by May. WORT Reporter Jennifer Hwang has more on this story.
Earlier this week, Kindergarteners in the Madison Metropolitan School District returned to the first day of in-person classes, as part of a phased return to in person classes for younger students. Students in grades one and two are planned to return next week.
And today, third through twelfth graders found out they could go back to in-person school by May. The District announced the schedule for all grade levels this morning.
The plan is another phased approach, with grade levels gradually returning through the course of several weeks in April. And the district will still use a blended model of in-person education and virtual schooling.
Kindergarteners through fifth graders are planned to have four days of in-person instruction. Students sixth grade and older will have two days of in-person classes, and two days of virtual instruction.
The district says virtual learning will remain an option for all families who want to continue schooling remotely. Families will be able to indicate whether they want their children to return to in-person classes or stay fully virtual through an app that will be available next week.
MMSD also plans to bring back high school athletics and extracurricular activities.
The reopening comes as some educational staff, and Madison Teachers Inc, their union – have been at odds with the district over the reopening plan for younger students. Some teachers told WORT last week that they wished the district had collaborated with teachers, and that they had felt surprised by the previous announcement for younger students to return to school.
It also comes as educational staff in Dane County have struggled to get vaccinated. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that SSM Health plans to provide 1,200 doses to MMSD educators by early April.