Mike Richie, District Administrator
Spirit Article - March 2021
When we started the 2020-21 school year, we knew it would be like no other year and we were optimistic that we would soon return to normal. However, COVID-19 did not allow that to happen. On September 1, when the school year began, we were able to have face-to-face instruction for students in grades K-8 four days per week. Unfortunately, our high school students were only able to attend school face-to-face two days per week, as we had to split the high school students into two groups.
We followed the guidelines of wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and providing extra cleaning. This is very difficult to do when you have over 1,200 students and over 150 employees! Students and staff did a great job following the guidelines that were established. We also tracked, and continue to track our positive COVID cases and quarantines on a daily basis and continue to publish these results on our COVID-19 Dashboard on our website on a weekly basis.
On January 18, 2021, when our second semester started, we were able to bring our high school students back into the building four days per week for face-to-face instruction. This was great to see and the high school students are excited to be back.
Our goal has always been to return to face-to-face learning five days per week. There are no promises or guarantees that this will happen this school year. However, we will make every attempt to try to make five days a week of face-to-face instruction a reality. Students have lost a lot of instructional time and it is imperative that we make every effort to return to a normal school schedule.
In order for this to happen, our COVID numbers must continue to decrease and all school personnel that choose to be vaccinated are vaccinated. As a school district, we will be providing school personnel with vaccinations to help prevent the risk of exposure to, and complications from, COVID-19 when providing face-to-face instruction or directly working with, or transporting our students.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) anticipates school personnel will be eligible for the vaccine around March 1 (pending Wisconsin’s vaccine supply from the federal government). The Tomorrow River School District is currently working in collaboration with the Portage County Health Department to establish a vaccination site within the school.
Let’s all work together and follow the COVID guidelines and procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and try to get our school year back to normal.