District touts succcess of in-person instruction

Officials say policy has allowed students to stay safe at school during pandemic
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton School Board on Monday lauded the fact all four of its district schools have remained open for in-person learning for 100 days as of Feb. 17.

“We continue to stay safe to be open,” Supt. Jeff Nelson said, noting that mitigation strategies continue to be in place ,and students, parents and staff have been effective in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus.

However, Nelson said, one staff member recently tested positive. That means two staff members and 34 students at John Long Middle School and Kennedy and Woodview elementary schools have had to be quarantined.

“It’s good to see that our student cases are at 0%,” Nelson said. “This is currently the most students we have ever had in person.”

Officials said 117 students have been quarantined since classes began in September.  Nelson credited the school maintenance staff for disinfecting classrooms and other spaces daily.

On Feb. 17, elementary students and staff held a dress-up day to celebrate the 100th day of in-person instruction.    

School officials said they are optimistic that vaccines will help maintain in-person instruction. While most students aren’t eligible for vaccinations, their family members could be, which would help with the mitigation effort.

Officials said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination guidelines accepted by the state Department of Health Services and Washington Ozaukee Health Department allow people who are fully vaccinated after two weeks and become exposed to someone with Covid-19 to not undergo quarantine.  

“That’s big news,” Nelson said. “That allows our (vaccinated) staff to be in the building if they are exposed.”

Nelson said parents will have the option of changing their child’s instructional setting before the fourth quarter begins on April 6. Requests can be made between Friday, March 5, and Friday, March 12.

“We continue to see people requesting to learn in person, and we are continuing to work towards that,” Nelson said.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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