Waukesha County Area Public School Updates: Spring 2021

Waukesha County Area Public School Updates: Spring 2021

Moms, dads, parents, please take a breath. Regardless of whether you were a public school or private school parent, our lives drastically changed mid-March 2020 when school was ultimately cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, and it’s been a rollercoaster ever since. 

When everyone finally came to terms with their children not returning to school in the spring of 2020 and the cancellation of summer school as well, conversation immediately turned to fall 2020. Will the kids be in school? What will it look like? Will there be a modified schedule? Will distance learning/virtual learning continue? Will the kids have to wear masks? How do you social distance in a classroom full of kids? Are parents considering homeschooling (and by this I mean true homeschooling – not distance learning/virtual learning).

So many questions….and then the meme/graphic showed up… 

Stop believing all the Memes

There was a meme floating around social media. You’ve probably seen it. It said that it’s a summary of the CDC guidelines for schools across America.  Many parents immediately commented in opposition to the information on the meme. BUT, it’s not entirely accurate. 

What does the CDC actually say?

First of all, always go to the source. By this I mean visit the CDC website. What does the CDC say about in person school? HERE IS THE ACTUAL LINK AND SOURCE. This was most recently updated on March 19, 2021. As you read the data know that the information is “guidelines” and “considerations for schools”. These are not laws. The local authorities will use these guidelines and considerations to make a plan for our local schools. 

And now without a mask mandate in effect in Wisconsin school boards and school districts are figuring out what to do for the rest of spring 2021 and into the summer. 

What does your Local School District Say?


On June 22nd, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released an 83 page document called, “Education Forward” which serves as a: 

“Guidance document for Wisconsin district and school leaders to use as they plan for a safe, efficient, and equitable return to school for the 2020-21 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A few things to note:

  • Education Forward will be a fluid document, updated as needed.
  • Examples of modified schedules were provided in the document in order to provide examples (not requirements) such as as 4-day week, A/B schedule and more.
  • Again, this document is guidance only and per state law, school districts determine the operations of their buildings and learning environments.
  • **PLEASE NOTE that this link is no longer working to access the document as of May 2021. 

Another document/resource guiding Waukesha County School Districts is the Schools and Classroom Suggested Guidelines found on the Waukesha County Health and Human Services website.

Now the local school districts will be implementing and communicating their specific plans. Below in the bulleted list is where you can find out what YOUR local school district says. Each of the following links out to the district page for the school districts in Waukesha County. Many districts are asking for parent input in the form of surveys and/or holding town hall or board meetings.

      • On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the Board voted to no longer require students to quarantine if exposed to the coronavirus. The parents will have the option after the school notifies them of an exposure.
      • Board voted on 8/3 to move foward with options for families to choose including 5 day in person learning, blended (if enough interest) and full virtual. Families have until 8/16 to register. A soft start will take place September 1-4, with 1/2 of the groups attending at a time.  A change to the schedule is that each Wednesday, physical and virtual students will be released early at 12:30pm. 
      • July 27: The administrative team will share the School Re-entry Plan with the School Board in the North Shore Middle School Presentation Room at 6:30 p.m. 
      • July 28 – August 2: Revisions will be made to the plan based upon public and School Board feedback.
      • Approximately one week later (8/3)
        • The School Board will have a special meeting to approve the final School Re-entry Plan. Link to the meeting here
      • Frequently Asked Questions about the 2020-2021 school year
      • Lake Country School District is moving forward to safely open the doors for our students on September 1, 2020.  Lake Country School District is offering three learning options this Fall:
          • In-Person
          • Hybrid
          • Virtual
      • Board of Education approved a 5 day a week 100% Face to Face reopening plan with a family choice of 100% Virtual Learning option.
      • Some of their mitigation measures include:
        • Social Distancing when possible, when not possible continue to maintain as much distance as possible.
        • Restructuring staff and student movement throughout the day and before/after school.
        • Possible restructuring of student/staff schedules to lower the amount of close contact (defined currently as within 6 feet of someone for more than 15 minutes) students and staff have throughout the day.
        • New hand washing/sanitizing/cleaning practices throughout the district.
        • Instructional methods/practices/procedures that staff will begin to change to maintain distance between students and staff within classrooms.
      • Starting back to school, face to face, 5 days a week with virtual option.
      • Swallow Reopening Task Force Meeting on July 21 and August 4.
      • The goal is to be back 5 days a week for face to face instruction, with a virtual option as needed.
      • The school start date remains Tuesday, September 8.
      • August 12, 2020 Meeting
        • Approved plan: School to begin on September 1 with students choosing either to attend school in person 5 days a week, with health risk mitigation strategies in place, or to attend school virtually 5 days a week.
      • Spring 2021 Mask Plan:
        • Regarding face masks – motion was approved on May 4, 2021 that the Oconomowoc Area School District will continue to require indoor facemask use for all students, staff, and visitors for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Facemask use will be optional outdoors during recess, physical education, and other outdoor activities for the remainder of the school year. FULL SOURCE.
      • Currently planning on a face-to-face, five-day per week opening to to the school year on September 1. {Announcement from July 2}
      • MASD will offer a fully virtual learning option to the students whose parents prefer to keep their children home this year for health or safety reasons.
      • July 30: Information pertaining to face coverings and return to school information
      • The school board voted to approve the 5-day school week return to school, with an option for virtual learning for those who choose to stay home. They also discussed the safety measures that will be required in order for a safe reopening, with the number one priority being the children. Please keep in mind that with the unknown nature of this virus, the plans are fluid and may be changed at any time. The presentation also contains plans for a potential 4-day week or full virtual model in case they are needed in the future. We thank everyone for the continued flexibility, understanding and cooperation in creating a safe environment for our children, staff and community.
      • Te three proposals giving to the Board can be viewed HERE.
      • Meeting August 4.
      • Pewaukee will offer either full virtual or hybrid model for learning.  The hybrid model will start at Phase I (kids attend 2 days per week in person, 3 days virtual) with the goal being Phase 3 (5 days a week in person). Cohort groups (days for attending in person) is dependant on last name.
      • Read the Reopening Plan: Education Delivery Model
      • Plans to open in Phase 1: Hybrid in-person and Virtual
      • Stay Safe to Stay Open Page
      • The plan presented provides families the choice between full virtual and 5-days a week in person with numerous safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
      • Read the Reopening Plan
      • The School District of Menomonee Falls will offer two choices for students for reopening our schools this fall.  For choice 1, the school year will be in a hybrid model until October 2, 2020. In the hybrid model, all students, except those who chose the fully-virtual option, will return to in-person learning two or three days each week, depending on the week. The first week of school, September 1, will be used to help prepare students with the new protocols and routines. They’ve also developed additional health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 based on guidance from Waukesha County Health Department and the CDC.
        • Choice 1: Instruction could move between three models (in-person, hybrid, or virtual) using a decision matrix of health indicators and attendance. No parent action required.
        • Choice 2: Fully-virtual learning model for a one-semester commitment. Registration required before August 3 2020. The registration for fully-virtual is not limited; families may register at any time during the registration window. You will need your child’s student name and ID number to register.
      • View DRAFT PLAN
      • The goal is to have students return to school for in-person instruction, five days a week, with a full distance learning option available to families who want or require it.The School Board approved the DRAFT PLAN, but it is important to understand the health situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve; therefore, our plans may continue to evolve as  well, right up until the start of the school year September 1. 
      • Starting in the fall for the 2020-21 school year – should the district be able to operate school normally – the district is going from a two-tiered bus system to a three-tiered system. They are also moving to neighborhood stops rather than the current practice of picking up and dropping off students at the nearest corner. (Kindergarten front-door pick-ups/drop-offs will remain unchanged). As a result, their start and end times for 2020-21 and beyond will be:
        • Eisenhower and West: 7:25 a.m. and 2:40 p.m.
        • Elmwood and Orchard Lane: 8:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
        • Poplar Creek and Ronald Reagan: 8:50 a.m. and 3:50 p.m.
      • All students will automatically be enrolled in the District’s in-person [face-to-face] program unless parents actively enroll into the virtual/remote option.
      • See the scenarios outlined HERE and the Reentry Learning Plans HERE.
      • Board decided on a soft-opening 2-day start for learning safety protocol.  Labor day week will begin full face to face instruction and full virtual learning as selected by families.
      • Meeting on July 28 to discuss the fall 2020-2021 school year. View MEETING
      • View the Board updates HERE.
      • Norris will open it’s doors for Face to Face learning. Until September 14th, learners will only attend 2 days in person.  Startin 9/14 5-day in person will begin.  Upon request, learners may opt for full virtual or continued hybrid.
      • Instruction will take place in person 5 days a week starting September 1st, 2020. Families may opt in to fully virtual instruction.
      • Three learning models (face to face, hybrid and virtual) have been laid out in the reopening plan. Read it here


What does your Private School Say?

Private schools are also following the CDC guidelines and considerations as well as the Wisconsin DPI’s guidelines. The Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS) exists in part to help Private and Independent schools interpret the DPI guidelines and how they are applicable to Private/Religious schools.

Do your children attend a private school in Waukesha County? Find their information here in our PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE. Are your children really little? Find their information here in our PRESCHOOL GUIDE.

No matter where your child is going to in-person school, be prepared to be flexible. My children’s school is planning for a variety of scenarios, including a later start date, a modified schedule, and a contingency plan if there is needed to be a switch fast to virtual learning again as there was in March 2020. These things may happen or they may not. We’ll see as the school year starts. 

Not REady for summer 2020 to be over?

Find summer fun options for learning and exploring:

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