MPSD releases plan for start of school year

MPSD releases plan for start of school year
Posted on 07/29/2020

The Manitowoc Public School District will start the 2020-2021 school year with a blended learning model that combines in-person and online learning, while allowing families to choose full distance learning if they prefer.

Under a plan unanimously approved by the MPSD Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, families will be asked to sign their students up for blended learning or full distance learning. The district shared details about learning models and safety protocols in a presentation and an overview of blended learning for 4K, elementary, middle and high school.

The District and schools will share more details in coming days with families, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document with answers to questions that families and staff asked in recent listening sessions or submitted in a feedback form.

“We are excited to offer families options to choose the best fit for their students’ learning at this time in the pandemic,” MPSD Superintendent Mark Holzman said. “MPSD cares deeply about our staff, our students and our community - and we are committed to do all we can to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

“Our goal remains to return to 100% face-to-face learning for all students because we believe that is the best model for academic and social-emotional learning,” Holzman added. “We will continue to monitor the health risk in our community and work with local, county and state health officials to determine when we can safely add more in-person learning.”

A district return to school planning team has been researching and planning how to best provide a high-quality, relevant and engaging education for students without endangering anyone’s health and safety. That team ruled out five-day in-person learning due to recently rising COVID-19 levels in the community, as well as the inability to safely social distance.

“The complexity of safely distancing our 5,200 students and 800 staff members in our schools is too great,” Holzman said. “To safely hold any in-person learning, we need to reduce the number of students in our buildings at any given time - essentially cutting class sizes in half to a maximum of about 10-12 students.”

Board of Education members agreed to start the school year with the blended learning model and said it was important to give schools time to prepare buildings and staffing, plan lessons and get ready for the 2020-2021 school year. Board members and district leaders will continue to monitor local health results in August to determine if any changes need to be made.

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