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Monroe BOE approves sending all elementary students back to face-to-face instruction
New plan to be called B+, goes into effect Feb. 1 but will not include Plan H
Teacher Stock

MONROE — Elementary students in Monroe not in Plan H will soon be able to attend in-person schooling.

The Board of Education met Jan. 11 for the regular board meeting and held a lengthy discussion before voting unanimously to send all group one and two students to in-person learning Monday through Thursday, with Fridays still online, starting Feb. 1.

The new plan will be called B+. District Administrator Rick Waski said that the new plan is being referred to as B+ instead of as Plan A because it involves sending only elementary students in-person.

Though elementary principals were frank in saying that maintaining social and physically distancing would be difficult to unachievable, there was much agreement that the benefits of in-person learning for elementary students outweighs the risks.

“Our students and families need us,” Todd Paradis, principal at Parkside Elementary School, said to the Board. “We know that for some students, virtual has been okay, but for the majority, they really need to be with us in-person in order for us to best support their social, emotional and academic needs.”

Students had spent the entire month of December as well as the last two weeks of November in Plan C, or fully-virtual learning. They returned to the hybrid form following the district’s winter break.

Other districts and schools in the county have had elementary students in the classroom since the beginning of the year, including New Glarus, Brodhead, Monticello and St. Victor’s in Monroe. 

Waski said that, even though the board voted to approve the recommendation, it is not certain that students will remain in the plan for the rest of the year.

“Even if the board would vote to do this on a given date, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” he said. “I’m still going to monitor our numbers every week like I always do and determine what phase we’re going to be in next.”