SDMA Reopening Plans

SDMA Reopening Plans
Posted on 07/28/2020

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

Last evening the school board reviewed the attached plan for reopening schools in the SDMA.  

Thank you to everyone who provided time, effort and feedback in the development of this plan. As noted in the SDMA Reopening Plan, it was developed with a large amount of input from the Dunn County Health Department, Dr. Paul Horvath (the district's medical advisor), the SDMA Reopening Planning Team, the school district nurse, the district's administrative team, and SDMA families and staff. The SDMA Reopening Plan is a living document that will continue to be developed as more information becomes available, but please take some time to become familiar with the planning that has already taken place for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The school board is planning to take formal action on the plan on Monday, August 10.

More specifics about the required use of cloth face coverings will be added to the plan and shared with families prior to the start of the school year, but the current district policy is to require cloth face coverings anytime 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be achieved. The district is still reviewing guidance from local, state and federal agencies, but it can be expected that the use of cloth face coverings will be required on the bus, upon entering and leaving schools, during passing periods, and at other times when physical distancing cannot be relied upon to help mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. It is still unclear as to whether or not cloth face coverings will be required while students are seated in the individual classrooms that can be set up for physical distancing. 

While offering the opportunity for in-person instruction is a very important part of the reopening plan, so is the full-time virtual school option that is available to all resident K-12 students. The K-12 curriculum and course platform is provided by the Wisconsin Virtual School. This rigorous, content-rich curriculum meets state standards across all subject areas. Courses are offered in an asynchronous, online environment.  Students in grades K-5 will have Menomonie teachers overseeing their courses, while Wisconsin Virtual School teachers will be facilitating the courses for students in grades 6-12. The SDMA K-5 virtual teachers, the SDMA 6-12 virtual coach, and the SDMA virtual school coordinator will work with families to monitor student progress and attendance in the online program. 

Choosing the right educational setting for each child is not a decision to be taken lightly. The SDMA encourages families to learn more about the SDMA Virtual School Option on the district website and consider how it may or may not benefit each child. Families who choose the virtual school for their child(ren) must commit to the online platform for a minimum of a semester. There is a two-week drop window at the start of each semester whereby the district virtual school coordinator, in cooperation with the student, virtual teacher, parents and virtual coach, will determine if the student will be successful in the virtual course environment. Unless dropped in the first 14 days from the start of the course, students will need to complete the online semester before being allowed to transition back into a traditional classroom. The application deadline for the Fall 2020 semester is August 12, 2020. Applications received after August 12, 2020 will be reviewed for the Spring 2021 semester.

The school district will be providing opportunities for asking additional questions and providing additional feedback on the reopening plans. I will be holding another virtual Q&A Session at 7:00 pm on this Wednesday, July 29. The link for joining the meeting is: .

Thank you and have a good day.

Joe Zydowsky