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La Crosse School District uses new guidance for instruction in pandemic

Kaitlyn Riley

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The La Crosse School District announced Friday it will use the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) guidance for schools to decide how instruction will be provided in light of no specific county or state guidance.

The HGHI indicates the guide to risk levels is based on the case rate, and other factors should be considered. The decision matrix will guide the School District of La Crosse in determining the mode of instruction for students after Oct. 1.

Between Aug. 28 – Sept. 5 the school district had four positive cases and three close contacts of a positive case in the school district.

Currently, the district says it is committed to an all-virtual format until at least Oct. 5.

Schools will keep a two-week stability period before moving to a more or less restrictive learning environment, unless ordered to shut down by the State or county Health Department, according to a news release from the La Crosse School District. Secondary measures will help determine the mode of learning and aid in anticipating the future risk level.

Classrooms and schools will move to virtual learning for a period of time if a significant percentage of students are absent for COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms. The percentage will be determined in coordination with the La Crosse County Health Department. Classrooms and schools may also be closed as a result of staffing shortages that prevent safe operations or the inability to conduct contact tracing by the following day.

Starting next week, the School District of La Crosse will provide a weekly update on
Wednesdays about the COVID-19 conditions in the County and the anticipated future learning
mode for students. Weekly updates will be found on the district’s website and Facebook page.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.